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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Our new history approach

Next year we're not doing history at all, as it's been decided to focus on geography for the entire year using Discovering the World of Geography and using our reading time to focus on literature instead of historical fiction. So our current history, Tapestry of Grace, Year 3 lost it's luster for the some of the same reasons we're not doing Tapestry next year. I need pick up and go without much thought or planning on my end.

I tried to like The Story of the World again. I really did but I'm spoiled now, as is Camille because we like whole books, Tapestry does such a fine job of presenting history with all its various regions into focus whereas SOTW just seems to jump around too much and throw too many names, events and countries at the reader. I realized that since I couldn't bring myself to use SOTW again that none of the condensed, all-in-one history books were going to satisfy us anymore.

What's left? Trusty old Usborne! Since switching to Tapestry, we've been using their core books instead of this encyclopedia. I don't want to coordinate books right now or figure out how to manage all of our reading. I want to, I want to read whole books with fabulous illustrations and rich writing but I can't. I want history to get done but reading, writing and math are much more important to me right now.

What we're doing is reading the 2 page spread, exploring the internet-links and I have maps from Tapestry's MapAids so I just have Camille label a map according to what we read about. This week it was Africa and the struggle over land, the Zulus, Boers and the British. Pictures to come this weekend.

Instead of reading a historical fiction book, Camille is reading Black Beauty and I'm reading a literature book to her as well, I'm still working on our next title-I need to find a free, online study guide to help so that is holding up the decision of the title at this time.

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10 comments:

About Me said...

Jessica,
Truthquest History is a guide of Real History books listed chronologically (both Core & Literature). It might be the type of guide you are looking for. I have several volumes if you would like to borrow one.

Good Luck & I am praying for you!

Henrietta Sweeting said...

Have you tried Hillyer's Children's History of the World? It is a great all-in-one history book. I used it with my eldest son for 2 years. Also take a look at the books on Ambleside Online. They have some great books and you don't have to do the work. I can't use it with my middle son because he is autistic and all of the books are just way over his head. We are doing Heart of Dakota with him and it seems to be about his level of thinking.

Penny from VT said...

I think your plan is brilliant. I love history, but all of learning does not need to revolve around it.

Congratulations on finding a high-quality, not overwhelming road to travel, homeschool-wise, and thank you for being such an inspiration.

Best wishes,

Penny

jennybell said...

I think you are doing the absolute right thing to take a break from history. The whole point of homeschooling is to LOVE learning. But when you are ready to ease back into it, you may want to check out a book by Rebecca Rupp, "Home Learning Year By Year". She has several suggestions for living history books. I have been using her list of history topics, some of her books, and others I find at the library. We don't do history every day or even every week. We do it as the books come in from the library. And so far, we're actually ahead of schedule for the topics I chose to get through.

Have fun on your "break"!

Nancy said...

I really like Tapestry too! But for many reasons I needed to have an open and go curriculum. We have been using Sonlight. I know money is an issue right now for you and Sonlight is pricey. But we are really enjoying it and it has so many wonderful rich literature books for history and just for reading. You could always get their catalog and just use it as a book list. It is an open and go curriculum when you include the Language and Science as well, it's very complete.
Sonlight doesn't fit my ideal curriculum but there are lots of great things about it.
There new catalog is coming out in April. They are making some changes to the Language Arts and Science. Good Changes!!
I like Usborne books too!

Blondie said...

We've just started Mystery of History - we love it! It can be very open-and-go, you can choose how much "extra" to add in. We also have the Usborne History book and it, too, is a fabulous resource!

Alycia in Va. said...

I've never really checked of TOP. We have SOTW and just substitute w/read alouds and whatever Sonlight books I can get my hands on. I'll check into though....I do like the idea of just learning about places/people, etc. from various stories- especially for young children.

Donna T. said...

I'm one of those rare birds who prefer the first edition of TWTM to the second. It was so simple back then! I liked how we were supposed to just use the Usborne spines and add extra reading as desired. I keep thinking that's what I should be doing with my youngest son who is just starting out on his TWTM/CM education.

I like your plan! The internet links are very cool. I hope you and your daughter enjoy them.

Blessings,
Donna T. at fishfellacademy.blogspot.com

Val in the Rose Garden said...

I have the same feeling with SOTW. I feel like if I did all the activities etc, that I would love it. But I can't get them together each week to work them out with all the other stuff we have to do.

I may look into the curriculum you are doing now. That sounds interesting.

I always find that curriculum choices are nearly as personal as food and budget choices. It just REALLY depends on the people and kids invloved.

Val

PS My blog has moved:

http://rosegardenhomeschool.blogspot.com/

Talk to you soon!

Teacher of One said...

I miss you!! Hope all is working well. I've given you and award over at the Boys+Academy. I hope you'll come over and get it!