Saturday, December 20, 2008

Thinking about next year, part 2


For the past two years, we have truly enjoyed using the TruthQuest American History for Young Student set. I'm certainly no history buff, but there were several topics in there about which I knew absolutely nothing. It's been fun learning alongside of the kids. What to do for history next year is a conundrum that I have no answer for as of yet. It's the question that's been stirring around in the back of my mind ever since I wrote part 1 of this series back on the 8th. (Hence the lack of blogging over the past couple of weeks. It's hard to blog when your mind keeps wandering off topic.) TheTruthQuest guides for Ancient Egypt/Greece and Ancient Rome are recommended for grades 5-12. I'll have a 5th, a 3rd, a K, and a toddler. I did look at the guide briefly last summer at our state convention. While I was impressed with the number of topics in the Ancient Egypt section. There seemed to be several topics without book recommendations. So I'm been contemplating my options over the past week or so and have narrowed my choices down to 3 basic options.

1. Do history a la TWTM for Jessie. I could use SOTW with Violet and Benny and just make changes to the portions of the text that I disagree with or I could go with the recommendations in the 1st edition and use the Usborne Encyclopedia with supplemental books. I guess it will come down to what the new suggestions for logic stage history will be when the 3rd edition comes out in a couple of months.

2. Switch to TOG. Of all the history programs I've seen, this one comes closest to how I want to do history. On the positive side, it has things planned out for me so I wouldn't have as much planning and reading to do. The biggest downside is that my library doesn't have a lot of the books listed on the bookshelf. I have also perused the 3 week sample of ancient Egypt. I'm sad to say that even using the supplemental book list, the number of books available at our library is appallingly small. Yes, I know that I can look for other books in the same section and substitute, but then I am back to prereading books and trying to choose appropriate material. That doesn't even consider that question of whether or not it would be in our budget to buy even just the program itself much less any additional books like the spines that I might need.

3. Go back to where I started, the CCH website by Christine Miller. Jessie and I used several of her choices during first grade from her 1st and 2nd grade ancient history selections. I skipped some of the books that I thought were too advanced at the time. There are additional suggestion for older children which I could use with Jessie. Violet should be able to handle most of the selections. I would just have to find a way to keep history light and fun for Benny, probably by focusing on more hands on projects. The other plus is that I still have my original 1st grade schedule to work off so I don't have to start completely from scratch.

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