Monday, September 14, 2009

History in the Logic Stage - my rationale

After two great years with TruthQuest American History for Young Students series, I was bit perplexed as to what direction to take with history this year especially with Jessie. While I purchased and will use some of the books and commentary from TruthQuest's Ancient Egypt & Ancient Greece as well as Ancient Rome guide, it wasn't the perfect fit that it has been for the past 2 years. I wanted to incorporate Biblical history, revisit the other cultures mentioned in the Old Testament, and try to shift from learning what happened to making connections as to why things are happening. To that end, I have pulled together resources from TruthQuest, Greenleaf Press, Miller's Classical Homeschooling website, the Tanglewood Education website, All Through the Ages, and The Well Trained Mind; mixed them together; and created our own version of history for this year based on the following goals for Jessie.

1. To establish a strong foundation of Biblical history.

To meet this goal, I have chosen to separate Biblical history into its own course for the year. I didn't want to cram Biblical history in between the history of other cultures and rush through portions of it to cover everything in one year. Jessie has assigned daily reading from her NIV Bible, which we are discussing using The Greenleaf Guide to the Old Testament. When we get to the NT, she'll be reading primarily from Luke and Acts. For maps, I have a copy of The Holman Bible Atlas to use as a reference.

2. To focus on depth rather than breadth.

I've decided that it is more important to cover a few civilizations well than try to give an overview of all of the civilizations as many of the available programs do. The bulk of our studies will be focused on the three largest western ancient civilizations: Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The four main spines for this effort will be The Pharoahs of Ancient Egypt, The Story of the Greeks, The Story of the Romans, and The Usborne Encyclopedia of the Ancient World.

3. To use history as a means to work on research and writing skills.

Outlining skills - She'll use the Usborne book to complete one 1 level outline a week.
Summaries - She'll write 1 paragraph summaries on all the important people or events that we encounter. My goal would be 2-3 paragraphs a week.
Research - still working out the kinks here, I'll post more as we settle into something workable

4. To improve mapping skills.

Last year, I found that to get the girls to create accurate maps, I had to make the map using the blank line map that I was giving them. They couldn't take a map from a book and translate the information onto a blank map when they didn't exactly match up. This year, I want to teach Jessie at least how to take one map from a book, compare it to a blank line map, see how they match up using similar features like rivers, and transfer the information to the blank line map.

5. To keep it fun.

I'm trying for one activity each week. We'll use all the lessons from our two Draw and Write Through History books. Other weeks, I'm trying to fill in with one craft or activity.

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