I'm planning on using the SCM books (the Genesis through Deuteronomy...) for History for at least this first year if not longer. I have an almost 6yo & almost 3yo who I plan on keeping together for History. I cannot figure out what rotation to use in order to not be trying to cover too much using the SCM books since Ancient History is divided into 3 different books. I know I can do a 6 year rotation & just do one book a year; however, I'm wondering if this is going to give my girls a strong knowledge of History before they go off to college (assuming that's what they do) since they only do each time period twice instead of three or four times. Also, wondering about covering American & state specific history. I read a post by Sonya with suggestions for weaving in state history, which I think I'll do, but for those who have used the set-up of the SCM Curriculum Guide modules, do you feel your kids get enough American & state history? Any thoughts? Thanks!
History Rotation question(15 posts) (9 voices)
My biggest reasons for choosing to do a 3 year rotation is that we are late starts, and I want to hit on each time period more than once for our oldest son who only has only 7 more years until graduation. Our boys are also 3 years apart, so my younger son will get one more rotation in than his older brother. We are going to attempt to do two Mod a year beginning with 1 and 2 in the coming school year. I am tempted to get going with it in our final term of this year, but that would mean splitting up the Egyptian History, so I don't know. I plan to order the downloads this week so I can get a real feel for it. My boys don't like the idea of being stuck on an era for a whole year. My goal is not to teach EVERYTHING there is to know about a time period, but to give then enough of an interest in it that they want to learn more on their own, that they take interest in history.
The other reason I want to do a 3 year rotation is that our Province requires a High School Credit in Canadian History, so I have to land those modules in the grades 10-12 area. For you, you may have to consider what your state requires in highschool and how that will line up for your youngest. If your 3yo joins in with your older child in Mod 4, then that child would hit American history (mod 5 & 6) in 2 & 3, 8 & 9.
I believe that the SCM mods are more than plenty to cover American History, but I doubt they are state specific. I'm also not sure if room has been left in the SCM schedule to add your own, but I am guessing that is what you would do. You could choose to do that along side the appropriate module and events, or weave American and state History through your other learning each year. Perhaps you could use Mod 5 alongside 1 and 2 in the first 2 years and Mod 6 along 3 and 4 in the next two years there by creating a four year plan. There are just Sooo many ways to do it. You might want to sit down with a pen a paper and figure it out. Don't forget that as easy as it is to keep our children in the same rotation during elementary & middle school, we can also consider letting our highschool students be more independant and work in a different Mod. I'm sure others who have used the material can tell you what they've done that worked for them.
I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how solid your children's history education will be by following CM narration suggestions. It makes history become part of who they are and who they become. Choose a rotation that seems to flow naturally for your family and they will do well. State/Country specific history studies don't have to be scheduled for one year. If you tie important dated events, people, and geographical places (field trips) to your timeline (BOC) and other studies during the year, over the course of several years they will have a solid background in those areas. If your requirements are to do this at certain grade/age levels, review what you've already learned/observed previously as a family and build onto that with some reference books, etc. You might find a TOC of a textbook from the schools in the area to use as a resource for gathering information.
No -- Nova Scotia doesn't ( I wish they did) so I guess in one sense it doesn't really matter which history they do in highschool (I've been reading the requirements for a grad diploma for high school here and trying to match up what I can in someways. I am most interested in what colleges/universities will expect to see on a transcript) but in another, I think it very appropriate to have Canadian history scheduled for some point in highschool. It is the most relavent to them as they are maturing and preparing to take their place as an adult citizen of our country. It is the public high school history credit that is mandatory in all provinces that I am aware of.
I am VERY new to homeschooling and still trying to sort it all out myself. Thankfully high school is still a few grades away. But I feel that (at least for now) Provincial expectations for graduation and university or college requirements are a good indicator of what should be accomplished at the highschool level.
I know what you mean. I didn't think any province actually granted a diploma to homeschoolers (well, except Alberta if the student is doing the government correspondance courses....)
I have enough kids spaced evenly apart that there is no way to make sure the rotation would get them all Canadian History (ie module 5 or 6) while in High School - so for now I'm not going to worry about it. I figure that any children that don't happen to get Canadian History at that point can do a bit extra, or do one out of rotation, or whatever. As I've tried 4 different history plans over my son's 3 years of school..... lol. (Milestones, AO, my own, Learning Homeschool....) - we started a SCM module a bit over a month ago - did 2 weeks about of it (and enjoying it) - then my husband got sick and our homeschool was in minimal mode... now I'm sick and homeschool is playing outside and watching educational TV/Videos. I guess I can call it "Spring Break" as the schools here will be taking a week off soon here...
Years ago, I fretted about how many history rotations to do, but then I realized that even if we only did ONE cycle through that it would be more than I got in public high school and two years of college. I decided that I liked the SCM 6 year rotation because it lets us live in the time period more and gives breathing room. I'm very confident that my kids will have a good understanding of history at the end of this journey. For our family, this will give a better grasp than going faster would allow.
I'm teaching American history where it fits with world history. We've no requirement for state history, but I'll weave in a bit here and there.
Yes, I think its enough honestly. And I'd like to point out that your children can always be reading books about the US (or other historical books) for their personal reading. I've already begun this w/my 7yo (because he's interested). And while I think its very important for our children to grow into adults who have a good knowledge base of the history of this country (especially considering the great lack in most adults today), I also believe its important that they know it (the US) is not the center of the world. There are many other countries and cultures past and present that are wonderful too. (I have to say I'm not a fan of what seems to be the current opinion of many Americans - that we are the best. I just don't believe that to be true and don't want to foster that in my kids.)
Yes, I think I like the breathing room the 6 year rotation will give. I found most of the other things we tried very hard on us, and we'd get a little behind (or a lot behind) and I'd be in a panic...
with one history we were doing... I figured out that we were only 1/3 of the way through were we should be.... it was also a 6 year rotation (unless doing it year round... in which case it would be just over 4....) - so I figured it would take us 18 years to go through the rotation once!!!
SCM so far has been a nice fresh breath of air - it was working quite well for us.
History (Social) was my worst subject in school. I hardly know any of it. It is the subject that family is mostly likely to say - "how will you teach them this?". I answer that I can hardly do worse than the school system did for me - and that if I utterly fail to teach them.... well, I've survived so far....
for Canadians - there is a book called, I think, "Who killed Canadian History?". A very good read, and informative for why Canadians hardly know their history, and most hate history. Unfortunately, it doesn't have much in the way of solutions for us. (the author does recommend, if I remember correctly, doing Canadian history chronologically - sound familiar?)
I think Becca and Christie both make excellent points as well. I know that my 7 yo already has a firmer grasp of certain history than his 10 yo cousin (who until this year was public schooled btw).
And I am really learning that learning happens all - the - time. We recently went on vacay to St. Augustine FL and the boys were getting world and American history nearly every day - pirates, the fort, the town, a cool lighthouse. And if I was really on the ball (which I am not ha) I could plug those events in on a timeline for them with their formal history studies. Every book you read, every place you visit can be integrated in this way into their framework of history. You could make state history something you learn about every year - taking a trip every couple years to the capitol, reading books throughout their school life about your state, visiting your state's parks and learning about the how, why and when they were formed, etc. etc. Personally I think this way of learning might be more fun for both you and your kiddos! :)
I have an almost 6 yr old and an almost 3 yr old too! :) We are also going to do the SCM history modules and I had been having a hard time decided between a 4 year and a 6 year cycle. I've looked and looked for a substitute year 1 (for modules 1-3) and haven't been able to find ANYTHING that I think will work as well for us as the SCM guides. But with my kids being 4 grades apart I get so hung up on how perfectly a 4 year cycle would work out. In the end I've decided to start with module 1 and just see how long it really takes us to go through the first term. I don't want to push them through faster than will allow them to absorb the information and enjoy the learning, but I don't want to bore them with a slow pace or tiny bits of stories if they want to keep reading the next 4 chapters! I also try to remember that if we end up with a cycle that takes 3 1/2 years or 5 years we can study state history, current events, or add in any other history topic or time period that we feel like.
I agree with the previous poster who said that even if your kids only get through the history cycle one time they will know much more than most PS kids! I only got 1 year of World History all together and it was when I was in HS and sooo didn't care and didn't learn anything from it.
Please don't worry so much about this. When your children are in high school things are going to be very different than now when they are all younger. IF you are still worried about a time period, for example getting American or Canadian history in high school---well, then when they are in high school, just assign them some books. They will be much more independent than they are now. They will be OK if you give them extra books to read while they still join in on the rest of the family study. OR you can simply "skip" those students to where you want them to be and they can study separately for a year or two. They will be FINE. This is not a one-way train track with everyone stuck on the same car. :-) Even if you stay all on the same period your high schoolers will likely be doing a lot on their own anyway, and they just might LIKE the idea of having something on their own to do. Make what seems to you to be the most reasonable plan for now, and then re-evaluate when you get there. Either 1) you'll feel they really need some American or Canadian history and just DO it, or 2) you'll decide they know enough and are Ok and you don't need to worry.
I am really starting to agree with Bookworm on this issue. My boys are really starting to amaze me at their knowledge of history (and we're kind of late starters, as well). They are really grasping the place in time where events happened and/or certain people lived. I hear my middle ds, especially, talk and talk about historical figures, asking questions all.the.time. about "so and so". I attribute that to the books that they read, our discussions, and their Book of Centuries/Timelines. My oldest ds is becoming more and more familiar and comfortable placing people/events in the right "place and time", more than his ps peers, I can tell you that. Plus, all of this reading, adding to their BOC (and beginning mine) has really helped ME, too. I feel I am learning much more (and so are they) with this method (no matter the rotation) than I learned in ps, by far.
Just my .02.
Reading all of your posts has me reconsidering...I am now considering a 5 year schedule which would allow my younger son two full rotations, and my older one full and two years to repeat ancients if he wishes -- they would both then get mod 6 in high school. I've decided there are enough opportunities to learn Nova Scotian and Canadian Histroy through visiting museums and heritage sites when time allows in the years leading up to mods 5 & 6, and that a book of centuries will really help us to place everything in perspective. This would give me three years to get through the first 2 mods, and if we run a little over, not such a big deal. In one sense I feel like I'll need to choose more books the first time around, because my older won't have a second chance, but I've got to get myself out of that mind set. If he's interested in a time period he might well seek out the opportunity to read more on his own or during the summer. I have no doubt he'll be better educated in history than I was in high school.
I remember having an interest in ancient history and signing up for a course in grade 11, but dropping it because the majority of the students weren't there to learn -- they just knew they could get the teacher side tracked easily and waste the whole period talking about a completly differnt subject. He taught ancient history, English and Latin and also serviced pipe organs for the local churches. All anyone had to do was ask a question about any other topic at the beginning of the period and that was it -- the rest of the period was a waste.
Thanks for all the input everyone! I think I've gotten a good idea of what to do so hopefully I can get it pulled together using my handy dandy "Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education" book : ) I'm thinking the 6 yr rotation. I don't want to push through things, & it sounds like doing the 6yr will go more in-depth so that it makes up for the less repeats.
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