Heather, the same thing happened to me. What we did this fall was a complete bust, so we came back full circle to CM late in the fall. I ordered some things from Queens and A Living History of Our World. When I started thumbing through it in early December, I realized my 4.5 year old wouldn’t be able to do much with the journal. We shelved it reluctantly and are working our way through a brief American History and State Study. The girls are excited to do American History again in the fall, which is when we will pull A Living History of Our World back off the shelf and start it. I am going to do SCM Module 1 (Ancients) for History at the same time since I like having the Bible with a little bit of History alongside it.
I don’t think I’m going to try to make them fit with the time period of the SCM Modules. I might just do two streams of History at the same time; World and National, just like Charlotte herself did. We’ll see how this fall goes. I do agree the Student Journal would be best for a child who writes on their own. I’m am going to let my youngest use it this fall, to whatever extent she wants, when she’s a little over 5 to fold her in with her sister and preserve my sanity also!
For those of you who have this, do you think it could be done independently by a 10yo? Thanks!
Oh, absolutely! It’s just a lovely journal that would be best used by a 1st grader and up instead of my wee one who is only 4.5 but wants to do everything sis does! You could hand her the book and journal and say go for it. There are notes to the parent in the back of the chapter with how to discuss sensitive issues and other controversial events, but her narrative style is written to the reader. There are a lot of samples on her new blog I listed today that you could thumb through and see what you think. I was sad to have to shelve it, but my youngest is just too young right now. My 7 year old would have a blast, and could probably read it herself since there are phonetic pronunciations after difficult names and places.
Hope this helps!
I had to comment on this since I’d been looking at it for some time. I got to see it first hand at a convention and bought it. Sandi Queen says vol 3 is due out very soon and then they are starting a world history cycle that will be released one every 6 month and carry through high school. I was very excited. My children are at the top end of the age intended for this but I have one child who is dyslexic and this made it very understandable for him. It is a great spine and other books can be added for more reading – which I will do for especially my middle son. The notebooking is so adaptable with lines and boxes for pictures. One son loves pictures and my daugher would rather write. The timeline cards are going to be great for reviewing the order of major events. Then there are places to do written narrations of the chapters. She also has tips for children with learning problems in the back which was so encouraging to me. I bought it for next year but we have started it now so that we can complete 3 years worth in 2 years (approximately). It is designed (if you do everything) for 3 days per week – that is about right if you do all the notebooking and map activities. It takes us about 30 min. to 45 min. on those 3 days and I have counted the notebooking as our writing since that is a bit of time. It hits the high points that I would want any child to be familiar with. HTH
Thanks for answering my Q, Cindie! Dawn, you’ve gotten me really excited about this; Thanks for sharing!
I have a question for those that have the book…
I was looking at the sample from the site and wondering if this book has the student read ‘regular’ books?? Like is there a list or would you need to gather those items yourself off of other lists you may have, for that time period?? It reads a bit to me like Mystery of History, where the author is telling you about a part of history, but you are not reading a book (like Toliver’s Secret). We used MOH for about 11 lessons until I realized my kids could not retell a retelling, does that make sense? It wasn’t a story/book about a time period with characters, it was her retelling. My oldest boy did not like that at all and is enjoying his reading list that he is in right now.
In looking to beef up the history content right now (or eventually) would this type of do that?? I was thinking of commentary, like TQ, but not sure yet. Any thoughts??
I don’t have the book so can’t answer your question directly. However, just wanted to say that I completely understand where your’e coming from and feel the same way. I’ve contemplated whether or not a “retelling”, like you say, is a true living book. That is why we did not like MOH or SOW. A Living History of Our World looks great to add to our current use of TruthQuest. I highly recommend TQ to beef up your history content. To be honest we’ve never used a spine consistantly, only books from a variety of different authors – who have a passion for their subject (isn’t that what a true living book is?). My boys have a better understanding from history than I ever did growing up. I’m sure someone will be abl to answer your question who has the book – I, too, would like to know.Thanks for asking…
I don’t know anything about Queen’s Living History, but an earlier post specifically said that there were no books to be referred to for reading; just a “retelling. Exactly what you aren’t interested in using Heather, if I understand you correctly. It sounds like another type of curricula such as MOH from ya’ll’s posts.
How about conitnue with TQ (or in my3boys, consider purchasing it) and just get All through the Ages and be done with it? I don’t mean to sound ornery about Queen’s History, but I think it’s easy for us to see a whole new curriculum and buy it even though we’ve used something very similar to it before and disliked that “style”, i.e. the retelling style which this sounds like it is. You’re correct-not a living book at all; also a journal in history for the young ages is also against what CM recommended in the writing department; coloring pages, oral and drawing narrations are just as efficient than a predesigned journal, IMO. The oral narrations, opportunities to go to History museums, mapping, a timeline of some sort, watching history DVD’s and any projects a family or child wished to pursue for that time period are enough for the Elementary years (unless a child is just really inclined to write).
Then for your 10 yr. old, Heather, beginning wirtten narrations, the activities mentioned just above, and continuing to read great books is mostly independent, IMO. At least it is at my house. Why buy something with a journal when we have written narration?
I guess I’m trying to encourage you to watch for the “grass is greener” syndrome. Remember your past experiences with failed curricula, apply the wisdom learned then to future curricula and remember the simplicity and effectiveness of CM’s methods-real books, narrations of the different types depending on the age of the child and add in the aforemetioned activities.
I think ATTA will fill the gaps for book choices that TQ leaves and the children will make connections themselves without anyone, other than you, “retelling” history to them. Personally, I intentionally want to train my children to not depend upon someone telling them predigested information; but to encourage them to get info. from primary sources and other living books and digest the material themselves. I think good books themselves and good discussion, enrich a history course the most.
Just my 2 cents (and trying to save you some money or at least use the same amount of money on more books, not another curriculum!). Please forgive me if I am coming across as too forward or rude, that is not my intention,
Great points, Rachel; You’ve not come across as rude by any means. I could not imagine going without TQ or living books…LHofOW just peaked my interest as an addition – we shall see. I appreciate your thoughts ;).
I totally understand your post…but as a relative newbie to CM, can I ask some questions? If the author is passionate about her subject and her readers, how is it not a living book? I’m not trying to spark debate, I am earnestly seeking wisdom. I definitely want living books, and if this isn’t one then I’d rather not waste our time.
But how do you tell?
I have the journal but don’t use it. It is mainly just notebooking pages which my son doesn’t like. However, there is a space in the back for written narrations with a slight prompt which is helpful for me, being a first time CM’er.
Isn’t notebooking…writing a summary and drawing…just another form of narration, though?
Any wisdom you all can impart is greatly appreciated! I have so much to learn
I totally understand your post…but as a relative newbie to CM, can I ask some questions? If the author is passionate about her subject and her readers, how is it not a living book?
I had the same question myself. All History is retelling whether it is done so by facts in a textbook or storytelling. If it is written by someone who is passionate about the subject and tells the story in conversational format to the reader, IMVHO, that is a living book. If I’m missing something, please, please correct me here because I am trying to gain as much from experienced moms as I can also!
I’m sure the SCM Team could answer this question beautifully. In the meantime, to simplify defining CM’s idea of a living book, THIS article from AO may prove helpful.
@csmama ~ thanks for the link! It answered my questions.
OK, now I’m completely confused as to what to use with my ds10. In one breath I see this book being labeled “not a living book,” but then I see recommendations for American History Stories by Pratt, This Country of Ours by Marshall, and 13 Colonies by Guerber. They are all “episodic retellings,” as far as I can tell.
Oh, being a newbie is so trying! I feel like my children are guinea pigs for my mis-choices …and they’ll probably feel like mom is a bit schitzophrenic if I keep switching books!
I tried the Foster books, but the guys felt like it went “back and forth” too much. They wanted more of a linear telling. Any suggestions…before I pull what’s left of my hair out!
I have no idea if what we are doing would be what anyone else would do, but…
We are following SCM’s module 5 book list right now, loving the books, btw. While my kids love to read and be read to by me, they love audio books. I found the audio version of This Country of Ours and we are on chapter 13 or something. They love it. Now we haven’t left out the other books, but because we have read so many books in and around that time period when Queen Elizabeth (Good Queen Bess) was briefly mentioned they could understand in their minds the ‘time’ that we were listening to. My oldest (12) is always requesting audio books (especially ones that we are not reading from our lists, but in addition to). He is always telling his brothers to pipe down so he can hear what’s going on. I figure it can’t hurt to hear more about our history, especially if they do not express confusion.
It seems like my kids like the variety that all of these different type of books offer. I personally would not choose MOH or anything like that for our foundation, but would use them in addition to what is scheduled.
I have tried those type of programs and my kids did not respond as well. As a matter of fact I don’t know if they recall anything about what we read about. Now the books that we are using now, I feel that they would be able to recall so much more. Then when we listen to This Country of Ours, or something like that, they aren’t bored by the content but are hearing about these characters in a different way, but they already have a ‘relationship’ built with them prior to.
I hope this makes sense. I’m still new at this, but have seen my kids grow by this process. Their love for history has increased because the book selections have helped them to ‘care’ about the characters. M 8yo and I are reading A Lion to Guard Us and Toliver’s Secret and he just cares so much for these people (especially the family in A Lion…,). My oldest is reading Stranger’s in the Land every other day and he can’t wait to get back to it when he on the alternate day. His words were, “I love it.” I never heard those words with other programs. He almost dreaded history because it was so hard to ‘connect’ to the people, and narrate. Well, actually there weren’t people (characters) to connect to, just facts about the people who lived in that time period, no name, personality, etc.
Gotta feed the family. Just wanted to share how these book choices have affected my kids (12, 8, 5).
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