If I should choose to follow the SCM curriculum guide for the six history modules will all major nations and their stories be learned by my kids? Is there time spent reading about China, India etc? Are handbooks going to be produced to facilitate the teaching of the five modules currently without a handbook? IF one was to choose to use a history spine which one would you recommend for each time period or is there one that would cover a broad time period?
I’ve been a die-hard Tapestry of Grace user for years and the Charlotte Mason theory of teaching just looks too easy. Doesn’t that sound crazy! The simplicity of the module 1 handbook scares me because it is simple and without a lot of facts and figures which makes me concerned that the kids aren’t learning anything! Again, crazy huh! My 7 children range in age from 20 – 5 so I’ve seen the gammut of curricula and most of it has a lot of fluff to it that tends to trick me into thinking my kids are learning something. I’m hoping for some confidence-boosting posts to bolster my emerging viewpoint that simple is good, simple works, and a love of learning is truly what I want for my kids so that they want to read and learn all their lives.
I cannot answer your questions about the scope of the curriculum guide, nor the status of handbooks. I would like to encourage you though, that simplicity is a good thing. Learning a few things very well is better, in my mind, than being exposed to tons of facts that are soon forgotten.
As I consider it, I think my approach to history has been to give the children the ‘flavor and the flow’ of the time period, as well as how God’s hand is shown in it and therefore, how should we think about it and react to it. That sounds like a lot, and it is, but I also have lots of children (age 20 to 3) and this is much more important to me than names and dates.
As an added bonus, as a child is struck by something that they want to further research, there is the time to do it. And, if they are learning to learn, they have the ability to follow through on their own interests. Therein lies the names/dates/battles/strategy, etc. that each individual child connects with on a personal level.
I forgot to add that Charlotte Mason has been quoted regarding how a child will learn more from ‘living with’ one person from a time period than they would from any textbook. I imagine there are plenty here who can quote her verbatim.
Hi, Brooke –
Yes, I plan to make handbooks available for all six history modules. I’m currently working on the Joshua through Malachi & Ancient Greece module. Because of the approach I’m using — emphasizing Biblical history and tying it to world events — we don’t spend a lot of time following the complete history of China or India. They are mentioned throughout the course of world events, but we don’t concentrate on each one’s history from the beginning.
As far as spine books go, probably the one that gives the most sweeping picture that I have seen, and includes the major nations, is Story of the World. Guerber books from Nothing New Press are good, but don’t come as far into modern times since they were written earlier. The Famous Men series from Greenleaf Press and the Genevieve Foster books are wonderful, but focus more on specific time periods rather than a sweeping history through all the ages.
I heartily concur with Cindy’s comments about simplicity and goals in studying history. There is no way we can teach our children all the information that is available these days; but if we can instill in them a love for learning and keep their natural curiosity alive and show them a wonderful way to study, they will be equipped to keep learning the rest of their lives.
Hope this helps!
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