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I’m considering starting Mod2 (Ancient Greece) in August with my rising 4th, 1st, and 1st (delayed English learner) graders (and I have a 4yo tagging along). I’ve been reading through The Story of the Greeks and I am not sure my two girls will glean a whole lot from it as I find it rather advanced (I don’t expect my Ethiopian son to participate in history yet). I think they will both love the Bendick bios and the Little Cousins books, and I thought about reading D’Aulaire’s Greek Myths, as well (we do follow AO in part, as well, so my oldest will be reading Heroes by Kingsley also).
Part of me wonders if I should hold off on this more formal history until they are older (maybe 7th grade with my oldest) and focus on the rest of Sonya’s suggestions in the Free Curriculum Guide … I was even thinking of doing a Voskamp geography book instead of “history” as Sonya used to have scheduled in Mod2 for geography. Just not sure what is best for my kids’ ages with the oldest being 9 turning 10 in late November.
What has been your experience with these younger ages and history? I don’t want to read the Geurber book just for the sake of reading it but I’m not sure that only one sweep of history before college is wise, either.
I’d love some hand holding. 🙂nebbyParticipant
I have found that my kids long term retention improves a lot around age 7-8 do I would say that your 4th grader could benefit but not the younger ones. For the sake of keeping them together I might read some of the alternate books like the myths that might engage them more.
One of my 1st graders is 7 turning 8. She is exceptionally bright yet such a baby still so I decided to do K twice, simply so she could mature a bit. Maybe she’d do okay as well.
Has anyone used Story of the Greeks or Story of the Romans at another time with kids younger than middle school and found it to be a good fit?sherazParticipant
Erin.kate – there are lots of ways of looking at it, but if you are not sure about reading it yet, don’t. There are lots of great stories out there that would probably suit your needs now.
For a quick very brief history of Greece, On the Shores of the Great Sea by M. B. Synge (chapters 16-33). Each chapter ranges from 2-5 minutes long. It is available from Librivox as an audio book if you don’t have it as an ebook.
Many people consider letting the kids be familiar with important people/events before starting the comprehensive histories to be most important. If you look at the Heritage History site, there are several options that might be more adaptable for your needs. The books listed in green are great for beginning independent readers and would be interesting as read-alouds for grades1-3. You can purchase individual ebooks (in 3 formats for ease of use) for $1.99. Here are some alternative ideas: Stories from Greek History, Stories from the Illiad, Stories from the Odessey, Aesop for Children. There are many others. =) The Little Cousins series and Growing Up in Ancient Greece are all good.
It really did take reading a comprehensive history like The Story of the Greeks or The Story of Greece for myself as the teacher/mom to help me share the Greeks with my family. It made all the difference for our family’s appreciation of their accomplishments.
Something else that helps us enjoy these book is having pictures of the characters or places or things they left behind to look at. It helps them to see these people as real. The book called Ancient Greek Art by Susie Hodges is a good easy introduction to that aspect of their culture. You might also get the Ancient Greece coloring book by John Greene (put some clothes on a couple of pictures before handing it to the littles) – the book has iluustrations with explainations for lots of areas of Greek culture. They can learn alot from that.
Thank you for such an incredibly thoughtful response. Wow. I’m very grateful. I hear a lot about Heritage History but I’ve never looket that closely. I don’t have a Kindle etc so I tend to lean to YC where I can buy print books; however, there are many many good choices here at HH. Thank you for the simple reminders!
I own Synge so that may be more their speed, or perhaps the Church retellings instead of a comprehensive history.
Either way, many thanks. Lots to mull over.my3boysParticipant
@erin.kate, just bumping to see how this all turned out. I’m having a difficult with having our dc together right now for history, meaning, the family read alouds, they’re just not getting done. I don’t feel my younger two are understanding what is going on in Story of the Greeks and passing it off to my oldest just adds more to his plate, and he is not a strong reader. I just don’t know what to do.
Any ideas? Anyone?LindseyDParticipant
My kids (now 8 and almost 10) are understanding so much more now than when they were 6 and 7. We are on module 4 and chose not to use the spine this year, but to instead enjoy all the other recommended resources independently. I think this has been their favorite thing about this module compared to the previous ones when we did use the spine. I miss that our lessons don’t exactly follow the lessons in the Family Handbook, but the handbook does give me a helpful starting point and keeps us moving through the module on time. The only thing we don’t do is the family read aloud of the Famous Men book. And I’ve been reading the recommended years 1-3 books aloud so that we all enjoy them. Ds9 still reads the years 4-6 books independently and narrates orally. Both my kids are loving this module more than any others simply because we are reading fabulous books that are helping them remember this time period so much better than before. This has been my favorite module yet!
The Greek module was our least favorite. I think it’s difficult in both reading level and concepts to grasp, and I’m not even talking about mythology. I think some time periods are more interesting than others, and the Greek period did not really interest us. I am looking forward to repeating it in 4 years, however.MichaelaParticipant
I’m also curious if you have found something that works and gets done.
I think I have too much scheduled for history, and as a result it often goes undone. My girls are 9, 8, and 6 so I’m wondering how much they retain for the effort it is for me to read it aloud to them. I also have three younger girls so it’s hard to make the time.
They all say they have enjoyed the readings, but I would rather do something a little lighter and have it actually get done. Something is better than nothing.
I’ve been reading the “cousins” and “twins” from Heritage History and that is going well.
I think I’m going to scale back to doing the Romans, Reformers, and Revolutionaries from AIG along with HH books and see how that goes.MichaelaParticipant
That’s good to hear that they enjoy it so much, Lindsey! It encourages me to go in that direction.
I actually abandoned Mod2 as the Guerber is far too advanced for my kids and while they liked the Cousins books I just didn’t feel like we were digging in as I wanted. We use the yearly planner as a guide from SCM but I am plugging in AO instead right now, years 1 and 3. For some reason having my kids separate for history works best for our family, even though that seems odd. 🙂
I have thought about what Lindsey does with only reading the recommended books and no spine, and I can see where that would be awesome with Mod4, but I’m not so sure there is enough in Mods 2 and 3, and I tend to overschedule if I’m left to my own devices. lol.
I will be revisiting the Mods again, but for now we decided that the Ancients can wait given the slim choosings for narratives.LindseyDParticipant
I agree with you erin.kate. I wish there were more choices for recommended books in the first three modules. Perhaps that is something that SCM can help with as they update things. I hope my children grasp more the second time around.caycecronkMember
We are lagging badly behind in our history! My son is seven years old turning eight in two weeks and we have been using module 1 since the beginning of last year. It’s taking us two years almost to finish one module. We are moving painstakingly slow and I feel there is so much there and it’s almost too much for us. We just started this year adding in Early American History using Beautiful Feet Books Lesson plans and books. My son really is liking those books and is retaining more but he does love some of the early grade books for Ancient history as well. I guess we will just stick to the early books and do a lot of projects to keep it interesting. I really struggle with history as you can tell!
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