Just wanted to introduce myself. I’m Andrea, we have 3 children all about to have birthdays, this summer, they will be 7, 4 and 2. We are completing my daughters Kindergarten year of homeschooling. We’ve had a great year with typical ups and downs. This year we’ve used Winter Promise Animals and Their Worlds as our main theme with Explode the Code, Right Start level A, Draw Write Now. During the middle of the year we’ve added a composer, artist and hymn each moth, doing Nature Study here and there with a nature journal. We’ve read several of the read aloud books from Sonlights list. I really enjoy learning myself and like having a main theme to base our subjects around using creative hands on projects. However, as the year has progressed, I am recognizing that this type of learning is not going to be possible at the season of life we are in with little ones. As the baby has grown this year we’ve been able to do less and less hands on projects and I began to see that I was not addressing behavior issues in my middle child because I “didn’t have time, I had school to do.” I spent a 6 week period during the year pretty down just wondering how I could do life.
I attended the Memphis homeschool convention and went to all of Sonya’s presentations. I loved the clear cut way she spoke, she was very easy to follow and I felt I gained many practical things to go home with. I left feeling much more peaceful and that I could school with little ones present. Short 15 minute lessons stood out as well as the importance of taking the time to train habits, especially the habit of obedience and attention.
All of this to say I am trying to figure out the best way to simplify next year and to find something that will work for our whole family, including the little guys. Since we’ve come home from the conference, she’s been narrating Aesops Fables and she loves that. We’ve done a few picture studies that we enjoyed as well. There are so many great things out there I find it hard to not keep cramming stuff in, even great books. But I like something I read somewhere about really taking time to savor the books you read, which is difficult to do when I try to cram in every great book I can find. I always feel like we’re “missing out” on something.
I have Sonya’s “Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education” book and DVD, which I am not through with, but finding very helpful so far. I think I know what I want to do for each subject except History and Geography. Should I just read some great living books about history? If so, do they all need to be during the same time period or does that matter? I know so many who like Story of the World. I’ve looked at the SCM Module 1 and I love the idea of learning Bible right along with History, but I’m almost wondering if I should wait to do that until I have multiple learners.
Excuse the lengthy post, but basically my question is what advice would you have for First grade history for a family trying to keep things really simple. And I’m assuming geography will go along with whatever we decide for History.
Welcome! You are so fortunate to have been able to hear Sonya speak in person!
Yes, there is soo much good that can come from habit training — and it applies to everyone, ourselves as well as our children!
Remember that, although there are tons of great books out there, you do not have to read everything in one year. Even if something is on a year one list, doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed in grade 2, 3 or even 4 or later.
As far as history goes the choice is yours. Do you feel your oldest will get something out of the modules this year? There is no reason your 4 year old can’t be taught to sit through readings with a colouring page to keep little hands busy. You do not have to wait until two or all three of your children are school age to start the modules, just add the next child in when they are old enough and continue through the cycle, repeating when you’ve completed the last. Your children will retain much more the second time through, obviously, but you will be surprised by the things they do remember and how they relate their learnings to other things and events in their lives.
If you prefer to simply read historical books for the first year or so, you can choose all one era or select books from all over the place. You might like to keep a time line or family book of centuries to help slot things into their appropriate time frame and a wall map, atlas or globe to identify the location compared to where you live. Maybe even discuss how you might have travelled from your house to that country, state or town in the time the story took place.
This is closer to what we did this year, though our main focus was on pioneer life. This was our first year homeschooling with my boys in 5th and 2nd grade. I wanted one year of easing into the routine and focusing on skills and habits before filling up our schedule with a full history curriculum. Were I starting in first grade, however, I would probably have started with Mod 1. Now we are going to try to do 6 Mods in 5 years, giving my youngest a second go through and Mod 5 & 6 for both of them at the high school level.
Wanted to welcome you. I am sure you will lovve this group, I know I do!
Welcome! You’re very fortunate to have found this group/site so early in your homeschooling journey. I wish I would have:) This forum is a very helpful, encouraging place to hang out…glad you’re here! Blessings, Gina
P.S. At that young age, I wouldn’t feel pressure to do much more for history than read some quality books. It really doesn’t matter where you start because eventually everyone will be circling through:)
Hi Andrea and welcome!! I am glad that you were able to find the CM methods so early. =) I like the history modules here, but there is no reason why you can’t just read books about all kinds of things in American History either…
My kids are also young, DD(6), DS(4) and DD(2). This is our first full year of ‘school’, although I started a bit early, so we did some last spring as well. To keep things simple during the first year, we started history with “Fifty Famous Stories Retold” http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=baldwin&book=fifty&story=_contents
I have it on my ereader, but you can also just read it online, so you could browse through and see if you like it. Then you can also buy a hard copy if you like. Along with Aesop’s Fables, these stories made a great introduction to narrating. They are short and interesting, with enough detail for the child to have something to narrate about, but they are not overwhelming.
Then, I learned about SCM’s modules. I already had a very good Bible story book that I like, so I read through that with all my children. Then, I added “Boy of the Pyramids” http://simplycharlottemason.com/books/boy-of-the-pyramids/ for just my DD(6). to give a bit of ‘world history’. I didn’t want to do the full SCM module 1, but this book gave us a nice introduction to Egypt, and we supplemented with a couple of books from the library just to look at pictures of the pyramids and hieroglyphics.
I know that others use the Modules right from the beginning, but right now we are taking a bit more of a relaxed approach. That is partly because I’m very busy with the preschoolers and don’t want to feel like I have to try to ‘keep up’ to a specific schedule, and partly because I don’t have access to all the recommended books and want to make do with what I have as much as possible.
At this age I think just getting into routines and enjoying learning about other times and lands is most important. Later on we’ll do a more thorough job of going through history.
Thanks for all the great suggestions. I’m excited to hear about the 50 Famous Stories Retold, I was wondering what would be a good next step after fables.
I just wanted to welcome you to the SCM forum. It’s a terrific place….it feels like home.
Hi andream and welcome,
I haven’t had time to sift through all of the responses so forgive me if any of this is repeat info, but sounds like your kiddos are similar ages to mine – 6.5, almost 4, and 2. I am also in school part time this year, so I also really needed to keep things simple. I blogged about how we are doing history not too long ago – the link is here:
This is working really well for us. I plan to use this same basic method for history for dd’s 2nd grade year as well, and then start the SCM Modules after that.
Hope this helps some!!
We are starting our HS journey this year with ds 5 and ds 2 with a K year starting in September. You found the best place for encouragement and advice. We plan on using the SCM modules starting in 1st.
Same as Carolyn, we will be starting in the fall with a 5 yr old and 2 yr old. We’ll be doing the SCM modules from the start, since my dd turn 6 in Oct anyway.
In the meantime, we are working on daily schedules and routines, chore times, and more reading to start easing us into the whole school idea. I am also choosing all of my curriculums now, and getting schedules done during the summer.
I am also finding any curriculums that do two or more things at once, for instance my Spanish program uses Scripture memory. One of the book series we use to read from now is historical biographies, one is Bible and animal studies to correlate with Character qualities. That simplifies the time schedules, especially at this young of an age where curriculum does not need to be quite a rigorous and we are doing lots of reading.
My idea is that it will make our start up a little less overwhelming (I hope!), but also, the kids will already be settled into a daily routine, and nothing will change except how we’re filling some of the time slots.
So good to hear where others are at in their planning and how they are making adjustments that work!
Welcome to SCM, Andrea. That is great that you got to hear Sonya at the hs convention. Have you read her free e-books?
I have ds8 and dd5 and we use and love Explode the Code, Rightstart math, and Draw Write Now as you mentioned you use. We started with Sonlight p4/5 books and we used some books on their booklist for the last few years. That is a good place to start for good book ideas. You have many good options for history for grade 1. We used SOTW1 some and the Usborne Time Traveler, which is used in Sonlight. We have a family timeline on the wall. Dover or Color and Learn have coloring pages for history you could use.
Hi, Andrea! My children are 7 1/2, 5, and 2. I have been going through Module 1 with my oldest, and we have been enjoying it very much. I will say that we are going through it more slowly. We have 2 1/2 weeks of school left for the year (starting back in July), and we are starting term 3 today. I have felt behind all year, but then I just decided it would be okay. With another Bible study at church that has homework, field trips, etc. we have just not always gotten around to doing a lesson every day.
With that said, I have loved the curriculum. It is easy to follow. I didn’t realize other curriculums were not laid out like Sonya’s history modules, and that is one of the great things I like about it. DD has also enjoyed the hands-on activities at the end of each term. I just wish there were more, so we have added some of our own, which is another reason we are not completing the module in 180 days.
My DD has a heart for the world, and studying an area that is not the U.S. has been really good for her. She also wants to know why some people don’t beleive in God, why they worship gods. I know a lot of this is from our study of an ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt and going through the Bible right along with world history.
Our plan is to continue what we are doing and add a bit of American history through living books for 2nd grade.
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