Planning History – help!

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  • jkjanis

    Hi all!  For those of you who plan your own CM history curriculum just using living books, I’m wondering how you schedule in “extras.”  In the past, I have picked the living books, scheduled them, and required narrations from the children (oh, and they each kept a timeline) but I felt like sometimes they didn’t understand how it all fit together or where in the world a particular story took place, etc.  I felt like they weren’t getting all that they could out of their readings because I just didn’t have time to read with them and explain or plan the extra things that would make it all come together.  Last year I chose to use Beautiful Feet because I loved how they had suggestions for mapwork, researching topics online, watching a youtube video, a hands-on project here and there, etc.  Honestly, though, I missed the freedom to pick my own books and schedule them how I like.  I’ve been seriously tempted by some all-put-together curriculums, but I’m too in love with CM to make the switch.  HOWEVER, with four children at vastly different stages, I just feel like things fall through the cracks – I miss an opportunity to do mapwork, forget to explain to them how a particular book fits into the big picture, don’t have time to look up the video about how the printing press was made, etc . . . . does that make sense?  I’m just wondering, do you do those things and, if so, how do you plan them?  Or do you just stick with reading and narrrating?  Thanks for any insights you want to share!


    I, like you, have struggled with fitting everything in over the years and haven’t succeeded so perhaps I shouldn’t be speaking.  I tend to just make sure I put first things first and always start out with my most important things.

    That being said, do you have all the kids studying the same subjects at the same time? Sometimes an older child can help a younger child with one specific thing, whether that is memorizing scripture or map work.  Although, honestly not all those helper tasks require the kids to be studying the same subject.

    Also, we do better having the same classes every day or at least M-Th with Friday for the enrichment activities.  The more things that are a built in habit and the less thinking involved the more we accomplish.

    Often, I find it easier to have times of focus where I decide this or that fits into my important first things. It might be for just one year, and it may not be something that will keep that place but I just don’t want to finish raising my children only to find I never did it. If that makes sense.


    That does make sense, and thank you for taking the time to share those suggestions.  It is very helpful to think that I don’t have to do EVERYTHING every year – that I can choose priorities for the year and take the time to focus on them.  Also, I had not thought of having older children help younger ones –  great idea and thanks again!

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