Topic | SCM History Problems

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  • erikacartner

    I did SCM Early Modern & Epistles with my then 1st grader a couple of years ago, and while we both LOVED most of the books, my son totally glazed over any time I read the spines (Stories of America and Stories of the Nations). The schedule was also too much. We were spending way more than 20-30 minutes a day reading the assignments, and I found the 180-day schedule difficult to keep up with, even given the 10 or so catch-up days. The lessons took us much longer than the guide stated, and there were too many for us to finish in a year.

    Next year I’ll be homeschooling a 4th and 2nd grader, and I really want to use SCM History despite our previous experience. But I’m really concerned about having the same problems. I have to wonder if I did something wrong, as I haven’t seen others complaining of these same issues, but I vividly remember at times timing the readings and finding they were taking 40 minutes or more, not including time for narration.

    If we do an SCM module, it will be Joshua through Malachi & Ancient Greece. It’s really important to me to do the Bible portion along with the history this time, and we spend one day a week doing co-op, so we definitely won’t have 180 days for SCM lessons. Is there something I can do to modify? My husband suggested maybe planning to do 2 terms this year and the 3rd next year, but I’m not sure how well that works if you stay with the SCM History cycle over the long term. Is the Early Modern module heavier than the others? Maybe this one will be easier? Please convince me it’s ok to try SCM History again!

    Tamara Bell

    The reading load in SCM Greece is lighter in quantity of books in the early years compared to Early Modern.  The Booklist will give you your best feel for the books scheduled.  The Greece guide schedules Bible over 3 days (1 day include geography) and history the other 2 days.  There are so many great books for the Early Modern and Modern time periods whereas it’s difficult to find books for the Ancient time period (in the younger years) that meet SCM’s high standards.  While it’s inevitable that children will encounter mythology while studying the Ancients, we want to be careful and not fill their mind with stories of false gods and goddesses.  It’s difficult to find books that meet this criteria.

    If your 4th grader is reading well on his own, SCM suggests he independently read his grade level additional readings.  I find this particular guide easy to rearrange to create shorter weeks but please remember, the lessons will be longer due to 3 subjects being covered (Bible, history, and part of literature).


    When I did that module with my then-2nd-grader, I made the following adjustments:

    For Bible readings, I used the Vos Child’s Story Bible.  I didn’t necessarily keep in sync with the scheduled readings, but covered everything anyways.

    For Ancient Greece readings, I skipped the spine and and inserted the Jim Weiss CDs that covered Greek Mythology, one track at a time.  We read the grade-level-specific books and used the Things They Left Behind portfolios.  I think I did one CD, one book, and half the portfolio pictures each term for two terms (and no history the third term, or maybe I got some additional picture books to read the third term – I can’t remember).

    For Geography, we went through the Visits to the Middle East as scheduled.

    I love the modules, but after our first term of first grade I realized I needed to use them more as servants and less as masters.  When we loop around to do everything a second time and my son is older, I will probably stay more in line with how things are scheduled.  Hope that helps!

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