I have been exploring this curriculum/method for over a year now. I am sold on Charlotte Mason and her method. However, history is my stumbling block. I prefer following the timeline of creation to modern, particularly as set-up by SCM. Is there anyone out there who has started their 1st grader/6-7 year old with Ancient Egpyt and completed the 6 year cycle? What are you thoughts regarding students ability to comprehend, follow along, etc. with the various guides?
Also, from review of the spines for the 6 history guides, the Stories of America/Nations appear to be at a lower reading level than the previous four SCM history spines. If those are to be in the later elementary years, I would think they would be more advanced, not less. I think this is where some of the confusion lies.
I am one year out from beginning formal homeschooling, and thus have zero experience of what the elementary children are capable of understanding. Please enlighten me.
I have not used all the spines yet, but so far noone else has answered, so I’ll give my thoughts. I used Genesis through Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt with my 1st grader. I ommitted the commentary readings and substituted the Vos Picture Bible (a suggestion in the manual). He loves to be read aloud to (he sat through Winnie the Po at like 2) and likes history, so he enjoyed the commentary readings as well as the Boy of Pyramids novel. We then used A childs History of the World for Greece and Rome. I didn’t want to take 2 years at this point here and little sister would not sit through much (at 7 she still doesn’t love history reading). I don’t think I required her participation for Child’s History of the World. She would have been 5 and he 7 that year. Then we did the Medieval guide and loved it. I think I read mostly at lunch to help daughter listen. I learned a lot from that sping and son still talks about Greek Fire.
My years may be a bit off and sometimes we didn’t do the Bible study part often. Sometimes we did history in the summer. Sometimes we skipped or condensed books and I tried some heart of dakota and Notgrass history in there somewhere too. I really didn’t like those as well.
This year for 4th grade we finished Early modern. Tried out Notgrass and dropped it and started Modern. I actually like these spines the least. They seem harder to me than the Ancient one or the theMedieval one. My kids retain the info better and narrate better from the Stories of…. books than the Notgrass or Beautiful feet we’ve tried this year. I am even learning from them. The kids love the picture packs and have learned a lot from some of those also.
I think the level of the spine is ment to be for all kids you are reading it to. You also can start wherever you want and gradually fold in all kids. The little kids have a few picture books mostly or simple chapter books to add to this spine. 4-6 has harder books added to it, 7-9 more books and even harder, and 10-12 adds lots of books to it. For example there is a big thick book America: The Last Best Hope, Volume 1: From the Age of Discovery to a World at War added for 10-12 for Early Modern. Check out the “booklist ” tabs under each guide.
So the meat of later years is not the spine. The spine just keeps everyone together and gives the whole family discussion topics. I appreciate this more and more as I add kids to our homeschool;)TiffanySParticipant
We began module one, Ancient Egypt, when my son was in year one (first grade). We are getting ready for module six, this fall. We have really enjoyed the SCM Bible, History & Geography. We will cycle through each module again when my son moves on to 7th grade, and my daughter will get to join in, as she will be a first grader.
I have loved learning history chronologically, and seeing the history lessons help create a backdrop in some of our Bible studies. I feel that the books for the modules are very appropriate for each age group. My son always stayed interested; with CM methods, the lessons are shorter and increase to longer periods as the child matures and grows. And, SCM modules stay true to that concept. My son was also able to comprehend and enjoyed the books, Bible studies, and geography lessons. The only book we did not pursue was Kon Tiki. The weekly plan is not difficult to conquer, and my son retained the information because he formed connections within the books and lessons.
We are finishing up our year of module 5, which includes Stories of America/Nations. I feel as if these books are more for all ages, not only elementary kids, as I’m learning a great deal from them too. They are definitely not dull textbooks; I would describe them as rich living books, which definitely help you feast upon the historical facts, the time period, etc. And I’m less focused on whether they are for this age or that age because they are good books. Also, we are not only reading these books with module five, but several others. When you get to the upper grades, the student has several added readings to accompany these titles. And as a CM mom, I always have the freedom to add more if my son is really engaged in a particular part of history. But, these modules are really nice, because history is presented chronologically with a CM focus, and the grade level book lists are appropriate for the time spent on each subject, corresponding to the age range. I hope this helps! 🙂 I pray you are able to make the best decision for you and your kiddos!
Most of the spines are written at the middle school level. One of SCM’s recommendations is the possibility of forgoing the spines in years 1-3 and just reading the books listed on their level. We took that advice at that age and just read a few chapters from A Child’s History of the World for whatever time period we were in.
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