Talk me into SCM History module :)


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  • Amber Castleberry

    Hi, all. I have been a long time “stalker” of SCM. We have always used their picture study packs, book lists, and idealistic approaches (idealistic to me, at least).

    I have recently purchased the Early Modern & Epistles module, and I *want* to use it.

    BUT…….it just seems so simple, almost boring.

    We used A Gentle Feast last year (2017/18), and while we enjoyed our time digging into living books, my kiddos got really bored with the whole “read/narrate, read/narrate, read/narrate, read/narrate” schedule. I am not a proponent of workbooks/worksheets, but my kiddos like TO DO THINGS with their learning. My struggle is that I like having those things planned out for me b/c I just don’t have the time to do it all. I am also a perfectionist, so me creating the supplemental things would take me 18x longer than most people. #itsasickness

    I love the family learning style of CM. We have always utilized living books in our homeschool (finishing our 8th year). We have always done oral narrations, and my oldest does well with written narrations. Yet, that isn’t “enough” for my kiddos. Not that it isn’t academically enough — it’s just not engaging enough for them. Does that make sense?

    As I look through the Early Modern & Epistles module that I received, it has so much “read this and ask for an oral narration.” That alone is not going to work for us. Am I missing the “there is so much more” to SCM???


    “Narrate” can also mean draw or paint a scene from what was read, or act it out. Older ones can write a poem or a song. πŸ™‚ Emily from Build Your Library sells narration cards and has a lot of great ideas! A couple of years ago I got some little green question blocks. Some of the questions/prompts are “Describe the main character”, “tell about the problem”, “Tell the story with a different ending”, “Tell about an event you liked best”. There are other more interesting questions but we’ve lost most of the blocks (they come in a pack of 6).

    Hana from Pepper & Pine has good ideas for hands-on projects. She’s a Waldorf homeschooler so her ideas aren’t strictly CM. Anyway, for example, she had her kids build a couple of different medieval weapons (models of course! πŸ˜‰ ) when they studied that time period. You could add projects like that, or… Trips to museums, a Renaissance faire or Civil War reenactment, listen to music from the period, display art from the period, show old maps of the region you read about (find on Google; compare the borders between then and now), find recipes for food from thr time or place (hard tack, anyone?), and I’m sure others can chime in with a hundred other ideas! πŸ™‚


    Not sure if this is something your children would be interested in ‘doing’, but a lapbook is another thing you could use to supplement the reading. If you do a search, you’ll find many links.


    <p style=”text-align: left;”>My kids love some busy work, too. So, last year, I gave them each a binder, printed off some coloring pages and worksheets for the things we were going to be studying in history and occasionally gave them one to do. They really seemed to love it. I also found paper dolls from the some of the ancient cultures we were studying. They had a lot of fun with it.</p>

    Tamara Bell

    SCM has suggestions for each guide should a family, or child, want a little “more.”Β  There is not an overwhelming amount of activity suggestions (whew for this Momma) but a little “something” for those kiddos that want to do something hands on or read more books.


    During the exam weeks of each term, there are prompts for doing a history project.Β  For example, after the term on castles in the Middle Ages guide my children constructed a model of a castle.Β  I think 1 bigger project per term like that is plenty.Β  I agree with the above poster that if your children struggle with only doing basic narrations, you can add in drawing or acting-out narrations to add variety.

    Amber Castleberry

    Thank you, all, for your suggestions and encouragement! I went ahead and bought the narration cards (I got the whole bundle for as many ideas as possible, LOL). These definitely help broaden my scope for narrating — and I can foresee my children enjoying these immensely!

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