Monday, August 31, 2009

Homeschooling: History

Homeschooling. We've been at it for 12 years now. Yikes!
Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think I would be a homeschooling mother.
Not me- I was excited to see my little ones off on the big yellow school bus, lunches lovingly packed, new school clothes donned, and school supplies carefully chosen.

Fast forward a couple of years and suddenly I was considering a 'crazy' alternative.

Disillusioned with the school system of more than one state, and feeling a tug that said I wanted my children closer, wanted to be involved in what they were learning, wanted something... else, I began to hear about home education.

After meeting a really neat family who taught their kids at home; and seeing something different and special about their kids;
I became inspired and we made the leap.
And a scary leap that was!
Each of my children are so very different. I have those that are very self-directed learners and those who need to be directed- all the time. My oldest began college classes at 15, but I also have one or two with mild dyslexia. Enough differences to really keep me on my toes.
I have had to educate myself- like crazy!

Throughout the years, I've used a lot of different curriculum. I've found that although a certain text or program may work great for one child, it may be horrible for another.
And, sometimes I just get tired of the same-old-thing.

I present to you a couple of items for the subject of History. Items that we really like:

The Story of the World, by Susan Wise Bauer.
This year we are studying The Middle Ages. Knights, castles, feudalism, plagues.....good stuff.

The set consists of the main text, which is written in an engaging way and even my older kids enjoy it, the activity book with maps, coloring pages and learning games, and the test booklet.
To keep them on their toes.
(For older kids, we give other assignments, more to their grade-level.)

Sample page from text book:

Sample pages from the activity book:

The test booklet:

These great history book sets can be found at:

I also appreciate very much the work of another homeschooling mom, Amy Pak.

She has created these wonderful 'History Through the Ages Record of Time' books.
Not only that, but offers CDs featuring over 1,200 images of people and events throughout history. Images that you can print out at varying sizes for either your timeline book or a larger timeline.

These are quality materials!

After the children have learned about a person or event, they cut out the image and paste it in their books.
It makes a meaningful keepsake. And, I believe, school work should be meaningful.
I tell them that someday their own children will see these.

I don't believe there is any one perfect way of educating children. I'm just doing the best I can for the children I've been entrusted with.

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