Saturday, August 21, 2010

History? Smistory??

History is fun.  I enjoyed it in school.  I had really, really good teachers that made it come alive!!  One out of the four love History.  Gabriel.  He reads these for the fun of it!

He reads them and memorizes them.  To the point he then will tell all of us what he learned!  I mean he loves History!  Last year, we focused so hard on getting the basics of Math and Grammar, that History as a subject kind of flittered away! 
We started Story of the World (Volume 3), Early Modern Time, but used just it, and it got a bit monotonous.  I have to admit, I didn't put much into the planning of History last year, either!  I threw the book at them (along with the audio CDs) and a few print outs, here and there.  Gabriel would be laying on his bed, listening to the story and the girls would be there, but not really there.  They were bored beyond bored!
This year, History would be enjoyable.  This was my promise to myself.  I don't make these promises out loud anymore! I had been given Story of the World, the 1st volume and we had listened to it first, before delving into Volume 3, and honestly, Volume 3 is a bit blah next to the first one!  I should have gotten Volume 4, Modern Age.  But, that is behind us now!
Today we are enjoying learning about Ancient Civilizations. Using just Story of the World, I do NOT recommend, it takes some planning and lots of supplemental additions! 
I found a wealth of information on a few places, the first being a blog called The Chronicle of the Earth - this is a remarkable place!! She has done Volume 1 and 2 and has gone and blazed a path with some wonderful helps and links!! 
Another super blog, is Satori Smiles - this is so organized and she has pics of some of the fun activities and you can get an idea if you really want to try it!  
The next is a forum I just fell into, A Well Trained Mind, and if you are familiar with the author of SoW; Susan Wise Bauer, then you probably read her book by the same name of the forum.  This forum is filled with people of like thoughts towards home schooling, and very helpful. 
So, now I have a better idea of what I need to supplement, and I went for my Evan-Moor Catalogue!
I wavered back and forth, to do each civilization with Evan - Moor, but figured if we like a certain area, Egypt, Greece, or Rome, we can go more in depth later in the year.  This is just a glimpse!  We started with the Ancient Civilization History Pockets.  The girls love it, Gabriel wants to tell us everything, but he is liking seeing how History works right now.  We haven't even started the first chapter of SoW yet!  We spent last week, putting our first pocket and binder together!  Anna made this comment, gosh, this is a fun kind of History.  My hopes is to keep the girls excited and Gabriel not bored!  So far, it is working,  I got a stack of books on archeology and Ancient Mesopotamia (the next civilization)
so he is reading from cover to cover!!
So, now I am kind of ready to sit, and go thru the Story of the World book, activity and test books, and schedule our Hope to Accomplish list!
I use Donna Young and her wonderful FREE schedules. I use her 6-week planner  I make a master copy of the schedule for our school year.  Monday thru Friday with dates in the corner!  I write in scheduled events on this form, Doctors appointments, field trips we have with the group, or away times we are just not doing school in our home days!!
I keep that as an original! 
I will blog later on the exact methodology I use for organizing, and hope I will be able to explain better!  I like to make the planner for 6 weeks, that way we can readjust as needed.  Once I have a plan, I write it down and make copies, so the kids know what we are doing that day, and they LOVE to cross off what we have done! 
We are blessed to have the Charter School and the funds to purchase a lot of things, but one of my favorites is Discovery Education, a site with educational videos with blacklists to copy and activities to go along with some of the videos.  I went thru with the SoW book and found some pertinent videos that I think the kids will enjoy.  Magic School Bus at the top of the list!  I schedule those for slower days, but oh they love seeing that Discovery Education Video on the list!!

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