|Posted on November 18, 2013 at 2:25 AM||comments (0)|
In preparation for some consulting work I have been lists upon lists of what really worked in our homeschooling; esp. now that one of my kids is officially a homeschool graduate. In making these lists I have realized that I do actually have favorite series that I like using as the core of our US history learning.
I wish I could say that these are "CM Approved" resources but they are not. Several of them actually fly in the face of Ms. Mason's recommendation but these are the resources that I have found worked with my kids AND with the wide variety of learners that I teach in my co-op style classes. While we did use many books that fall into that catergory they were not the books that captured my kids' attention. I ended up using the CM style books more as supplements or for my own inspiration. We did read a TON of biographies at each of the three stages.
In a nutshell our history studies always include plenty of reading, narrating, video watching (a picture is worth a thousand words and supports all the reading), cooking and handicrafts along with plenty of games and discussion.
During this stage I like to introduce the kids to series like If You Lived in the Time Of..., American Girl and Magic Tree House series. We did this within an interest based format and often followed topics up with relevant videos and hands-on projects. I consider this the "history exploration stage" since we were more focused on World History via Story of the World during the grammar stage years. We did use the supporting materials for the American Girl series pretty extensively. We also watched many of those recreation PBS series like Colonial House, Frontier House, Victorian Farm and so on to supplement all 3 of these book series.
Once kids are ready for something with some meat to it I like to use the Dear America and We Are America series as this age is particularly keen on the journal format. I like that this series doesn't shy away from the nitty-grittiness of history and includes a nonfiction section at the end of each book. A factor that favors this series is that it matches up really well with my kids' heritage which allows me to add family history into our discussions. There is a skimpy teachers guide for it that I use for discussion ideas as well as the summaries provided for teachers on the Scholastic website. I take my hands-on project ideas directly from the books and we use the books for copywork, dictation and narration. I do feel that this series can be adapted for grades 2 through 8th which is part of why I consider it one of my core teaching resources. I have recently discovered that there is a similar series for both Canda and Mexico (the latter is in Spanish only) and I would definitely add those in for "North American history" if I could get my hands on English versions of both series.
Once learners finish the Dear America series I like moving on to Joy Hakim's A History of US, as long as the format of this series works for the learner. We also watch the video and use those materials to supplement the readings. The teacher's guides for this series (at least the brand I found) were dry as dust and geared totally to a traditional classroom. Use narration and Socratic questioning instead!
Note: When using the Dear America series it is VITAL that you get the kids to realize these are FICTIONAL accounts, sometimes based on real people.
Once learners have finished the History of US series I like to move into resources that really show how biased history resources are since by this point the kids should be pretty savvy about recognizing biases (it comes up often in the Dear America series during the Logic Stage).
At this level we do not use a series as our core. Instead we do it more traditionally CM with books by Howard Zinn, Paul Johnson, Lies My Teacher Told Me, Stephen Ambrose, Tony Horwitz, biographies by David McCullough, etc. We supplemented with videos from Ken Burns and the US history video series at Learner.org.
|Posted on April 30, 2011 at 1:22 PM||comments (0)|
Thanks to Christina for posting this one on Facebook. This is *exactly* what I need for my girls who are studying history via art history!!! I'm posting it here so I don't lose it but also in case it is just the ticket for anyone else.
|Posted on January 24, 2011 at 5:16 PM||comments (1)|
I have been getting a lot of questions about timelines lately so I thought it quite timely to learn that the Classical Home Education online store has updated one of their timelines. I have the original version and I use it quite a bit when planning out our history units. They help me quickly see where civilizations overlap when trying to determine what historical sequencing I want to use with the kids.
Looks like this new update is intended to line up with History Odyssey for those who use that history program. As far as I can tell CHE is no longer carrying any other timelines.
|Posted on January 1, 2011 at 12:48 AM||comments (1)|
And that is the new plan for High School World History
|Posted on August 22, 2010 at 10:53 AM||comments (0)|
Here is a post about the handmade journals that we made last month, including my basic photo tutorial and a link to a more detailed tutorial. The recent Childlight article about the Book of Centuries made me think of another use for these journals besides nature studies and notes. With larger paper, these would make a nice Book of Centuries too. It is a couple of hours worth of work, but our student is excited about them AND excited about books. ~Cori
|Posted on August 15, 2010 at 10:01 AM||comments (3)|
Here is a great post about the Book of Centuries which clarifies what Charlotte Mason intended for this often misunderstood technique. Every modern interpretation I've read does not explain it like this. It is much simpler, and more FUN than I ever imagined. Now I understand exactly how and why this can be the child's own creation. Hope this helps and best wishes to those of you beginning your school year soon. ~ Cori
|Posted on April 23, 2010 at 9:33 AM||comments (0)|
Cedar trees are simply amazing. I blogged about making fire with the inner bark. Far more interesting is what else can be done with parts of this tree. Included in my blog post is a book called "Cedar" by Hilary Stewart.
"Cedar is a significant book that inspires awe not only for the versatility of the tree but also for the resourcefulness of the people." —Rotunda magazine, Royal Ontario Museum
If you live in the Pacific Northwest you can visit The Leeloska Museum in Ariel, Wa.
Chief Lelooska wrote "Spirit of the Cedar People" and "Echoes of the Elders." Each book includes a CD of Chief Lelooska telling the stories. He is an incredible storyteller.
|Posted on April 20, 2010 at 1:16 PM||comments (0)|
I am a big fan of Eva Tappan's books. Even though they are old fashioned and not politically correct I find the conversational tone of her books to be quite appealing and suspect that she will be a better match for my girls than the more scholarly books I used with my son. The girls are not history buffs but I think this author will give them the glimpse into history and culture that I want them to have. I have also discovered that all/most of her books are available online for those times when money is tight. If you prefer hard copy you can find them at Lulu, Amazon and some used book stores. Honestly, I do not understand why we do not see her books on CM reading lists more often as they are a good alternative for kids who do not like the more often recommended Marshall books. I also think that the Tappan books appeal to a wider age range than the Marshall books (I do love Marshall, but my girls surely do not).
Here is a link for the free online versions:
|Posted on April 1, 2010 at 4:41 PM||comments (0)|
As I was proofreading my son's homework for his history class I realized that he is writing his essays in CM narration form. The key components of this style of narration is that:
1. there is some summarizing information (but not a straight-up summary) given
2. the learner's opinion
3. an example or statement from the chapter/class discussion supporting why the learner has that opinion.
This is a narrative response for chapter 8 in A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz. If you are using your narrations for teaching writing mechanics be sure to do it on a separate day than the day you had them write it as a history lesson. For example, I will be saving this and I will use it to show how he needs to have stronger paragraph structure; specifically a topic sentence, body and concluding sentence since those are inconsistent or nonexistent in this assignment. After discussing these factors he will rewrite the narration with a focus on having better paragraph structure.
Chapter 8 Response
This is the first chapter where I felt the personal anecdotes added to the book by getting the opinions of people he meets. For example; the part about the modern southerner reaction to someone effectively telling them that the history they learned was wrong. I find that the author was making such comparisons between new Colombia vs. old Colombia in a previous chapter. I am unsure what prompted this revelation, as there are far less parallels to the old south than the new south.
In the chapter itself, the author finds a nice balance between his own retelling of his trip to the south and the historical tale he was telling. The only exception to this is the time he spent telling us how uncomfortable conquistador armor is. It was distracting and takes up too much space when he comments on the discomfort of it. Other than this single infraction I cannot think of a noticeable, off-topic tangent in this chapter.
I also found his treatment of De Soto pleasantly balanced. Despite the author showing more of his un-knightly deeds he also gives time to show that De Soto was not a mindless butcher, merely a ruthless conquistador. I myself find this very refreshing in an increasingly polarized media atmosphere. If one's argument cannot stand on its own then it should not be made, or at least it should be better constructed. Far too many historical interpretations are tainted by horribly slanted viewpoints limiting one aspect of a man's character and mentioning the bare minimum of anything else. It is important that authors remain balanced when they give a portrayal of a person when retelling a historical event.
After reading this chapter I found myself thinking about the justifications used by advanced nations to exploit more primitive groups. To demonstrate my thoughts on the subject, in a hypothetical scenario when one group is more technologically advanced than the first and requires a resource that the more primitive group controls in order to survive, the primitive group has to retain enough control of the resources to maintain their group. Often, the more technologically advanced group decides to take the resource, by violent or non-violent means, and thus deprive the primitive group of the resource. The primitives, for whatever hypothetical reason, cannot make any meaningful attempt to take the resource back. The advanced group lives long enough to establish a community and survive. The primitive group dies out with a number of members joining the advanced group. The surviving primitives are assimilated into the advanced group and loose their traditions to time.
In the end, the advanced and primitive groups join together to survive and will likely be larger than either group was at the start. The primitive survivors have access to the resources of the advanced group and may share native skills with the advanced group. The primitives will also have to adapt to an alien environment and will be a minority while losing their cultural identity. As far as I can tell, this is the least racist way to rationalize the subjugation of a primitive culture.