Personally I don't worry about dates at all at this age (but I do ask questions about order...what happened first, last). And I don't worry a ton about names. While I want him to have a general understanding about the different civilizations in the ancient world, for instance, I'm not concerned if he remembers Shamshi-Adad, Hatshepsut, Hamurabi or other ancient rulers by name. Some of those names are really hard, even for grown ups.
Here is what I did with my 1st grader (though because we repeated KG at home he was actually a year older...even then it was hard...but my kiddo was a struggling learner who struggled with memory in all subjects, and had a very short attention span, which thankfully has grown considerably. ) He still didn't remember a lot but he remembered more with some tweaks (we did a lot of tweaks at first, gradually reducing them as his attention span grew). We read the passages, in stead of listening to them....and some of this won't work as well listening (but might).
1. I would prepare pictures to look at during the reading related to the reading (you can find these on the internet, use the coloring pages sometimes, or get library books from the era). If I could find pictures/artifacts representing the people in the story, I would stop the reading and point them out when I got to that point (At first I would say "Here's what he looked like" but later I would often just point). In library books I would look for pictures that might illustrate parts of the story. We would stop the reading sometimes to look at the pictures (like for the chapers on nomads I found an illustration of a nomadic tribe, and where they talked about people hunting I would stop and ask, "Do you see hunters in this picture? What are they hunting?" The more visuals I could pull in the more he would remember. If I could pull in 3D or tactile props, I would (like for the chapter on silk worms, you might have him touch a piece of silk). This is something you could do while listening too, to an extent.
2. Any time they would ask a question in the text, we would stop right there and answer it. The author actually asks a lot of questions right to the reader, and so I took advantage of these. I added some of my own questions too.
3. Any time a place on the map was mentioned, we would look it up on the map.
4. I would also break the text up into smaller bits. We did this for quite a while. We would usually read one half of a sub-chapter a day, in stead of one sub-chapter, as most had good places to split these. Might be harder to do with your oldest too, as it does slow the pace a lot, so what you could do in stead is read a part of it, do the review questions and whatever activities you have related to just that part, and then continue to the next.
5. Any time there is a fable, I will see if I can find it in a picture book at the library. I do like how Bauer writes, but the pictures help so much. Sometimes I will read it from the picture book, and sometimes I will read it from SOTW and just point to the pictures in the book, if they match up well enough (which often they do).
6. If I can find a youtube video on the subject, we will often follow up the story with that, or with a storybook if I can find one...which helps a lot with names. After the SOTW and supplement he's usually got a lot more details down.
Edited by goldenecho, 09 October 2017 - 02:28 PM.