I don't have time or energy to make units, mercy. My dd was one whom curriculum fit. She was straight ADHD, no other disabilities, and she could do that more typical blend of curriculum and piles of literature, occasional crafts, boom done. My ds, on the other hand, is totally himself. With his autism and restricted interests, he is not going to get the big picture of history, is not going to care about the social/narrative nature of it, is not going to engage with the topics unless he sees how they connect to his own interests, etc.
So I think it's reasonable to look at factors like that and see what you're trying to fix. If you're saying homeschool curriculum is cr*p, sure I'm with you there. A lot of it is not developmentally staged, not well done, not going to fit many learners. But if you're saying your kids aren't engaging with the topics because they have their own interests, that's a different piece of data. And if you're saying they don't really engage with social stories and narratives, well that's fine too and helpful to put into words. That's like me, I don't get the flow of history, can't see how it fits together, don't give a rip about all the stories of history, etc. All the things that make history HISTORY for people don't work for me.
So then you go ok, if we know the parameters of why it's NOT working, then we can decide if those parameters were important or if they weren't even important. For instance, with my ds, at the age where he is, using his area of perseverative interest as a way to approach history MAKES SENSE. He has one major thing he's into, and it happens to occur in history. So it's ok to chain and go hey you could also be interested in xyz, but reality is using his area of particular interest to get into the history time periods works better. So for him, I just bought a pile of DK Let's Find Out! books. They're on a level he can engage with, both for maturity and reading, and they have books on time periods. We do a lot with reading through pictorial encyclopedias on time periods or topics. Beyond that, he watches a ton of videos.
For him, with the issue of timeline and details vs. big picture, a more concise resource is going to be better. I have a timeline but we haven't done one together yet. I think it will be a connector for him.
For me, as a history hater (avowed, determined, 40 years), Veritas Press is about the only thing that has ever made sense. It let me finally see the big picture. I had no clue events overlapped. History with books is taught as hundreds and thousands of years of seemingly endless details. So doing something that gets them the big picture is good, but it doesn't have to be every year or all the time. It's just an issue to do at some point.
The other thing that I think is important about history education, something that you sort of *assume* is happening in good curriculum but isn't necessarily or isn't connecting with the student, is analysis. And think about that. We've broken down here content, timeline, and now analysis. Analysis for history is something you can outsource. You can say ok I want him to THINK about history or social studies or geography and how these things connect, and the THINKING piece isn't something I'm going to bring to the table. Content, easy to make happen. Timeline, easy to make happen. Thinking, analysis, that's where it's more iffy and more time-consuming.
Social Studies This is Carson-Dellosa's listings for Social Studies. What I'm beginning to do with my ds is weave these things in as independent work or seat work. Social Studies « Books | Teacher Created Resources This is another where I'm getting things. I'm starting him on one of their non-fiction comprehension social studies books next week. I've been using a picture study book that I think was from Carson-Dellosa and it's really good!
So even though what I'm exposing him to is just random topical books or pictorial encyclopedias, I'm bringing in some of that extra layer of thought. For us it's really fun! Using Primary Sources Workbook Grade 3 / Ages 8–9 $9.99 Print $9.99 eBook Here is one we're using. I forget which grade we started with. It has differentiated reading levels for the text and very nice questions to make them think. That's the piece I don't bring well, the make them think.
Down to Earth Geography, Grade 3 This is another series I want to weave in, again to make him think.
https://cdn.teacherc...mples/3641s.pdf Look at this and imagine how something like this could pair with your eclectic mix of books for your oldest. It would bring the debate and analysis he's ready for but still make it easy for you.
Edited by PeterPan, 14 January 2018 - 11:07 AM.