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Lots of questions, re: 4th and 5th grades…


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I feel like my kids are "borderline"; they are at the age of the transition from one type of learner to another. This is my first year homeschooling, and I feel much pressure to get this "right" and "perfect", although I know full well it won't be perfect, I still try lol.


So much of the stuff recommended and used for this age seems a bit… young? And a lot of recommendations are based on the fact that this was the way they were started out, in first grade, and now we are building on those initial foundation rows… but what if they weren't started out that way in the first grade? I don't know if this stuff is totally new and I have to start from the beginning or if they already know all this and will be bored. (that knowledge will be revealed soon enough, I expect).


So, what are the thoughts of using these things for this age for the first time? Just jump in and try it out and see? I'm wondering about the WRTR, WWE, (since this is only grades 1-4, would it be useful to me or not)? and what about the AG for SOTW? is that too "young" for them? I want a reading list, but I don't want the seemingly primary level books that I assume are listed in the AG for SOTW.


any help would be appreciated, if you can understand my ramblings… lol.

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Are you planning on starting with the Ancients or jumping in at some other point in the stream? If you are looking at the Ancients, with a 4th and 5th grader, I would personally probably start with the logic stage recommendations for both of them. There are lots of ways to do that.


For SOTW, Sonlight uses the books in their middle school levels for 6th and 7th grade, but they do two books a year rather than one a year. http://www.sonlight.com/history-geography-6.html I don't have handy the AGs for SOTW 1 and 2, but remember the tests for 1 being much more appropriate for older kids than 1st graders, IMO. They had multiple choice, fill in the blank and short answer sections. Last year, with my 4th grader, I typed out all the review questions from the AG and gave them to her to do independently. Instead of an oral narration, you could try a written one if your children's skills are up to it (I have a reluctant writer).


The additional reading suggestions in SOTW 3 AG list the reading levels, both as read aloud and as independent reading. In chapter 7 (the spread of slavery), for instance, the additional history reading suggestions are mostly IR 2-3, but include a couple that are 3-6 and one 5-7. The corresponding literature suggestions have IR levels of 2-4, 3-5, one 4-6. The project sections would be fine---making a King James' Anti-tobacco poster from original source material, growing "tobacco" (peanut plants), making crafts with traditional West African stamp patterns and a role play of being indentured servants vs. slaves. You would pick and choose among those to do things that would work for your kids. The activity book also frequently includes games that would be appropriate for this age along with the mapwork. They may or may not want the coloring pages. Now my AG 3 is the older version, while AG 4 is the newer. My AG 4 has timeline figures in the back (good for your age kids), but the AG 3 doesn't. I don't know if the revised ones for earlier levels do or not.


That said, if you don't have younger kids as well, you may want to try another tack. There are folks who have correlated SOTW with History Odyssey level 2 instead of using the SOTW AG and something like this might work better for you, not sure. Check this thread for SOTW 1 and 2 lined up with HO level 2 (5th-8th grade) http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=139956&page=2 Here is the link to Pandia Press (who puts out HO)---they have a "try before you buy" option so you could look at the reading suggestions, etc http://www.pandiapress.com/history_odyssey.htm. You can get a book/supply list, the table of contents and a sample lesson. If your kids like cut and paste, the History Pockets they recommend would be good, if not, you may want to substitute.


I'm using k12's Human Odyssey as a spine for 5th-8th, with SOTW as a supplement (since I still have the books), and adding in Hakim's Story of US when we get to the appropriate areas.


For WWE, last year in 4th I used the WWE 3 workbook, again for my reluctant writer, but we did condense it a bit as we went along and she did better. You could check your library for the overall WWE book to see if they need the skills involved and just do a condensed version if needed. All the information you need is in the one book for all levels, then you could progress as you needed. If they are strong writers, you may not need it at all or might prefer a different program altogether. The levels are as much (or more) skill levels as they are grade levels.


It's really not heresy here to not go with every curriculum suggestion made in TWTM, I promise:). I use it as a great overarching guide, then pick and choose specific curricula to fit our needs and our family.

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