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If you are committed to the 4-year history cycle BUT


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have chosen something other than SOTW in the early years, what have you used?

 

I am completely sold on SWB and her methodologies. However, I am not feeling the love for the ancients this year, and while my girls (only one of which is actually school age) enjoy it fairly well, I don't think they really get it. Of course, I understand that the point in the early years is exposure, etc. The problem is that I don't always get it--I'm not terribly familiar with ancient history myself, and I feel like we're just leaping from person to person in SOTW. None of us has a good grasp of geography, etc., so when we go from Sumer to Babylon, it doesn't really mean anything to any of us.

 

I've been thinking about this for a while, but what finally forced me to quit lurking on my iPod (I do this way too much while nursing ds) and actually post my question is the fact that my younger dd had a nightmare last night that I think was initiated by our reading about Gilgamesh yesterday. Those Ludmila Zeman storybooks are pretty wild! :tongue_smilie:

 

Anyway, I just wonder, after all this rambling, if anyone out there does something a little different while still maintaining the spirit of the four year history cycle/classical methodology.

 

Anyone?

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It's too early to say that I'm committed to a 4-year cycle, since I haven't started it.:tongue_smilie: I do see the value in doing a chronological study of history all the way through and then repeating to dig deeper.

 

HOWEVER....I tried starting SOTW last year. Older dd was in 1st and my younger was newly 4. Older dd was sort of into it, younger dd was NOT AT ALL. Older dd was clueless about narrating and barely interested in the history. She groaned when I pulled out SOTW and I found the entire thing painful.

 

We put it up. Worked on WWE 1 (narration/dictation/copywork), got older dd to reading fluently, and just did fun topics they were interested in.

 

This year, I decided to do American History with My Father's World Adventures. Older dd, especially, loves it and she is getting the hang of narrating. She says that history is one of her favorite subjects, along with science and art. :D YAY!

 

I've been looking through SOTW again. I can see it being a MUCH better fit for us next year, when dd's are 3rd and 1st. No, older dd won't make it all the way through the history cycle 3 times. But, that's OK. I only have the 2 dd's and it's just a better fit for us to pick something that we can all do together, especially since older dd is the more sensitive of the two.

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spend a year on state and local history or American history before beginning SOTW.

 

That being said, I was in a situation similar to yours when I used SOTW with my dc the first time around. Ds 11 was 7 and ds 8 was 4. I was not familiar with ancient history, and didn't have a sense of how all of the pieces fit together. I persevered and read lots of folk and fairy tales (including Gilgamesh - which is scary) and did lots of the suggested activities. The activities inspired my dc to love history, and reading through SOTW gave me an overview of the period of time covered in the book.

 

This year ds 11 is in 5th grade, and ds 8 is in third. We are using SOTW again, and all of it sounds much more familiar to me. By the time ds 11 is in HS, I may even begin to understand a bit of it :tongue_smilie:

 

If you decide to stick with it, I'd say do as many of the projects as you can, read lots of wonderful picture books, and think of it as a first pass through the material. If you have the CDs and can listen to the chapters more than once, that will help too.

 

Best to you,

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Thanks, ladies. I tend to be something of a purist, so I have a hard time deviating from what I originally planned. I'm rather rigid. :tongue_smilie: However, they don't hate SOTW, and I actually think they'd say they like/love it. The narrations are actually going pretty well, too, once we've actually done a few.

 

Maybe I'll just persevere this year and reevaluate next year.

 

Any more thoughts? Anyone?

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I am doing my best to do a 4 year cycle. I however am not in love with SOTW neither are my boys. At this point, I am using it as a reference. I am basically going through the book and making unit studies. So we don't cover everything in exact order but this year we are studing ancient cultures. I try to help them make the connections that many of the different things we have studied are happening at the same or simaliar time. My oldest has really enjoyed this type of unit study approach to history and is retaining way more than I ever thought he would. I intend to do this same approach next year:)

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My dd is in K and I really can't see her getting much out of it until she's in 2nd grade, to be honest. My oldest loved listening to the CDs in 1st grade, but that is about all we did with it then. I'd say just get the cds and let them listen to the story for a while and maybe throw in some fun activities and they will come around. We are now on SOTW 2 and my older is in 4th grade, so we are a little off of the cycle, but I'm just going with what fits us the best. And we are probably just taking next year off to do American and then will pick it back up when we finish with American.

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Irishmommy,

 

That's more or less what we're doing now. We occasionally do an activity (if I can pull it together and/or think I can make it work) and we always do the maps because the girls like them. I also try to pull in picture books, etc., when I can. We have the Usborne encyclopedia but almost never get it out--the girls really aren't interested.

 

I'm trying to hold my plans loosely because I can get into a rut thinking we HAVE to do things a certain way. I know bad things won't happen if we don't strictly adhere to the four year cycle!

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I did it the first time around mine were K and 1st. Then we did all of the rest of SOTW (although I don't know if you could count the few chapters we slogged through last year doing SOTW 4). We are doing iSOTW 1 again this year for 4th and 5th. I love it!

 

In retrospect I wish we had done SOTW 1-4 when my oldest was 3rd -6th grade. I think they would be perfect for those ages, and even my younger tagging along in 2nd-5th grade would have gotten lots out of it. Fortunately my next will be just right for this if he stays on the same schedule as the oldest.

 

I also think this makes a nice 4 year rotation from 3rd- 6th, then another from 7th -10th, then you get two years at the end of high school for something else. Either a more traditional civics/govt/econ route or a chance to do your high school level ancients and middle ages in 11th and 12th and really explore some of those hard texts. You also could have a couple years in the middle to do World Geo or extra American and do the last cycle from 9th- 12th (these are also suggestions for what to do the next couple of years).

 

I really wish I had been comfortable with waiting on SOTW for a year or two. There will plenty of time to get in at least 2 4 year history cycles. You don't have to give up on the idea of a 4 year history cycle just because you start history later. You might also find that a 2 year or 3 year or even 6 year cycle works better. I think the important thing to remember is that you are going to go through it cronologically when you do study it.

Edited by Mallory
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I am doing my best to do a 4 year cycle. I however am not in love with SOTW neither are my boys. At this point, I am using it as a reference. I am basically going through the book and making unit studies. So we don't cover everything in exact order but this year we are studing ancient cultures. I try to help them make the connections that many of the different things we have studied are happening at the same or simaliar time. My oldest has really enjoyed this type of unit study approach to history and is retaining way more than I ever thought he would. I intend to do this same approach next year:)

 

This is what we are doing and I am LOVING it compared to the strict chronological approach. I do make sure that we look at our timeline every week so we can see how things fit together. But the unit study approach really helps us remember and understand things.

 

We did on on Egypt, then Mesopotamia, and now we have skipped ahead to the Celts because they tie in with our Halloween unit study. Then we are doing ancient India. Not sure what is after that, but we will cover the Mayans, Hebrews, Chinese, Japanese, Africans, Greeks and Romans. We will add a few short bits and pieces in between. For instance we read a bit about megalithic Europe and watched a film on Stonehenge one week while in between other topics.

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In retrospect I wish we had done SOTW 1-4 when my oldest was 3rd -6th grade. I think they would be perfect for those ages, and even my younger tagging along in 2nd-5th grade would have gotten lots out of it. Fortunately my next will be just right for this if he stays on the same schedule as the oldest.

 

 

 

I'm so glad you said this. This is what I'm considering doing with my youngest two children. We also started SOTW in first grade with my oldest children, when SOTW was brand new. It did not interest them at all. They would memory dump like crazy and it just felt like such a chore to do history. We switched to FIAR and it was a much better fit at the time. We started doing SOTW again casually when my oldest was in 3rd or 4th grade. It went much more smoothly. So right now my plan is to have my younger kids do FIAR with hints of classical (memory work, FLL, WWE and whatever else seems to work) for K-2. Then for 3rd through 5th grade do SOTW, then do another 3 year history cycle in 6th through 8th then do the 4 year cycle in high school. I'm just glad someone else seems to have the same thoughts as me on this :D

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There is a beautiful book The Golden History of the World by Jane Werner Watson, and illustrated by Cornelius Dewitt, that I think is great for K - 3rd. If you can find some samples of the illustrations and text it might be helpful for you to see how it *looks* and whether it would work for you. Together with that, you could simply add in readings from the D'Aulaire American history books each week. You could let them do a simple craft or coloring page, and write a sentence as copy work about the readings.

 

I wouldn't spend the $$$ for the Golden history book without getting a glimpse of it first though. I love it, but you may not. I think someone on the boards had it for sale recently for a very cheap price.

 

Most of all, I wouldn't stress at that age about staying on a history course schedule. To me, it is more important to spend time cementing phonics, writing, and math skills before doing other things. There is nothing wrong with simply finding a few history titles and reading from them during the school day, but I wouldn't make it the cornerstone of the day.

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I tried SOTW1 when my older two were in 2nd and K. They liked it, but for whatver reason I didn't. I raced through the last bit of it and switched DD to SL2. They use A Child's History of the World (CHOW) for the spine. I liked CHOW a lot better. I haven't read the first half of CHOW, and I think there may be parts of it that some people find offensive, but it might be something to look at.

 

Otherwise I like the idea of using FIAR up through 2nd grade, then starting with SOTW. I am going to start ancients again next year and I'm hoping that I will like SOTW better for my grammar stage children.

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How am I approaching using SOTW as a spine for unit studies?

 

Basically I am looking to hit the highlights of the book. We started with Ancient Egyptians - we read lots of real books about life in Ancient Egypt. We created a mural like the paintings on the inside of pyraymids, ate food from the time period. We spent some time looking at Ancient India. Next was Ancient Israelites and Ancient Babylonia. My goal is to tell the story of the each culture while getting my boys excited about history. Currently we are studing Ancient China. I plan to revisit Ancient Israel in Dec to take a closer look at Jewish Festivals. Then we will wrap up Ancients by studing Ancient Rome. This will take us right into Medival Times. We do not keep a time line at this point I plan to either start that in a few years or when we restart the 4 year cycle. My boys are still figuring out time during a week. They are young and they will get all these things again. Again, my main goal at this point to grow a love of learning and introduce them to the story of history.

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