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Chronological, unit-based history?


Aubrey
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I know I've seen people talking about it before, but usually it's in the context of SOTW. I have *loved* SOTW, but for next yr, since we'll be doing something different anyway, I'm leaning toward unit studies. That's basically what I've been doing since last spring, filling in info between "units," but I think for next yr I might like something that's planned that way.

 

Ok, so I'm completely nervous to ask anything about history & have tried to just search old threads for the last few mos, but I'm not finding what I'm looking for in old threads. If you'll just tell me the name of the curric that you think fits chronological, unit-based, 4-yr hist cycle, that would be so helpful. Links if you like. I'll check websites from there. ;)

 

Thanks, guys.

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Anything from a more secular standpoint? It seems there are so many different Christian views/strands of history teaching. I hope that makes sense.

For secular, chronological, unit-based history you may could use history pockets when your kids are younger and TRISMS HM when they are in middle school. I am sure that there are other options, but that is all I can think of at the moment.

Mandy

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Thank you!

 

First, I'm not necessarily looking for anything that goes beyond the liberal arts. We've got math & science programs (& even grammar) that we're really happy with. History, lit is about it. I lean toward a secular preference, but a light-handed, logical approach to Christianity would be a pleasant surprise.

 

I'd love for geography & a timeline to be part of it somehow. I can do the timeline on my own if necessary, but the geography would be really helpful. (I'm terrible at geography & never really learned things like climate. I have no idea if China is hot or cold, for ex.)

 

I'd really like to see a fair amt of time given to the E & the W. If Rome & Greece are 9 wks, China should be more than 1, kwim?

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Tapestry of Grace! I've just started TOG myself, and love it. It is a classical, unit studies, 4-year-cycle history curriculum. More experienced TOG users will certainly be able to give more in-depth descriptions, but I've so far seen it include the following: history, literature, geography, timeline, vocabulary, arts/crafts, and writing. I'm in Year 1, Ancients, this year, and see that TOG dedicates quite a bit of time to more eastern cultures, rather than just Greece and Rome. Hope this helps!

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:lurk5:

 

I feel like I'm stalking you, Aubrey. ;)

 

I've almost convinced myself to buy TOG. My DH is very concerned about it having too heavy of a Christian slant, although he agrees that I am capable of secularizing it to some extent. I'm a little concerned about how much year 1 seems to rely on the Bible for history readings. It's kinda hard to tell exactly how much from their samples, though.

 

Just yesterday, I was talking to a friend who was also looking into TOG and she commented on her disappointment with how much time it spends on American history. I'm fascinated with Eastern cultures, and I'd love to spend more time on them.

 

I adore TOG's maps, and the discussion helps, and the ideas for hands-on activities, and all the extra book suggestions (my kids devour books like candy).

 

I looked at History Odyssey, and I really like some things about it, but it just seems...dry and boring.

 

I'm using some of suggestions from Guest Hollow along with our SL core right now. But it just doesn't have the depth or the hand-holding that TOG has. And it doesn't have all 4 years of a history cycle. Besides, I have an aversion to curricula that are entirely online...

 

Sigh. I'm actually starting to get tired of hunting for things on this board. I want to find the perfect curriculum that will last me for the next 15 years or so. Is that too much to ask? :lol:

Edited by bonniebeth4
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That's how I describe TOG..only I add classically bent to the description.

Totally agree!

 

...though in reading the rest of this thread I wouldn't recommend it for what you're seeking.

Edited by Leimarie
because I commented before reading the whole thred. ;)
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This is what I was thinking of as well. I believe it is Pandia Press. They allow you to try before you buy. I believe it is the first 3-5 weeks.

 

My kids are enjoying Pandia's Science.

 

 

Me too. We're doing HO Middle Ages-level 1 and their Earth and Space Science and love them both. The lower levels do use SOTW as a spine, but the logic stage level (2) uses different books. They are also really inexpensive for the IG (about $29 for the ebook). Their Try Before You Buy is actually more around 9-11 weeks, which is amazing. These are full weeks and identical to the ones in the IG you buy (I compared after I bought). You can find them here.

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:lurk5:

 

I feel like I'm stalking you, Aubrey. ;)

 

I've almost convinced myself to buy TOG. My DH is very concerned about it having too heavy of a Christian slant, although he agrees that I am capable of secularizing it to some extent. I'm a little concerned about how much year 1 seems to rely on the Bible for history readings. It's kinda hard to tell exactly how much from their samples, though.

 

Are you a Christian? If not, have you read the thread about how disappointed one lady was at *how* Christian that first year is?

 

I *am* a Christian, but I don't like a Christian slant to history. Put the Bible in chronological order, for context? Awesome. Say that history is "His story"? Not so much. In fact, that kind of thing annoys me so much, it makes me twitch, so I obviously have a really low threshold for that sort of thing.

 

Fwiw, I've seen the first 2 units of yr 1. I love it. And I hate it. It's very Christian, very conservative, very evangelical, pretty darn providential. If you want to pm me specific questions, feel free.

 

Just yesterday, I was talking to a friend who was also looking into TOG and she commented on her disappointment with how much time it spends on American history. I'm fascinated with Eastern cultures, and I'd love to spend more time on them.

 

I've only seen that 1st 1/2 of yr 1, so obviously there's no Am hist in that, but I'm not impressed w/ the amt of time spent on eastern cultures relative to the amt of time spent on Israel in that portion. But theoretically I could tweak that. :001_huh:

 

I adore TOG's maps, and the discussion helps, and the ideas for hands-on activities, and all the extra book suggestions (my kids devour books like candy).

 

That's good to hear--I thought I'd heard the opposite about the maps. The teacher's notes...I love & hate, too, lol. They're so THICK. But the pics are great, & the basic info about the geography & climate of ea place are priceless, imo. Of course, it's not like that info couldn't be found elsewhere, so it's not a reason for TOG by itself...

 

But I do like a history that recognizes the integral nature of geography. That's easy to overlook, imo, but really important for good depth.

 

I looked at History Odyssey, and I really like some things about it, but it just seems...dry and boring.

 

I don't like dry. I haven't looked at History Odyssey yet, though.

 

MCT has really helped me to see what kind of education I'm after for my kids, & it's not what I originally thought I wanted, but it excites me & makes me feel like a kid again. Full of curiosity & energy & enthusiasm.

 

So that's the good part. The bad part is I can't find a hist curric that is *quite* what I see in MCT, & I can't quite describe it, either. But this thread is the closest I've come to doing so, so I guess at least the idea is coming together. :001_smile:

 

I'm using some of suggestions from Guest Hollow along with our SL core right now. But it just doesn't have the depth or the hand-holding that TOG has. And it doesn't have all 4 years of a history cycle. Besides, I have an aversion to curricula that are entirely online...[

 

Sigh. I'm actually starting to get tired of hunting for things on this board. I want to find the perfect curriculum that will last me for the next 15 years or so. Is that too much to ask? :lol:

 

Well, we're finishing up SOTW this year. For the 1st time, though, I'm doing it out of order, to try to keep more ideas together & coherent. The modern times are so...BIG. I'm kind-of wishing now, though, that I had TOG 4 to look at *now* instead of 1 to look at for next year.

 

But then there are days like today--I've spent the last week staying up till 2AM cross-referencing what's avail at which branch of the library, updating Amazon wish lists, retyping the entire SL catalog, reading ancient history, modern history, & historical fiction. This morning I woke up & went, "Wait a minute. What's the point of history?" :confused: :lol:

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Are you a Christian? If not, have you read the thread about how disappointed one lady was at *how* Christian that first year is?

 

I *am* a Christian, but I don't like a Christian slant to history. Put the Bible in chronological order, for context? Awesome. Say that history is "His story"? Not so much. In fact, that kind of thing annoys me so much, it makes me twitch, so I obviously have a really low threshold for that sort of thing.

 

I'm Christian, but I feel the same way. I like the Bible for studying religion. And maybe a little bit in history, to put everything in context. But as a history spine? No thank you.

 

But the pics are great, & the basic info about the geography & climate of ea place are priceless, imo. Of course, it's not like that info couldn't be found elsewhere, so it's not a reason for TOG by itself...

 

But I do like a history that recognizes the integral nature of geography. That's easy to overlook, imo, but really important for good depth.

The geography is one of the deciding factors for me. I don't make those connections easily. And this year we're using SL with their "natural" geography approach, which at my house means no geography at all.

 

I don't like dry. I haven't looked at History Odyssey yet, though.
Take a look at it. I was actually pretty impressed with level 2 ancients before I started to look at all the bells and whistles that TOG includes. It has some lit. It has outlining (which is something I need hand-holding with). Its spines are the Kingfisher Encyclopedia and The Story of Mankind, which I thought was engaging and made interesting connections. I'd need to add in more books for my voracious little monsters. ;) Plus, both my dd and I want to wait another year or two before tackling Ancient history again. I don't feel like I could do HO out of order, because of the way the outlining seems to build through the years.

 

 

But then there are days like today--I've spent the last week staying up till 2AM cross-referencing what's avail at which branch of the library, updating Amazon wish lists, retyping the entire SL catalog, reading ancient history, modern history, & historical fiction. This morning I woke up & went, "Wait a minute. What's the point of history?" :confused: :lol:
:lol: My Amazon wish has had a major overhaul every couple of weeks since I started looking into history for next year.

 

You're post is starting to make me reconsider and go back to my original plan of using the Oxford books like these. Aargh! :willy_nilly:

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:lurk5:

 

Just yesterday, I was talking to a friend who was also looking into TOG and she commented on her disappointment with how much time it spends on American history. I'm fascinated with Eastern cultures, and I'd love to spend more time on them.

 

 

Do you mean that your friend wanted more time devoted to American History? We use TOG, but we aren't into American History yet, so I'm curious. Also wondering, if she doesn't actually own TOG, how can she tell how much time is devoted to it?

 

Shannon

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The geography is one of the deciding factors for me. I don't make those connections easily. And this year we're using SL with their "natural" geography approach, which at my house means no geography at all.

 

We do the assigned map work in the SOTW AGs, but that's it for geography. I think I tried teaching the continents & oceans once about 4 yrs ago. Not sure either of mine know even that. (Surely they do, though.)

 

:lol: My Amazon wish has had a major overhaul every couple of weeks since I started looking into history for next year.

 

You must have more than one wish list. *Must.* Mine are labeled: 4th/2nd grade, 5th grade, Christmas, & To Buy Next. There may also be a generic wish list, but I'm not sure why. Let's face it: all *I* want is hs stuff. :lol:

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Do you mean that your friend wanted more time devoted to American History? We use TOG, but we aren't into American History yet, so I'm curious. Also wondering, if she doesn't actually own TOG, how can she tell how much time is devoted to it?

 

Shannon

 

They've got a scope & sequence on their site. How much time is devoted to Am Hist is often a factor for people in choosing their curric. For ex, I decided against SL partly (very partly) because it has so much American history. I can't imagine waiting until I owned a curric to know stuff like that! :001_smile:

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Do you mean that your friend wanted more time devoted to American History? We use TOG, but we aren't into American History yet, so I'm curious. Also wondering, if she doesn't actually own TOG, how can she tell how much time is devoted to it?

 

Shannon

 

No. She read through the scope and sequence and got the sense that it spends the bulk of its studies on American history once you get halfway through Y2. She'd rather rotate through other cultures the way HO and SOTW do. I didn't get the impression that it is all American history, but I didn't notice any weeks that focus on areas like China and India, either. If TOG does spend more time on non-western cultures, I'd love to hear about it.

 

ETA: As I think about this, the lack of non-western cultures isn't a hill to die on for me. I'd love to have it included, but if I like the program enough, I'd be willing to spend my summers pulling together units on other cultures that we don't spend time on during the school year. It's just something I'd have to think about ahead of time...

Edited by bonniebeth4
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They've got a scope & sequence on their site. How much time is devoted to Am Hist is often a factor for people in choosing their curric. For ex, I decided against SL partly (very partly) because it has so much American history. I can't imagine waiting until I owned a curric to know stuff like that! :001_smile:

 

 

I must have looked at the scope and sequence way back when, but I don't remember it. I still think I'd have to have the curriculum in my hands and actually plan to truly get a feel for what is included. I'm just like that. Unless I completely dislike something I just need to work with it before I can get a sense of what we'll be spending our time studying. Looking at samples and S&S online kinda makes my brain foggy. Still, maybe I'll check out the TOG S&S to see what lies ahead (even if I can't remember it!).

 

Shannon

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Learning Through History Magazines are unit studies with resources for all stages. They went out of business last year, but if you can still get copies of them, they are worth their weight in gold. There is no advertising at all in them.

 

For fluent readers up to high schoolers "Let The Authors Speak" and the Great Books website (great literature in chronological order) are also very useful.

 

For US History get a copy of "Guide for Learning and Teaching the Dec. of Ind. and the US Constitution" by Joseph Andrews. The book list in the guide is outstanding for unit studies from first source materials and Classic works related to the founders, economics, and other historical works.

 

Another resource is a "people who bought this item also bought" section at the bottom of each book page on amazon.com.

 

"Blackline maps of World History" by Terri Johnson is perfectly complimentary for chronological unit studies.

Edited by Homeschool Mom in AZ
accidnetal cut to a paragraph
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If you wanted unit studies that are mostly about American history, Steward Ship is great, except that you have to order them unit by unit instead of all laid out in order. Each one takes 4-6 weeks and is for K-8. They are very homegrown-ish. I've used them a bit as a fill in, and used their approach for designing my own studies--particularly of the antebellum period.

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I may be hugely in the minority here, but if you wish to secularize ToG then I wouldn't recommend using it unless you just want it as a book list. It is an Evangelical Christian curriculum there isn't anyway around that, it was the author's purpose for writing it. I only own the first two years but it is clear that faith in Him is it's spine and that history as a whole is looked at through biblical goggles so-to-speak.

 

I am hoping this isn't coming out in a way other than I mean it, just wanting to speak of what I understand of Marcia Somerville's purpose behind writing.

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I may be hugely in the minority here, but if you wish to secularize ToG then I wouldn't recommend using it unless you just want it as a book list. It is an Evangelical Christian curriculum there isn't anyway around that, it was the author's purpose for writing it. I only own the first two years but it is clear that faith in Him is it's spine and that history as a whole is looked at through biblical goggles so-to-speak.

 

I am hoping this isn't coming out in a way other than I mean it, just wanting to speak of what I understand of Marcia Somerville's purpose behind writing.

 

I will agree and disagree with ya here.:001_smile: ToG is VERY clear on its purpose and stance on religion and I can't imagine secularizing Year 1. The Bible is the spine for history readings in that year. However, I think it would be fairly doable to secularize Year 2-4 (at least 2 for sure, I only own 1 and 2). You would leave out all worldview readings and I have read through the discussions. One or two questions out of 8-10 will deal with God. The lit questions do not at all (in my quick glance.)

 

If you are Christian and just do not hold to the same doctrine as the Somerville's than it is VERY easy to tweak. I do not hold to the exact same beliefs as them (or any Christian I've ever met to be honest) and I see it as no problem at all. The 1-2 questions that are given are great discussion topics. Was Columbus a Christian? was one I saw just now in my glance. These are not right/wrong answers but lead ins to Socratic discussion. The TN's will tell you what the Somerville's believe but they encourage again and again to teach your own beliefs. HTH!

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Intellego has secular unit studies on History, Civics, Geography, Science, etc. They are internet based but very well put together.

 

Somehow, I missed your post when I was looking earlier, but I just stumbled across Intellego from another thread, and I'm very impressed. It looks like you'd have to do some tweaking to make it fit into a 4-year cycle, I think we will be using some of their units this year. :hurray:

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