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History, oh history


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So, I am trying hard to get all my curriculum together for next year. Now, mind you that this is for 1st grade. I am using the WTM as my guide and got a copy of the Story of the world from the library for research purposes.


Now, when I read the WTM I get overwhelmed with the amount of information and sources, list of great women/men, general information, biographies, etc. So, the question for those seasoned hs out here, how do you go about planning on all of this? Do I need a stiff drink to get started? My, oh my. I seriously want to have all planned out so I can be more efficient on my trips to the library and also on the everyday life and school life.


Please do share your tips, advices, ideas, so I can hopefully have a better idea on how to get started and go from there.


Thanks, once again, for the help. Be well



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Well, that is the good thing about getting SOTW. You don't have to go about collecting all of that info. It is all in there. Just get the Activity Guide to go with the reader.


It gives you book lists. Go to the library, or better yet use your computer to reserve some titles online, then you only have to pick them up not hunt them down. Read a few extra titles as read alouds and bedtime reading. Everything else is in the book and A.G. Do some crafts, do a narration and stick it in your notebook, done.


We never did even have the encyclopedia in grade 1. I did buy the Kingfisher in 2nd, and believe it or not, it was not hard for my 7 yr old to memorize a history list from it. But it is not necessary, especially if you are picking up some colorful picture books to look at from the A.G. reading lists.


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Agreeing with pp--SOTW makes it easy.


This is my advice and way of doing it--


First, decide how often you want to set aside some time for history. Do not be a slave to the clock, but decide if you want to do 2, 3 or even 5 days of history. I would not try to do everything in the AG! Just warning you there.


Then, go thru each chapter and preview it--see what/whom it's about, and write that down. Go thru the AG for that chapter and read about the activities--pick a couple that look interesting, or at least see which ones you DON'T want to do--Next to the chapter title (I just use a spiral notebook for this "master list"), make a note about which ones you think would be good. You can list out what you need, but I don't bother writing down something already written out for me.


Page thru the AG and this time look at the book recommendations, and write down a couple you think might work--I take a couple of days to do this, because I look them up on Amazon to read more descriptions.


Once you get a rough idea of what extras and supplementary stuff you might want to use, you will feel better prepared.


I then take it week by week--We can keep books out for 9 weeks if we renew, so I generally start the year by gathering the books from the library that I think we'll read, for the first maybe 5 or 6 chapters. We go every week then, or maybe every other week, depending. I always check the shelves for extra books, esp those with lots of pictures, but I try not to overwhelm either myself or my child.


I don't do extra reading or even extra activities with every chapter, and that's how I fit SOTW into a 34-36 week year (it has 42 Chapters, so you have to condense a little or go longer). We also use history books as our read aloud, along with a fiction read aloud that Dad reads (well, not anymore, but in first grade we did).


So, a session may look like this--For 3 days a week

1st Day--Read a section of SOTW. Give child coloring page to do while I read.Put in notebook. Sometimes read whole chapter if it's short. Start read aloud based on chapter sometime during the day, but not usually right after reading Sotw--IOW, separate history from read aloud time.


2nd Day--Finish chapter, ask questions for review, get narration from child. For first grade, I wrote the narrations she said. She illustrated it on a page--we used paper with a blank top and lines under. By the end of the year, she was writing (i.e. copying) her own narrations--you can wait until second grade for this. IOW, I used her wording, cleaned up a bit, and she copied it from the white board. Then we'd usually do the map work. We'd put narration/coloring page/mapwork in the notebook.


3rd Day--Activity--We'd do at least one of the activities this day. Some of them lend themselves to taking a picture and putting it in the notebook--If we did this, I'd ask dd for a very brief description of the process of what we did, or at least a statement about it. I'd write that on the same notebook paper and put the pic at the top--unless it was a step by step thing, then we'd often take pics of each step and make a nice page with them.


I continued reading the read aloud until it was finished, not caring if we were now on another subject in SOTW. So, some of our books lasted beyond a week--I did not rush. I didn't pick a large read aloud for every week, either.



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Yeah, I recommend just getting SOTW (it's pretty cheap) and the AG. Then everything is right there for you. I went with Biblioplan to add the Bible history to it, but otherwise I would have just used SOTW by itself. That's what I plan to do next year for second grade when we get out of the Biblical history time period.


Don't work too hard for first grade history. Ask me how I know to say that. :lol:

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My advice is to choose a period and a basic text but the supplement as MUCH as possible with historical fiction from the period - there is lots on Ancient Egypt, Romans, Greeks, or early Colonial times, or Henry VIII and his 6 wives. Having lived on 2 continents, in 2 states, used public and private schools, and homeschooled, I am convinced that in history it is not what you teach but how you teach - ie getting the child to visualize a different culture or way of life, experiencing it through craft, cookery, art, music, and understanding the idea of a timeline. Fiction for grade school is so much more enjoyable and memorable (as long as it is good and accurate!) than text books. Check out Bethlehem Books.

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Thank you for all the ideas. I have the SOTW from the library, and am yet to see the activity guide. Once I see both of them together I am sure things will make better sense. I need now to make a plan to lay out several weeks, so I can my trips to the library efficient too. I guess it is all a matter of learning my madness to my system and then things will be rolling better.


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