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Another history question

Sherry in OH

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If, for a variety of reasons you did not want to start SOTW until your oldest is in 3rd grade, which of the following would you opt to do for 1st and 2nd grade history?


1. U.S. and state history for two years. Possibly using Betsy Maestro's series as a base and adding a few biographies and historical fiction titles.


2. A two year world history cycle using A Child's History of the World as the base.


3. Do two tracts of history at the same time.


4. A year of each.


5. Other? (We will be studying geography and map skills in conjunction with our science curriculum.)

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If I were doing it again and waiting to start SOTW in 3rd, I would just fill 1st and 2nd up with myths, legends, fairy tales, biographies, and picture books about historical events from all over the world. I wouldn't worry too much about what we studied when as long as we were reading lots and enjoying it. Stories and folktales from all over the world... Picture books about children growing up in different times and places... Lavishly illustrated retellings of important world myths. Beautiful biographies of famous men and women through the ages... If something struck a child's fancy, we'd stick with it for a while. If we liked hopping around, we'd do that. If I needed a "plan" just for my sanity, I'd do that.


But quite honestly -- and I'm a strong believer in chronological history for slightly older kids -- I think that what's important in the early years is to fill them up with stories and spark curiosity. Whether you study American history or do a quick cycle through world history or do world geography or an intensive year on Native Americans... whatever. When you go back through a more systematic view of world history later on, your child's face will light up periodically with shouts of, "Oh, I remember her!"... And the pieces will all start to come together. Regardless of how out-of-order they may have been the first go-round.

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Bible first. Lots and lots of Bible. YMMV.


Living history all the time. Historical sites, places where people wear old-fashioned costumes, whether they are faires, encampments, or permanent towns, old houses, antique shows, archeological museums, etc. Include as much science as possible--how DID miners avoid cave ins? Why did they want canaries with them? Etc. etc. etc. Include old movies here and there, and PBS shows like 'Frontier House'.


Do a study for each holiday.


Introduce some American history via Jean Fritz books primarily.

Watch Johnny Tremain and other historical fiction.

Read Number the Stars and other historical fiction.

Read the Little House books, starting with Big Woods, if you like them.


Talk, talk, talk.


Study geology at a primary level--what is a mountain range? An ithsmus? A bay? A point? Name the continents and oceans.


Read fairy tales and myths from many cultures, and look for pictures from those cultures on the internet. Be fascinated.


Then start when you're ready.


You might consider starting at grade 2 1/2 rather than 3, as SOTW1 can easily take 1 1/2 years.

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