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Is it crazy to consider?


tagglelim
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Hello Hive!

 

I always receive excellent advice here, so I thought I would throw this one out there...

 

I'm going to have a preschooler and 2nd grader next year. Would it be crazy to just drop history and science in the grammar years? I've seen threads regarding the LCC approach and know in some degrees this is done, though I see that Memoria Press does start to include Ancient Rome and Greek Myths beginning third grade. Are they LCC? Anyway, my floating-in-the-head thought is to literally focus on Math, Language Arts (including literature, lit. comprehension, and gobs of read-alouds), and Latin until about 5th grade. Is that nuts???? Would I be completely denying my child???

 

Here are my reasons, in order of importance:

 

1) I see the importance of focusing on the 3 "R"s in the grammar stage. Skills before content. The basics take most of our day as it is and it would be nice to be able to linger instead of feeling the pressure of the extra subjects.

 

2) I want a chance to spend time simply enjoying wonderful literature. I feel like that has fallen by the wayside in my attempts to complete history and science at this stage. I also want to develop my daughter's skills in understanding what is read to her, in addition to what she reads herself.

 

3) How much do they actually remember from first grade history? Science? Perhaps a lot, as more seasoned moms could attest to? I'm just a newcomer to this game...and then, I'd miss the "memory stage", wouldn't I????

 

4) Practically speaking, we are considering having a third child this year. I always get quite sick and then, of course, there would be a newborn. I'm wondering if I need to be a bit more realistic in my goals for the next couple of years.

 

Now, when I say I wouldn't hit these subjects until 5th, I mean that in a formal sense. I would still supply my daughter with gobs of great books along the way. Then I would intend to provide two complete cycles of both history and science.

 

BUT, then again, I LOVE SOTW. I love the literature and history readings tied to it......BUT, then again, would an older child appreciate SOTW more? AND, I LOVE the Apologia series and am becoming enamored with the Nancy Larson Science.......Arg!!!!!!!

 

I'm sorry this is so long. Thank you for bearing with me this far. Any thoughts from the seasoned pros????

 

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

 

P.S. YES, you wonderful folk have taught me how to add a signature...I just haven't done it yet! :001_smile:

 

Taylor

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I don't think you're crazy. At the age of your children, I don't see why you couldn't drop "formal" programs in favor of lititure and experience based learning. Long walks, or just sitting in the sun, while my Dad explained how the world works are some of my favorite memories. If your reading Perter Pan to your child and explain the historical context, I would think that for now that should be enough. In the end though you have to do what is right for your family, and your own health. I could not inagine trying to HS while pregnant. DS was 2 when DD was born, the only thing I managed to do consistantly was feed him, ;), not quite that bad, but near enough.

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I don't think it is crazy at all and it is what I am doing. Science is Magic School Bus books and Bill Nye DVDs, and opportunities life presents. History happens whenever there is an interesting library book that happens to include history. Sometimes that's a Magic Tree House book, or a leveled reader. IMO this is enough for now. I like focusing on the 3Rs. Our son has had a hard enough time just learning to read. I needed to let some of my lofty goals slide and just help him with that. Now he is making progress with reading, typing, spelling, and math. We will spend more time on social studies and science after the 3Rs are no longer a major challenge.

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What if you just used SWB Story of the World as a reader. No activities, etc. Just read the book. Most kids love to hear those stories and that would take a minimal amount of time. You could certainly approach science the same way in the early years also. Just read books from the library like Magic School Bus, etc. Read and Find Out About Science stories are really good too. My kids loved those in the early years. If you are at least reading in these areas then your kids will have that "peg" to hang later information on.

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I agree that you're not crazy, but you also don't have to drop SOTW. It's pretty easy to do. Your sig says you're doing TOG? Maybe try just SOTW next year, get the audio version as well so Jim Weiss can read when you're to sick to. ;) Don't feel like you need to do much with it. We spend about an hour a week on history, using SOTW and the Bible (via Biblioplan schedule), do narrations on our readings, one map a week, and a "Cool History" worksheet (Biblioplan thing). If I feel like it, we might do a project (that reminds me... I still need to change the salt again on my chicken mummy :lol:). I find history to be pretty easy for my first grader. I also do it during nap/quiet time, so my preschooler is in his room for quiet time, and my toddler (almost 2) is napping.

 

Science I'm still working out, but we're heading in an interest-led, mostly library book direction.

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Your sig says you're doing TOG?

 

Hahahaha! I had posted that I hadn't yet accomplished a signature, but I guess I had! This shows how together I am at the moment. :lol:

 

I had started the year with SOTW (we did the mummy and everything!) and then switched to TOG. I have since returned to SOTW. I love the idea of TOG and it was just so pretty, but I felt it was a little too much for 1st grade and I was also missing the narrative of history. I'm not yet enough of a history buff to deal with the subject in segregated chunks and really need the continuous-story format that SOTW offers. I still drool over TOG though and, who knows, maybe I'll come back to it for the L/R stages. Then again, MFW looks tempting as well....hmmmm

 

ANYWAY, I'm getting way off track here, aren't I?

 

mtcougar832 - we loved James Harriot's Treasury. :)

 

So these ideas of audio SOTW or perhaps just reading it are great ideas. I really might do that. Child's History of the World is tempting too. Here is the thing with SOTW...I love it SO much and I am SO Type A that I would feel the overwhelming need to do it ALL (i.e. activity book, geography, etc.). Same with science. I DO like the idea of just providing copious amounts of readers and such. Arg! The problem is that there are so many wonderful things out there that I want to do it all and do it NOW!!!! I almost need to force MYSELF to slow down.

 

If I were to drop history and science for now, I would want to delve deep into literature. Actually, I think it would be great fun to match literature to the story that WWE uses each week. I feel like I'm not providing the expansive literature that my daughter loves and needs at this special stage. But I could be way off-base here.

 

I have some concerns about dropping these subjects. Are they valid? As follows:

 

1) Missed opportunity with narration and notebooking. Though perhaps I could utilize this in Lit.?

 

2) Missed "pegs". This is the time to memorize, isn't it? Is starting in 5th losing that opportunity? Or do they still have the ability to absorb?

 

Or maybe I just need a box curriculum to get me through pregnancy and the newborn element...hmm.....

 

Thank you for these encouraging responses and for the good advice. I'm sorry for rambling!

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Do whatever works. I wouldn't worry too much about missing too many pegs. Hit those 3 R's, and then read all kinds of books. Your kids will still learn so much. I agree with a PP that you could still just read SOTW without doing all kinds of activities, my son could sit and listen to me read that all day. Same with science. There are so many things you can read and accomplish plenty of science for those ages. If you have time, keep a notebook and do the occasional notebooking page or copywork, but no problem if you don't, IMO.

 

I have those ages this year (2nd grader and preschooler) but I also have that baby added in. :) We seem to get more accomplished the more laid back we are, if that makes sense. When I have a schedule and try to get done ABC and then DEF...well, it doesn't always happen. We have done SOTW pretty regularly because it happens to be my son's favorite subject, if it wasn't I wouldn't feel bad skipping it for now. There are many days (and many weeks, really) that we just focus on math and LA. He needed some handwriting practice, then we focused on math facts, then we started AAS...sometimes that took away from other areas, but it really is no big deal. For us, at least.

 

My DD is happy to just "do school" which may mean writing her name in every color marker we have or it may be coloring maps while we listen to a story. Whatever she feels like doing is fine by me, I don't push too much at that age. She has been working through OPGTR and ETC, and also HWOT...sometimes she'll do several pages in a day, sometimes we won't touch it for a week. She still is picking up so much and loves to sit in on anything I do with her brother, and I am happy with that. It can be hard with a baby sometimes, and that is why I like to keep our schedule light and easy, so IKWYM there. I get really sick when pregnant, and can relate to your thoughts on that. I say work on some skills or subjects now that you would like to accomplish, and that way if you do end up having a baby, you can scale back a bit while pregnant or after the baby comes.

 

HTH a little bit. I think the great thing about homeschooling is that you can do things mostly as you like, and work around whatever you have going on at home. :)

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Would it be crazy to just drop history and science in the grammar years? ... Anyway, my floating-in-the-head thought is to literally focus on Math, Language Arts (including literature, lit. comprehension, and gobs of read-alouds), and Latin until about 5th grade. Is that nuts???? Would I be completely denying my child???

 

No.

 

1) I see the importance of focusing on the 3 "R"s in the grammar stage. Skills before content. The basics take most of our day as it is and it would be nice to be able to linger instead of feeling the pressure of the extra subjects.

 

 

I agree I've decided not to teach history before 3rd grade. I do teach it to my olders, but I am not going to require anything before then.

 

2) I want a chance to spend time simply enjoying wonderful literature. I feel like that has fallen by the wayside in my attempts to complete history and science at this stage. I also want to develop my daughter's skills in understanding what is read to her, in addition to what she reads herself.

 

I'd add not only a chance to explore reading on her own, but probably lots of other things too. Assuming she doesn't just sit in front of the tv when you aren't doing school she'll be learning to really enjoy lots of things, not sit through more school.

 

3) How much do they actually remember from first grade history? Science? Perhaps a lot, as more seasoned moms could attest to? I'm just a newcomer to this game...and then, I'd miss the "memory stage", wouldn't I????

 

I don't know how seasoned I am, but I did a whole cycle through SOTW when my oldest were K and 1st until they were 3rd and 4th. We did okay (at least I thought it was okay at the time) with 1 and 2, so so with 3 and really disliked 4. We started over this year (they are in 4th and 5th) with SOTW 1 and it is so much better then the first time around. I think SOTW would be perfect for about 3rd - 6th grade. That is what I am planning with my next kids. ;)

 

Science would be hard for us to skip, as we all love it most ;), but in return I don't do grammar or spelling until 3rd or 4th grade either.

 

I've also never seen the "memory stage" at work in my kids. In fact my oldest's (he is 11) memory has really taken off this year. In my admitedly small sample, my kids are much better at memorizing in the logic stage. We did a few poems the first time around, but this time they have both quickly memorized all kinds of lists (Heracles 12 Labors, Periods of Ancient Egypt, Charateristics of Life, and so on) along with new poems.

 

1) Missed opportunity with narration and notebooking. Though perhaps I could utilize this in Lit.?

 

 

I agree. I don't know about notebooking, but if you are reading or she is reading and you are talking about what you are reading, then narration is covered.

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It's not crazy at all! Even WTM says it's optional.

 

We have a very full dual curriculum (secular/Jewish studies). My kids LOVE science and history, so I couldn't just drop it. We put our history (SOTW) and science (Apologia Zoology - just finished all 3 books!) off to the weekends, and for us it's basically just storytime. Once a week (about 20 minutes) DD does the mapwork for that week's history chapter. When we have sick days, we're still up for storytime so on those days we get TONS of science and history done, like a chapter a day. So... even without allotting much formal time to it, we get a lot done. They talk about it a lot, and act history things out in their free time so I know they're internalizing it. Anyway... those are just some ideas for incorporating history and science without taking a lot of time for it!

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