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Opinions on waiting to start the history cycle until 4th or 5th grade...


Dianne-TX
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I read a very interesting article from BF regarding waiting until late elem. to start the study of ancient history. My dc are 7 and 5. I was planning on starting MOH next year with both of them. Now, after reading the article, it makes sense to wait. Are any of you familiar with the thought out there that says it's best to wait until they are older so they can grasp it better and have more choices for better literature. (obviously this is from a living books approach, not textbook) The article also mentioned that studying about false gods could confuse their biblical foundation at such a young age and focusing on the tragic times in history at a young age isn't such a good idea. The alternative is to study American History and then start with the history cycle in late elem. Just curious what your opinion is and why. Thanks.

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My Father's World does this. Their 1st grade history is based on passages throughout the Bible and memory verses from Proverbs (character training); 2nd grade is a one-year overview of American history, key people and events, patriotic songs and symbols, and the 50 states; 3rd grade is Exploring Countries & Cultures (world geography with a missions emphasis); and finally, 4th grade is when they start the Ancients with some secular history included. But even then, the Bible is the "spine" in that year; Ancient secular history is then studied more in-depth when they're older.

 

And their reasons are the same as BF's. I agree. I see absolutely no reason to study the ancient mythologies and pagan lifestyles in the early years, particularly for a Christian family. That doesn't mean to never study it... but there are maturity issues to consider, as well.

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You could study the history cycle in order, but with different materials. I am planning to use Tanglewoodeducation.com, which uses Our Young Folks Josephus. If you explain false gods in the context of false religion and contrast it with God's people, it is not a problem. I see nothing wrong with starting the cycle at a different point though.

 

Are you aware that there are arguements that if you start with American History you are missing a good opportunity to introduce new and unusual cultures to a more receptive crowd. Basically, after they have had American History they may become less open-minded.

 

Personally, I can't wait to really dig into ancient history when all the details will help with our understanding of Bible history and prophecy, in 7th grade.

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I think that it is easier to teach ancient history than modern history to young children. The wars and darkness are in either one, but in ancient history they almost seem like fairy tales. IMO, it is much more frightening to a young child to hear about horrors that occurred during the lifetime of people she actually knows than to hear about people in dresses (togas) fighting each other halfway around the world so long ago that we didn't even have a country.

 

My DD was fascinated by the ancients--Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Hittites, Mesopotamians. She could easily grasp the functions of their more simple tools and innovations, and she loved their building and artwork. In some ways it was easier to teach her about this period than it would have been to cover the age of exploration and the colonial period, because the technology is so much more accessible.

 

We never had any trouble with the legends or myths. I have to say, DD had a good Biblical grounding before we started this or I might have been concerned about that. But she was very clear about truth vs. story, and so I thought she was ready. We read the actual Bible for the study of ancient Israel, and used some sources that some would consider logic stage for the others--"Black Ships Before Troy" is a great readaloud for a second grader, even though she probably won't be able to read it to herself for quite a while after that, for instance. Since I'm happy to read aloud, this was no problem. And guess what--since these are classics, in every sense of the word, we have read them in various different forms ever since. So the early familiarity has not prevented DD from being exposed to the more challenging versions down the road.

 

I love the fact that we studied history in order, starting from the beginning.

 

And, frankly, if there were a period of history that I really cared about her knowing cold, I would not want to teach it in first grade. Nope, that is the stuff to cover in 3-6th grades, when retention is high and the logic of cause and effect is starting to get more interesting to the student. So if you are teaching American history because you want your child to remember it well, teach it later than first grade, for sure.

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My Father's World does this. Their 1st grade history is based on passages throughout the Bible and memory verses from Proverbs (character training); 2nd grade is a one-year overview of American history, key people and events, patriotic songs and symbols, and the 50 states; 3rd grade is Exploring Countries & Cultures (world geography with a missions emphasis); and finally, 4th grade is when they start the Ancients with some secular history included. But even then, the Bible is the "spine" in that year; Ancient secular history is then studied more in-depth when they're older.

 

And their reasons are the same as BF's. I agree. I see absolutely no reason to study the ancient mythologies and pagan lifestyles in the early years, particularly for a Christian family. That doesn't mean to never study it... but there are maturity issues to consider, as well.

 

I agree with this. We did MOH1 this year (part of it anyway!) with a 6th, 4th and 3rd grader. They enjoyed the curriculum for the most part until we all burned out. My ds6 did NOT want to study it with us and I didn't make him. At that age it is simply exposure anyway...creating little "pegs" on which to hang later information when they are older, KWIM? You could easily wait until they are older, like MFW suggests, and not fear you are scarring them for life! That being said, MOH is a very user-friendly curriculum that would work for your dc7. I think 5 is a bit young to really understand much in the way of history. Your 5yo would really just be along for the ride, so to speak.

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I read a very interesting article from BF regarding waiting until late elem. to start the study of ancient history. My dc are 7 and 5. I was planning on starting MOH next year with both of them. Now, after reading the article, it makes sense to wait. Are any of you familiar with the thought out there that says it's best to wait until they are older so they can grasp it better and have more choices for better literature. (obviously this is from a living books approach, not textbook) The article also mentioned that studying about false gods could confuse their biblical foundation at such a young age and focusing on the tragic times in history at a young age isn't such a good idea. The alternative is to study American History and then start with the history cycle in late elem. Just curious what your opinion is and why. Thanks.

 

I would not however use MOH for those ages unless you threw out everything but the actual lesson and the younger child activities. I loved that we got so much biblical history. But the memory cards, tests, and maps were not good for a 7yo. I loved that we had awesome conversations about why what certain people groups were doing was not okay. In fact, they were quite wonderful! I would not give up that time. We first began MOH 1 when my oldest was 7. We waffled back and forth as I figured out what worked for us and what didn't. The younger child activities were sometimes too immature but the middle student activities were out of her league. If I were to do it all over again, I would use the lesson and then get books from the library to supplement. But all in all, it was a good book as a spine. And I don't think that the tragic times were so bad that she actually *felt* them. Either she didn't get it or we had a great discussion. They weren't gory or unsuitable for children imo. I think a good thing to know too is that it's really an overview of what happened in those times. You only go as deep as you want.

 

I hope this made sense!:confused:

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History is FUN! It was the greatest pleasure of our early homeschooling years after reading aloud. (Maybe that is because it was, mostly, reading aloud.) SOTW turned history into my DD's favorite subject. For 2 years she wanted to be an archeologist when she grew up because of our study of ancients. I am so glad that we had all these great things to figure out and talk about!

 

Grinding through learning to read and early writing was hard. History was the dessert on our day, for the most part.

 

I don't think you really teach history for large knowlege or retention at that age--just for exposure. And fun!

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My dd loves history thanks to SOTW, lots of picture books and crafts. When else are you going to make a pyramid of sugar cubes, mummify a chicken, and make a Parthenon from graham crackers? Really. It is the fun part of our day and the highlight of many weeks.

 

You don't teach ancient history to first graders so that they will have a deep understanding of history. You teach it to them so that when they hear it again in more depth, it is not the first time they have heard it. They can synthesize the information better if they already have a feel for the flow of history.

 

Nobody says you have to do four rotations of history, but I like that my dd loves history. We have had lots of fun with the ancients for the last two years and are looking forward to the middle ages.

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My dd loves history thanks to SOTW, lots of picture books and crafts. When else are you going to make a pyramid of sugar cubes, mummify a chicken, and make a Parthenon from graham crackers? Really. It is the fun part of our day and the highlight of many weeks.

 

The idea of starting with Ancient History with *young* students is fairly new in the home school world. We started homeschooling 18 years ago and I went with what made sense: K-2/3 reading lots of good books, picture books, etc, casually pointing out places on a globe. We read books from all periods of life that were *age* appropriate (not dumbed down, especially the read alouds) and all that reading provided a broad foundation for future studies in history and science. We didn't *do* history--we just read for the sheer enjoyment of learning about the world.

 

We study Am. History in 3-4th grade because there is a wealth of great living books geared for this age group. The bulk of our time is spent on Pre-1900 history (but not all).

 

World History begins in earnest in 5th grade. At this age, my children still loved to do the sugar cube pyramid and mummies and other crafts, so they didn't miss out on anything by waiting.

 

Note, we did read books on those topics at earlier ages (both readers, eg. "I Can Read Trojan Horse" as well as read-alouds (e.g. Classic Myths to Read-Aloud), but we didn't *study* them as a history class until later.

 

Absolutely no regrets at all.

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With my oldest, we didn't start the "4-year cycle" until 3rd grade... but, then, we didn't start homeschooling until 2nd grade and I didn't read about the classical method until last summer! LOL!

 

We are taking a year and a half to go through the ancients. With my youngers, we will use Heart of Dakota (Little Hands to Heaven, Little Hearts to God, Beyond LHTG) for K through 2nd, and then begin with a semester of state study before beginning MOH1 (the cycle) halfway through the third grade.

 

MOH will have 5 volumes instead of 4. If you go through that cycle twice, that's 10 years and equates to beginning the first cycle in the 3rd grade. ;)

 

I don't think that my middle son, who will be 5 this month, would have any sort of grasp as to what's going on in MOH. (I agree that in grades 1-4, MOH would most effeciently be used in exactly the format it is written: read the lesson, do an activity. Skip the timeline and map work, and don't worry about extra reading unless the child just WANTS it.) My 9yo, on the other hand, is having a blast and learning a lot - both about history, and about Biblical teachings.

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The idea of starting with Ancient History with *young* students is fairly new in the home school world. We started homeschooling 18 years ago and I went with what made sense: K-2/3 reading lots of good books, picture books, etc, casually pointing out places on a globe. We read books from all periods of life that were *age* appropriate (not dumbed down, especially the read alouds) and all that reading provided a broad foundation for future studies in history and science. We didn't *do* history--we just read for the sheer enjoyment of learning about the world.

 

We study Am. History in 3-4th grade because there is a wealth of great living books geared for this age group. The bulk of our time is spent on Pre-1900 history (but not all).

 

World History begins in earnest in 5th grade. At this age, my children still loved to do the sugar cube pyramid and mummies and other crafts, so they didn't miss out on anything by waiting.

 

Note, we did read books on those topics at earlier ages (both readers, eg. "I Can Read Trojan Horse" as well as read-alouds (e.g. Classic Myths to Read-Aloud), but we didn't *study* them as a history class until later.

 

Absolutely no regrets at all.

 

:iagree: The exposure pegs are set without curriculum this way.

 

My Father's World does this. Their 1st grade history is based on passages throughout the Bible and memory verses from Proverbs (character training); 2nd grade is a one-year overview of American history, key people and events, patriotic songs and symbols, and the 50 states; 3rd grade is Exploring Countries & Cultures (world geography with a missions emphasis); and finally, 4th grade is when they start the Ancients with some secular history included. But even then, the Bible is the "spine" in that year; Ancient secular history is then studied more in-depth when they're older.

 

And their reasons are the same as BF's. I agree. I see absolutely no reason to study the ancient mythologies and pagan lifestyles in the early years, particularly for a Christian family. That doesn't mean to never study it... but there are maturity issues to consider, as well.

 

MFW sounds great!!

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My dd loves history thanks to SOTW, lots of picture books and crafts. When else are you going to make a pyramid of sugar cubes, mummify a chicken, and make a Parthenon from graham crackers? Really. It is the fun part of our day and the highlight of many weeks.

 

You don't teach ancient history to first graders so that they will have a deep understanding of history. You teach it to them so that when they hear it again in more depth, it is not the first time they have heard it. They can synthesize the information better if they already have a feel for the flow of history.

 

 

:iagree:

 

I have never liked history very much and got a very mangled and truncated history education in school. I think I covered American History to Reconstruction four different times, but barely skimmed over WWII.

 

I am looking forward to the fun way that SOTW has history set up - this is an education for me too. It is the first time I've ever been excited about history. I don't expect Becca to come out knowing tons of info about the ancients, but I hope she'll never forget mummifying that chicken!

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I understand your hesitation to expose your younger dc to myths, gods, and the like from ancient history; but if you are reading them fiction and fairytales right now what is the difference. Of course you may not be reading those right now. Anyway, this is how I have explained Greek Myths to my younger ds ages 6 & 8.

 

These stories are not true, but made up by someone else. We only learn about them because there were people who really believed this stuff and it's important to know why some people strayed away from the teachings of Christ. I would go on to give them a definition of a truth and falsehood, myth and legend, and other things like that.

 

I think you might be surprised just how much they can grasp at that age. You are your child's best teacher and you ultimately know what's best for them. What God's plan for your family maybe different than what it is for mine; so follow what God is leading you to do and you won't go wrong.

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