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But the pegs can be learned and retained without direct memory work. How else would the stories be remembered? They're not memorized in full. I'm just going to have to stand with Charlotte M. on this one and say that relationship is the key to learning. Children truly learn things they have a relationship with, care about. I'm not sure remembering facts is even the same thing as *knowing* history. Knowing the name of something and knowing about it is not the same thing as understanding it.

 

I think it's easy for the VP program to quickly become too classroom/schoolish. But it's a tool and wouldn't have to be. Maybe I can get Angelina to chime in here with her thoughts.

 

Jami,

I agree with you . . . in part. :D

 

Absolutely, the pegs can be learned and retained without direct memory work. The stories are certainly not memorized in full. I also agree that children learn thing they have a relationship with and care about. VP does this--in my house anyways! We definitely don't just sit around memorizing history cards with no stories to go with them! With VP you introduce a topic, such as "Pilgrims Build Plymouth Colony". You spend a week (or if you're me 2 or three) on that history card. You read stories from resources listed on the back of the card and dive deeper each day. But . . . you read the summary on the back of the card each and every day that week! The repition of the summary helps the child become intimately familiar with some of the most important points. You also spend a few minutes each week memorizing the history cards that you've already studied. That layer of review helps kids to keep those history stories/pegs/topics in their minds. Things that are revisited are generally remembered more easily. Now . . . pair the repition with great stories, mapwork, notebooking and activities and you have a pretty good formula to make history memorable AND meaningful.

 

I certainly think a child can learn and *know* history by reading books of all kinds: historical fiction, texts, original sources, encyclopedias, biographies. We just happen to like the layer of memory work that adds to our learning experience.

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Jami,

 

What a blessing you are to your kiddos! :001_smile: I vaguely recall Angelina recommending Guerber on the VP group when I was researching it (this has been awhile). I'll go back to that...

 

Your specifics really help me. I have NO idea what we'll do...I do not bring an understanding of the Great Books to our homeschool table. I do not bring a grasp of history...I have ideas and desires but not personal knowledge base or experience to pull from. My biggest roadblock is me.... Somehow I have to reconcile what I want with what I'm able to do.... Accepting my weaknesses and limitations.... realizing I'm not going to own the GB before my kids might be reading them....

 

You answered some Omnibus questions for me some time ago and I didn't realize it was you until a couple of days ago.... The thread is here:http://welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=170944&highlight=Omnibus

 

It's taken me awhile just to wrap my mind around "why" and "do I want to read them" and "do I want my kids to read them"....I'm still struggling with that. I want them to to a point.... but since I have NO experience with them then I have no context for making that decision. I have SWB's word on it :001_smile: (that it's important) but GB is an unscalable mountain from my vantage point....Can't I just drive around the mountain??

 

How do you fold Ambleside Online in? I adore their book selections & suggestions but again get flustered when trying to decide what to read and when.

:001_smile: You've been so kind and I'll stop asking questions now....

 

Reading the Great Books is a lifelong pursuit. :) I think the goal isn't to read them in high school necessarily, but to have students who are equipped to begin the conversation. Who can handle the depth of the language and the ideas held in those works? Justice, truth, goodness, beauty, courage, evil....The best of children's literature, "The Good Books", really does prepare a child for that conversation. History helps set the stage, because a conversation happens in a particular context.

 

If you're willing to learn and read and dig in with your children, that's just perfect.

 

And you have time! Lots of time.

 

Ambleside--yes, it can be a little overwhelming. I've had some great help from moms who do something called "Morning Time". On the best days, the kids and I meet for an hour or so first to read from the Bible, sing our monthly hymn, read from our literature/nature/geography selection, some days read from our term poet. Then we've had a small group with a couple other families and we've done the artist and composer with them. But I try to play the composer selections during the term and have biographies on our library shelf for them to read.

 

We have Lamb's Shakespeare from Librivox and they've listened to that.

 

Dad's evening read aloud is often one of the literature selections or free reading selections.

 

I've found the structure laid out in Latin-Centered Curriculum helpful too. We have our core basics (math, Latin, Classical Writing or other writing, copywork/dictation) then we aim to do other subjects 1-2 times a week.

Edited by Jami
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Jami,

I agree with you . . . in part. :D

 

Absolutely, the pegs can be learned and retained without direct memory work. The stories are certainly not memorized in full. I also agree that children learn thing they have a relationship with and care about. VP does this--in my house anyways! We definitely don't just sit around memorizing history cards with no stories to go with them! With VP you introduce a topic, such as "Pilgrims Build Plymouth Colony". You spend a week (or if you're me 2 or three) on that history card. You read stories from resources listed on the back of the card and dive deeper each day. But . . . you read the summary on the back of the card each and every day that week! The repition of the summary helps the child become intimately familiar with some of the most important points. You also spend a few minutes each week memorizing the history cards that you've already studied. That layer of review helps kids to keep those history stories/pegs/topics in their minds. Things that are revisited are generally remembered more easily. Now . . . pair the repition with great stories, mapwork, notebooking and activities and you have a pretty good formula to make history memorable AND meaningful.

 

I certainly think a child can learn and *know* history by reading books of all kinds: historical fiction, texts, original sources, encyclopedias, biographies. We just happen to like the layer of memory work that adds to our learning experience.

 

Sounds like a great approach indeed! Some of the resources are a little blah I think. ;) Like the Cultural Atlas selections. *yawn* Part of why I use my own spine selections somewhat.

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Oh I didn't mean to imply that they didn't. I just mean they REALLY emphasize the memory song/timeline. You do that every day. It's in every quiz, etc. I absolutely love the way the online program works. What I do find though, is that when my daughter seems to have forgotten info from one of those 'rabbit trails' or the 'why' of something, its the card that sparks her memory of it. I see those pegs already active in her head sparking the memories. So sometimes I can ask a direct question about the rabbit trail and she might forget what they said, but then as we discuss the card she'll start telling me about the card and remember what she learned. So I don't stress that she can't be quizzed on every detail of every story and every rabbit trail. Its in there and down the road when that information is helpful, the connections will come.

 

Heather

 

Just for your trivia, I would say my dd is just the opposite. Facts don't tend to stick, but stories stick extremely well. She gets to the facts in a round-about way be deducing them from the stories she know. Guess it's the dyslexia and brain differences.

 

And yes, Angelina used to post here quite a bit. She's just so busy now. People can search the boards here for CajunClassical and visit to yahoo group to see her posts. She's actually the moderator over on the yahoo group.

 

To me, the best thing about VP is that there are *lots* of ways to use it. It's really not about one right way, even though there's a certain logic to it if you're wanting to continue on into Omnibus. It's just a really flexible tool, something I can use to fit my dyslexic, something others can use to fit history lovers or history haters. And really, I don't think it's necessary to see it as strictly fitting on mold in use (CM vs. WTM vs. whatever). It's a framework, and you bring to it the emphasis *you* want for *your* family. Angelina is actually rather CM, if you look at all the nifty things she brings into her week. And if writing and the way you use books is the issue, well there VP is totally flexible.

 

BTW, Angelina has a wonderful blog people can search for and read. Ok, I'll stop being lazy and link you. It will give you a sense of how she does things. But remember there are LOTS of ways to use the VP materials. Find the mix that works for you. http://www.angelinainlouisiana.blogspot.com/

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Sounds like a great approach indeed! Some of the resources are a little blah I think. ;) Like the Cultural Atlas selections. *yawn* Part of why I use my own spine selections somewhat.

 

Oh truly. It didn't take long of reading little snippets and paragraphs from thick non-fiction sources to conclude that wasn't the way we were going to do it, lol.

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To me, the best thing about VP is that there are *lots* of ways to use it. It's really not about one right way, even though there's a certain logic to it if you're wanting to continue on into Omnibus. It's just a really flexible tool . . .

 

:iagree::iagree:

 

VP is so flexible. I'm thankful to have this resource. Right now, we're pulling out VP as we encounter relavant topics in our MFW lessons. Sometimes . . . when we're studying a topic of great interest, we linger on a VP card and take a little side trip from our regular MFW studies.

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Sounds like a great approach indeed! Some of the resources are a little blah I think. ;) Like the Cultural Atlas selections. *yawn* Part of why I use my own spine selections somewhat.

 

:lol: Hee hee! You didn't like the Cultural Atlas? We liked it -- especially when we were doing mapwork. My kids liked the interesting pictures, too. I do think that some of the resources listed on the backs of the cards can be a little boring for young children -- even older elementary children. I either ignore those or use them a "teacher refrerence".

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Reading the Great Books is a lifelong pursuit. :) I think the goal isn't to read them in high school necessarily, but to have students who are equipped to begin the conversation. Who can handle the depth of the language and the ideas held in those works? Justice, truth, goodness, beauty, courage, evil....The best of children's literature, "The Good Books", really does prepare a child for that conversation. History helps set the stage, because a conversation happens in a particular context.

 

 

Well there's an interesting topic! You're probably totally not interested (since you don't know me or give two cents what I care, haha), but I've been perplexed for some time by the idea of Christians needing to "enter the Great Conversation." I don't know, but to me morals, the Faith, etc. aren't a conversation or developed, they're a Finished Work. And really, SWB's suggestions in WEM notwithstanding (which almost becoming devotional to listen to her workshop), I'm really not sure every mom needs or wants to read in that way. A lot of moms READ, but they aren't necessarily interested in reading in that way, educationally, orderly, etc.

 

In other words, what we give them, for some kids, will be as far as some of them go. For some it's going to open doors they didn't anticipate and make them more comfortable going further in college. But for some this will be it as they go a different way in college. And if I never read a single GB with her, her faith would still be complete, full, and she'd be able to mature into a full human being. To me it's more of the Great Observation of the Folly of Man than anything.

 

Don't know why I'm off on that rabbit trail. It's just something I've been chewing on for some time, that I really don't think the Great Conversation should be accepted as a concept without question. But again, that's just my mental wanderings. :)

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Hi Katrina,

 

Jami asked me to pop over to this thread. I haven't read the other replies, but I am happy to talk about my experience with VP history.

 

I have used the program as written in the TM; I've done my own thing with it; and I've used the Scholar's Lesson Plans.

 

When people talk about VP being dry, they are talking about just reading the card, doing the worksheet, drilling the card, and taking the test. I've done this: BORING!

 

But the good thing is that VP can be really flexible. You have to keep in mind what VP's goals are. You may have different goals--I do--which will allow you to use the program differently. The primary focus of VP is to memorize dates and facts. That's why they have all the "dry" drill.

 

Like Jami, I want some good biographies and historical fiction. I want reading and enjoyment of people and ideas, more than dates and names.

 

If you want the cards to flow, you need a spine. The Child's History of the World great with OT/AE, NTGR, and MARR. The FAmous Men Series also flows really well with the cards.

 

For the AMerican History cards, Geurber works well. Hakim fits as well, but I don't care for her slant.

 

How do you know what to pick and what/how many to read? Let me be real honest with you here. My oldest is now in High School. We are finishing our second year of Omnibus. I could kick myself for how needlessly I stressed out over elementary history. I overdid completely. WE read everything. I coordinated 150 different spines to make sure I covered EVERYTHING important. We read tons of books. Too much. Too much.

 

Pick a spine you like. Any spine. It doesn't have to be the most thorough and complete history book in the world, this is a first exposure to history. Pick some biographies--like Famous Men or Landmark books. Pick some historical fiction--some, not everything ever written. Just enough to let the period come alive.

 

In elementary I see way too many people making the mistake of only reading books "in" the time period they are studying. It's overkill and if you follow this plan, you miss out on all the classic children's literature--the Golden AGe of children's literature is the 19th century. Don't try to cover all of those great books in one year. Spread them throughout elementary. It's more important to read those classic children's book than to read every piece of historical fiction.

 

Do you see what I'm saying? Yes, cover a children's version of the Iliad and the Odyssey. REad King Arthur's legends, but also read The Wind in the Willows and Tom Sawyer. Read Fairy Tales when your child is young enough to still love them.

 

So, pick your spine and your few books and then use the VP cards to know where to focus. You can hold up a card and ask the child to narrate everything he knows about the topic.

 

I use my cards as a visual timeline. I write the date on the front of the card--VP blasphemy, I know! :) and then as we cover each card, I tape them to the wall. And periodically--not weekly-- we review a few events.

 

As far as reading level, I chose difficult books for read alouds, and books at or below grade level for free reading.

 

And we talk about the books I read out loud. We make connections, we talk about ideas as they are presented.

 

Following this type of path has thoroughly prepared my two oldest for the Great Books. They have transitioned beautifully.

 

Does this answer any of your questions? I was interrupted three separate times trying to write this. Sometimes I couldn't remember what I was trying to say :)

Edited by cajun.classical
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One of the best things about the VP cards is that they make it easy to stay in one period with several children. The cards themselves aren't too challenging for younger children or too simplistic for older children. The resources you use to "flesh out" the information on the card can go either way. This is the main reason I don't use Ambleside as purely for history. I don't want to have 2-3 history cycles going at once. So my 1st grader will read from AO Year 1 next year for literature, poetry, and nature. But for history, I'll pull out the resources for early American history that follow the cards for the period my older kids are in. She'll have more picture books, the D'Aulaire biographies, and a couple of simpler chapter books. She already listens in to the SOTW CDs and Our Island Story on CD. :)

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One of the best things about the VP cards is that they make it easy to stay in one period with several children. The cards themselves aren't too challenging for younger children or too simplistic for older children. The resources you use to "flesh out" the information on the card can go either way. This is the main reason I don't use Ambleside as purely for history. I don't want to have 2-3 history cycles going at once. So my 1st grader will read from AO Year 1 next year for literature, poetry, and nature. But for history, I'll pull out the resources for early American history that follow the cards for the period my older kids are in. She'll have more picture books, the D'Aulaire biographies, and a couple of simpler chapter books. She already listens in to the SOTW CDs and Our Island Story on CD. :)

 

That's so true, Jami. And that's what I've done this year. One card/topic a week: one read aloud to the group and one discussion, then separate reading assignments based on age and ability.

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That's so true, Jami. And that's what I've done this year. One card/topic a week: one read aloud to the group and one discussion, then separate reading assignments based on age and ability.

 

I'm so glad you dropped by. I know you're swamped. :) We are *loving* the VP/Guerber combination for this year. I'm so glad you suggested that. Especially since Memoria was kind enough to publish both volumes in one for me. :D

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Well there's an interesting topic! You're probably totally not interested (since you don't know me or give two cents what I care, haha), but I've been perplexed for some time by the idea of Christians needing to "enter the Great Conversation." I don't know, but to me morals, the Faith, etc. aren't a conversation or developed, they're a Finished Work. And really, SWB's suggestions in WEM notwithstanding (which almost becoming devotional to listen to her workshop), I'm really not sure every mom needs or wants to read in that way. A lot of moms READ, but they aren't necessarily interested in reading in that way, educationally, orderly, etc.

 

In other words, what we give them, for some kids, will be as far as some of them go. For some it's going to open doors they didn't anticipate and make them more comfortable going further in college. But for some this will be it as they go a different way in college. And if I never read a single GB with her, her faith would still be complete, full, and she'd be able to mature into a full human being. To me it's more of the Great Observation of the Folly of Man than anything.

 

Don't know why I'm off on that rabbit trail. It's just something I've been chewing on for some time, that I really don't think the Great Conversation should be accepted as a concept without question. But again, that's just my mental wanderings. :)

Let me give this a shot. Here are my off the cuff thoughts. So don't hang me if I don't have a fully developed thesis here :)

 

I hear what you are saying. And for the Christian, entering the Great Conversation does not and should not imply some sort of level playing field, where all ideas are equal and we'll see which ones are good. Not at all.

 

RAther, it's more like we are in the Great Conversation whether we realize it or not. We are either self-conscious and deliberate participants or we're being affected and influenced and we don't know it. See, we can't understand the world we live in right now if we don't understand the ideas that brought us here. There is truly nothing new under the sun, there is no great debate raging right now, that hasn't been raged before.

 

So, if I understand that the "newest" debate going on is just the latest installment of an ancient discussion, it's much easier to recognize what the real issues are and then address them--from my CHristian perspective of course.

 

do you see where I am going here? Like I said, I'm not fully developing these thoughts, just throwing them out there.

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I'm so glad you dropped by. I know you're swamped. :) We are *loving* the VP/Guerber combination for this year. I'm so glad you suggested that. Especially since Memoria was kind enough to publish both volumes in one for me. :D

 

Yay! It really does fit well and I love Geurber's writing. My kids really enjoyed that year as well.

 

Now if I can just make the time to write the modern American history volume that I have already researched... :D it will be the perfect sequel to Geurber--at least in my mind.

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Yay! It really does fit well and I love Geurber's writing. My kids really enjoyed that year as well.

 

Now if I can just make the time to write the modern American history volume that I have already researched... :D it will be the perfect sequel to Geurber--at least in my mind.

 

 

I will give you one year. ;)

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Jami,

 

How does that plan change when your kiddo or kiddos hit Logic Stage? If you use Omnibus then that is an easy answer .... :001_smile: But if not, what do you foresee in your planning and preparations?

 

Well, for me, I use Omnibus in 7th and 8th and still teach a separate history class. Let's just say I'm not a total believer in the strict Great Books approach.

 

The basic structure for history didn't change. I just changed the difficulty of the books. So, I still have a spine (in 7th and 8th I use STreams of Civilization) and then biographies and some historical fiction and then we cover select Omnibus titles as well. The biggest difference is not so much in the approach as in the ideas that we explore. They are able to think better and make better abstract connections. We even did a debate on the Crusades, which was difficult but quite fun.

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What, if any, are the major differences in the Guerber texts by Memoria Press vs. Nothing New Press?

 

ETA: Nevermind, I get it now. I'd forgotten about this new product by MP, because we're just not there yet. Here's a link in case anyone is interested.

 

The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and the Great Republic

 

Also, I apologize for the interruption.

Edited by CMama
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When I compare VP and MFW the biggest difference in my mind is that MFW is classical and Charlotte Mason-ish, while VP is mostly rooted in the classical approach. I think that anyone who uses VP as recommended will KNOW history. The student will have pegs of history in their mind AND stories to go with them. Of course, no one can know it all, but someone who has used VP will have an excellent foundation of the stories of our past. Someone who uses MFW will certanily learn MUCH about history, but IMO the student only becomes acquainted with stories. Students are exposed and guided through history through reading, narration, notebooking, etc. There is no real memory work component.

 

Would you like a comparison of MFW and VP Scholars (lesson plans) or are you looking for a comparison between MFW and the VP Teacher guide only? As I've read through some of your posts, it sounds like VP Scholars could work for you.

 

Angela,

 

What you have shared IS helpful.... I always appreciate your input!

 

But the pegs can be learned and retained without direct memory work. How else would the stories be remembered? They're not memorized in full. I'm just going to have to stand with Charlotte M. on this one and say that relationship is the key to learning. Children truly learn things they have a relationship with, care about. I'm not sure remembering facts is even the same thing as *knowing* history. Knowing the name of something and knowing about it is not the same thing as understanding it. It's like the sciences. The names and facts for biology or chemistry can be learned pretty quickly, but if the student hasn't learned to observe closely, ask good questions, think through conclusions, they're not ready to *do* science.

 

I think it's easy for the VP program to quickly become too classroom/schoolish. But it's a tool and wouldn't have to be. Maybe I can get Angelina to chime in here with her thoughts.

 

Jami,

 

Perhaps this is why VP fell flat here the first time I tried to use it... and why the term "dry" is associated with it. Only now am I beginning to taste of what I want for my kids and I think that happened when I ventured into HOD land :D. HOD's plans for history are full of flavor with lovely spines, biographies, etc. It whetted my appetite.... and what you share about CM is a recent lightbulb for me....I need to be "quiet" and let the living books speak for themselves.... I haven't really "taught" my kids anything about history up to this point....I've read books to/with them and given them as many books to read on their own as possible. My oldest son makes connections continuously and is constantly narrating to me in a casual manner by sharing what has inspired him! They make connections on their own in a very natural way.... this is all very early in their education of course and I think my role will need to change in logic stage. But for now I want to enrich them rather than teach them.... Well, I want to teach them skills but enrich them with the books...if that makes sense. Oh, and your thoughts on science are another reason that HOD appealed to me...that is actually how science is done with HOD. It's beautiful. And planned.... :D I digress...

 

:grouphug: back to you and thanks for the encouragement.

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Well, for me, I use Omnibus in 7th and 8th and still teach a separate history class. Let's just say I'm not a total believer in the strict Great Books approach.

 

The basic structure for history didn't change. I just changed the difficulty of the books. So, I still have a spine (in 7th and 8th I use STreams of Civilization) and then biographies and some historical fiction and then we cover select Omnibus titles as well. The biggest difference is not so much in the approach as in the ideas that we explore. They are able to think better and make better abstract connections. We even did a debate on the Crusades, which was difficult but quite fun.

 

Angelina,

 

Thanks for contributing. Boy, I'm out of my league for sure!! But it's what I want..... I'm grasping and groping..... and I'm not giving up!

 

I'm going to visit your blog :001_smile:.

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Let me give this a shot. Here are my off the cuff thoughts. So don't hang me if I don't have a fully developed thesis here :)

 

I hear what you are saying. And for the Christian, entering the Great Conversation does not and should not imply some sort of level playing field, where all ideas are equal and we'll see which ones are good. Not at all.

 

RAther, it's more like we are in the Great Conversation whether we realize it or not. We are either self-conscious and deliberate participants or we're being affected and influenced and we don't know it. See, we can't understand the world we live in right now if we don't understand the ideas that brought us here. There is truly nothing new under the sun, there is no great debate raging right now, that hasn't been raged before.

 

So, if I understand that the "newest" debate going on is just the latest installment of an ancient discussion, it's much easier to recognize what the real issues are and then address them--from my CHristian perspective of course.

 

do you see where I am going here? Like I said, I'm not fully developing these thoughts, just throwing them out there.

 

Ooo, I like this! THIS I can agree with. What doesn't jive with this me is the idea of the Great Conversation as this searching experience. I'm not searching; I've found my faith. But to understand the flow of ideas impacting the world around us, where people are coming from (and the errors they fall into), this is good. I'm so glad you presented it that way. You should paste it over to the yahoo group. :)

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Well, for me, I use Omnibus in 7th and 8th and still teach a separate history class. Let's just say I'm not a total believer in the strict Great Books approach.

 

The basic structure for history didn't change. I just changed the difficulty of the books. So, I still have a spine (in 7th and 8th I use STreams of Civilization) and then biographies and some historical fiction and then we cover select Omnibus titles as well. The biggest difference is not so much in the approach as in the ideas that we explore. They are able to think better and make better abstract connections. We even did a debate on the Crusades, which was difficult but quite fun.

 

Angelina, do you have schedules for these things you're doing that you'd like to upload to the VP_Omnibus yahoo group? Wow, have we even gotten you joined there yet? Like you need one more thing, lol. You need to be there. We crested 100 in about a week. It's the place to be for Omnibus discussion! :)

 

We're back doing some more modern, because dd lamented we hadn't done it well enough. This time I've upped the ante a bit with a whole bunch of Marrin, Freedman, and Susan Bartoletti books as well as the DK Story of America. It's definitely not an easy spine, but dd craves it and begged for it. It's narrative. You could take a look and see if it does anything for you. She's old enough now that she's wanting some meat. Sooner or later we'll get into Omnibus. Right now I'm just really happy with the level of these books as a way to get her thinking. Of course maybe all my efforts will be for naught. I threw at her "Where the Broken Heart Still Beats," which I thought would leave her heartbroken and crying like it did me. Nothing, zilcho, nada. Go figure. But we're finally into a level of non-fiction writing where you actually have those themes you can discuss. And now that I've gone through and previewed basically everything I could get by those (Freedman, Marrin, Murphy, Bartoletti) through interlibrary loan, I'm not even sure you *need* a spine. They become the spine! Cool, eh?

 

Well that's my little history discovery. Wouldn't work with a kid not yet ready to read those. Some of Marrin's are denser than others. Freedman is pretty accessible. But they hit a lot of the prominent themes, events, and people, by the time you scan through all their works.

 

Nice seeing you around! :)

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Ooo, I like this! THIS I can agree with. What doesn't jive with this me is the idea of the Great Conversation as this searching experience. I'm not searching; I've found my faith. But to understand the flow of ideas impacting the world around us, where people are coming from (and the errors they fall into), this is good. I'm so glad you presented it that way. You should paste it over to the yahoo group. :)

Warning: Ignorance Exposure

 

So, does using the Omnibus help a Mom like me, learning right alongside her kiddos and bringing NOTHING to the table, TEACH this way?

 

I am really out of my league in any sort of discussion but the big question that springs to my mind is why do I want to give so much time to GB when we could be studying the Bible? Studying to show ourselves approved as workmen who do not need to be ashamed; handling accurately the Word of truth... I am struggling through this. I tend to want to read books about the Bible instead of reading the Bible... that is a tendency I would like to undo in my own life. I also cringe at the thought of sloshing through some of the books... this is why I need to read them for myself ( Use Omnibus for me I suppose; and then I will KNOW.). Blah.

 

Perhaps Omnibus studies the Word just as deeply alongside the GB ... I vaguely remember that and I'll have to go take a look.

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Katrina, that's what you have to sort out for yourself. I have Omnibus I and II and have worked on reading the books in them. I wanted to give myself a head start, so I could really have time to reflect on the books. The thing I'm realizing, even as I write this, is that not everything that nurtures *us* nurtures our kids, because they are at a different place. As Angelina hinted, the GB are, at the very least, good literature. In other words, these are books you may want to read with your kids. You might not have chosen all of them or arranged them that way (and indeed you could unarrange Omnibus and use it a multitude of other ways), but it does remain an efficient way of approaching the books.

 

They only look out of reach because your dc is young. My dd is turning 12 in a week, and at this point they look pleasantly stretching, nigh interesting for her. With the ages you have, you may find yourself wanting to combine your oldest two when you get to that stage. You'll sort it out for yourself. Whether you read these books in MFW or TOG or VP Omnibus or what, it's likely you're going to end up wanting to. The alternative would be a more traditional junior high and high school lit sequence, typically a mix of anthology selections and some whole books. So no, it doesn't have to replace your Bible study. It's replacing the traditional lit and history you had in high school.

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Warning: Ignorance Exposure

 

So, does using the Omnibus help a Mom like me, learning right alongside her kiddos and bringing NOTHING to the table, TEACH this way?

 

I am really out of my league in any sort of discussion but the big question that springs to my mind is why do I want to give so much time to GB when we could be studying the Bible? Studying to show ourselves approved as workmen who do not need to be ashamed; handling accurately the Word of truth... I am struggling through this. I tend to want to read books about the Bible instead of reading the Bible... that is a tendency I would like to undo in my own life. I also cringe at the thought of sloshing through some of the books... this is why I need to read them for myself ( Use Omnibus for me I suppose; and then I will KNOW.). Blah.

 

Perhaps Omnibus studies the Word just as deeply alongside the GB ... I vaguely remember that and I'll have to go take a look.

 

Omnibus gives you all the tools you need to teach the GB without forgetting that we need to put them in perspective of our faith. As far as why should we give so much time to GB when we could be studying the Bible - well first, you are studying the Bible with Omnibus. If you do all 6 years of Omnibus you will study every book in the Bible. Second, just because we are Christians doesn't mean we need to be ignorant of the works and times of history, of the works that reflect the past and affected the development of our present. By studying these 'Great Books' from a Christian perspective, we can learn a great deal about how and what to think, how man got here (I don't mean creation - I mean present situations etc) the problems nations have had when they reject God etc. And honestly, if you use the 'shouldn't we be studying the Bible' argument you could really justify doing nothing else. I don't think it's wrong to study things other than the Bible.

 

Heather

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Omnibus gives you all the tools you need to teach the GB without forgetting that we need to put them in perspective of our faith. As far as why should we give so much time to GB when we could be studying the Bible - well first, you are studying the Bible with Omnibus. If you do all 6 years of Omnibus you will study every book in the Bible. Second, just because we are Christians doesn't mean we need to be ignorant of the works and times of history, of the works that reflect the past and affected the development of our present. By studying these 'Great Books' from a Christian perspective, we can learn a great deal about how and what to think, how man got here (I don't mean creation - I mean present situations etc) the problems nations have had when they reject God etc. And honestly, if you use the 'shouldn't we be studying the Bible' argument you could really justify doing nothing else. I don't think it's wrong to study things other than the Bible.

 

Heather

 

Thanks Heather.... I guess Omnibus is using the study of GB and the Bible to help the student formulate a Christian worldview.... right?! :001_huh:

 

I'll get there...I have a few years to sort through it all...

 

Thanks for the delicious VP, Omnibus, CM discussion. Today has been fun! I hung out on the forum allllll dayyyyyy. DH was home from work :001_smile:.

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Hi Katrina,

 

Jami asked me to pop over to this thread. I haven't read the other replies, but I am happy to talk about my experience with VP history.

 

I have used the program as written in the TM; I've done my own thing with it; and I've used the Scholar's Lesson Plans.

 

When people talk about VP being dry, they are talking about just reading the card, doing the worksheet, drilling the card, and taking the test. I've done this: BORING!

 

But the good thing is that VP can be really flexible. You have to keep in mind what VP's goals are. You may have different goals--I do--which will allow you to use the program differently. The primary focus of VP is to memorize dates and facts. That's why they have all the "dry" drill.

 

Like Jami, I want some good biographies and historical fiction. I want reading and enjoyment of people and ideas, more than dates and names.

 

If you want the cards to flow, you need a spine. The Child's History of the World great with OT/AE, NTGR, and MARR. The FAmous Men Series also flows really well with the cards.

 

For the AMerican History cards, Geurber works well. Hakim fits as well, but I don't care for her slant.

 

How do you know what to pick and what/how many to read? Let me be real honest with you here. My oldest is now in High School. We are finishing our second year of Omnibus. I could kick myself for how needlessly I stressed out over elementary history. I overdid completely. WE read everything. I coordinated 150 different spines to make sure I covered EVERYTHING important. We read tons of books. Too much. Too much.

 

Pick a spine you like. Any spine. It doesn't have to be the most thorough and complete history book in the world, this is a first exposure to history. Pick some biographies--like Famous Men or Landmark books. Pick some historical fiction--some, not everything ever written. Just enough to let the period come alive.

 

In elementary I see way too many people making the mistake of only reading books "in" the time period they are studying. It's overkill and if you follow this plan, you miss out on all the classic children's literature--the Golden AGe of children's literature is the 19th century. Don't try to cover all of those great books in one year. Spread them throughout elementary. It's more important to read those classic children's book than to read every piece of historical fiction.

 

Do you see what I'm saying? Yes, cover a children's version of the Iliad and the Odyssey. REad King Arthur's legends, but also read The Wind in the Willows and Tom Sawyer. Read Fairy Tales when your child is young enough to still love them.

 

So, pick your spine and your few books and then use the VP cards to know where to focus. You can hold up a card and ask the child to narrate everything he knows about the topic.

 

I use my cards as a visual timeline. I write the date on the front of the card--VP blasphemy, I know! :) and then as we cover each card, I tape them to the wall. And periodically--not weekly-- we review a few events.

 

As far as reading level, I chose difficult books for read alouds, and books at or below grade level for free reading.

 

And we talk about the books I read out loud. We make connections, we talk about ideas as they are presented.

 

Following this type of path has thoroughly prepared my two oldest for the Great Books. They have transitioned beautifully.

 

Does this answer any of your questions? I was interrupted three separate times trying to write this. Sometimes I couldn't remember what I was trying to say :)

 

ACK!! Somehow I MISSED this page! Thank-you, thank-you. Yes, yes, yes, this is how I envision history with my children! And WHY I crashed/burned with VP the first time. I chose the WRONG books and didn't have the narrative that we enjoy (I guess we're history narrative kind of folk)... all of what you wrote resonates. I didn't have the vision to use the cards as a framework (a skeleton) upon which I build....

 

You have answered my questions and I thank-you for your time! God has definitely blessed me today in allowing me to hang out on the forum for a ridiculous number of hours (thanks to my DH) and chat with such amazing women. I am in awe.... mostly of Him but also of the privilege of talking with some lovely ladies. :001_smile:

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ACK!! Somehow I MISSED this page! Thank-you, thank-you. Yes, yes, yes, this is how I envision history with my children! And WHY I crashed/burned with VP the first time. I chose the WRONG books and didn't have the narrative that we enjoy (I guess we're history narrative kind of folk)... all of what you wrote resonates. I didn't have the vision to use the cards as a framework (a skeleton) upon which I build....

 

You have answered my questions and I thank-you for your time! God has definitely blessed me today in allowing me to hang out on the forum for a ridiculous number of hours (thanks to my DH) and chat with such amazing women. I am in awe.... mostly of Him but also of the privilege of talking with some lovely ladies. :001_smile:

 

You're very sweet, Katrina. It was fun for me to talk history and ideas with all of you too. Try not to feel overwhelmed about the future. :) There are great tools out there (like Omnibus) to help you along as your children grow. I still have lots of "WHAT AM I DOING?!?!" moments after 5 years as we start heading into "logic-stage" territory. I think it's important to know where you want to go, a loose plan based on your goals for your children. But I tend to get bogged down and a little paralyzed when I try to predict or make definite plans for more than a year or so ahead. I start thinking more about *then* and what all we'll need to read and study and whether or not I can teach it, and I forget to really be teaching *now*, in the day to day. And I really think faithfulness and consistency in the early years--building basic skills, reading wonderful literature, enjoying the natural world together will produce good fruit in later years. :)

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Thanks Heather.... I guess Omnibus is using the study of GB and the Bible to help the student formulate a Christian worldview.... right?! :001_huh:

 

I'll get there...I have a few years to sort through it all...

 

Thanks for the delicious VP, Omnibus, CM discussion. Today has been fun! I hung out on the forum allllll dayyyyyy. DH was home from work :001_smile:.

 

Omnibus is unusual as a Great Books program in that it is rooted in the Word. So, not only are actually studying books of the Bible in the Great Books program, but you are also studying works of theology and church history. But the real kicker is that the questions for EVERY book take you back to the Word and ask What does the Bible say about this? And the student looks up relevant Bible verses and examines pagan ideas in the light of Scripture.

 

We spend a lot of time talking about Scripture and the Word in my Omnibus class. It's been a really fruitful time and I can see some real spiritual growth in my students.

 

Let me offer one warning however for anyone looking at Omnibus: Don't feel like you have to cover every book. You really don't. Ty Fischer has a great introduction to Omnibus II where he talks about not trying to do everything. It's much better to cover a few works well than to rush through a reading list at a dizzying speed. What number to cover will be different for each family. Start slow. You'll find that once you get your groove, it gets easier. But don't feel guilty for leaving books out. It's better not to burn out. And like Jami said, Great Books are a lifelong pursuit.

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Omnibus is unusual as a Great Books program in that it is rooted in the Word. So, not only are actually studying books of the Bible in the Great Books program, but you are also studying works of theology and church history. But the real kicker is that the questions for EVERY book take you back to the Word and ask What does the Bible say about this? And the student looks up relevant Bible verses and examines pagan ideas in the light of Scripture.

 

We spend a lot of time talking about Scripture and the Word in my Omnibus class. It's been a really fruitful time and I can see some real spiritual growth in my students.

 

Let me offer one warning however for anyone looking at Omnibus: Don't feel like you have to cover every book. You really don't. Ty Fischer has a great introduction to Omnibus II where he talks about not trying to do everything. It's much better to cover a few works well than to rush through a reading list at a dizzying speed. What number to cover will be different for each family. Start slow. You'll find that once you get your groove, it gets easier. But don't feel guilty for leaving books out. It's better not to burn out. And like Jami said, Great Books are a lifelong pursuit.

Angelina,

 

This is helpful! It is PRECISELY what we want.... taking every issue/question/idea back to the Word and measuring it against the truth! Oh, that's what we want....and we want to teach from a strong Reformed perspective and need the helps to do this.

 

What determines a student's readiness for Omnibus? I've noticed there are a few Moms who are doing a fabulous job in their home schools having to hold off on starting because their oldest isn't quite ready. How does a Mom know?

 

I'd like to buy one volume of Omnibus for myself.... Is one better than another for getting a good feel for it?

 

Are there any audios that I can listen to (or threads I can read) that will help me in understanding how Moms like me can implement Omnibus? I think I wouldn't know WHAT to choose or HOW to decide.... The online classes do look amazing and I think we'd at least consider those BUT I want to be in the trenches if I go this route.

 

*** Another ? about studying the Bible with the grammar stage students***

Angelina and Jami,

How do you go about this? What is your plan? I love the looks of Classical Academic Press' Bible. I think my kids would do well with that and in four years they'd study through the whole of Scripture from the perspective we desire. I also think VP's Bible looks very good as a way to teach the Bible from beginning to end. It's not devotional or applicational BUT it is the Bible knowledge foundation. The devotional and applicational (character studies) would be enjoyed in other ways. Thoughts or ideas here? I tend to over focus on history or literature and under focus on what matters most and what we want most ....

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I only have a minute to answer this. I'll try to come back later.

 

It's really reading ability and maturity for the topics. What I did was for Omnibus I in 7th stick to the SEcondary Readings, all the Bible readings and a couple of primary readings, like The Odyssey. We could have done more, but we had a full, good year and my son got used to the format of the program.

 

Omnibus II is an improvement of Omni I--VP says this themselves. It is paced better and there's more time for writing, etc.

 

This year--Omni II--I've taught a 6th-10th grade class and because I was unsure where everyone was in their abilities, I again chose primarily the secondary works and then some of the primary selections. WE have had a great year. The kids had no problem with the reading and we have had great discussions.

 

Next year, for Omni III, I am ramping up the workload quite a bit. They are ready.

 

One thing to remember is that the student will struggle at first with open-ended discussion. Be prepared for silence! But they get better at discussing. They have to develop the skill. My son is much MUCH better this year, than last year.

 

There are some audios. Is it audiomp3.com? Jami? You can download talks about how to teach Omnibus. Some of them are very very helpful. I think there may be a list on the yahoo group. I don't remember.

 

hope this helps.

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There are some audios. Is it audiomp3.com? Jami? You can download talks about how to teach Omnibus. Some of them are very very helpful. I think there may be a list on the yahoo group. I don't remember.

 

hope this helps.

 

http://www.wordmp3.com/search.aspx?search=omnibus

 

I searched under Omnibus at WordMp3. Ty Fischer or Bruce Etter would be good to search for also. :)

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Angelina,

 

This is helpful! It is PRECISELY what we want.... taking every issue/question/idea back to the Word and measuring it against the truth! Oh, that's what we want....and we want to teach from a strong Reformed perspective and need the helps to do this.

 

What determines a student's readiness for Omnibus? I've noticed there are a few Moms who are doing a fabulous job in their home schools having to hold off on starting because their oldest isn't quite ready. How does a Mom know?

 

I'd like to buy one volume of Omnibus for myself.... Is one better than another for getting a good feel for it?

 

Are there any audios that I can listen to (or threads I can read) that will help me in understanding how Moms like me can implement Omnibus? I think I wouldn't know WHAT to choose or HOW to decide.... The online classes do look amazing and I think we'd at least consider those BUT I want to be in the trenches if I go this route.

 

*** Another ? about studying the Bible with the grammar stage students***

Angelina and Jami,

How do you go about this? What is your plan? I love the looks of Classical Academic Press' Bible. I think my kids would do well with that and in four years they'd study through the whole of Scripture from the perspective we desire. I also think VP's Bible looks very good as a way to teach the Bible from beginning to end. It's not devotional or applicational BUT it is the Bible knowledge foundation. The devotional and applicational (character studies) would be enjoyed in other ways. Thoughts or ideas here? I tend to over focus on history or literature and under focus on what matters most and what we want most ....

 

Oh goodness. This is where I'll have to be embarrassed a bit. :001_unsure:

 

I've been very scattered with direct Bible and devotional teaching. We read the Bible often--sometimes using the lectionary readings, sometimes Proverbs, sometimes Psalms, right now we're reading in Luke focusing on Passion Week. We've used Susan Hunt's devotional books for children. And plan to use Starr Meade's Teaching Hearts, Training Minds to work through the Westmister Shorter Catechism in the near future. We've been blessed with some very good Sunday School curriculum and teachers over the years and they kids have read through various story Bibles several times. We do Advent devotions and readings during that season. Right now we are using CAP's "God's Great Covenant" and I'm back and forth about how much I like it. It's very workbooky and that can make it easy to hand to the kids and just become something they fill out and don't really think and engage with. Just fill in the blanks. KWIM? But there are some good insights and I like the covenantal focus.

 

My poor kids' devotional lives are like their mom's I'm afraid. Lots of starts and stops. Not enough consistency. Always in need of more prayer and time in the word. But somehow God grows us and is faithful, even when we're inconstant and haphazard.

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http://www.wordmp3.com/search.aspx?search=omnibus

 

I searched under Omnibus at WordMp3. Ty Fischer or Bruce Etter would be good to search for also. :)

 

Yes, Bruce Etter has a good talk on using Omnibus in the homeschool, and Ty Fischer is very good at explaining how Omnibus is put together and what their goals are. That's where I found out the questions in Omnibus are based on Norms and Nobility.

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Jamie, I have another question for you. If you only had a 3rd grader would you still use the Grueber books? I'm torn between using Child's Story of America as my 3rd graders spine and using the Grueber book our next time through as his spine. My 10th grader is Notgrass.

 

I have not seen "Child's Story of America", so I can't say if I'd use that in particular. :) I think the Guerber American history books are too much information for my rising 2nd grader. My 8.5 year old (9 in June) is technically a 3rd grader, but working at a 4th grade level. She could have read from Guerber all year (we just started our new VP period) and would have been just fine. So maybe 3rd grade would be a case by case basis? You'll come back around to early American history in 7th grade, correct? Guerber would probably be fine for that age, you would just want more primary sources too. And it could be too easy for some students. I haven't looked at other American history spines for that level of student though. And there doesn't seem to be anything narrative for the modern period (other than SOTW IV, which I've not read but Sonlight uses it for jr. high history).

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I have not seen "Child's Story of America", so I can't say if I'd use that in particular. :) I think the Guerber American history books are too much information for my rising 2nd grader. My 8.5 year old (9 in June) is technically a 3rd grader, but working at a 4th grade level. She could have read from Guerber all year (we just started our new VP period) and would have been just fine. So maybe 3rd grade would be a case by case basis? You'll come back around to early American history in 7th grade, correct? Guerber would probably be fine for that age, you would just want more primary sources too. And it could be too easy for some students. I haven't looked at other American history spines for that level of student though. And there doesn't seem to be anything narrative for the modern period (other than SOTW IV, which I've not read but Sonlight uses it for jr. high history).

 

I have both Guerber and Child's Story. The Child's Story of America would probably be better for the third grader. I think mine were in 5th and 3rd when I did American history,and my older child did well with Geurber but if my oldest had been in third I probably would have gone with Child's Story.

 

Like Jami said, you will come back to it. Guerber would work well in 7th grade.

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I started my dd in VP's sequence when she was in 1st, wanting to have 6th grade for geography before starting Omnibus in 7th. She's on the advanced end of things, craves history, and it fit her. I think it would be just as good to wait till 4th or 5th, combine OTAE and NTGR into a year, and still hit Omnibus. In your case you might find yourself wanting to hit Omnibus with your oldest in such a way that you combine those two oldest.

 

No matter what, you're just going to take snippets and throw at your youngest kids. You'll remember a lot of the great read alouds you did with your olders when they were in 1st and you'll pull them back out to use with your littles. It won't be rocket science. You'll just know in the moment "Hey, she's at an age where she's ready to enjoy CHOW! Let's start reading it!" and you'll just add it into your read-aloud pile. The 2nd time through is a lot easier than the 1st time. You've been there before and know what you're doing. You're going to feel more confident about pulling what fits them. :)

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Ladies,

 

One more question....

 

Do you cycle through history according to VP's timeline and so take 5 years rather than the standard 4? Do you fold your youngers in while they are in 1st grade or....?

 

 

Kind of accidentally we didn't do much history in K and 1st and even 2nd grade with Ancient Egypt was pretty lite and we skipped lots. Just read tales, American and others. Lots of myths and stories. Some biographies and picture books connected with American holidays. That sort of thing.

 

We got more deliberate in 3rd grade and studied Greece and Rome, then this past year MARR, and we're just now starting Explorers to 1815. Since we're not really taking a summer break. So it will end up being 5 years to cycle through.

 

My 1st grader listens in sometimes. I really will probably keep things pretty light for her for history. She'll be reading the D'Aulaire biographies and 50 Famous Stories as part of AO Year 1, so there is some history there already. Then when she's in 3rd grade, the older kids should be back around to the Ancients and I'll start the VP cards with her. Probably condensing Egypt and combining OTAE and NTGR somewhat. We'll see.

 

Then I'll do a 3 year cycle and 4 year cycle or something like that from 6th-12th. I think. :P Ask me next year.

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Jami, am I remembering correctly? Your 1st grader will do AO lit., composer, artist study with AO and then join your older ones for history with VP? Do you older ones do VP lit. complete with the comprehension guides or do they do AO lit. selections as well? Thank you so much for answering these questions!!

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Jami, am I remembering correctly? Your 1st grader will do AO lit., composer, artist study with AO and then join your older ones for history with VP? Do you older ones do VP lit. complete with the comprehension guides or do they do AO lit. selections as well? Thank you so much for answering these questions!!

 

We do not do VP lit with comprehension guides. After a couple of tries (VP and Memoria Press) I'm convinced I just loathe comprehension guides. I make our literature list from the AO year we're on, Year 4 currently, WTM and VP suggestions for the historical period. I don't want all our literature to coincide with our history and VP does a good job of suggesting both. AO does as well.

 

I aim for 6 slower books to read (3 history related, 3 classic children's literature) and a list of 6-10 for them to read through on their own, again about half and half.

 

I don't really do much history with my 1st grader honestly. She hears some of what we do, but we just read stories, fables, tales (some historical) together. I may find some picture books for her to read for our period and we have Eggleston's "History for Little Americans" to read together.

 

But she does listen in and participate with our other AO elements. :)

 

Is that helpful?

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I don't really do much history with my 1st grader honestly. She hears some of what we do, but we just read stories, fables, tales (some historical) together. I may find some picture books for her to read for our period and we have Eggleston's "History for Little Americans" to read together.

 

But she does listen in and participate with our other AO elements. :)

 

Is that helpful?

 

Great. This is exactly what I have planned for first grade next year. George's AMerican history plus Omni III for my older and Eggleston plus AO read-alouds for first grade. Great minds? :)

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You ladies are wonderful....

 

Do you have a narrative spine recommendation for NT/G&R with the oldest being a 3rd grader? He's a history lover with a LOVE for reading and being read to. CHOW may be what we need for that...

 

When you use AO do you choose books for each child based upon their year with AO? I guess I'm thinking a K'er would be read to from AO Year 0, first grader from year 1, etc.

 

Jami, I am assuming that you are reading aloud to your 10 and 8.5 year old together, right? That would be those "6 slower books" and then handing them the lit. at their levels to be read independently. Do you ask your kids to write narrative summaries a la SWB?

Edited by abrightmom
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You ladies are wonderful....

 

Do you have a narrative spine recommendation for NT/G&R with the oldest being a 3rd grader? He's a history lover with a LOVE for reading and being read to. CHOW may be what we need for that...

 

When you use AO do you choose books for each child based upon their year with AO? I guess I'm thinking a K'er would be read to from AO Year 0, first grader from year 1, etc.

 

Jami, I am assuming that you are reading aloud to your 10 and 8.5 year old together, right? That would be those "6 slower books" and then handing them the lit. at their levels to be read independently. Do you ask your kids to write narrative summaries a la SWB?

 

Yes, the slower books are read-alouds. The more challenging books or ones I just want to enjoy with them. Sometimes Dad's bedtime reading choice is one of those books (well, I choose it and hand it to him ;)).

 

Ambleside's literature selections are pretty advanced and I've found Year 1 to be just right for 1st or even 2nd grade.

 

I do have the kids narrate most chapters of their assigned books, but some are also just for free reading--the narrations are both oral and written. Oral narration is a very powerful tool for retaining what they read. Our narrations are a little less summarizing probably than WTM's recommendations. But with literature I think it's harder to find main ideas, we'll do more of that when we outline nonfiction more in 5th grade.

 

CHOW worked very well for us when we studied Greece and Rome. :) I have other books (Usborne, Aliki's Gods of Olympus, D'Aulaires Myths) that filled our our studies. And if you use AO literature selections, they almost always include a book of Greek tales or myths--Tanglewood Tales, The Heroes, 50 Famous Stories has several from Greece and Rome

 

I do keep my two oldest kids together. My son just turned 10 and my daughter is almost 9. They're 14 months apart and she's accelerated naturally. That makes my job a little easier. Fewer "grades" to teach. :)

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Great. This is exactly what I have planned for first grade next year. George's AMerican history plus Omni III for my older and Eggleston plus AO read-alouds for first grade. Great minds? :)

 

Definitely. :D

 

I'm taking notes on your Omnibus plans. One more year or so and I'll start turning my mind toward Omnibus I and see how I want to use it.

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