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History and Science K-6!! (LONG)


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This summer we did not do history as planned :-( Or our Bible curriculum (although we did do our family devotions and Bible reading). We moved from VA to NC and that took about two months to pack and unpack, etc. Anyway, last year was our first full year of CC and I realized part way through that although I LOVE CC, it doesn't leave much room in our schedule for extra science and history study. That was ok with me b/c I saw how much science and history they were learning on their own sparked by what we were memorizing and I was reading historical fiction to them at night as well. But I still wanted to cover Apologia, SOTW and VP in the summer.


Anyway, this summer we are finishing our Apologia Anatomy book which we had started last year. We have gone from Lesson 4 to Lesson 9 so far and although I do feel like we are learning a lot, I often feel it is above their heads. My oldest is 10 but is a struggling learner and really is academically like a child who just finished 2nd grade instead of 4th. My second child turns 8 tomorrow. My daughter (the elder of the two) really needs to slow down and write down the words, etc. or else she looks at me with a blank stare when I ask her questions and her brother doesn't want to sit and wait for that. So I did an experiment with them yesterday by having them read a section on their own (up to the blue words where it tells you to narrate) and then come tell me about it. My son, who is a great reader usually, had to go back a few times before being able to tell me about it and this produced a few melt downs! My daughter also took a few times, but some things she did get much better. The active, rather than passive learning was better for her. My son is an auditory learner and said he learned it better when I explained it to him, but I'm not sure if he was being lazy as he usually prefers non-fiction and has strong reading comprehension most of the time. It was late afternoon and not his best learning time.


Another day this week I pulled out an Acts and Facts Science card for each and had them read it to themselves and make me a notebook page on it with an illustration. I guided them a little on how I wanted it set up and then they did it. They really enjoyed it. Now, the information on the back of the cards is kind of complicated on some of them and so I wondered if they would be able to really do it. They enjoyed it even though I could tell they didn't full understand what they were reading. My daughter did the one about good science and it had the word accurate as part of the definition. Two days later it occurred to me that I should ask them if they knew what that meant. Neither of them did. So she did a whole notebook page on something she didn't fully understand without telling me that or realizing she should stop and figure that out.


So with all of this I'm trying to figure out what is appropriate for a lower grammar student to do in terms of history and science content. I am fully on board with the CC memorization and have found it very, very useful, so I'm not changing that. The Foundations guide from last year said for K-3 don't ask them to write reports, but in 4-6 its a good idea. But SWB says they should be able to narrate or write a few sentences on what they read (or what I read to them). For example, in 1st grade they could narrate to me and I write it and then they read it back to me. In 2nd they could narrate to me and watch me write it and then copy it. In 3rd I could watch them write it and help as needed. And in 4th and up I should just be able to check it. My thought is that with CC Acts and Facts cards (timeline and science) and History Highlights they should be able to do the same thing. Maybe I'll just have to go over the cards of the day for them, though to help them understand. It is ok if they don't get it all b/c they will cycle back through it. Does this sound good? Then they can report it to me and their daddy at night and that will help them see where they didn't understand something very well such as vocabulary words. Part of me wonders if I should make a weekly vocabulary list from their cards and history sentence for them to look up in the dictionary.......


Another thought I had was that maybe the reason Anatomy is so hard for them is that that book isn't really appropriate for them and would be better studied when they are older. It would mean trying to fit in more books in a shorter amount of time when they are older. I'd like to fit in at least 6 books. I'd be ok if they did Zoo 1 and Zoo 2 in Challenge A (or in summer) since it goes well with what they're doing that year. Maybe they would do the Apologia books in 4th-6th during the summer (April-August when CC isn't in session and the 3R's are "done" for the year).


Cycle 1: Botany and Geo/Earth Science (I think 2014 release)

Cycle 2: Zoo 3 and Astronomy

Cycle 3: Anatomy and Physics/Chemistry (being written now)


I'm thinking maybe in K-3rd they could do Christian Liberty Press' Science books just to get a taste of science without being too hard but I'm not sure about that yet. Maybe Jonathan Park and some Usborne books would be better.


This increase in difficulty is also evident in VP and SOTW's activity guides. Since the kids will sing the timeline song every year and write short reports on them during the year and we will listen to SOTW on cd in the car through the year I think it doesn't matter if their summer history guide work doesn't line up with what they studied in CC that year. So now I'm thinking history would look like this (and it means the spring and summer after the grade I list).


1st: SOTW 1

2nd: OT/AE

3rd: NT/G&R

4th: MARR and SOTW 2

5th: Ex-1815 and SOTW 3

6th: 1815-Present and SOTW 4


During the year they can also do Self-paced b/c that is something I know they'd do in their free time. Does anyone know if those increase in difficulty or stay the same? Should I have them do those chronologically or tie those with what we learn in CC?


How does this sound? Up until now these have all been hypothetical but after having done several lessons and a few card reports with rising 3rd graders I am thinking that they would be more successful with a plan like this instead of trying to keep the family together when the books aren't developmentally appropriate for the younger ones.


Thanks for your input!

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