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Need help with history supplements (6th grade)

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I have decided to try the Well-Trained Mind approach to my son's education after several years of buying packaged curriculum and having my son fly through them in half a year. I love the ideas and plans laid out in the book but am struggling because I don't know which supplements to use for each history topic. I have not had any training in classical education and was not well-educated at all, especially in ancient history. My problem is that although she mentions using "original works" to enhance history study, I don't know when to include the original works. I don't even know which original works to include for that matter. Can anyone help please? My son is VERY advanced in his reading and loves history but the is definitely still in the "Logic" stage as far as evaluation of material. The "Rhetoric" stage material is something he can handle reading but I'm not sure that he can evaluate the meaning behind the reading. Does that make sense????

Thanks in advance,


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Have you looked at Pandia Press' History Odyssey Level 2? This would manage the scheduling of extra materials, including all the supplemental reading, and it will also help get the notebook set up, manage mapwork, assign the writing projects, &c. If the child hasn't written much it is possible you'd want to start with the Ancients even if you didn't plan to start your cycle at the beginning, just to teach the outlining & writing. I believe the readings are rich but you might want to preview them. Although he is reading at a high level, I believe this would be the right level of History Odyssey to train him in analyzing his materials.


Another excellent site that manages assigning the supplements for you is CHOLL. This is a labor of love so not every stage of the history cycles is up yet, but I see she has all of elementary and also logic up to the moderns, so you are okay for a few years yet :) . One major benefit of CHOLL is that the lists are free! and truly excellent. Many feel that combining CHOLL with History Odyssey Level 2 would be overkill, though there was a recent thread on the Logic board with posts from folks planning to do just this.


If you do use History Odyssey, which schedules SOTW (Story of the World, Bauer's history books), I would suggest using it with K12's Human Odyssey book(s) (that links to Amazon; they can also be bought through K12's own bookstore but I found them to be cheaper used). It is to be preferred, I submit, over a history encyclopedia. Here's a link that lists the parts of Human Odyssey that correspond to SOTW2; and here's one for SOTW1. Now, this is just me, I have tried Susan Bauer's encyclopedia-reading approach to supplement history and science in our primary education and it has been a flat-out bust. Maybe it will suit you better; but you may want to post about it. But the Human Odyssey will be, I think, more substantive reading for a bright child.


For the record, all the above has turned up in my logic stage planning but we are still firmly in grammar, albeit with an accelerated child. I'll be using Human Odyssey myself to supplement our Middle Ages (at least that's the plan). But History Odyssey esp. would give you a strong start in WTM history, and CHOLL will keep your supplements up to speed and on topic.


ETA: you may want to cross-post on the Logic board? You'd probably get more responses, most of the folks who follow this board have at least one child in elementary and it is definitely biased toward the younger end of the spectrum. On the chance that you don't know how, just start a thread on Logic and you could simply paste your post onto it. Usually posters mark these as "X-posts" somewhere in the title.

Edited by serendipitous journey
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If you are designing your own curriculum, you might look at the "For Kids" series of books from Chicago Review Press. They are absolutely wonderful. The writing would be about right, and there are also app. 21-25 activities per book that are very creative, unique, and NOT the typical waste time schlock you often find. Here is a list from Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Review-Press-History-Science/lm/R3FTJR9P9VVMZ8

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I would choose books that you think he will enjoy and ones that will stretch his thinking a little. If you think something will be over his head, save it for later. I've taken original works on a time period of history and chosen them based on my son's interest. I also go over the book list with my child before deciding for sure. Another work may be at the same "level" in thinking skills and reading level, but I know he would not enjoy it much now. I'll save those for later. As far as books interpreted on the logic or rhetoric level - I don't focus on that distinction when choosing books. I just try to take where my child is (thinking wise) and stretch it further through discussion.

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Another shameless plug - we have used History Odyssey for several years. DD has very much enjoyed all the reading that goes along with it - she generally ends up reading ALL the books on the list because she starts getting tied up into the history period. Some of the books are a stretch, but definitely good reading. She ended up sitting down and reading all of SOTW 1 after we got about halfway thru the Ancients.


The best part is Pandia Press's "Try Before You Buy" offer. You can download for free the PDF file for the first 10-20 lessons to see if it is going to work for you. The books are mostly available at our library or as ebooks, though I have had to order a few from Amazon to find them.


BTW - DD11 does well, but definitely isn't Rhetoric yet, so History Odyssey Level 2 is just about right for reading material.

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