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I think I need a grammar history reboot? Maybe?


redsquirrel
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First, thanks for reading.

My boys are 5 years apart. One is 12 and about to start 7th grade, the other is 7 and about to start second. They are very close and enjoy each other very much. Also, the younger is 'old' for his 'grade' going by where the ps here would place him. His birthday is in January. So if he were in ps he would be starting second grade in September, only to turn 8 right after Christmas. Many people, even his mother :blushing: , forget he is only 7. Honestly, most of the time he seems older. If I push him too far he will remind me. ;)

 

I have always followed TWTM fairly closely as far as method. My kids thrive with it and we falter if I stray to far.

 

I started my younger son in SOTW in what would actually be a 'kindergarten' year. I was restarting the history cycle with my then 5th grader and I had been told it is important for my sanity to keep them together. They love to do things together so it wasn't a big deal. I figured that the younger would be a year 'off' and why is that anything to worry about. I am going to have all of high school with the younger one home alone and we will just figure something out then.

 

Well... I am starting to get a little worried about that. I am not thrilled with the idea of starting SOTW 4 with a third year. Even this year, SOTW 3, seems a tad heavy on the slavery and genocide for a second year. He's not a particularly sensitive child, but I am feeling a niggling unease. Will it cause undue trauma? No. Will he maybe not get as much from it as he could due to immaturity? Maybe.

 

So, would I go nuts if I kept him back in year 2 for a second year? I don't think he would mind too much. I could go for more of a literature focus for this year... I don't know how at this moment, but I am sure I could figure something out :lol: (winging it here! Suggest anything!)

 

And what about science? Again, I am sort of stuck with an 'extra' year. I guess I could just call it 'general science" and we finish up all the RSO earth and space we didn't finish last year as well as whatever catches our fancy.... (again, winging it!)

 

As the older boy gets, well, older he does more and more of his school work on his own. It has less and less effect on what my younger son does. His supplemental reading isn't read out loud anymore. I doubt my younger son would notice they weren't both doing the same thing any more.

 

Will I lose my mind if I have them in separate years? Is it that bad? Even if they are in very different stages? We aren't talking about two grammar or logic stage kids. It is only two kids and they have a pretty big age gap.

 

I have always kept things very well defined. I have all my materials packed away by age etc. Man, this could REALLY mess with my system. :lol: That alone is giving my pause. :001_huh:

 

Thank you for your time. Any insight (or telling me to stop over-thinking things already) or previous experience are welcome.

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Well....

 

You could use an overview world history book (such as CHOW) and stretch this out over two years. This would have him ready to start the cycle over in 5th...you could add a lot of supplemental reading such as Landmark books, biographies, literature, etc.

 

 

or, you could spend some time in American History

 

or, you could spend some time in world geography

 

 

Just some ideas...:001_smile:

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Why mess with a good thing? Especially one that's clearly working well. I vote for modifying year 4 to fit the little one better.

 

I've ran little ones through year 4 to keep the family cycle going. The truly horrible parts were glossed over, and I beefed up the American specific history to fill up that year. If they noticed a hole or a reference I'd downplay it with a simple answer, "This guy ruled that country. He was a horrible ruler, that's why they did that." Logic stage is a much better time for PG13 history.

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My vote is to repeat year two, enjoy the knights, focus on the lit, and let the little one explore the world with science. Getting off the "cycle" won't ruin him, and you can always combine 3&4 with him next year as an overview to get him back on track.

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Ah, I had not considered CHOW. I also have "A little History"... Hmm..

 

We LOVE "A Little History." Number one son adored SOTW, and loves cycling back to it, but number two is not pro-history (he would rather do math and grammar all day). But both of them love Gombrich. It is a great reset button for us before we start studying any new era in depth.

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I'm feeling the same anxiety about year 4, so I'm glad to hear that the really sad stuff can be glossed over. I guess I'll need to be careful with the audio, which is their favorite. My kids are determined to forge ahead, at least for the Civil War, and SOTW is working, so I don't want to mess with that.

 

I think I'm going to try to incorporate more fine arts (Harmony) and literature (Classical House of Learning), to emphasize that although there were terrible wars, there were also beautiful things being created.

Has anyone been able to shift the emphasis this way?

Has anyone used the Classical House of Learning list? The read times would be ambitious for us. We read Heidi last summer and it definitely took us longer than a week :lol:

Any other suggestions for doing SOTW4 with younger kids?

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Why mess with a good thing? Especially one that's clearly working well. I vote for modifying year 4 to fit the little one better.

 

I've ran little ones through year 4 to keep the family cycle going. The truly horrible parts were glossed over, and I beefed up the American specific history to fill up that year. If they noticed a hole or a reference I'd downplay it with a simple answer, "This guy ruled that country. He was a horrible ruler, that's why they did that." Logic stage is a much better time for PG13 history.

 

:iagree:

I just filled their reading baskets with cool books that were anything but heavy. Plan to do it again this year....

 

My boys are not sensitive, but I don't think they need an earfull of genocide, murder and other atrocities. I would rather focus on inventions, technology, really great musicians and art. Biographies of great men and women flesh it all out.....

 

Hth,

Faithe

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Maybe it's just that we are a military family, and we are surrounded by military kids, but I am always amazed at their ability to handle the truth of war. It's still such a reality for so many kids, and we've had lots of conversations that show them able to understand the "bad things happen, and bad people exist".... I don't think they are ruined for life yet. Maybe your kids will surprise you?

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My son loved SOTW3 and 4 when he read them on his own in 2nd grade, so part of me says go ahead and keep it if that will make things easier for you, BUT... I also have two kids in very different stages (only 2.5 years apart, but in reading and comprehension, they're miles apart). I do not combine them in history at all. My 8 year old needs a lot more meat than my 5 year old is ready for. My 5 year old really is not ready for SOTW1 or anything like it. It'd be over his head. I don't know that he would even be ready for it in 1st grade next year (and he's on the older side for his grade - he'll be 6 in November this year).

 

At any rate, I ditched the 4-year cycle recently. Since DS1 had read through all the SOTW volumes multiple times, I decided to take a side trip into American history for a couple years. There are tons of resources for that. My original intention was to jump back into Ancients in 5th grade, but now I'm not so sure I'll do a 4-year cycle at all. I'll make that decision closer to 5th grade. ;) Really though, what we do in elementary doesn't matter THAT much. The important thing is to develop a love of history and give them some pegs of understanding. That can be done in so many different ways. It does NOT have to be a 4-year cycle. It could be done randomly, all tied together with a timeline, for example.

 

I'm not sure why you would need to change your science at this point. You do realize that the science and history cycles aren't married, right? You can do the science whenever you want. If your child is ready for whatever you had planned for this year, stick with it! Science was the first thing I abandoned the 4-year cycle on. :lol: We're doing library book science now... We just get books on whatever topic strikes our fancy (or topics I think he hasn't had yet), and if there are experiments he wants to do in those and we have the supplies, he can do them. Otherwise, he's mostly reading for science, which works very well for him. But it's also perfectly ok to continue with your 4-year cycle of science while briefly abandoning the history cycle. They don't have to be done together. There is nothing tying them together even when you do them at the times recommended in WTM. If you want to do biology with SOTW3, for example, that's not a problem! I wouldn't worry about 8th grade science while you're doing 2nd grade either. Cross that bridge when you come to it. Perhaps by then, your son would have a special scientific interest to pursue that year. Who knows? I just wouldn't worry about it now. Focus on what you're going to do this year. You can really do anything this year and it won't affect the high school science sequence.

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Maybe it's just that we are a military family, and we are surrounded by military kids, but I am always amazed at their ability to handle the truth of war. It's still such a reality for so many kids, and we've had lots of conversations that show them able to understand the "bad things happen, and bad people exist".... I don't think they are ruined for life yet. Maybe your kids will surprise you?

 

I think you're assuming we're cutting much more out of history for little ones than we really are. We've been reading about wars since the ancients. Our family read aloud right now is about the Revolutionary War; hard war conditions and death are involved. My rising second grader does fine with this. For that matter, some of the fairy tales I read to her have some gruesome parts. However, I see no reason for her to have images of Holocaust and sheer terror in her mind.

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I think you're assuming we're cutting much more out of history for little ones than we really are. We've been reading about wars since the ancients. Our family read aloud right now is about the Revolutionary War; hard war conditions and death are involved. My rising second grader does fine with this. For that matter, some of the fairy tales I read to her have some gruesome parts. However, I see no reason for her to have images of Holocaust and sheer terror in her mind.

 

I wasn't assuming anything- I was just making an observation about my own kids and the kids in my community. :001_smile: They handle more than I often think they can, and I was wondering if maybe the OP would be surprised at her own children. It was just an observation :001_smile: (that I probably could have phrased more eloquently)

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My aversion to using SOTW 4 with my 6 yr old is simply that its not geared toward that age at all, and that he tends to get really angry about things that have happened in history. I think that a couple years will give him some perspective and the ability to separate himself from what he's learning about. We've always done SOTW together, with him participating as much as he'd like to. This year I may try to do it more separately.

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Any other suggestions for doing SOTW4 with younger kids?

Assuming you're in America, an American history narrative story is a good substitute for weeks SOTW isn't going to work. I have A Child's Story of America ready for my little one this year.

 

Your idea of going wide on this year of history, instead of just working down the timeline, is a great way to do it. Inventions, artists, authors, poets, the presidents, states, and such.

 

Sister Wendy has a nice collection of art to get you started: American Masterpieces. It wasn't written for children, so may want to pre-read for mature themes. (Don't confuse it with her book titled American Collection, which wouldn't be terribly helpful with little ones.)

 

A really nice collection of American folklore, songs, poetry and legends is From Sea to Shining Sea by Amy L. Cohn. It's in chronological order even. :001_smile:

 

Veritas Press has a year 4 early reader collection for younger kids.

 

Also, if you upload the SOTW audio into your computer, you can make a playlist that doesn't include the chapters you're intentionally avoiding, and burn it to it's own disk. Copying it for your own purposes doesn't break copyright.

 

I wasn't assuming anything- I was just making an observation about my own kids and the kids in my community. :001_smile: They handle more than I often think they can, and I was wondering if maybe the OP would be surprised at her own children. It was just an observation :001_smile: (that I probably could have phrased more eloquently)

 

My apologies if I sounded snippy earlier this morning. I was trying to explain the other viewpoint before the coffee had taken effect. :tongue_smilie:

 

A kid who's used SOTW up through 3 has been exposed to many wars already. The history in 1850 to present day in particular just has some truly horrifying stories in it. There are parts I can't get through without tears, and I'm not a softie. :001_smile: Those stories are recent enough that we have so many details, survivor accounts, actual photographs, and more. They're more powerful than a similar story from medieval or ancient times possibly could be.

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Thank you so much to everyone who replied. I am reading everything you wrote and taking it to heart.

 

I am not worried he will be traumatized by years 3 or 4. I am concerned he is too young to really begin to sort through the history. With my elder son, year 4 was the year he started to make connections between what he had read in the earlier years with what we read that year. We had some very interesting discussions that I don't think would have happened if he were a year younger. SOTW gets challenging, not just in subject matter, but in level of complexity. There are some guided narrations etc because things get complicated. I feel like it really helped get DS1 ready for logic stage work in 5th grade.

 

I have never combined their actual history lessons. I just kept them in the same cycle. When elder was in 5th grade and younger was in K they would reenact the Odyssey etc. Now that elder is going into 7th grade, I don't see them reenacting the French Revolution... I think.....

 

Anyway, it is feeling less imperative to keep them on the same cycle.

 

But dh is telling me I am nuts. He thinks I will go insane having two separate sets of resources out and being used. The history cycle has a big influence on our household. There is a large amount of material that gets put away and others that get brought out etc. It's the same with science. I have posters and games, recreational reading for both subjects etc. It's a big switchover every August.

 

You have all given me so much to think about. I am still considering taking a redo with SOTW 2 but using CHOLL and focusing in on the lit. Being only 7 he might really enjoy that.

 

Or, maybe I am doing all of this so I don't have to think too hard about what the heck I am going to do in history with my 7th grader. :lol: Grammar stage is so much easier....

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