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Completely overwhelmed planning SOTW2 - Help!


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Our 2nd grade year will be the first year we're really going to dig into history. I want to make it as fun as possible. I have a dd who loves to color, cut and paste and a ds who doesn't really like to do those things, but I'm hoping it will keep him entertained enough where he'll enjoy school a bit more. 

 

I have been gathering resources from all over. I have the books, audiobooks, activity books and tests. I found several lesson plans, lists of books to read, video lists, lapbooks, joined the FB SotW groups, etc.  

 

So how do I put it all together? I've completely overwhelmed myself.  :svengo:

 

I would prefer 4 shorter days of history, but I can do 2 longer. I would like to make a lapbook. I was thinking of using this book for their narrations. Should I use the audiobooks with the books the first day and then listen while they do activities?

 

A generic schedule, links to other threads, lesson plans....I'm open to anything. I haven't gotten past planning Chapter 1 because I keep adding and changing. I'm not sure how far ahead I should plan since we may find we like certain tasks more than others. 

 

 

 

 

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I am not a major history person, so take this for what it's worth, but that all looks like way too much for 2nd grade.  Choose 1-2 activities per week, including lapbooking.  If you're working on a lapbook, then don't do the written narration (I would do oral still).  If you're doing a craft project, skip the lapbook.  

 

I'm coming at this as someone who has brought 3 kids through lower elementary- they forget.  They'll remember bits and pieces, but by and large, they forget history.  I think grammar stage history education is more for the parents than the kids. It's our grammar education.  If you spend hours upon hours planning and executing an in depth history program, you might find that you receive very little long term return on investment.  Instead, I've learned to keep history fun and short.  We only go in depth where there's true interest. Every once in awhile my kids will connect a couple of dots, and that's thrilling.  The biggest return on investment has been MY education.  I have connected many dots, which has made me a more skilled history teacher in the logic stage.  That's when the kids really start retaining information.

 

All that to say, don't kill yourself.  Keep it light.  Cut back at least 50% of what you're planning right now.  You can always add to it later.

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I am not a major history person, so take this for what it's worth, but that all looks like way too much for 2nd grade.  Choose 1-2 activities per week, including lapbooking.  If you're working on a lapbook, then don't do the written narration (I would do oral still).  If you're doing a craft project, skip the lapbook.  

 

I'm coming at this as someone who has brought 3 kids through lower elementary- they forget.  They'll remember bits and pieces, but by and large, they forget history.  I think grammar stage history education is more for the parents than the kids. It's our grammar education.  If you spend hours upon hours planning and executing an in depth history program, you might find that you receive very little long term return on investment.  Instead, I've learned to keep history fun and short.  We only go in depth where there's true interest. Every once in awhile my kids will connect a couple of dots, and that's thrilling.  The biggest return on investment has been MY education.  I have connected many dots, which has made me a more skilled history teacher in the logic stage.  That's when the kids really start retaining information.

 

All that to say, don't kill yourself.  Keep it light.  Cut back at least 50% of what you're planning right now.  You can always add to it later.

 

Thanks! I needed some kind of focus since I was kind of scattered all over the place. 

I don't plan to do all of it. I'm just having trouble figuring out what to cut out. 

 

I agree, I can cut out the narration and go oral. Ds would like that. I can cut the map page and save those for the next round. I think the Middle Ages, at least parts of it, ds will really get into. He has the Schleich castle and knights in his room. So I have a feeling we'll be spending a lot of time on castles and knights. Maybe we'll save the lapbook for that section? I'll print out the first few coloring pages for ds and see how he does. I have a feeling it will be only dd using those. 

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Well, I just finished SOTW 2 for the second time, and it has always gone pretty well.

 

I added up the number of sections in the book (each sub-chapter) and then divided it up over the number of weeks I planned for school. That way I was sure to get through the entire book in the school years. There are something like 42 chapters in the book and we do school for 30 some weeks. Plus, there are some chapters that have one section and the occasional chapter with three or even four sections. So figuring out a consistent distribution was half the battle. 

 

Then I picked out the occasional activity. I only do maybe two per month. I mean, I always intend to so something every single week, but I have learned to be more reasonable in what I will actually accomplish. We always do the cooking ones for sure! One history day per week  he does the map work after the SOTW narration and on another day he does the colouring page while I read the section. We always do the questions and the narration. That is a deal breaker. I only read extra books if it is something I know he will like and I could get to the library.

 

I don't do lapbooks because I've never understood the point of them, but I know they make others very happy, so I can't speak to that. They look like a whole lot of work to me and I can't imagine doing anything else if I were doing that.

 

It is grammar stage history, it is supposed to be FUN and engaging, not make you lose sleep. They aren't going to remember lots of it, and they aren't supposed to. It is supposed to give them an idea of the sweep of history and give them some names and general facts to remember. Then when they are in middle school they will light up a bit at the mention of a particular person because they have heard it before, and maybe they will pay a bit more attention.

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I agree with Sassenach. Go easy. Read, narrate OR lapbook and if they like, maybe a coloring page, map {mine love maps}, an extra book/project on a topic that sparks an interest. That is it. It is about exposure this time round, and giving small pegs to hang later information on. Keep it simple.

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I think most of my trouble lies in the fact that ds and dd are soooo completely different. I'm sure dd would love to do everything. She loves reading, writing, coloring, and arts and crafts while ds is so resistant to any kind of work it's like pulling teeth every day. I usually school them separately because of this (and because she is passing him in just about everything but math), but I am hoping that history will be something they can do together. 

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I wouldn't give the tests (as is) to a 2nd grader. The questions in the AG are enough, IMO!!

 

You can "find" the area you are reading about on a big wall map instead of the maps from the AG, if you like.

 

If your ds doesn't like the coloring page, you can give him a blank page to draw on during the read alouds or audio. Sometimes, boys would rather draw their own thing. (Or, just let him play quietly with Legos?)

 

If you do the oral narration, you can occasionally write it & have them copy it onto their coloring page (or whatever he drew on his own) a la WWE.

 

I agree with all the previous posters .... go easy. Throw in a library book once per week, an activity and a video link every once and awhile, and you'll have a great year.

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I read while they color. If there's a page in the guide, they color that. Then they answer questions and narrate back to me. I write narration a on index cards and then glue them on their coloring page. At the end of the chapter, we do the map and they love that. I grab books from the library and we may or may not look at them. If we have time, expenses, and interests, we do a project. Otherwise, that's it. :)

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I wouldn't give the tests (as is) to a 2nd grader. The questions in the AG are enough, IMO!!

 

You can "find" the area you are reading about on a big wall map instead of the maps from the AG, if you like.

 

If your ds doesn't like the coloring page, you can give him a blank page to draw on during the read alouds or audio. Sometimes, boys would rather draw their own thing. (Or, just let him play quietly with Legos?)

 

If you do the oral narration, you can occasionally write it & have them copy it onto their coloring page (or whatever he drew on his own) a la WWE.

 

I agree with all the previous posters .... go easy. Throw in a library book once per week, an activity and a video link every once and awhile, and you'll have a great year.

 

I think the lesson plans I've downloaded must be for older kids the second time around??

I can have them read or listen to the audiobook while they color or play.

If I don't plan out the activities, I will not get them done. 

Ds might like the map pages, so I'll give those a try. 

I know I'll have better luck with ds by doing content work. He loves to talk about science and he read and wrote a lot doing his animal reports. 

 

Has anyone used the questions, narration and made their own copywork to replace WWE? It seems kind of redundant to me. 

 

I'm sure I'm doing it all wrong.  :001_rolleyes:

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This is my & dd#2's 2nd time around for SOTW2, but I still won't inflict the official tests on her. I did that with dd#1 and regret it. The questions were very picky and it didn't help with retention at all. (I have heard of handing out the test before reading the chapter so older students could listen to the chapter more closely.) Since dd#3 is older, she also does the mapwork, but ds#1 won't. The mapwork didn't mean anything to dd#2 the first time around.

 

I understand having to plan out the activities to get them done. I plan out one per week, but I don't get them all done. (There was that shield cheesecake from SOTW1 that never happened, but which the kids are still asking about ....) 

 

Has anyone used the questions, narration and made their own copywork to replace WWE? It seems kind of redundant to me. 

 

 

Yes! SWB recommends doing this ("writing across the curriculum") - but made WWE workbooks for those who need open & go. Most years, we do our narration, copywork, & dictation straight from science & history. It cuts down on # of separate subjects I have to juggle. (And, honestly, that's what some people use notebook pages & lapbooks as 'fun' vehicles to get done -- narration & copywork!)

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I think most of my trouble lies in the fact that ds and dd are soooo completely different. I'm sure dd would love to do everything. She loves reading, writing, coloring, and arts and crafts while ds is so resistant to any kind of work it's like pulling teeth every day. I usually school them separately because of this (and because she is passing him in just about everything but math), but I am hoping that history will be something they can do together. 

Think in terms of input and output.

 

For history, I do 1 input and ask for 1 output per child.  They don't have to do the same output.  Input comes in the form of the SOTW audiobook, me reading something else aloud, them reading something to themselves, documentary/video on the subject, ect.  Output includes drawing, writing, oral narration, orally answering questions, answering questions on paper, mapwork, coloring, building, cooking, timeline, ect.

 

Generally, they will receive 1 input, but sometimes it's a combo of 2.  Ditto for output.  So that might look like: I read a chapter of SOTW, dd narrates, ds does mapwork.  Day 2, next chapter on audiobook, but this time I pull out a secondary book that relates (maybe has some visuals), both kids do a notebook page, but dd draws on hers while ds doesn't add anything.  Day 3, I throw down a pile of related library books and give the kids the task of finding something they didn't already know and reading it aloud.  Day 4, I read a chapter, Ds narrates, dd does more drawing.

 

Does that make sense?

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Yes! SWB recommends doing this ("writing across the curriculum") - but made WWE workbooks for those who need open & go. Most years, we do our narration, copywork, & dictation straight from science & history. It cuts down on # of separate subjects I have to juggle. (And, honestly, that's what some people use notebook pages & lapbooks as 'fun' vehicles to get done -- narration & copywork!)

 

After asking that, I found my SWB Writing With Ease Elementary lecture on my iPod to listen to again. I heard that phrase and smacked my forehead because yes, I have the Instructor Text. :D  I really need to go through that. I think that will be the way to go! Sigh, maybe I'll hold onto WWE2 that I already bought, just in case. 

 

I had so much I wanted to do this year, I'd feel better streamlining it a bit so we can focus on more of the fun stuff. I might still end up using one of the WWE books because dd actually ASKS for it. She loves the little passages and copywork. She still struggles with the questions and narration, but she's almost 6, so I go easy on her with those.  

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Think in terms of input and output.

 

For history, I do 1 input and ask for 1 output per child.  They don't have to do the same output.  Input comes in the form of the SOTW audiobook, me reading something else aloud, them reading something to themselves, documentary/video on the subject, ect.  Output includes drawing, writing, oral narration, orally answering questions, answering questions on paper, mapwork, coloring, building, cooking, timeline, ect.

 

Generally, they will receive 1 input, but sometimes it's a combo of 2.  Ditto for output.  So that might look like: I read a chapter of SOTW, dd narrates, ds does mapwork.  Day 2, next chapter on audiobook, but this time I pull out a secondary book that relates (maybe has some visuals), both kids do a notebook page, but dd draws on hers while ds doesn't add anything.  Day 3, I throw down a pile of related library books and give the kids the task of finding something they didn't already know and reading it aloud.  Day 4, I read a chapter, Ds narrates, dd does more drawing.

 

Does that make sense?

 

Makes sense to me. :) That's a good way to look at it. It definitely clarifies some things for me. 

 

For dd, coloring pages, drawing her narration, and copywork/writing would be her preferred output.

For ds, oral narration, orally answering questions, some dictation, mapwork would be his preferred output.

 

Perhaps one day a week I could switch their outputs to try to stretch them? Ds really needs to work on his writing, he has no trouble narrating, answering questions and such. Unlike dd who can write very neatly, but has trouble answering questions and narrating. As I said in the pp, she'll be 6 next month, so I've been very gentle with her regarding narrations.

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Makes sense to me. :) That's a good way to look at it. It definitely clarifies some things for me. 

 

For dd, coloring pages, drawing her narration, and copywork/writing would be her preferred output.

For ds, oral narration, orally answering questions, some dictation, mapwork would be his preferred output.

 

Perhaps one day a week I could switch their outputs to try to stretch them? Ds really needs to work on his writing, he has no trouble narrating, answering questions and such. Unlike dd who can write very neatly, but has trouble answering questions and narrating. As I said in the pp, she'll be 6 next month, so I've been very gentle with her regarding narrations.

For sure.  I MADE ds orally narrate every week, and it made a huge difference in his abilities.  Their output is a combo of what they choose and what I tell them to do ;-)

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Perhaps one day a week I could switch their outputs to try to stretch them? Ds really needs to work on his writing, he has no trouble narrating, answering questions and such. Unlike dd who can write very neatly, but has trouble answering questions and narrating. As I said in the pp, she'll be 6 next month, so I've been very gentle with her regarding narrations.

 

Don't forget you can ask questions of anything you are reading (extra library book for history or science, fun read aloud) & come up with a short copywork for dd from that. (I also planned a craft once or twice a week for my dd#3 when she was that young to go with WWE or WWE-style work.) 

 

To take ds to the next level, you can scribe a couple sentences of his own narration & then give it back to him as a dictation passage for him to write. Eventually, instead of dictating the sentence back to him, ask him to write it himself from memory. So, he would give you a one sentence narration, then you ask him to write it down. (I can't ask them to write it before they narrate to me because then they make it the shortest/easiest sentence ever.) I usually have to write it myself while they say it or I won't remember enough to help them when they are trying to remember. Build up to it.

 

I think you have the right idea. :-) Just don't overplan or overstress!

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I love the layout of the page. Is that a ms template?

 

Mine are doing cycle 2 and I'm excited about passport to the Middle Ages but my kids are older and the target age. Did you take a look at it?

 

It's OneNote

I did look at it and seriously considered it, but I think that we'll just stick with the Activity book this year and save that for cycle 2.

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Your OneNote page is gorgeous, but totally overkill. :grouphug:

 

I planned out SOTW 1 for my K & 6th graders. I am using the literature plan from "Classical House of Learning." Laura (Veritaserum) here on WTM put it together. I used it to divide the chapters into weeks. I then created a spreadsheet with the weeks in the first column (every other line) and then the chapters that correspond with each week in the next column. The CHOLL readings in the 3rd column, 6th grader's reading in the 4th column.

 

From there I made a Sonlight-type weekly grid schedule. I divided each chapter into its sections, assigning one section per day, trying to keep to a M, W, F schedule. This meant occasionally bumping the last section a section of a chapter into the next week. The first week has 4 readings, and a few weeks have only 1 or 2 readings because I didn't get ahead of the CHOLL schedule. I typed in the encyclopedia pages that are listed in the SOTW Activity Guide and the daily readings from CHOLL. I put a section for "enrichment" like readers, history pockets, websites, videos, etc. My 6th grader has other textbook resources that correlate to each week's SOTW topics.

 

The point of my plan is to have the basics - the SOTW and essential literature - scheduled firmly. The enrichment activities are there as a reminder of how we can go deeper - but if we stick to the basics we will still be covering everything we need.

 

I printed out the SOTW AG on white paper and then printed the CHOLL TM on colored paper, and bound each 9-week quarter together for my own use. Each of the kids has their own bound book - the K'er has notebooking pages for narration & copywork, and the 6th grader has notebooking pages for summaries, maps, and tests.

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We do lapbooks of our activities and craft project that go along with our History studies.  They're like portfolios.  Each week do the narrations after each reading.  We do a few library books as read aloud.  We have a related literature read aloud going.  We do a craft or activity once or occasionally twice a week from the Activity Guide.  Anything that won't fit into a lapbook we photograph and print out.  At the end of a unit (I tend to group by region rather than strict chronology, but you can do the still group yours by strict chronology) we take our pile of narrations, activities (coloring pages which I print out out on a smaller scale to fit more easily into a lapbook) photos of activities and crafts, charts, maps,a list of every read aloud we did etc. related to SOTW 2 and we spend an afternoon assembling them into the lapbook. I don't usually do complicated cuts and assembly options for lapbooks unless she really wants to.  I try to keep it as simple as possible because she's just about to turn 8.

 

I have things planned out in detail, but I also have them listed by priority.  I fully expect to not do everything on my list because I know life will happen.  The narrations, one activity per week in the AG, map and literature are at the top.  Extra library books and extra activities are lower on the list.  If they don't get done, we're not behind-they are optional.

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I am getting ready to start SOTW2 with my DD who will be entering first grade. We did Ancients (SOTW1) this year and it went fine - like your son she does not like colouring and we didn't do proper narration - I just asked her what she remembered after I read it to her. I did try to get her to do some hands on activities maybe once a week or once a fortnight and we would do a colouring page usually with cut and paste added (as that is what she enjoyed). We also took out other books from the library but I never scheduled them in as firstly I didn't know what would be available and secondly some of what was available really appealed to her and other things did not so we read what she liked and looked at pictures in other books as long as she was fascinated.

 

As I move into 1st grade with DD, I will expect more narration and will ask actual questions and I will also expect some written work (copywork from what she says) initially (working towards her writing her own sentence later in the year or drawing a narration. We will continue the hands on activities as this is what makes her enjoy and remember the history.

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We are preparing for SOTW2 as well.  I made a spreadsheet with the chapters listed down the page, then I lined up additional reading books for each chapter, then left a column open labelled "projects".  Each to-do item has a check box next to it.  Also, we have the SOTW audiobook to make my life easier.  :-P

 

We'll probably do the following, which is how we did SOTW1:

 

Day 1

- Listen to chapter while doing AG coloring page. 

- Oral narration (only use AG questions to prompt if necessary)

- Write out DS's narration from time to time and have him copy a sentence or two in lieu of other copywork.  (We use SWB's The Complete Writer, but not the workbook WWE) 

 

Day 2

- Listen to chapter again and do map work

 

Bed time, all week (if necessary according to length)

- read from additional book

 

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When I did SOTW1 and 2 in 1st and 2nd grade, I just did one section per day, 3 days per week. Doing that gets you through the book in a single year very easily (some chapters have only 1 or 2 sections in them). We always did map work (my son LOVED the maps, plus they are done in a "boy-friendly" way, not really requiring writing, but just drawing an arrow or circling something, etc.). I didn't use the coloring pages, as my son wasn't interested in coloring. We started out doing one project per week, but after the chicken mummy (still sitting on my fridge 3 years later), I mostly dropped those. My oldest learns more from reading than from projects, though he LIKES projects. He still loves history just reading. I'll probably do more projects next time around, since middle son will likely learn from them, and DS1 will be old enough to lead the projects instead of ME doing them. I didn't do lapbooks because my son didn't have the writing stamina for that yet at that age. He could do one now (I actually have one I plan to use for science this year). He likes lapbooks a lot, and he'll sit there and read through them over and over again, so I think they are certainly useful for some kids, but I also think they're most useful for kids who can do the lapbooks themselves. If YOU are the one doing all the cutting and writing, they're not learning as much, kwim? Your son may be able to do it on his own. Mine couldn't.

 

I always, always, always did the oral narration for each section. That ended up being 3 per week (you could just alternate between the kids). We also narrated other subjects each day, and my son had excellent narration skills. I dropped the ball on narration last year in 3rd grade, and now I'm having to ramp back up again. We did use WWE in combination with SOTW, and we did oral narrations in both. We often had 2-3 narrations (oral!) per day all week long. My son loves WWE though. If your son doesn't like it, just use the technique across the curriculum.

 

Oh, and I went through my library's catalog and found usually 2-3 books per chapter to go along with SOTW. I stuck these in a book basket for my son to read at his leisure. Next year when I use SOTW1 with a 2nd grader, I may need to read them to him. We'll see what his reading level is like then. At any rate, I usually picked the "fun" books - picture books and the like - not the long novels.

 

I spent very little time "planning" SOTW. The only planning part was looking at which books my library had, and also picking out a project I might be willing to do. :tongue_smilie: The rest, we just followed the same routine. Easy peasy. Now even better would have been if I'd realized that my library's software has LISTS, where I could have looked up the books in the summer and saved them to a list, then go to my list each week and put on hold the books I had chosen. I'm pretty sure the lists were available back then. I just didn't notice them. I noticed them this spring. I'm making good use of them now. :D

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Me? Overplan? :D

 

I think all of the options that are out there was getting to me. I'm sure once we get a few weeks under our belt, I'll have a better idea of what to do. Last year, my goal was to just do the next thing. I didn't think I would be able to do that with SOTW, but it sounds like once I get a book list together and a rough schedule so I finish on time, I should be fine. 

 

 

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