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How do you use SOTW


Taryn Schnugh
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Hello,

 

So, we are about to finish off with SOTW 1. My kids tolerate it, they love mapwork and colouring, but narration, not so much... We are going to use SOTW 2 (I plan on using SOTW till level 4 then move to TOG).

 

So... here's the question. When you sit down and teach SOTW to your kids, how do you do it, exactly?

 

One chapter per week?

 

One section per day? (when I say section, I mean some chapters have 3 - 4 stories in them, so each story is a section)

 

Do you require a narration on each section or the chapter as a whole? 

 

Do you cover every chapter and every section? (I tend to be a list freak, I need to tick things off, so it would be nice to know if you skipped some chapters)

 

Do you do a craft every week? (my kids love crafts, they learn and retain more when we do a craft)

 

How do you review previous lessons? I didn't review SOTW 1 AT ALL!!!!

 

What about memorisation? What memory work do you require? Where do you find the memory work?

 

What if your oldest is in a higher grade and the younger in a lower grade, how do you teach them both from the same SOTW volume? (without dumbing it down for the older kid or making it too difficult for the little one)

 

My eldest is in gr2, nearly 8 and a strong reader. The next one is 17 months younger, gr1, 6.5 years and a strong reader. Should they each read independently from SOTW and we use the additional history and literature books as read alouds together, or visa versa?

 

My apologies for all the questions, but I feel like the way I'm doing it isn't working. My kids just don't seem to enjoy it. They fiddle and fidget and have a hard time answering the questions and completing a narration.

 

How am I doing it now? Read 1 section a day (no matter how many sections in a chapter), to ensure we get through an entire chapter in 1 week. Then a narration on EACH section, colouring page, mapwork and if I have energy, a craft (which doesn't happen often).

 

P.S. my son read "You wouldn't want to be an Aztec sacrifice", on his own and remembered more about the Aztecs from that book than any other ancient american people from SOTW, which I had read to him. Maybe the colourful pictures helped to grab his attention?!?!?!

 

Please help, I am feeling sooooo discouraged. 

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SWB says to go ahead and do the narrations every section, but you don't have to write each down. You can use the questions in the AG instead. You can ask for just one thing they remember from the section. You can also scribe for them. 

I would read it to them, not have them read it. 

 

I did one narration per chapter. We did the map pages, and skipped most of the coloring pages (did more in 2 than 1, because dd grew to like art and coloring more when she was closer to 8). We did a lot of the cooking and some activites--I'd say do this instead of a written narration if you want.

 

We read a lot of books to supplement--SOTW is just a spine, and it's designed to be just that! So reading other books is a wonderful part of the program!

 

It's supposed to be fun! Make it fun in your own way.

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DS is doing history 3x a week using SOTW V1 with the tests, History Pockets, and selected stories from the "Famous Men of Greece" and "Famous Men of Rome" books with the MP study guides. I'm not using the SOTW AG this time around because frankly, I did the crafts the last time through the cycle and once was enough. Sorry second kid!

 

He is a strong reader and often will do more than one SOTW chapter per week. For example, last week he did chapter 34 on Monday, chapter 35 on Wednesday, and a lesson out of FMoR on Friday. This week he'll do chapter 36 on Monday, and lessons out of FMoR on Wednesday and Friday.

 

We're following the sequence in oldest DD's "spine", which is K12 Human Odyssey Vol. 1.

 

Next year I'm planning on using SOTW 2 and 3 plus Famous Men of the Middle Ages to go along with K12 Human Odyssey Vol. 2.

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Watching this thread as we are starting SoTW 1 with my 2nd grader and kindergartener.  I don't want to take on too much, but I do want them to like it.  I know my oldest will love the map work but I would like the 5yo to participate a little too.

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I count up all the sections and figure out how many I need to do per week to get through the book in one of our school years. It means we generally do two sections per week, but we have some weeks with three. I schedule it all out over the course of the year and allow some 'make up weeks' in there as well so we don't get off schedule.

 

We read a section, I ask the questions in the AG and he does a narration. I write it down while he watches. At the end of a chapter we also do the map skills page. I might do an activity from the AG if it will appeal to my kid, and I will read an extra book if I have it around.

 

 

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We do sotw a bit different then most. We listen to the audio once or twice a year. Then each weekish at the library I pull up the AG on my iPad and I pull books from the next chapter, then during the week we read the extra books. I don't require narrations or map work, we don't do crafts. It works for us. We like the audio much better then reading the book a section at a time. We just listen in the car.

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We finished sotw 1 this year too.

 

We listened to the audio cd in the car quite a few times before we actually did the chapter during our class time so they had already heard the chapter several times before we "studied" it. Then we listened to a section while they colored a map or another related coloring page. I would stop the cd and ask them the questions...then ask them to summarize the story...we never wrote any of it. Every thing was oral. Then I would start the cd again and repeat for the next section. If there were only 2 or 3 sections, we finished that day. If there were 4 sections in that chapter I usually spread it out over 2 days.

 

We watched youtube videos if I found a good one related to the topic. We did about one craft per chapter and read 2 or 3 extra books per chapter. All of these were read alouds done by me. I didn't expect them to read anything to me or write anything beyond the simplest things. History for us was fun. And we did not skip anything.

 

We also have a giant....I mean giant timeline which includes everything imaginable from the beginning of time until now...color coded and laminated...yes I have an obsession with the timeline. So at the end of the year I read the review cards from sotw and had them try to find the matching card on the wall. They retained alot of information and thought it was a fun quiz game.

 

I did not force them to memorize anything...certainly not dates although I can tell they are beginning to understand the idea of centuries which is all I really expect for now. Mine are both the same age (7).

 

Don't feel discouraged. After listening to the cd one of my daughters could almost quote the chapter back to me word for word and the other daughter would often answer the questions with "Um I think I forgot to listen." when I would turn off the cd and ask the review questions. But she still learned alot of history this year.

 

And my kids love those "You wouldn't want to be..." books too.

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DD7 is in first grade. I schedule one chapter per week, with low-key oral narrations for each section, and map work (DD loves getting out the globe, and then we do the AG map worksheet). DD usually wants to do the coloring page also but we rarely do one of the other activities. I'd like to - it's just too much for me with an active toddler underfoot. Occasionally we read the supplemental books if I can get them at the library, and that's a great addition. DD was fascinated with mummies and ancient Egypt and we did do more supplemental stuff for those chapters (though we skipped mummifying the chicken - saving that for the second time around when the younger ones can join in). And since we're a Christian family, we also connect the stories to Biblical history when there's something relevant, even if SWB doesn't mention it in the text or AG. That has been really interesting for DD since she is familiar with so many Bible stories.

 

I schedule history two days per week, and I break up the reading into sections if I feel that the whole chapter is too long for one sitting. I just try to make sure we get through at least the whole chapter and the map work in those two days. We're pretty relaxed about history at this point and it's been a good year so far.

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DS is in first grade. We usually read one chapter a week, usually all in one day but not always. I read SOTW aloud and read some of the related books aloud while he reads others, but I don't usually plan it. We don't do many crafts, but my goal is one per week total, so history might make the cut 1-3 times in a month depending on science, literature, and art plans. I ask him to tell me about the sections or ask him the questions in the AG, but we do that orally most of the time. I do not review or have any memory work at this time. He talks about some of what he has learned with others and uses it in play. We get out coloring or map work for some chapters, but my DS is not overly fond of coloring so that depends on his mood. I will expect more from him for narrations as he gets older and for now I expect at least 3 complete sentences, but I don't tell him that.

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We do it strictly as a read aloud. I read one chapter a week, and they tell it back to me. Sometimes they ask to draw while I read so I let them. I wasn't sure at first as I thought it might be too distracting, but they actually get it all. I keep our library bin filled with age appropriate books about the time frame we are reading in SOTW. They have read several You Wouldn't Want to be... Dd7 is reading The Awesome Egyptians, right now. I have read The Great Pyramid and The Egyptian Cinderella out loud to them. I want to do a timeline, but I am just having a hard time doing that in pre-history and the ancients. We do look at maps on the iPad, though.

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Well, we just read it. Sometimes we check out related books at the library, but just as often we don't. Sometimes my DD will color while I read, sometimes not. If I think of a good video that goes along with it, we might watch it. We sometimes refer to the Usborne encyclopedia but not always. Right now we are working on a lapbook but it's nothing very intense. My daughter enjoys our history readings. We find the places on the globe. Sometimes we listen to the audiobook. But mostly we just read it, and go about our other business. We are much more focused on math and science. We let our history be relaxed and cuddly. We like it that way. :)

 

Edited to add: we keep a great timeline

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I count up all the sections and figure out how many I need to do per week to get through the book in one of our school years. It means we generally do two sections per week, but we have some weeks with three. I schedule it all out over the course of the year and allow some 'make up weeks' in there as well so we don't get off schedule.

 

We read a section, I ask the questions in the AG and he does a narration. I write it down while he watches. At the end of a chapter we also do the map skills page. I might do an activity from the AG if it will appeal to my kid, and I will read an extra book if I have it around.

 

 

This is pretty much what we do, too.  I have two doing it at once, 6 and 8 years old.  I read aloud no more than one section a day to them.  I ask them the AG questions on each section, and they take turns answering. The 6 yo does the coloring (or a History Pocket) while the 8yo writes down her narration and does the map work.  (We also use the globe a lot while reading, so 6yo gets the geography pretty well.)  At the end of the chapter we spend time reading some of the literature, and if I'm in the mood for it, or if we have time, we do a project.  The projects are not a big deal for my kids, and I find they are retaining a lot anyway, simply because they enjoy the story of history!

 

For review, we are (rather slowly) compiling a lapbook.  I'm not sure we'll get it finished this year, but again, it's not a big deal, since they are already retaining a lot just from reading and the AG questions and narration.

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We're half way through volume one and so far I have it planned out, not just the text and map work, but whatever projects I feel inclined to do, horrible history clips, extra reading I may fancy, documentaries if we have them, some narration but dd is still a beginner there due to learning disabilities and we have a Cyclops lego figure… I love that Cyclops lego figure. :D Then I break the resources for each chapter into daily sized chunks; so for our last lesson we read a poem about Socrates from one book, read proper blurb from another book and watched a Horrible History clip about him. I separated literature from history as subjects and literature runs behind, so we're studying Ancient Greeks in history but reading stories from Ancient Egypt. That provides some repetition and reinforcement. When we finish this volume, I'll buy the audiobook for the car.

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we read a chapter a week, and I try to get some of the supplemental books from the library. Sometimes we only do reading, and other times I will ask the review questions to see if dd7 is following the material. I like the coloring pages and mapwork (it keeps her hands busy so she listens to me read). We did crafts or activities from the guide until midway through volume 3 with a small co-op. When our co-op dropped history and went to just science after Christmas, I honestly was a little relieved, because I didn't feel like we got as much from crafts as we did from the reading and supplemental reading. Now that we are wrapping up volume 3 on our own at home, I don't even bother doing the crafts or activities. 

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Probably not very Classical, but this is what we do:

- 1 chapter a week (roughly), done 2-3 days

- day 1 listen to entire chapter (audiobook) while coloring activity guide page

- day 2 review questions and map work (possibly narrate, but not very often)

- day 3 listen again and do quiz

 

We add literature, videos, etc and on rare occasion do an activity from the guide. Really, the audiobook is the most essential component at our house.

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I am very loose with history, because my kids really like it.  Or maybe they really like it because I am loose with it.  Not sure which came first.  

 

We listen to SOTW audio books (over and over and over and over), and we use TOG for additional material.  But I do not do formal narrations for history.  We have discussions about it.  My kids pretend it.  I ask them why they think people did what they did in history or what they think about what they did.  We use our map to find the modern countries that correspond with historical countries.  We don't do a lot of crafts, because I hate them.  But I give the craft books to my dd9, and she does them with her dad or on her own.  Or I buy history coloring books or paper dolls.  

 

I do history in a way that I know that my kids understand it.  But it is all casual and fun.  I keep LA out history.  We do WWE and SWR.  If my kids had to do narrations for every history reading, we would get bogged down very quickly.  

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Here's what we are doing:

 

- one chapter a week (usually one section at a time, more if necessary to fit into two sessions)

- kids color the pic while I read.

- after reading we have a 'quiz' from the questions in activity guide. Kids win a prize for each correct answer. We use nuts because we don't do sugar. You could use jelly beans or whatever.... My kids loooove doing this.

- add pic to history journal with writing about it. It may be a narration or just a caption depending on the topic

- next session we review previous reading, finish the readings from that chapter and have quiz again.

- do map using map to review whole chapter. As you are filling in the map it is the perfect time to revise the events that happened in each place.

- I aim for an activity for each chapter. My kids love doing these.

 

HTH

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We do history twice a week. The first day my kids read on their own and complete tests (open book). The second day they write summaries of what they read the previous day + maps. I am not a crafty person. We will probably try to pick up a pace next year a bit. Oh, additional readalouds happen in the evening as bed time stories.

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.

I am very loose with history, because my kids really like it.  Or maybe they really like it because I am loose with it.  Not sure which came first.  

 

We listen to SOTW audio books (over and over and over and over), and we use TOG for additional material.  But I do not do formal narrations for history.  We have discussions about it.  My kids pretend it.  I ask them why they think people did what they did in history or what they think about what they did.  We use our map to find the modern countries that correspond with historical countries.  We don't do a lot of crafts, because I hate them.  But I give the craft books to my dd9, and she does them with her dad or on her own.  Or I buy history coloring books or paper dolls.  

 

I do history in a way that I know that my kids understand it.  But it is all casual and fun.  I keep LA out history.  We do WWE and SWR.  If my kids had to do narrations for every history reading, we would get bogged down very quickly.   This, absolutely, is why history works at our house.

 

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Hello,

 

So, we are about to finish off with SOTW 1. My kids tolerate it, they love mapwork and colouring, but narration, not so much... We are going to use SOTW 2 (I plan on using SOTW till level 4 then move to TOG).

 

So... here's the question. When you sit down and teach SOTW to your kids, how do you do it, exactly?

 

One chapter per week?

Yes, 1 ch a week

 

One section per day? (when I say section, I mean some chapters have 3 - 4 stories in them, so each story is a section) Whole chapter all in one sitting, and any relevant library books we may have found relating to the chapter. I don't knock myself out collecting books at the library. If there is a particular subject that tickles their fancy, we will go get some library books. The AG does have a list of relevant books, I can't plan that far ahead though.

 

Do you require a narration on each section or the chapter as a whole? 

Basically I read a section and ask them the questions out of the activity guide. We do this orally, it takes too much time for them to write it down.

 

Do you cover every chapter and every section? (I tend to be a list freak, I need to tick things off, so it would be nice to know if you skipped some chapters)

No. DH is adamant that our HS curricula be secular, "church can be taught at church" says he. So the chapters relating to the Bible I have skipped.

 

Do you do a craft every week? (my kids love crafts, they learn and retain more when we do a craft)

No, not always. We usually run into a time problem. We have done some of the crafts as outlined in the AG, and some I have made up that went along with the reading. 

 

How do you review previous lessons? I didn't review SOTW 1 AT ALL!!!!

We don't formally review, but as we go along and things from previous chapters are mentioned, then we talk about that earlier stuff. Also, if we are watching TV and something random comes on about things we have read, voila review!

 

What about memorisation? What memory work do you require? Where do you find the memory work?

Yeah, not really memorizers here so we don't do that.

 

What if your oldest is in a higher grade and the younger in a lower grade, how do you teach them both from the same SOTW volume? NO problem, see next question (without dumbing it down for the older kid or making it too difficult for the little one)

 

My eldest is in gr2, nearly 8 and a strong reader. The next one is 17 months younger, gr1, 6.5 years and a strong reader. Should they each read independently from SOTW and we use the additional history and literature books as read alouds together, or visa versa?

My girls are the same age as yours, we do it all together and they love it. The younger has NO problem joining it, so don't worry about it. I read the chapter out of the manual, and we do all the questions together. They LOVE the map work! Our average time spent on history is about 45-60 minutes.

 

My apologies for all the questions, but I feel like the way I'm doing it isn't working. My kids just don't seem to enjoy it. They fiddle and fidget and have a hard time answering the questions and completing a narration.

My girls like to color their page while I am reading.

 

How am I doing it now? Read 1 section a day (no matter how many sections in a chapter), to ensure we get through an entire chapter in 1 week. Then a narration on EACH section, colouring page, mapwork and if I have energy, a craft (which doesn't happen often).

 

P.S. my son read "You wouldn't want to be an Aztec sacrifice", on his own and remembered more about the Aztecs from that book than any other ancient american people from SOTW, which I had read to him. Maybe the colourful pictures helped to grab his attention?!?!?!

 

Please help, I am feeling sooooo discouraged. 

 

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We listen to the audiobook one chapter at a time.  I pause it after each section and ask the kids the questions from the AG.  While they are listening, they are either coloring a page from the AG or they are cutting out pieces for that free lapbook I found online somewhere. :)

 

We do the map after we are done with the audiobook and they're almost done with whatever they were doing (however it works out, I get them both to stop and we do the map together at the same time).

 

We read a lot of other books on the side that are about the topics - often from the AG, but also often not perfectly lined up with the week we are on.  The "side" books are just read at other reading times, often whatever I have dug up from the library.

 

We generally do the audiobook/coloring/cutting/map stuff once a week when we do it.  We have done a couple of times in a week a few times, but we also skip it some weeks, depending on our lives.  If there is something really neat to do in the AG, I either plan it to work out the week we are doing it, or we take another week and do it later (or I somehow otherwise squeeze it in).  We don't do a lot of other activities with it, but somehow things come up in the community to visit and we see all sorts of things that end up tying in. 

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We do our 'content subjects' after lunch.  These include history (SOTW), science (Elemental science), and Geography (Visits to Geography series plus "The core") 

 

1)  Memory Work:

My kids actually LOVE memory work.  They think it is fun and they like to engage in some friendly competition with one another as to who can remember the most.  Because of this, I do incorporate some history (and science actually!) memory work right after lunch.  This kind of transitions us back into school time because it is typically loud, fun, and full of movement to get some wiggles out.  ;)   

 

For history memory, we do the timeline from Classical conversations using their song and cards.  (We are not involved with classical conversations.  i just use some of their stuff at home.)   I also pick and choose certain history sentences to use from CC.  Occasionally I make up my own sentence using one of the history encyclopedias as a guide.   I typically put those history sentences to song too using standard tunes.  (Mary had a little lamb, Twinkle little star, etc.)  OR, I make up hand signals to help them memorize the stuff.  We spend about 10-15 minutes learning new memory work and reviewing old memory work. 

 

2)  Timeline:

I know that your not suppose to use timelines in the grammar stage according to the WTM.  BUT we are sonlight converts, so we already had started history timelines....so we still use them.  I figure....why not? :)    I typically have a new timeline card for each SOTW chapter.  (I found some pre-made online somewhere.)   I also made my own timeline figures for the CC cards.  I just took pictures of the cards with my cell phone, cropped them and print them off in iphoto so they are tiny.   (I can't share these legally.) 

 

We put these into our timeline book so the kids can visually see when the stuff was happening in relation to their memorized CC stuff. 

 

3) Read Aloud from SOTW:

I read aprox. one section per day aloud.  (Or, we all listen to the audio CD together.  Whatever the kids prefer.)  

 

4)  Narration:

After that I orally do the review questions from the AG.  Next, the kids draw a picture of something they remember in their history journal.  (We use a blank journal with handwriting lines on the bottom and room to draw a picture on the top.)  I then ask them to tell me about their picture and/or something they remember from the reading.   I scribe their sentence(s) in my best handwriting on the journal pages under their picture.  Occasionally, I will write their sentence on the board and ask them to copy it over for copywork into their journal.  (I don't do this every time because I then get the shortest narrations on the planet!) 

 

IF the kids want, they can color the picture that goes with that particular chapter and then cut it out and paste it into their journal.  However, most of the time, they enjoy doing their own drawing instead of coloring.  (Which is fine with me.)   I also have the "Draw Write Now" history books and pull those out for inspiration when they are doing their drawing if they need help drawing a roman soldier or something.  My daughter likes these.  My son prefers to draw his own way...which is cool too!  He has some pretty elaborate stick figure battles in his notebook!

 

The point of drawing in the history notebook is to make narration more pleasant.  And it serves as a sort of 'pre-writing' exercise for their oral compositions/narrations.  I also use these journals as a way to review what we have studied.  Periodically we flip through them, the kids look at their pictures, I help them read their narrations, etc.  I much prefer the notebooks to a 3 ring binder because the notebooks are smaller and fit into their workboxes a bit better.  They also look more like 'real books' when finished since they are bound.  So it makes it easier to keep for memory sake. 

 

5)  History Basket Time:

Next, we do "History Book Basket" time.   We have two special book baskets in our dining room:  a history basket and a science basket.  Every week I load each basket up with supplemental books about whatever we are studying.  (A mixture of non-fiction books and/or literature that corresponds to whatever we are studying.)    I use the AG as a starting point.  Then I search our library for other books they have about the topic that look good. 

 

Organization:  I typically make a trip to the library every week.  Ahead of time (about once a month) I log in and reserve all of the suggested books for any upcoming history and science studies for the month.  (I use the AG as a starting point.  Then browse around for other books that look good.)     During our weekly library trips I pick up any of my reserves that happen to come in.  If books don't come in on time....or I just can't get to the library in time to pick them up.....I don't sweat it!  I figure that our SOTW readings really are enough.  These books are just the icing on the cake that help flesh out our studies and make them more fun.   After I pick up our history and science reserves, I store them in our dining room hutch until we get to that topic in history.  I keep another book bakset in our coat closet and put all of the books are finished with in there.  I return these durring our weekly library trip.

 

During history book basket time, I let each child go and browse and pick out a book or two that they want me to read aloud.   And sometimes I pick out one or two myself!  (Sometimes there is one that I really want to read and no one picks it!)  

 

The point of the book basket time is to make history (and science!) more fun!  It also gives us a chance to incorporate all of the WONDERFUL picture books on history and science into our day.  (And associated literature!)  These books give the kids a visual on what we are studying.  We sometimes do "book basket" time all 4 days of our school week for both history and science because we all enjoy it so much....AND we need to somehow fit in all of the great books!

 

 

6)  Map Work and/or Project work:

Once per week, we do Map work.  I basically use the AG for this.  We also find the locations on a globe and wall map so they can see the 'big picture'.  We then cut the map out and paste it in our history journals with a glue stick.   (Sort of like making a scrap book.) 

 

ALSO--(on our second history day)---we sometimes do the projects.  I only do this IF I feel up to it, the project looks really neat, and I have the supplies on hand.  If the house is a mess, or the baby is teething and fussy, or if we are short on time, or I haven't gotten my act together to gather up the supplies we need----I let these projects go without guilt!   Again, the point of the project is to have fun and make memories.   If your child doesn't somehow find the time to mummify a raw chicken in the first grade, their education will not be lacking!   I feel that SOTW is really enough. 

 

Sometimes for 'project time' I use the activities in the AG.  Sometimes, if I have any extra money in the budget, I order fun projects on amazon.  Like historic figure paper dolls.  fun Mummy dig kits, dress up stuff, etc.  Whatever ties in that will help create memories so they look back one day and think, "OH yeah!  I love studying X!"

 

If I am really on the ball, I take pictures of our projects and the kids cut them out and pasted them in their notebooks with glue sticks.

 

I know this seems like a lot.  But we can do all of this in 60-90 minutes depending on if we do a project.  And most of it is enjoyable for us too. 

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When I did SOTW with my oldest I used a schedule I found on line at www.barefootmeandering.com  (click on free stuff, weekly planners, then weekly planners by time period).  She condenses each SOTW book into 36 weeks.  There are spaces on the planner for notes on any read alouds, chapter books, etc. you want to add for each week as well.

 

I basically read a section or two on Monday, had the kids answer the questions in the activity guide and do a narration page (would add coloring page if anyone felt like doing that).  Wednesday we either finished any more sections if there were any or did the map work (we also looked up the information on both a globe and in an atlas to stretch that portion a bit), read Usbourne encyclopedia pages, and read a corresponding read-aloud or literature book found in the activity guide.  Friday we either read some more library books, watched some sort of educational documentary if I could find one or did a craft (I am not crafty and we did so few of them - maybe 3 or 4). Some topics had very little extra information that was age appropriate and we didn't do as much for those weeks.

 

I made up my own narration page template which was pretty much a big empty square taking up half the page (for a picture) and then 7 or 8 lines at the bottom for doing a narration.  In first grade I did "tell me one thing you remember" but as they got older I tried to have them do more (at least 2 sentences in 2nd grade, 3 in 3rd, etc.)

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I started SOTW in late 2nd and into 3rd grade with my oldest. And even at that age he had a hard time enjoying it. But it was effective.

 

I've tried to read it to my current 1st grader, but again, it's not interesting to him. What he does like to do this year was put together a History Pocket for Ancients, and they both enjoy their timeline. I use the timeline from Pandia Press. Reading history aloud has been slow going at best.

 

The SOTW texts don't get much love here, but they do enjoy several of the extra recommended reading books.

 

For crafts I went through and picked ONE from each chapter, of varying complexity. I don't think I would try to do all of them. The coloring sheets are useful for young children...but as they've got older they have zero interest in the "coloring book" aspect of them.

 

Even though SOTW doesn't really work all that well here (it's a slog and we're sporadic with it), I still feel it's a good program and it will earn it's keep here eventually. I just keep pressing on with it and lots of other history reading books.

 

When I read it more often with my oldest, and when I read it at times with my younger ds, I usually read either one to two sections OR the entire chapter depending on how restless they were. If your kids like the coloring sheets, give them that to do while you read. I would ask the questions, go back and re-read where an answer could be if they needed that. BUT I did not ask the questions in a quiz show manner. It's really important that my kids don't feel as though they are being quizzed! I also tried to glance at the questions and rephrase in a more natural, conversational way. If my kids hear me read a script/question, they shut down. Again with the quizzing! But if they feel as though I'm just simply talking with them about it they open up more. If their comments aren't quite spot on, I try to find something in their comment that I can build on and ask more. I do this the other question style programs as well (WWE/Hakim). I aimed for 1-2 chapters a week, even though we didn't get there, from having a hard time keeping interest in the SOTW text high. The AGs are used most often.

 

Projects were done either before we read or later in the week. Sometimes we didn't do any projects, or we went back a few chapters to do a project. I didn't try all that hard to make every project go exactly with the chapter we were reading, but I didn't skip ahead either. I don't schedule projects. We just do some when the mood is right. I always gave a map right after we read. 

 

For narrations I did have my oldest write some down or draw a picture at times, but just as often it was just an oral narration. Again I didn't make it about rightness or wrongness...just a conversation.

 

My 1st grader doesn't like anything at all about this way of doing history, but he will do projects and watch documentaries. 

 

I've realized that it's Ancient history I'm trying to get my 1st grader familiar with, not SOTW, so I'v erelaxed the feeling of needing to get through some curriculum completely each year. 

 

If you read other books on some civilization but not the corresponding SOTW chapters....what's the harm? 

 

 

 

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5)  History Basket Time:

Next, we do "History Book Basket" time.   We have two special book baskets in our dining room:  a history basket and a science basket.  Every week I load each basket up with supplemental books about whatever we are studying.  (A mixture of non-fiction books and/or literature that corresponds to whatever we are studying.)    I use the AG as a starting point.  Then I search our library for other books they have about the topic that look good. 

 

Organization:  I typically make a trip to the library every week.  Ahead of time (about once a month) I log in and reserve all of the suggested books for any upcoming history and science studies for the month.  (I use the AG as a starting point.  Then browse around for other books that look good.)     During our weekly library trips I pick up any of my reserves that happen to come in.  If books don't come in on time....or I just can't get to the library in time to pick them up.....I don't sweat it!  I figure that our SOTW readings really are enough.  These books are just the icing on the cake that help flesh out our studies and make them more fun.   After I pick up our history and science reserves, I store them in our dining room hutch until we get to that topic in history.  I keep another book bakset in our coat closet and put all of the books are finished with in there.  I return these durring our weekly library trip.

 

During history book basket time, I let each child go and browse and pick out a book or two that they want me to read aloud.   And sometimes I pick out one or two myself!  (Sometimes there is one that I really want to read and no one picks it!)  

 

The point of the book basket time is to make history (and science!) more fun!  It also gives us a chance to incorporate all of the WONDERFUL picture books on history and science into our day.  (And associated literature!)  These books give the kids a visual on what we are studying.  We sometimes do "book basket" time all 4 days of our school week for both history and science because we all enjoy it so much....AND we need to somehow fit in all of the great books!

 

 

I love the History Basket time!  Great idea - I'm going to use that :)  I am planning to buy SOTW and the activity guide (vol 1) for next year - are there supplemental reading lists in the Activity Guide?  My son will be in 1st grade and LOVES books and I want to make sure we have plenty of supplemental books to go along with what we are studying in history.  Or if anyone has a good list that they've come across of picture books, literature, etc... let me know. 

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