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What would you do--history cycle question

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Thinking ahead here--  We are currently doing year 4 in the history cycle.  My oldest is 7th grade.  It would be nice to start Ancient her 9th grade year.  But, really it doesn't matter right?  Since it is likely the other kids would not start Ancients in 9th grade?

 

So, should I continue on doing Year 1 for her in 8th grade?  Then continue the cycle that way, ending high school with Ancients?

 

Should I extend this year 4 and split half this year and half next year?  Or do world history or geography for her in 8th?

 

Any suggestions appreciated.  I don't know anything about history credits for high school and what that entails.  :)

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There are a few things you could do -

 

Do some other area of history/social studies for 8th grade and start the cycle over in 9th.   Maybe something based purely on her interests. 

 

Start the cycle over with Ancients in 8th and do something different for 12th grade. My son is doing American History for grade 12.

 

Unless my student really loved the Ancients I don't think I would do that in 12th grade if we did it in 8th.

 

You should check your state laws (if any) for history/social studies requirements.  In my state we just need 4 years of Social Studies.  Also check likely types of colleges for their requirements.

 

 

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You could do American History in depth in 8th, geography, or start the 4 year cycle and just do government and economics in 12th.  My dd1 started homeschooling in 6th so her 4 year cycle will end in 9th so she is doing an American History Survey in 10th, World History Survey in 11th, and Government and Economics in 12th.  However, my two younger dds who started homeschooling in 2nd/3rd grade have taken an excessive amount of rabbit trails so their 4 year cycle has stretched to 6 making their cycle end in 7th/8th.  We're doing an American History year in 8th/9th. 

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Generally, you want to blend any high school graduation credit requirements together with any college admission credit requirements to come up with what Social Science credits you want to cover in high school -- it usually comes out to be 2-4 credits, with 1 credit = 1 year. There is a lot of leeway on what Social Science credits can be, but most requirements include:

 

1 credit = American History

1 credit = World History

0.5 credit = Government

0.5 credit = Economics

 

Some states also require 1 credit of World Government. A few states require 2 credits of American History (year 1 goes up to 1860, year 2 continues from there up through the present). Most colleges will also accept courses in Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, or Political Science as a Social Science credit, so your student has some options in high school.

 

Many public schools do the following classes in the following grades:

9th grade = World Geography

10th grade = World History

11th grade = American History

12th grade = Government and Economics

 

I mention all of that so that you can "plan backwards", knowing what you "need" to accomplish in high school, to know what you'd like to do for middle school. And it's also handy to know in case for some reason your student ends up attending school for high school, you have a good idea of what your student would be doing.

 

Our path was to extend a 4-year chronological History cycle in the elementary grades to 6 years, with a lot of added US History and a little State History, and then take a break from History in 8th grade for a World Cultures & Geography / Comparative Religions year with a special focus on Eastern Hemisphere nations. We chose to do that since high school History is all about Western Civilizations (1/5 of the world's population), and we really wanted a chance to study the people/cultures that make up 4/5 of the world's population. The Comparative Religions component was SUPER helpful for understanding the political and social choices through History of the different nations and people groups, and ended up being a fantastic foundation for grasping World History in high school. My only regret is that we didn't take TWO years of middle school so we could also include a similar focus on other areas of the world as well.

 

We ended up with an unexpected NON-chronological History path in high school in order to focus on DSs' interests, so we did:

9th = 1 credit = Ancient World History

10th = 1 credit = 20th Century World History

11th = 1 credit = American History and 0.5 credit = Government

12th = 0.25 credit = Medieval World History and 0.5 credit = Church History and 0.5 credit = Economics

 

 

Really, it's up to you and your goals, and your student's interests! Enjoy, and BEST of luck, as you plan your History and Social Science studies! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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Here is what we'll be doing.  DD is in 8th and we are currently in middle ages. 

 

9th grade (early modern)--.5 AH, .5 WH

10th grade (modern)--.5 AH, .5 WH

11th grade (ancients)-- 1 WH, or .5 WH and .5 Ancient Literature?

12th grade (middle ages)-- 1 WH or .5 WH and .5 towards literature?

 

At some point we'll add Government for .5 credit (possibly Notgrass).  We also use SCM's Visits To geography series and I'll be counting it is .25 credits per year, so 1 geography credit.  I may add economics for .5 credit, but I hated economics in high school, and I don't think my DD would like it either.   :leaving:

 

With 5 DC, I don't plan on having everyone start high school with ancients.  I'd rather keep our history cycles the same so we can keep some family read alouds going.

Edited by Holly
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Personally I like to let the kid choose, even if it's a wild rabbit trail. It's the last year before high school requirements kick in and everything has to be packaged on a tidy transcript that checks all the necessary boxes. Spend a year on geography, or just on the kings and queens of England, do a big unit study like Where the Brook and River Meet, or just whatever really interests the kid. :)

 

 

Eta: My rising 8th grader is a STEM geek. He's going to do Build Your Library's 8th grade year course based around the history of science. He looked at the samples, glanced at a few other options I suggested as possibilities, and chose BYL himself.

Edited by SilverMoon
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Personally I like to let the kid choose, even if it's a wild rabbit trail. It's the last year before high school requirements kick in and everything has to be packaged on a tidy transcript that checks all the necessary boxes. Spend a year on geography, or just on the kings and queens of England, do a big unit study like Where the Brook and River Meet, or just whatever really interests the kid. :)

 

 

Eta: My rising 8th grader is a STEM geek. He's going to do Build Your Library's 8th grade year course based around the history of science. He looked at the samples, glanced at a few other options I suggested as possibilities, and chose BYL himself.

 

 

I like this idea.  I was thinking I'd have her look at different options and focus in on an area that may interest her.  I was looking at Sonligh 200 or HOD World Geography or MFW ECC.  Or, just piece together some things.  I think the World Cultures study would be good.  If anyone has any suggestions for that.  :)  She loves reading and good literature.  But, then I have 3 younger students to juggle alongside.  

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We're enjoying Harmony Fine Art's free geography schedule this year. It's listed as high school level, but my 7th grader has done fine with it.

Edited by SilverMoon

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…  I hated economics in high school, and I don't think my DD would like it either.   :leaving:

 

You might try keeping your choice of Economics materials much more focused on Personal Finance topics -- or entirely substitute Personal Finance for Economics. Personal Finance is SUCH a critical area of knowledge -- understanding budgeting, credit, loans and interest rates, and saving and investing! Every young adult needs a good foundation for managing their money wisely. :)

Edited by Lori D.
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I'd start it now, but not restart the sequence in 12th grade. Instead, I'd plan on doing government, and perhaps economics or an elective social studies credit for 12th grade. (Many states require government, and a lot of colleges want to see that in the line-up as well). I tend to think it's a win-win to not have to double up or try to squeeze it in somehow.

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Any suggestions appreciated.  I don't know anything about history credits for high school and what that entails.   :)

 

 

This is the part you need to focus on.  Read Lori D's post carefully.  I didn't know about credits for high school history/social studies very well until the past few months.  I found that simply doing a 4 year rotation of history isn't enough.  Colleges want to see economics and government, and perhaps some psychology, etc. They don't just want to see a 4 year rotation of pure history.

 

I discovered that most high school students take only 6 classes per semester and 5 of them are required if you want to go to college:

 

Foreign Language

English (light grammar, literature, writing)

Math

Science

Social Studies (see Lori D's post for the details on that)

Elective

 

If you do the work at a high school level, most kids can only handle 6 classes at a time.

 

You can try to do the 4-year rotation of history as Social Studies, but then you'll have to be very clever to make sure you hit the requirements that colleges want to see--all that economics and gov't and psych stuff. 

 

Or, you can do what the colleges want (world geog, world hx, am hx, psych) and use your precious elective time to study history the way you want.  But then when would you do electives like Art or music or speech or anything else?  You'll be using up all 4 years of precious elective time on history.  

 

I'm not saying to give up the idea of the 4 year rotation. I'm just saying that you might be like me and realize the idea of a 4 year rotation by just studying ancients in 9th, middle ages in 10th, early modern in 11th and modern in 12th might not work.  Not unless you cleverly weave the other requirement in there somehow--enough to be worth full credits (about 150 hours of instruction) or 1/2 credits (about 75 hours of instruction).  Will you be able to do a 4 year rotation and still spend 75 hours on economics?  Plus 75 hours on government?  Plus 150 hours of just American history?

 

I'm having to rethink this whole history/social studies thing from the ground up and I dearly wish someone had explained all this to me before 2 months ago. I've had to let go of a lot of assumptions of how it will play out and I have to realize that it'll be more complicated than I thought. 

Edited by Garga
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ETA:  Hmmm.  I said that there are 6 classes that students take per semester and listed them.  However, you don't *have* to take the things I listed every year.  You don't *have* to take science all four years.  Some colleges are fine with only 2 or 3.  You don't *have* to take math all four years.  Some are ok with 2-3.

 

So, if you do the absolute bare minimum of requirements (only 2-3 years instead of all 4) you'll have more time for things like history or other non-college-bound courses. 

 

It all depends on where you think the student is headed.  If you want the student to be able to get into lots of choices of colleges, you will then probably want to stick with the core classes I listed in the previous post for all four years, except language.  It seems safe to do just 3 years of a language in high school.

 

I have academically minded kids.  If they weren't, then I would have more wiggle-room for things like history or other elective-type classes. If my kids weren't as academically minded, I might just do some minimums for sci/math and have more space for other topics to be studied.

 

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I looked at what the colleges in our state wanted plus a few out of state schools my kid may want to attend.  And I considered the state high schools and what they teach.  Mine separated this year so each will have a different plan: 

 

My son will be traditional .... World, ?not sure here...maybe a year on war battles, American, Gov't/Econ(possible to split this and just do half each year and drop the battle idea in 10th)

My dd will be what she wants...  Biblioplan Year 3(early modern), Biblioplan Year 4(modern), American, Econ/Gov't. 

 

We love history here and plan to have something every year.  But I saw plenty of colleges only needing 2-3 years of history.

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Excellent points Garga! :) And that is part of the reason our Social Sciences in high school were… different... than the chronological 4-year cycle.

 

We got into 9th, and we really did enjoy doing the Ancients, but then realized partway through 9th grade that we might not make it through a full cycle -- and it was more because DSs had the opportunity to try out some very interesting extracurriculars, so we weren't going to be doing more than 6 credits a year.

 

At that stage, I realized  we needed to do American History, Gov't and Econ to be "college prep" in our credits, so I let DSs choose what Social Science they wanted to do for the remaining Social Science credit open to us, and DSs really wanted to learn about 20th century History, so… we went for it! We did matching Lit. for the English credit, but also incorporated DSs' interests so we made our own "Worldviews in Classic Sci-Fi Lit." course -- and that ended up being the favorite Lit. year! :) The Church History and Medieval History were a bonus that we managed to work in.

 

Just sharing all of that, Garga, to encourage you that because you are noticing this now in the midst of 9th grade that you have PLENTY of time for planning or taking advantage of interesting things, as well as completing "required credits". You also may find you end up being able to do more in the later years of high school -- your student might be able to handle 7 credits in a later year. You might do a credit as summer school, or spread out 1 credit over several years (or several summers), which gives you a bit more wiggle room -- we did that. Or, you might do dual enrollment and each 1 semester college course equals 1 YEAR (1 credit) of high school work -- so you can knock out 2 credits of Foreign Language in 1 year! We did that, too.  :) So DSs ended up with 26.5 credits total for high school, rather than 24 (6 credits x 4 years).

 

Good luck! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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I am going to bump this old post up and ask another question? Since I still haven't made a decision...  But, my daughter (7th grade) currently is doing some standardized testing and said today on the Social Science there was a lot of government questions that she didn't know.  Which is sad because we are studying year 4 right now but just briefly touched on it.  So, my question is should I do a focus on American History/Government for 8th or will doing Government in high school be enough?  What would be more important in 8th?  American History (which we just briefly went over in year 4-it seems...) or a World History/Cultural History with lots of Geography or something else of our choosing....like Sonlight's Christian History 200 which we wouldn't really want to do in high school?

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Around here, in the schools, 8th graders traditionally have an in-depth study of American History and government. And then they take the dreaded "Constitution Test". That may be an option and then start the cycle again in 9th grade.

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While election year does make a great year for studying government, frankly my high schoolers have a hard enough time seeing how it applies to their lives and finding interest in it. Unless she's really interested I'd skip it for now. Or else just casually read through some of the Uncle Eric books together.

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I'd consider adding a government course in your cycle somewhere. Here, it is required in high school. So maybe start ancients in 8th and then do it in one of her high school years. If you are trying to line up with other kids, maybe younger kids could do state history that year.

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