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What does your history rotation look like?

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If you plan out your entire history rotation, what does that look like?


I'm beginning to realize that I've been overly focused on what I can do with my kids together, but now that my oldest is moving into logic stage, I need to start thinking about what I want middle and high school to look like and when/if to separate little sister into her own work.


So far, we've done SOTW 1-3 over the course of 1st through 4th grade. I think we will spend 5th grade on American History, but after that I don't have any idea!


So I'm interested to see how many of you stick to the 4 year rotation and how many branch off into something different and what that looks like for ms/hs.



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The current plan is


Primary: No rotation, just stories


Middle: 4 year rotation


High: 2 year rotations, twice. The first one history and lit focused and conservative, the second one political and geography based and much more radical, liberal, revolutionary, and controversial.

Edited by Hunter
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I'm only in the thinking about it stage.


But I think...


1-3 will be history stories (similar to AO), not sure if SOTW fits into that, 4-7 will be the first official rotation using I'm not sure, 8th will be something that interests the child (my daughter is going to do an Anne of Green Gables year long unit study and I can see my boys doing LOTR or but obviously I can't truly plan that far ahead), and then 9-12 will be the Great Books twtm rotation.


Because of when we started homeschooling and our hiccups along the way it made sense for my daughter to do the Anne study in 8th. So then I thought it was a cool way to fit in something awesome that we wouldn't get to do if we did the original 3 rotations.

Edited by Kristie in Florida
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With my grammar age children, I rotate between 2 yrs of world history and 2 yrs of American history. I combine them at that age, and little kids will often listen in.


I separate my children when they reach logic age. They have been doing 3 years of world history for 5th-7th, and then we are planning to do 1 year of American history in 8th. 


My oldest hasn't made it to high school yet. If she stays home then we will probably do an AP World, AP European, AP US Hist, AP Govt sequence. If she goes to our high school then she will have to follow their sequence of Honors World, AP Human Geo, AP US Hist, AP Govt.

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We've done:


Early medieval

Late medieval to early explorers


Nex year will be us history. After that we'll do world cultures before starting the rotation again, with modern subbed for us history the second time.

Eta: that is my plan for k-8. I have no plans for high school.

Edited by Syllieann
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My oldest and youngest are different.


Oldest (current 3rd grader)

K and 1- Broad overview of various countries and histories.

2nd - American history (he was in a private school)

3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th- 4 year rotation.

7th,8th,9th,10th - Start rotation again

11-12th - Whatever history is required for graduation at that time.  


Youngest (current 1st grader)

K- He was in a private school so he did community helpers and a broad overview of a few countries/cultures.

1st,2nd,3rd,4th - Four year history rotation

5th, 6th, 7th, 8th - Four year history rotation

9th,10th, 11th, 12th - Four year history rotation combined with whatever else he'll need for graduation.



Edited by UCF612
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I did a 4 yr rotation with my oldest from 1-4th.  We loved SOTW 1 and 2. I didn't love 3 so we ended up doing other stuff for American History and just reading SOTW 3 as a read-aloud. For SOTW 4 we read it together but didn't do as much extras. We did US geography that year with his 1st grader added in. 


The year that oldest was 5th and second son was 2nd we did Ancients again. 


For oldest's 6th grade year we did something completely different and did a Unit Study Approach instead of a history centered curriculum. The then 3rd grader did SOTW 2 for about half the year and then he ended up going along with brother for the Unit Studies. 


This year I have a 7th grader, 4th grader and 1st grader. We are doing a year of World Cultures/Geography which is mostly geography with literature, broad-brush history and culture thrown in. 


Next year I'm not sure.....I think I want to do American History because I've realized my youngest two really haven't had that yet. I think I will have the then 8th grade do that also but haven't really figured it out yet in terms of curriculum. 


When my oldest was in elementary school I wrote out all the rotations and assumed we would do the 4 year cycle three times, with the younger kids added in. It just didn't end up working for us. 

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We only homeschooled at the ends of the spectrum--K-4, and 9th-12th.


Dd did SOTW but went to school in 3rd, where she did a smattering of Ancients again. So her rotation was Ancients, Med/Ren, Ancients, Early Mods.


Ds did the four year rotation.


Now dd is in high school. She is taking AP World this year, and I hate it. It is WAY too fast. ALL of World History in ONE year? At the rhetoric level? INSANE.


I would love for her to have the four year rotation, which includes American History in the context of World History, where it belongs.


My 2 cents.

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We did a four year cycle spread over five years (1st-5th) because SOMEONE didn't want to leave the Ancient Era.  I had to finally cut him off after the second year!  


We followed that with a three year cycle (6th-8th), in part due to a semester he attended a local school and because I have this weird thing about numbers and being even and needing to finish "even" since we took two years for the Ancients in early elementary.  (I know. I'm impossible sometimes.)  


He's now in high school and we're doing another four year cycle. He's attending an online public school this year and is taking AP Human Geography. History isn't offered, and the literature selections are not the same I'd have chosen - which is fine, and they're fine, but I still want him to study what I want him to study.  So he's doing a four year cycle after his public school, which includes history and (my) literature preferences.  



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I initially *thought* we would do three 4-year cycles, but our first cycle ended up taking six years so we could follow bunny trails of interest and take extra time on U.S. History, some state history, and a unit on Civics during the late elementary years.


By that time we were a little tired of History, so we took a break for a year in 8th grade, and did a year of World Cultures & Geography/Comparative Religions, focusing on Eastern Hemisphere cultures, since I figured that might be the last chance we had to go deep with 4/5 of the world's population. ;) (High school History tends to be Western Civilizations focused, esp. if you do a Classical curriculum.) That study laid a fabulous foundation for our later high school History studies. We pulled together our own materials, using ideas from several different programs, plus what was available through the library, plus other resources.


For high school, I thought we would do another 4-year chronological cycle, but once we got into high school, we found we were spending time on other opportunities, and I preferred to give DSs the ability to chose what they wanted to focus on once it became clear we were not going to have time for a full 4-year cycle AND complete the required credits for college admissions. So, we ended up with:

9th = 1 credit = Ancient World History

10th = 1 credit =20th Century World History

11th = 1 credit =American History + 0.5 credit = Gov't

12th = 0.25 credit = Medieval World History + 0.5 credit = Church History + 0.5 credit = Econ


For your own planning of History/Social Studies for middle and high school years, it can be helpful to "plan backwards" from what is likely to be covered and when in high school. That way you don't repeat too much, and you have the opportunity to do something unusual that you might not be able to do in high school when you start having to accomplish specific types of credits.


For example, once you hit high school, even if you don't have requirements for graduation, you discover that colleges want to see certain types and amounts of credits to be eligible for admission. Typically, those requirements include 2-4 credits of Social Sciences, with these specific credits very widely required:

- 1 credit (year) American History (virtually all colleges require this one)

- 1 credit (year) World History (or World Geography)

- 0.5 credit each (1 semester each) Government and Economics


The traditional progression looks like this (but you can do it however you want:

9th = World History (or World Geography)

10th = more World History (or Geog., or other Soc. Sci.: Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy...)

11th = American History

12th = Gov't / Econ


So, think about what you MUST do and WANT to do for History/Social Studies for the 4 years of high school -- and then work backwards for the middle school years. Here are a few questions to help you think about it:

- What would best prepare your student for those 4 years of high school History/Social Studies?

- What would you want to do in 8th grade that would best "flow" the student into the 9th grade History studies? (and then, of course, what would best be done in 7th grade to "flow" the student into 8th grade)

- What might the student NOT get in high school that you want to make sure to get in during middle school?

- What will the student do first in 9th grade History/Social Studies, so DON'T do the same thing or something similar in 7th or 8th grade so that it's an immediate repeat...


BEST of luck in your middle school/high school Social Science studies! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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Ugh, I just planned all this out for my 5 and now it looks like I never saved it in my phone.


My older two's history has/will look like this-

Younger elementary was spent just doing Abeka's readers and a year of Our Christian Heritage.

3rd/2nd grade (I combined them)-VPs Old Testament and Ancient Egypt

4th/3rd- VPs New Testament, Greece and Rome

Summer of 4th/3rd-VPs middle ages (whatev er it's called lol)

5th/4th- Year round early and modern US history, my own curriculum pulled mostly from Sonlight and VP readers

6th/5th- Trail Guide to World Geography


I will then split them up and my 6th graded will prob do VPs extra year to prepare to omnibus or it will be interest led. My 7th grader would start Omnibus. I am now leaning towards maybe doing something else in 7th and 8th and started Omnibus in the 9th. I'm not sure how Omnibus cycles through. I need to take a look :)



I just looked up Omnibus' schedule, and kind of boring. 3 years of ancient, medieval, modern US followed by the same. I think I may do something different for 7th, 8th, and 9th. Or maybe 7th, 8th and 12th.

Edited by Mom2Five
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Something like: age 6 to 10 meandering through SOTW 1-3 with extra UK and US history.  Took a year out to do Chinese history (we were living in China).  Went back to SOTW 4 (heavily supplemented) for ages 11-13.


We were planning on Calvin choosing which of Suzanne Strauss Art's middle school history books he liked for ages 13 to 14, but he went to school instead.  After that, we would have followed the UK's GCSE syllabus.

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Older son (started in 3rd grade) and would be an example of how *not* to do it:


3rd: Ancients (homegrown)

4th: Middle Ages (homegrown)

5th: Renaissance-1850ish (homegrown)

6th: 1850-present (homegrown)

7th: Prehistory-1800 (K12's Human Odyssey)

8th:  1800-present *and* world geography (K12's Human Odyssey and a college geography text)

9th: American (K12's American Odyssey)

10th: World with Ways of the World (the whole shebang in one semester--*not* my first choice!)/second semester "Contemporary US History" at a private school

11th: IB history first semester (at private school)/history of science second semester (at home)

12th: Something called Intro to Design at the CC


Younger son:


K: American and world geography (K12 History K with a ton of supplemental reading)

1st: Ancients (SOTW)

2nd: Middle ages (SOTW)

3rd: Renaissance to present (SOTW-->K12 History 4)

4th: American (Hakim's concise edition)

5th: Went to a private school but we did prehistory-1450 at home with K12's Human Odyssey

6th: Went to a private school but we did 1450-1914 at home with K12's Human Odyssey

7th: American (K12's American Odyssey)

8th: First semester was 20th century world history (with K12's Human Odyssey)/second semester (current) ancients (Ways of the World)

9th (planned): 500-1914 (Ways of the World) 

10th (planned): 1914-present (Ways of the World)

8th/9th/10th also have a history of food and cooking piece and a history of science piece that will each get half a credit when finished)

11th-12th: Either dual enrollment at the CC or AP at the high school or early graduation


The ideal (IMO):


K: American and world geography

1-3 World

4 American

5-7 World

8 Geography

9 American

10-11 World

12 Elective

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We began homeschooling in fifth grade.


5: ancient history (first volume of K12's Human Odyssey)

6: middleness of history (second volume)

7: modern history (third volume); world geography (by me)

8: US history (using K12's American Odyssey which is supposedly a high school text)


I had planned on a similar rotation with three years of world history and 1 year of US history and government, but dd's interests changed dramatically between 8th and 9th grade when she was able to join dh and me on a trip to China.


9: ancient world history (based on The Great Courses "The world in ancient times: a global perspective); AP Human Geography (by me)

10: AP Comparative Government and Politics (by me); AP Psychology (by me)

(She's graduating a year early.)

12 planned: AP US Government and Politics (by me); AP Macroeconomics (prob by me); either AP US History (by me) or just sitting the SAT US History subject test or taking US history at the University of Our State or...


Dd plans on majoring in international relations (with two critical languages) in college, thus all the social sciences!

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ACK! I go back and forth on this, lol.


I've homeschooled years 1-8, then my eldest went to high school. I am on my second trip through the history cycle with ds2.  With ds1 I did SOTW 1-4, but supplemented with lots of other books.  And in the logic stage we again followed the same history cycle, using different materials.  I did it using WTM as our guide. So, we read, outlined, wrote and discussed. It went very, very well.


But, I continually struggle with the idea that we 'should' have done a three year world history cycle in grades 5-7 with a US history year in 8th.  I am now having to make that decision with ds2, and it is KILLING me, in part, because I have some great US history resources for the middle grades, lol. 

Now, I did some 'extra' focus on US history with ds1.  We did a unit on the US revolution and the US civil war when it was appropriate.  And I also took some time in 8th grade to focus in on the American civil rights movement. In the end I was happy with what we did. 


But, here we are again in 5th grade and I keep wondering how far I should go? Should I turn it into a 3 or a 4 year cycle?


I am leaning towards a 4 year cycle b/c if ds2 goes to pubic high school, there is a good chance he will end up in a World History AP class, which is the honors option for 9th graders. That would be followed by a 10 grade class in AP European history and 11th grade AP US history.  It seems like it would be a good idea to keep him focused on world history. He'll get plenty of US history in the AP class.


So, maybe think in vague terms of where you want to go in high school?

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We used Sonlight, so we didn't do a strict 4-year rotation.


My kids did: 2 years of cultures starting in K/age 3.5

3 years of World History (2nd/K through 4th/2nd

2 years of US History (5th/3rd and 6th/4th)

Geography and cultures (7th/5th)


Then we restarted a world history rotation, but my oldest split off part way through to do history separately. So he did:


1 year WH-ancients (8th--partially with his sister, but reading separately)

1 year US history

1 year WH-AD years up to 1700 (partially with his sister)

1 year Government and a history elective (Japanese history to go with his foreign language)

1 year WH-modern world history (with sister)


There were a lot of reasons built into why things got split up this way--ideally we'd have done all the WH in a row, but this is how it worked out!


Meanwhile, my daughter did:


3 years of WH, ancients through 1700 (6th-8th grades)

1 year US history (9th)

1 year WH-modern world history (10th)

Psychology (11th)

Government (12th)


We continued lit. read-alouds throughout high school, often going with the time period or subject matter as well.


Do what works for you and your family. I wouldn't have needed to split my kids--it was more my oldest's choice--but it worked out a bit better overall.


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We didn't start homeschooling until the girls were in 2nd, 3rd, and 6th grades. Dd1's looks something like this:


6th-9th 4 year world history

10th- American History

11th- World History

12th- Economics and Government


Dd2 & Dd3 will have a differect sequence because I've had more time with them.


6 year world history rotation

1 year American History (8th/9th)

1 year World History (9th/10th)

1 year Econ/Gov't. (10th/11th)

Dd2 will be done at this point with requirements and will choose what she wants to do her senior year. Dd3 will take a DE or AP American History for 11th and then choose her senior year.

Edited by My3girls
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We have stuck with the 4 year cycle so far:


1 - 4th: SOTW


5 - 8th: K12 The Human Odyssey (I stick to the years that SOTW uses, so we only use 3 books spread out over 4 years)


9 - 12th: Our plan is to use SWB's books. It is going well with my current 9th grader, but I am not sure these books will appeal to all my children.


Right now I only have two children working together because that is how their ages fall, but they are all learning very similar things. Sometimes the same week, sometimes a week or two off.  We all join in on Fridays for the projects in SOTW.

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I did American history alongside, but also separately from, our other history (SOTW, Greenleaf, etc.)


I beefed up SOTW 2, 3, and 4 by adding in US history using Catholic supplements.  It was mostly reading, discussing, and optional projects (done on their own) - no seatwork in elementary, and minimal seatwork in middle school. There were many generous moms around the internet who posted their schedules or alignments for SOTW and various supplemental material. (If you're one of those, THANK YOU, I'm still using those ten years later.)


As a separate course of study we did US Presidents (spread over the two years of SOTW1 & SOTW2) followed by US States & Territories (spread over the two years of SOTW3 & SOTW4).  We did this cycle twice, taking us from 1st-8th. It was super light the first go-around, and more intensive the second time.  It didn't add that much more time to the day, and was spread out enough that if we missed a week (or had a rabbit trail week) - it was no skin off our backs.


It was mostly books from the library about the state/president of the week with maybe some videos thrown in for good measure. Later it was a good supplemental source for outlining, writing, and researching - as/if extra practice was needed. In middle school I had the kids bake a dish from each state, so that relieved me at least one night a week and opened their palates up some, too.  Win on all fronts!  



Edited by Tita Gidge
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