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If you've used BJU heritage stuides....


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...anyone else bothered by the sequence of history topics covered in BJU? Grades 1-5 cover and repeat American history, ancient/world isn't covered until 6th-7th, then back to US in 8th. Is anyone aware of a reason to hold off on world history until 6th!? I'm really thinking if only doing HS for grades 1&2 and then going elsewhere until high school. Anyone else concerned about this? If you tweaked things to be a little more cyclical with BJU, how did you do it?

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One of the well-known private schools (not Classical) in my area uses a lot of BJU - particularly for history. They list their curriculum online, and I was surprised to see just how much American history BJU covers. Like you, I'd thought of using it for a year or two, then moving on the TWTM history cycle (only waiting those first couple of years so a younger sibling can join in from the beginning). I can't imagine why that much US history is necessary!


My oldest is just 4, so I don't have any practical advice to share, but I wanted to say that I think 5 grades of American is history is overkill (not to mention narrow-minded) to say the least. 

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You're correct that there's educational philosophy behind why a publisher would choose a particular history sequence.  I'm not arguing for/against a particular one here, just pointing out that it's there.  And I think that's totally fair game to say that's not where I am.  I can point out that BJU is calling their materials Heritage Studies, not social studies, and that they, in fact, have a heavy emphasis on american history in the early years.  Not all "classical" educators agree ancients need to be covered early.  How to Teach History Chronologically  This article by Cheryl Lowe of Memoria Press, in particular, challenged me on some assumptions I had.  It came out years ago, after I was well into a sequence with my dd.  I agreed with her principles so much, I'm doing things differently with my ds.  You might enjoy the article.


With my dd16 I used VP in various ways (printed materials, self-paced, etc.).  It planted a love of history in her, and I'm satisfied.  With my ds7, I've done some of the BJU Heritage Studies using their online version.  I got a deal with the online at Christmas a year ago, and it was I think $99 for two 1/2 year classes (science and heritage studies).  My ds is gifted with numerous SLDS and ADHD/ASD, and *for him* the class with the teacher was actually a fascinating thing.  It had lots of REPETITION built in, and for him repetition increases comprehension.  It's a curriculum that fills in lots of little skill gaps he had.  Now granted he was K5 and we were doing the 2nd grade courses I think.  I didn't renew again to do the next level, mainly because we just don't have time with the therapies and other things we do.  But it was actually good stuff!  *For the right student* it could be a really, really, really good fit.  And to just dismiss it out of hand is to say you're looking at a published sequence by someone (MP, WTM, TOG, whatever) instead of LOOKING AT YOUR DC.


So I say look at your dc.  There's a maturity jump around 3rd/4th grade in a lot of kids, and that's typically when people are starting over their history cycles.  *I* personally think it doesn't matter a flying fig what you do until then.  You could do a survey of local history/geography and then a brief cycle, do american, whatever.  Even TOG says it doesn't matter and that those grades involve "trusting much to the reading of good books."  If you hang on the boards long enough, you'll find retention from those early years tends to be more sporadic, just whatever caught their imaginations.


BJU's history sequence bumps up significantly with their grade 7 text, and that's a very different type of experience, a different set of skills.  You don't see this massive flood of people on the boards going oh I did WTM through 6th and then we started a TEXTBOOK and workbook and tests in 7th and were so happy!  And their high school texts are very, very dry.  Unless a student is accustomed to that, you're *unlikely* to find that a happy transition.  I've used some of them, chosen not to use others, and used the ones we did use in very non-traditional ways.  


If you like BJU, do BJU.  If you don't like BJU, go do something else that strikes you.  They're ALL fine.  Honest.  I would get the one you think really fits your student.  My student (ds7) has skill gaps, learns better with hands-on, and doesn't learn well from read alouds.  Something like Sonlight, much as I like it, CANNOT fit him.  BJU is strong on how they weave skills across the curriculum.  The reading curriculum will introduce vocabulary you need for the history.  The writing is showing up across the curriculum.  Lots of subtle integration there that makes BJU materials synergistic.  My dd was bored in most BJU materials.  She's not workbooky and was very intuitive with skills. For her it was better to use bits and move on.  There are days when I wish we could have found a way to have used BJU straight.  It certainly would have made planning easier!  But reality is we had to do what fit her.  My ds is totally different, for him I'll probably go back and look at the updated materials and see.  I have several directions in mind I could go with him, and it really just depends on what is most important and what's going to fit him.


Fwiw, my dd watched a fair part of the grade 7 Heritage Studies dvds with a missionary kid when some were visiting, and she LOVED it.  She was in maybe 6th grade at the time.  It's really *different* from a straight examination of ancients and the middle ages.  They start to think about the whys of things.  The video course was quite good.  Alas, you don't get to do everything that is good.  You have to pick.   :)

Edited by OhElizabeth
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We only have used BJU Heritage 6 during our grade 7/8.

We had a wonderful time.

Unfortunetly their grade 7 text is far more 'fill in the blank' then their grade 6 text.


BJU Heritage 6 integrates 'Ancients' with the arison of current World Religions, and part of the assignments was writing contrast / compare essays about these religions and Christianity.



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