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Why American and World history at same time?


ktgrok
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Why do some programs, usually Charlotte Mason ones, do country history (American, British, whatever) and world at the same time? It seems like it would be confusing to do American Revolution at the same time as Ancient Egypt, but maybe I'm missing something?

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I made my own American History and ran it alongside years 2-4 of world history. American History was "lighter", we did it once a week and it was mostly read-alouds and videos with some 3-D maps thrown in. When it made sense, we would talk about where we were in world history compared to American. It was less confusing than studying two languages, where we sometimes can only come up with the word in the "other" language.

 

I'm happy with the 4-year history cycle and I don't particularly want to mess with that, but I felt like my kids would benefit with some direct instruction to cover some topics like, there were complex societies here before Europeans arrived, how the government was formed, famous historical people, etc. So we took an orderly, leisurely spin through American History.

 

It was much cheaper for me to back up the study of American History with hands-on experiences than world history!

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I am doingUS history at the same time as world history for the last two years of a four year cycle to try to preserve chronology. I suspect for subsequent kids we will do four years world history followed by two years US history: I think history eats up too much of our time like this.

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No clue, but I agree that sounds like a bit much unless someone really loves history.  Although one thing I couldn't figure out was when we were going to cover it during the rotation.  I prefer to do it all at once within the context of world history, but the coverage that way seemed very light with what I was using (SOTW). 

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I do it in part because I enjoyed what Charlotte Mason said on the subject (she actually taught more than just her nation and world as her students also studied French history separately as part of French class!). The first study is a slow study of your own land. We are taking it very slowly, so we can really get to know either specific people in US history or a specific peoples group. With world history it's more of an overview. There's more to cover. While I want him to know and love famous people from the history of his nation I also don't want him to think that once his country began all world history starts revolving around it. I'm hoping in doing this we'll be able to focus more on what was going on in other parts of the world during the time his country existed, plus he'll be aware of the relatively short (in comparison) period of time his country's been around.

 

So for this year we were able to spend half the year slowly reading the adventures of explorers like Leif Erickson and DeSoto, while since then we're focusing on interesting groups of people like the various nations of peoples the European settlers found already established on the east coast as they arrived in North America, the pilgrims (just a month) and we'll end it with a fun time visiting the pirates. Next year we'll be able to set the scene with life in the 18th century, spend a while getting to know several of the founding fathers, then move on to the new nation started pushing west (ending soon after 1800 I suspect). Slowly we can continue, savouring whatever catches our attention. That way a relationship is formed with the history of my child's country. My plan is to finish this study in six years. I'm using the Truthquest History guides (3 volumes) divided into half each year.

How we do it is simple enough. We spend a couple days reading a short bit from SOTW, then we spend a day reading a living book about US history. He's keeping everything perfectly straight in his mind. We actually spend very little time on history compared to reading, writing, copywork, and arithmetic, yet history and science are currently his favorite subjects.

 

*typos fixed

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This is probably the best explanation that I have found of why they have so many history streams going at once. http://www.adelectableeducation.com/2015/12/episode-12-chronology-of-history.html. It is a podcast, show notes and sample history rotation based very closely on what happened in CM schools. I imagine most people tweak it for themselves. I am still trying to figure out what we will do next year with my 4th grader.

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I agree with the others about what was done in CM schools. I was recently listening to the podcast "A Delectable Education" and they talked about how history was done in CM schools.

 

In first grade, they studied heroes and legends from the child's native country (kind of a general overview via famous people). In 2nd-3rd, they studied the history of their native country in chronological order. In 4th they did a general overview of world history using heroes and legends from around the world throughout time and finished up their study of native history. In 5th they studied chronological native country history along with ancient history (rotation of Egypt/Mesopotamia, Greece, Roman, and Middle Ages focusing on one of the four each year). In 6th-8th they added in the history of a neighboring influential country (France for Great Britain and Great Britain for the US considering out beginnings) to the ancient history study and the native history study. In high school they continued the progression that happened in 6th-8th, but now it slowed to four years to cover everything so it was more in-depth and spread out.

 

When children began XYZ grade they just jumped into the rotation wherever the rest of the children were so depending on the rotation they might totally miss studying something, but CM knew they'd hit it the next time around. In fact, she said (paraphrase) that she knew they would have gaps in their knowledge but that was to be expected and they'd get to it at some point. Anyway it was a very interesting podcast so I'm going to attempt history this way next year to see what I think. I'll have kids in three different spots in the rotation, but that's okay because we quit doing history and science together this year anyway.

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Ok, that makes way more sense to me. Basically, they learn their own history first for a year or two, THEN the world history is introduced. I can see how at that point, they are familiar enough with their own that they don't get confused. For some reason I was thinking a kindergartener would start at age 5 with american and ancients and that seemed a bit overwhelming. 

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I started even earlier with my preschooler. We read stories and legends and watch videos and documentaries about the ancient world and early American history. I wouldn't say that we "study" history, so maybe that makes a difference. Before reading and watching I usually explain that this happened before or after some other well known time period.

 

I don't see that its a big deal at all. Many other historical things have come up from just life that I have to stop and explain the chronological context for. I don't see how you can avoid coming across things from other categories of history than whichever you happen to be studying.

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Ok, that makes way more sense to me. Basically, they learn their own history first for a year or two, THEN the world history is introduced. I can see how at that point, they are familiar enough with their own that they don't get confused. For some reason I was thinking a kindergartener would start at age 5 with american and ancients and that seemed a bit overwhelming.

Cm advised skipping kindergarten and wouldnt have 5 year olds studying any history at all.

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Cm advised skipping kindergarten and wouldnt have 5 year olds studying any history at all.

 

You know, that's a good point!  (we haven't done history this year, for K, so that agrees with my own experience. We HAVE watched lots of travel documentaries and used our map/globe a lot.)

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Also, isn't 4th grade when most US public schools cover US history?  I was kind of wondering the same thing and wondering how to tackle it, considering it would need to be supplement to the 4-year cycle....  Sorry, I'm no help. :)

 

It's a big country. I doubt there's anything "most" public schools do with regards to history.

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For us, we run multiple threads at one time, but we often give one thread more emphasis than another. For example, we use the Foster books for much of our study of the 16th-19th Centuries which include world overviews of specific periods of time, but many of her books tend to have an American history focus. We also read more supplemental books from American history and much of our primary source work comes from American history too. This gives us the full world view but gives us depth in our own national history. We really like this approach, because it also allows us more freedom in the literature we choose. Have multiple time periods allows us to keep a lot of variety in our literature mixture.

 

Charlotte Mason kept her focus on English History but added in world or French history, read contemporaneously, to give events perspective and to show the interconnectedness of France to England or the world to England. She added Ancient History in Year 5 as a separate thread of study and later, her upper level students, began to study world history alongside of English history over the more specific French history. Older students studied all three histories throughout, but always with an eye towards allowing students to make connections. Beginning students studied English history but some tales, legends and biographies of important people were read too. By Year Five, just when they've started to add ancient history, CM's students were keeping a Book of Centuries, which also helps.

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Too, though, history as a THING, doesnt have to be delineated into seperate, individual sections and studied one at a time. We are accustomed to that, but it isn't strictly necessary.

 

I mean, my kids are watching The West in the daytime and The Roosevelts in the evenings every once in a while with me. Not as part of anything structured...just doing it. They are not getting these two things / time periods confused at all, because its not necessary for most ppl to learn one thing at a time. Some ppl just prefer to study a small piece of something intensely.

 

Kids, ime, can go either way and we can rarely anticipate what they will waht to dig into for a long time, in depth. History is a huge big thing, like math. Learning about base 2 at the same time as he was figuring out base-10 place value didnt hinder his learning either one for my son, ykwim?

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