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Expediting History/Science


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We have a hard time getting through history and science. I hate rushing the children, but even with encouraging them to hurry up, these subjects just take forever. Today, we did history. I read to the kids. I asked them their review questions. They did a coloring page. They did narrations. They did map work. We reviewed our history cards. This took almost two hours. Part of it is that review questions and narration with my seven year old is like pulling teeth. Part of it is how long the coloring takes: they are on task, it just takes forever for them for some reason. Now I feel so behind in my day. I really wish I could find some way for these subjects to feel relaxed and last less than an hour. Help?

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Do they have to answer review questions and narrate and color and do map work and review history cards every time you do history?  Instead of trying to do it all at once, mix it up.  Do narrations and map work one day, review questions and the coloring page another day.  Try having them color while listening to you read.  If they aren't finished when you are finished reading, tell them they can finish the coloring page after the rest of the day's lessons are completed.

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If you are doing written narrations you can switch to oral narrations, especially for the younger children.


You can also have the kids do narration OR review questions. When you narrate, instead of having all of the kids narrate, have just one child narrate and then then let each of your other children add one thing to the narration. The next time have a different child narrate and the others add details.


Your seven year old may be having trouble narrating because the text is too long. Give him practice by reading the first paragraph and then let him narrate just that one paragraph. Gradually increase the amount of reading he has to narrate. 


When your older kids are done with their narrations, you can hand them a map and the teacher's guide and they can do the map work themselves while you work with the younger kids.


Don't forget that you do not have to do everything suggested in the teacher's manual. If you want to be done in an hour, do the most important thing first, then the next most important thing and so on. If you have done your top priorities for the day's lesson, you can consider the rest gravy and move on with your day.



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I recently revamped our history for similar reasons. I don't have the time to sit nicely and do everything I WANT to do while also caring for the little littles.


We're using SOTW 2 right now. I already had the text and the activity guide. I recently bought the audio book mp3. So now for each chapter, I have them listen to it while they color the coloring page. After 2 chapters have been listened to, we do a map day and do the maps for those 2 chapters. Occasionally we have a review day where we read through the review cards and flip through our history notebook (which contains the completed coloring pages and maps).


To help facilitate this, we stopped doing the review questions and narrations. I just bought WWE2 to use instead. My ideal would be to use science and history for writing, but at this stage, that's not realistic.


I also get books from the library, but to do schedule a time to read them. DS7 is a decent reader, so he will read the books and therefore gets more exposure to the topics.


So now we do history 3 times a week, 20-30 minutes each time. Hope that helps!

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