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Suggestions for off-sequence history studies

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We just finished SoTW 4 this past spring and I'm planning on taking my 11 and 10 yr olds off-sequence for the next two years. The plan is to launch back into Ancients in 8th grade, Middle Ages in 9th grade, US 1/Civics in 10th grade, Early Modern in 11th and Modern/US 2 in 12th grade.  


Specifically, I want them to be much older when we next pass through modern history, so that they will have a better appreciation for how historical events play out and impact our world/culture/etc.  


Anyways, so that leaves us with 6th and 7th.  I've decided to go off-sequence and just study something topical or....?  


Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Maybe some geography?  Local history?  Explorers?  Science history?  I don't know.  


ETA: Thus far, I've decided to focus on NY State history as well as US Geography for 7th grade.  Which leaves 6th grade.  For that, I'm kicking around the idea of interest-led unit studies.  Maybe I'll give them a list of topics to choose from...one a month or so.  Require a report or some kind of something to demonstrate what they've learned.  


To answer a specific question...so far neither of the Bigs has any particular interest.  I asked DS10 what he would choose if he could study anything from history and his response was "dinosaurs".  Yeah...that's science.  DD11 answered, "horses".  *sigh*  


Back to the drawing board...lol.  

Edited by Sweetpea3829
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Mapping the World With Art by Ellen McHenry?   I've had two kids do this as freshman but I think it's recommended for as young as middle school.  Great program with the added benefit that it's easy to add in lit about explorers as you draw the areas of the world they discovered.


Another thought I had was Trisms middle school program called History Masterminds which concentrates on the people of history in science, inventions and explorers.



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Have you read Lies Across America?  I'd use that as a springboard for an off-sequence study, looking for monuments and plaquards in our area that detailed events, then finding out more about those events.  Many libraries will have small-batch published books/memoirs written by local authors, and Google newspapers can help to see how different towns or areas covered the event.

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I'm doing a year of mythology instead of history for my upcoming 8th grader next year.


She chose the topic so I'm going with it. It's shaping up to be a really interesting study that's about history, but from a different slant.

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What are they interested in?


I let my both of my two oldest children go "off sequence" in 7th grade. My dd wanted to do an in-depth study of the Elizabethan age. She read several serious adult history books including biographies of Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots. She also did an intense Shakespeare study: 6 plays, all the sonnets, and a Great Course lecture series on Shakespeare. My ds will be in 7th this fall and wants to study ancient Rome. He'll be reading several history books on Rome, and I ordered a bunch of Nat Geo documentaries. I'm not making any effort to connect his literature, because he has no interest in that (and it would be over his head). He's doing a study of fantasy and sci-fi literature instead.


I think "off-sequence" can be really fun if you follow your child's genuine interests.

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An idea I would like to do on an "off year" is a world cultures year combined with music of world cultures/tribal music. I think that would be fascinating. Maybe even combine that with deeper study of world ecosystems/geography... a macro planet earth year. :) Think of the documentaries available! (Now I'm excited!)

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Many kids, including my DD are huge fans of mysteries in any subject.  They love to learn about the unknown and then speculate about how to resolve those mysteries.  You could do a year of history's unsolved mysteries.  For instance, my DD was intrigued by the origins of the Celts and Druids, so we studied that last year and she really enjoyed it.


Topics could include (some will be more scientific, but have been historical mysteries as well):


  • Roanoke Colony:  Yes, you've probably done this, but there are new books out and several documentaries on the subject. 
  • Sailing Stones of the dry lakebed Racetrack, Death Valley
  • Taos Hum
  • Vile Vortices: 12 geographical areas known several for mysterious disappearances (Bermuda Triangle is one of them)
  • Atlantis
  • Bog Bodies
  • Amelia Earhart - there have been several new findings on this case as well.
  • Voynich Manuscript
  • Bimini Road
  • Babushka Lady - related to the Kennedy assassination
  • DB Cooper
  • Loch Ness Monster
  • Marfa Lights
  • Cleopatra's Tomb
  • Oak Island Money Pit
  • Crystal skulls
  • Copper Scroll Treasure
  • Ball Lightning
  • Tunguska Explosion
  • The Mary Celeste
  • Kenneth Arnold's "flying saucers"
  • The Devil's Footprints of southern Devon, England
  • Shroud of Turin - fascinating new developments here, including corrected radiocarbon dating falling within the time of Christ and new 3-D modeling of the Shroud
  • Richard the III & the Princes in the Tower
  • The Dancing Plague of 1518
  • The Uffington White Horse
  • Robin Hood's Identity; how did this legend arise
  • King Arthur - reality, myth, or misnamed
  • Wow! Signal
  • Kaspar Hauser - who was he?
  • Bronze Age collapse - several interesting theories here
  • Rongorongo & the Indus Valley script

I'm sure there are many more, but these may make for very interesting and thought-provoking studies.  I can also see many potential writing prompts/stories with these.

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