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TWTM-style history and literature tips

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I have looked at older threads on this topic and am hoping to get some new opinions.

 

Dd is in 9th grade and has been studying ancient history and literature TWTM-style using The History of the Ancient World and the Great Books list in TWTM.  It has been going well.  Now I am looking to next year.

 

In my planning, I had some unknowns that now must be resolved.  We like the 4-year history cycle and tying it into the literature.  That is great.  One roadblock I knew we were going to hit right away was how to deal with the second year of the cycle.  Dd likes Susan's books but finishing the Ancients in a single year is going to be enough of a feat.  To stay on schedule and use her next books, we are looking at attempting to cover The History of the Medieval World and The History of the Renaissance World in a single year.  What have people done here?  I see a few options:

 

1.  Dd could get through both books on a more surface level.

 

2.  She could go as in-depth as she has been but would need to skip a significant amount of chapters.  I don't know how we would even decide which to skip.

 

3.  She could use another text.  Anyone use Norman Cantor's The Civilization of the Middle Ages?  It is recommended in TWTM but says it has a "focus on Europe."  I don't know if that means it would not be sufficient as a stand-alone spine.  Anyone know?

 

Simplicity is important for dd.  A single spine is best for her.  As soon as we start juggling too many resources, she gets overwhelmed.  I am open to any other ideas too!

 

I can see that some of my other unknowns are going to be biting me soon.  Looking ahead to years 3 and 4 or the history cycle, I worry about covering everything without overdoing it.  I can get onboard with styling those last two years in a way that a full year of US History can be counted.  However, I am even more in the dark for these years when it comes to finding an appropriate spine.  Suggestions?  I don't see any way to cover government and econ without those being additional credits.  If anyone has stumbled upon a brilliant solution to those issues, I am all ears!

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A few thoughts

 

I treated Government and Economics as electives and stuck them in when it seemed like a good time for them.

 

When I started High School with my oldest HAW hadn't been published yet. She used Spielvogel's Western Civ and the Great Courses Foundations of Western Civ videos. For years 3 and 4 she also read Paul Johnson's History of the American People - SWB recommended it at the time...I think at a convention?

 

Mt 2nd daughter used HAW in 9th grade along with the videos and it was a great year! Year 2 was more challenging - Spielvogel was heavy going for her and Susan's next book wasn't yet out but she managed and also used 2 other books that SWB recommended - probably at the same convention! Life in Medieval Times by Rowling and The Renaissance by Paul Johnson.

 

.Year 3 we changed around a bit - we did all US History using Notgrass and the Great Courses US History. Year 4 we went back and did the rest of World History with a different textbook - she really disliked Spielvogel so we switched to an easier World History text (World History by Hanes).

 

I have the original TWTM so I'm going to look and see what she recommended before she wrote her own books. Be back later!

 

Edited by Liza Q
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In the original TWTM SWB recommended A Short History of Western Civilization (Harrison/Sullivan/Sherman) 8th ed, The Timetables of History and the DK History of the World.

 

IMO, find something engaging that your daughter will enjoy reading and don't worry too much about finding the perfect text. The goal of homeschooling this way is "engaging with the ideas of the past and the present". She'll be learning to make connections. Any solid, well-written text should work well.

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 We are in grade 10. Dd is partway through History of the Ancient World and reading great books after doing History of the Ancient World for 9th.  She does reports on the history from the great books ala WTM, so she has most recently finished a report for Augustine and is now working on one for the Canterbury Tales. Besides just the History of series we have a British Literature, a Chronological Approach textbook that does history with the lit, so we are ahead in her British lit text than she is in her History of ... book. And in a co-op class, they are following the schedule of SOTW2 and are more than halfway done there. So we do discussions, take notes and timelines, and do projects based on that, and again, we are farther along in there than she is in her History of... book. So she is exploring history in the general time period of the fall of Roman Empire through middle ages through Renaissance in a broad sense in many ways. For her little research papers she uses the Timetables of History book and a history encyclopedia ala WTM.   We also do read alouds and listen to audio books as a family on top of the lit she is doing. 

 

I have come to the conclusion that I am not worried about this. We will work through the History of the Middle Ages this year, then move into the History of the Renaissance World next year for 11th.  We will begin our American History with that at some point as we hit the explorers and early colonies. And that leaves 12th grade for an in depth American History and government class.. 

 

Honestly, our government class is ongoing. She does some intense classes here and there, paid for, when the opportunities come up at homeschool convention and such for days straight. I count those hours towards her government because they will do an intensive on going through a mock election or how a bill becomes a law, doing all of the votes and acting it all out. When we get to senior year we will do whichever books WTM suggests for those (in one version of WTM it was to read one of the dummy books on government alongside the history text and great books I believe.)  For state history we have done that ongoing as well. We did an in depth state year a few years ago, created an ongoing notebook, did SOO many field trips and books on the topic, that we will just add to that as it comes up in our chronological studies and call it good. With the explorations and field trips and things in our off times and a paper here or there, it will all equal out to enough for the required credit there. 

 

So yes, we may have a gap in time period jumping from the end of the Renaissance World to the start of the American History book, strictly chronologically speaking. But at this point I am not worried about it. The great books study and papers written on those topics will go over some things. And there is honestly no way to cover everything. The point is to read, write, think, and learn. We are doing that. Covering the great books picks up the major themes since we do the history context for each. 

 

 

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For some other ideas, you might want to look at how WTM Academy structures their history and literature sequence. I notice that they have a separate year for government with economics. I forget how the WTM book does it. Isn’t there a plan to just read more primary documents and call that government? I think it might still end up being another credit, and then you would still have economics if your state requires it or if universities are looking for it.

 

As you said, you can’t do everything.

 

For tenth and medieval, I was going to use Spielvogel’s as a spine. We opted instead to not do Great Books for history, but separate history out more with a goal toward some APs and DE.

Edited by Penelope
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Thanks for the input!  I am ordering up your suggestions via ILL so we can take a look at some options.  I know you can't do it all, but we want to!  Ha ha!

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