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Momof3plus

Not retaining SOTW 2nd grade

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The title says it all really. We’re on volume 2 of SOTW and about 16 chapters in.  My kids can tell me random tidbits of information here and there but recently they’re not even able to answer ANY of the review questions for the chapters. They’re not messing about or talking as they sit quietly colouring. Today one of them thought the Celtic language was introduced by the Normans and they struggled to tell me where the normans were from! I feel completely at a loss with volume 2. It’s just not working out as well as it did for volume 1. What should I do?! Any recommendation? 

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I really wouldn't worry about it.  At that age it is just a gentle first exposure to history.  I doubt many 7 year olds could tell you much about the Normans.  Actually I kind of doubt most college students could tell you much about the Normans.

I would just enjoy listening to the stories and doing fun activities with the kids and not worry about retention at the early elementary age.  You have plenty of time to go through the history cycle 2 more times and this is just laying the groundwork.  

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I agree not to worry about it.  At that age, the picture book recommendations were much more easily retained by my kids, and now that we are re-listening with the oldest two, the picture books (which they remember) are fitting in nicely to the SOTW2 that they are retaining much better.  But SOTW2 has SO MANY names and places... I am not looking for a ton of retention, even at this point.  

If all your kid gets from SOTW2 during second grade is that kingdoms and borders come and go and change... then they will have learned a valuable lesson from history.  

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I'll add my voice to the chorus here: I wouldn't worry about it. I honestly haven't found my daughter to be able to retain large blocks of information yet. Like, she was in kindergarten last year, and they did some science, and she can tell me random tidbits... and that's about it. And they spent plenty of time on it. 

That's part of the reason we're pretty unschooly when it comes to history and science at the moment, though :-). I'm not that stressed about it at this age. And I'm pretty happy to let her take the lead: we're going to start learning about whatever she feels like next. I'm hoping it'll encourage her to find something she's interested in enough to retain, but if she doesn't, that's all right. 

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Thank you! This is what I needed, some perspective. I’ve been feeling guilty, like I’m failing them and must not be cut out for this homeschooling gig ☹️

Thanks for your input everyone. Xxxx

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11 minutes ago, Momof3plus said:

Thank you! This is what I needed, some perspective. I’ve been feeling guilty, like I’m failing them and must not be cut out for this homeschooling gig ☹️.

Yeah, you can't feel guilty for "failing" a 7yo child because he doesn't seem to "retain" historical stuff. 🙂

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You have a 7 yo who has heard of the Celts and the Normans. Trust me. You're winning at this whole homeschool thing right now.

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My ds does a class and they keep a narration notebook going.  He draws a picture then tells me some things from the chapter which I write down for him.  Every week he wants me to reread the entire notebook.  He loves looking at the pictures he drew as well.  Some weeks he does great at it and others he just does the minimum, but nontheless he always ask me to read it "from the beginning".

I also really don't mind if he remembers much.  

My oldest dd later went back and read the Story of the World on her own around 4th grade and really liked it. 

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First let me say that you are doing fine just listening and enjoying!

Mbelle's comment reminded me that the first time through SotW 1 and 2 we did the lapbook from the internet. We did that every 3 chapters which allowed for a break and some mini review.

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I would completely agree there is no need for alarm,but I might also try some things to encourage them to engage their mind alittle more and practice listening well.  If they aren’t interested I don’t want them developing a habit of checking out. Maybe I would not read the whole chapter before stopping to ask questions or what they remember. Or maybe I just wouldn’t read the whole chapter at all, sometimes there is more than one topic in a chapter and maybe just one is enough, skip the other.  And definitely picture books are always good way to engage more and help them remember. 

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3 hours ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

I agree not to worry about it.  At that age, the picture book recommendations were much more easily retained by my kids, and now that we are re-listening with the oldest two, the picture books (which they remember) are fitting in nicely to the SOTW2 that they are retaining much better.  But SOTW2 has SO MANY names and places... I am not looking for a ton of retention, even at this point.  

If all your kid gets from SOTW2 during second grade is that kingdoms and borders come and go and change... then they will have learned a valuable lesson from history.  

I agree.  One of mine wasn't ready for SOTW until 4th.  We have done mainly picture books and short biographies and historical fiction for her first history cycle.  It worked just as well.  Concentrate on the lists of extra books and the activities.  Start narration by saying something like--tell me 3 things you learned in this book about knights.  Diane Stanley books read slowly are good.  Usborne Time Traveller is great.  There was another series about some kids who time traveled which was good.  Clyde Bulla books are excellent for this time period.

Actually, my child who loved history the most in second grade and was really engaged  didn't really remember any of the details when we cycled back 4 years later.  That brought home to me how history at this level is about the story and being familiar with the past and different ways of living, not the details.  If SOTW isn't working, use something that covers less detail, but promotes more engagement.  You won't go wrong.

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1 hour ago, Dudley said:

I would completely agree there is no need for alarm,but I might also try some things to encourage them to engage their mind alittle more and practice listening well.  If they aren’t interested I don’t want them developing a habit of checking out. Maybe I would not read the whole chapter before stopping to ask questions or what they remember. Or maybe I just wouldn’t read the whole chapter at all, sometimes there is more than one topic in a chapter and maybe just one is enough, skip the other.  And definitely picture books are always good way to engage more and help them remember. 

This.

You can also try "Tell me the story now!" or "Tell me what you remember!"
But honestly, it's really easy to check out if not actively engaged.  So............are you asking for ways to engage beyond the wealth offered in the activity guide?  Or are you looking for ways to review the information?  Or just want to know if this is normal?

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I've been surprised what my kids have absorbed from SOTW.  Not that they could have answered questions after one reading of a chapter, though!  I think the brain doesn't file important terms on first contact.  But after going through SOTW 1-4 in a fairly casual way, with a few activities and field trips, and then listening to the audio books for another pass, DD11 can have a pretty good discussion about the big trends of history.  Now we're doing something else for logic stage history, and it's clicking even more!

It helped me to put the CDs of the audio books into the car.  That way I don't have to read it over and over, but we all get to hear it several times. 

 

 

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I have that issue too and we are at about the same place in it right now. I usually have to follow the procedure of rereading the section the answer is in for so much of it with dd since she cannot answer it the first time. She is good at answering questions in other books we read. I was thinking of dropping it for that reason. She remembered and answered the questions about Greenland and Australia but most other topics she needs me to do the reread thing for a lot of them. 

Edited by MistyMountain

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Echoing the others - not a big deal. 

I also loved the CDs and would recommend purchasing them or audio files. We also got in the habit of listening to an old chapter in the car and then chatting about it. Great for memory and discussion. 

My dd also loved doing narration and pictures. We did two per week, and she enjoyed going back and re-reading them. We also made a timeline that was fun to review. For the really fun projects I would take a picture and add it to her narration or timeline. She enjoyed making costumes and dressing up like history characters. 

Honestly, I think creating a love for history is most important at this age. 

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I agree with everyone that there's nothing to worry about now.   What you're doing now is instilling a love of history and a general sense of how wide and deep it is, and learning about the existence of other cultures and how they affect each other and how things change through time.   The details of it (names, dates, etc.) aren't as important right now.

I will say that if you can repeat the info in a different format they tend to remember more though.   For instance, following up with a picture book or a short video from you-tube.   (I suggest Extra Credits History and TedEd videos).  

Chronological Extra Credits History (may not include some of their newer additions...like they are currently midway through a series on the Viking Expansion that isn't included in this list yet):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyjLt_RGEww&list=PLHnQERzIZmXVYIRJyGkVCWWF6USpJYoDK

Sadly no one has put together a chronological list of the TedEd Videos but you can just search TedEd and the culture/topic you're covering and see if they have anything on it.   Also, I suggest looking up videos that show actual medieval/Renaisance buildings like castles and cathedrals and such. 

Edited by goldenecho

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