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Nam2001

Help me think this through

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I’m not sure why I’m having a consistent dilemma of indecisiveness, but maybe you all can help me think this through. 

I’m trying to plan this year with my 9th grader based on what I anticipate her entire high school journey to be - particularly with history. We have planned Biblioplan for this year, but honestly, as I’ve been pre-reading, I’m not loving it. I have kind of decided to keep it and use the non-BP spines (particularly MOH and several of the church history books plus readers). But....I continue to be pulled towards A Gentle Feast. I don’t love the idea of only narration and I’m not sure if my student would love the Paul Johnson or SWB spine, but overall I like what I see. If I use AGF, world and American history and also government will be lumped into the 4 years instead of broken into separate years. The other option is to just keep what we are doing for this year, then do something like Notgrass or SL Government. Then use Heart of Dakota for 11th and 12th for American History (minus their government because we will have already done it. I could also keep the government/Econ as written in the HOD guide and then do world geography in 10th. 

So....

9th - 12th - A Gentle Feast 

or

9th - MOH Plus other spines and books

10th - world geography or government/econ

11th and 12th - HOD (with or without gov/Econ) 

What are your thoughts on this? What could I be missing when trying to finally make this decision? 

 

ETA - this is my first high schooler 

Edited by Nam2001

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I went through this same thought process for this year, though my DD is going to be a junior.  We did Ancient, then Medieval/Ren & Ref for history/lit for 9th and 10th.  But I did not want to have to cover one credit of American History in 2 years of a curriculum.  Plus it feels like you are stuck if you decide that curriculum isn't working (for us it was Tapestry of Grace...which I loved for my older 3 kids but isn't a fit for this kid.). We looked at but didn't love it.  I have decided to use Joy Hakim's The Story of US...all 10 books, 3 weeks per book.  I found some pre-done worksheets and will use notebooking with it as well.  We'll see how it goes.

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I am a planner too ... I have an entire preK thru 12 spreadsheet all mapped out as to what I consider to be the ideal perfect education for my kids. Trouble is, none of my kids have been ideal or perfect 😉 So none of them have actually followed it so far LOL

I think it's great to think ahead about what you want their high school years to look like and what possible colleges require as far as credits go, but I don't think you need to wed yourself to any specific curriculum for any particular year except for the one in front of you. Also - the high school years are a good time to start getting your student to help you plan what they want to study (if you haven't already). What does your DD want to study this year? What resources look interesting to her? It's sooooo much easier to get a high schooler to do their work well if they have some buy in as far as choosing courses and resources.

For instance, most colleges require 3-4 years of social studies, so it's a good idea to pencil 4 years into your high school plan, but there is a lot of variety as to what courses would satisfy those requirements. My oldest did 2 years of world history, 1 year of US history, and 1 year of gov/econ. 2nd one did 1 year of gov/econ, 1 year of world history, 1 year of US history, an 1 year of Comparative Gov & Politics. 3rd one has done 1 year of world cultures/religions, 1 year of US history, and tentatively 1 year of gov/econ and 1 year sociology. It allcounts as "social studies".

Good luck!

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29 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

I am a planner too ... I have an entire preK thru 12 spreadsheet all mapped out as to what I consider to be the ideal perfect education for my kids. Trouble is, none of my kids have been ideal or perfect 😉 So none of them have actually followed it so far LOL

I think it's great to think ahead about what you want their high school years to look like and what possible colleges require as far as credits go, but I don't think you need to wed yourself to any specific curriculum for any particular year except for the one in front of you. Also - the high school years are a good time to start getting your student to help you plan what they want to study (if you haven't already). What does your DD want to study this year? What resources look interesting to her? It's sooooo much easier to get a high schooler to do their work well if they have some buy in as far as choosing courses and resources.

Ditto all of this, but especially the bolded. Make your choices for this year, but don't feel like you are wedded to them for all of high school.

My eldest's transcript turned out so very different than my plan when she was starting 9th. (It started pretty quickly that year as an online writing class turned out to be a horrific mistake both in terms of teacher and lack of any feedback.) She also changed so much as a person. Her interests became clear and so she picked almost all of her senior year subjects herself. She had big input on junior year as well. So, plan all you like but play it by ear.

Edited by RootAnn
Switched wording so it didn't sound like class lacked a teacher
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Thanks for all of the thoughts so far. I guess my main question is whether it seems advantageous to do high school history the CM way - where you have multiple streams of history each year vs compartmentalized in a way by studying medieval one year, government one year, American one year, etc..... in some ways I think she might grasp things better if she does a little of each every year. 

I change my mind a decent amount so I know I need to be flexible and not put things in stone, but it feels like if we jump over to AGF, we’ll need to follow through with that once we started it. 

I like the reminder that she might want to follow her interests more as she gets older. Right now, she doesn’t have a ton of interest in history. She is so passionate about nature, animals, botany, marine biology, etc..... so I’m guessing she won’t care what we study for “social studies.” 

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1 hour ago, Nam2001 said:

Thanks for all of the thoughts so far. I guess my main question is whether it seems advantageous to do high school history the CM way - where you have multiple streams of history each year vs compartmentalized in a way by studying medieval one year, government one year, American one year, etc..... in some ways I think she might grasp things better if she does a little of each every year. 

I change my mind a decent amount so I know I need to be flexible and not put things in stone, but it feels like if we jump over to AGF, we’ll need to follow through with that once we started it. 

I like the reminder that she might want to follow her interests more as she gets older. Right now, she doesn’t have a ton of interest in history. She is so passionate about nature, animals, botany, marine biology, etc..... so I’m guessing she won’t care what we study for “social studies.” 

My "beautiful perfect ideal" plan that I referenced above is not necessarily the CM way, like you're talking about, but it does incorporate world and US History together and adds in Gov where appropriate. But to cover all that well it would take at least 3 years (maybe 4) and so far none of my kids have been into history enough to want to cover it at that depth. They all wanted something that was more "get er done" for history so they could focus on other things, much to my WTM-loving chagrin 😉

I'm not familiar with A Gentle Feast, but if you like it I would show it to your DD and ask her what she thinks of doing that this year. Then if she likes the looks of it too, go for it! If it ends up working you can continue, and if not you can reassess after freshman year.

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No answers to to your curriculum question, since I have my first 9th grader too. 😉

But a thought about how History is taught. History is by nature multi-streamed and not very compartmentalized. Any well taught history course will inevitably touch on many disciplines, eras, places, ideas etc. One does not need material labeled CM or from a particular publisher to teach that way.

E.g., we cannot teach American government well without also teaching some about ancient Greece and Rome, about the Reformation and the Enlightenment, about economics, literature, art and theology. 

 

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I'm just going to add that by a students Junior or Senior year (depending on the student) they often have plans of their own and things they want to try. I had great ideas about well researched papers on a current event topic with reading many sources blah, blah, blah but scientist boy had stuff to learn and dual enrollment credits to obtain and then a job etc. Music girl decided on an IT class worth 1.5 credits per semester on top of orchestra and German and so our core classes turned very ummm.. average. I think you have more time for those in depth history discussions 9th and 10th grade, much to my chagrin.  The important thing is to teach them to think, look stuff up, keep learning, and recognize how little they know so they do want to keep learning. 

Edited by frogger
Changed the tense to past tense. Hard to believe I'm done with my college boy now.
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No answers for you, but 3 of my kids have used PJ's Hisotry of the American People. It covers a lot of material and does a thorough thorough job of covering American history. All 3 of them took the CLEP exams for US history 1&2 and passed with minimal study. We didn't use the book with any prefab curriculum. They read through it and watch some of the Great Courses's US history lectures.  

They take US history and gov't the same yr.

That said, I have never tried to incorporate multiple strands of history simultaneously. I also don't teach history cyclically. We study what we want when we want to. So subjects are sort of compartmentalized, but not really since I teach across subjects. So instead of having multiple strands of history going, we might be studying the history of Russia while reading War and Peace. (Yes, one of my kids had Russian history as one of her history credits. She also had the history of France as a credit and one that she took in French.)

point being.....do what works for you, your kids, and how you will enjoy teaching.

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4 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

No answers for you, but 3 of my kids have used PJ's Hisotry of the American People. It covers a lot of material and does a thorough thorough job of covering American history. All 3 of them took the CLEP exams for US history 1&2 and passed with minimal study. We didn't use the book with any prefab curriculum. They read through it and watch some of the Great Courses's US history lectures.  

They take US history and gov't the same yr.

That said, I have never tried to incorporate multiple strands of history simultaneously. I also don't teach history cyclically. We study what we want when we want to. So subjects are sort of compartmentalized, but not really since I teach across subjects. So instead of having multiple strands of history going, we might be studying the history of Russia while reading War and Peace. (Yes, one of my kids had Russian history as one of her history credits. She also had the history of France as a credit and one that she took in French.)

point being.....do what works for you, your kids, and how you will enjoy teaching.

Thanks! So did your kids like the Paul Johnson book? 

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I'll just echo the others that are saying don't plan too far in advance.  My advice would be to pick a history she would enjoy that is on the college admissions list.  Some are very specific about the classes, others just want 3 credits. #1 ans #2 will have different transcripts in history, but both will have the requirements for college entrance.  We are doing quite a bit of DE the last 2 years, so they have a lot more say over the classes.  Oldest did World geography in 9th grade, 2nd is doing World History.  It's a survey course,  so we are plowing through and it's way too much to cover in depth in 1 year.  I'm actually focusing as much on textbook and study skills as I am on the content.

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