Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

serendipitous journey

Well Trained Mind high school (history, rhetoric, great books): does anyone follow (more or less) The Plan?

Recommended Posts

As I look at our high school years ahead, I'm wondering: does anyone actually follow the WTM recs for high school?  By which I mean that, say, 90% of the school fits in with the recs/plan?  So it doesn't matter whether you start in Ancients or Modern for ninth grade, and there's a good deal of latitude in some of the actual programs, but you are doing the four-year rotation, great-books-based, following the writing & end-of-year research project recommendations? 

I seem to recall SWB saying that she wrote a whole book about what she would like to do in her homeschool, and that she'd love to actually do WTM, which kind of implies that it isn't what's happening in her real world.  And I can't recall ever seeing someone who high schooled that way for 4 years.  I have lots of ideas of ways to proceed for high school that are not clinging to some sort of WTM ideal, but would really love to know if people really end up doing it, especially more than once -- ie, with subsequent students. 

Thanks in advance. 

 

Edited by serendipitous journey
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is mostly a bump for you since I have implemented nothing yet! LOL.

Since we did not do the outlining/notetaking she prescribed for the earlier history cycles, I took a look at the WTM great books history and knew it was just not going to work as written for us. For one, my kids do not love history enough for me to want to schedule a year of history and government and econ in the same year.  So I knew I would need to compact our study to three years. Secondly, because I am a math and science girl and her plan intimidates me. 😃

What we are doing though, is an attempt at a compromise.  My oldest already did ancient great books with Wilson Hill. Next year,  he and I are doing Medieval and Reformation history at home. I am using a portion of a Western Civilization text (about six chapters) as a spine and adding great books.  We will not cover as many great books as we would if we only did great books, but I lack the confidence (and ability?) to connect those great books together. I am using a study guide to help me with questions for the different works. It's from Great Books Academy, and I have reservations about recommending it. It's not awful, but it's not spectacular either. It does give me sort of a roadmap though, and there is a little discussion between the books discussing the context and connection to the other works studied (many of which we are skipping, but anyway!)

My goal for my youngest is to cover the history cycle in three years. He will get less Great Books because of the more accelerated schedule. 


Ancients/early Medieval (origins to 1300)  - 9th

Middle Ages to Revolutions (approx 1300-1815) - 10th

Early Modern/Modern (also include US history) approx 1780-present - 11th

Govt/Economics - 12th 

Edited by cintinative
typos
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had planned for a 3 or 4 year cycle. We more or less did a four year cycle for elementary, and did a 3 year cycle for middle school.

My kiddo really likes history and government because of those years. We've ended up with a bit of a self-directed history mash up for high school so far. She's likely going to have three years of high school, though, so any kind of history cycle kind of unravels when you start adding government and econ. She's also a math and science kid, so her formal coursework is focused there.

Contemporary World History 9th (this was a serious bunny trail, but she's working on a second research paper right now that looks like we put together a well-thought home grown course.) 😉

Government and World Religions (if she finishes her current self study) 10th

US History and Econ 11th

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope, not even remotely! For 9th grade DD did an integrated Great Books study of the Ancients covering history, literature, and composition. We would have continued down this path, but the live classes conflicted with her extra-curricular. 
 

What we’ve migrated to instead approaches the vigor and intellectual depth of a WTM education, but looks a lot more like a traditional, college-prep, AP-heavy track.  
 

I still like to think of myself as WTM-inspired, though 🤪 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, cintinative said:

... For one, my kids do not love history enough for me to want to schedule a year of history and government and econ in the same year.  So I knew I would need to compact our study to three years. 😃    ...

 

6 hours ago, MamaSprout said:

... We've ended up with a bit of a self-directed history mash up for high school so far. She's likely going to have three years of high school, though, so any kind of history cycle kind of unravels when you start adding government and econ. ...

 

You know, this is really interesting to me.  I'd thought both gov't + econ were in the high school plan albeit largely as great books, so I went & looked it up after seeing y'all's comments.  I landed on p. 608 of the 4th edition (this is in the "What About American History and Government?" section of rhetoric stage "Great Books: History and Reading." 

SWB suggests that the great books, esp. if one is careful in selection from the list, cover much of American Government and one can round it out with one additional/supplementary book (there's a list of possibilities).  However, economics isn't addressed and I was surprised to see, when I went back to the reading lists for Early Modern / Modern, that there don't seem to be any of the great original works on economics.  

So I can see that if I wished to plan for or implement what, for the sake of grandeur, I'll call "The Plan", there are two areas I need to add to our great books study. 

The first is science, which I'd known already.  I always want to have a great science/math book running, though I may pull them out of their strict chronology.  For example, my short-list of Ancients science includes Euclid, Hippocrates, Aristotle, and Nicomachus.  At the moment my thought is to study them sort of Charlotte-Mason style, and having my child pick one each term and work through it as far as he gets.  In my experience there's more value to engaging part of these books well than there is to finishing all of them promptly. 

The other area is economics.  It would cut back on other great books reading, but Smith's "Wealth of Nations" and Marx's "Capital" would go in Early Modern and Keynes' "General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money" would be in Modern, followed maybe by something from Polyani, Stiglitz, Schumpeter, Sowell 'cause I like him, maybe though Cartoon Guides to Economics 😉 .  This wouldn't give AP prep but would be a great foundation. 

Here are a couple of thought-provoking and useful lists -- the econ one is my point of departure for the above: ListMuse's 100 Best Science Books + 100 Best Economics Books

ETA: SWB does include some great books-like science under science.  My thought above is that I'd like to tie some of the science reading to the time period studied, esp. because DS is a STEM/STEAM type.  I've done some of this myself and have a feel for the pros and cons.

Edited by serendipitous journey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@serendipitous journey even if you don't use the study guides it might be helpful to look at the book lists for Great Books Academy because they do include science (for example, the Middle Ages year includes Copernicus). 

http://greatbooksacademy.org/great-books-program/great-books-readings/

ETA: I would be happy to send you some pictures of pages from the study guide as well.

FYI--it comes from a Catholic perspective I think but I am not Catholic. 

Edited by cintinative
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, cintinative said:

@serendipitous journey even if you don't use the study guides it might be helpful to look at the book lists for Great Books Academy because they do include science (for example, the Middle Ages year includes Copernicus). 

http://greatbooksacademy.org/great-books-program/great-books-readings/

 

What can you get from them for homeschool high school, do you know?  I'd set them aside years ago b/c it looked like they expected you to use them for teaching the upper years, I didn't see support materials for the home teacher.    Agree that the lists are good points of departure: thanks for the reminder!  I got annoyed by some of the elementary stuff and haven't though about them in years ...

ETA: oooh, they have Wealth of Nations ...

Edited by serendipitous journey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically, as an individual user, I can get their study guides and any books that they sell via the bookstore.  They were kind enough to send me the reading assignments for a couple of semesters, and then signed me up for their website so that I can access the assignments from there.  

Unfortunately, as an individual user, there are no answer keys available--they only give those to their teachers. So I am working through the reading and answering questions myself.  All of the readings have Study Questions, Questions on Language and Form, and Reflection Questions. Sometimes the reflection questions address multiple works that were studied so far, so we have had to skip some because we are not doing all the readings. 

Their program is designed to be four years.  I am not sure how they address government and econ. You are correct that they do include different great books that could apply toward econ and government. 

Edited by cintinative
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We started out with "The Program."  We did the complete 4-year cycle in elementary and middle school.  Then started in high school with the first two years.  Dd was happy with it and so was I.  The only reason that we stepped off the bus was that dd ended up taking an opportunity to attend a semester school for the fall of her junior year.  This threw off her study progressions for all subjects and also changed her homeschooling preferences to be less mom-centric.  The result was a switch to mostly DE and a recovery plan that meant cutting the time we had for history in general.  She finished up world history via DE and we had to cram economics and government in.  We are going back to our roots for US History this coming year.  We won't follow "The Program" exactly as we did before but will include rhetoric and Great Books.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I think she does say somewhere in the book or in an article online that her family didn't follow TWTM to the letter, either.  (Did her youngest graduate this year?  I think she's the same age as my dd18)  

I have always followed her writing plans all throughout the years - down to the research paper writing in high school.  My 18 and 17 year olds are very good writers.  18 year-old ended English I at the college with like a 99% average and the professor said she really liked dd18's writing style.  Ds17's writing was used by a teacher in his classes as an example to the other students.  Lol.  That was all SWB's writing plans...my kids aren't writing savants or the next Stephen King.  SWB just has a really good plan for teaching writing.  I definitely credit SWB for my kids being good writers!

This year, we are using Beautiful Feet, which is very, very similar to SWB's history and literature plan in TWTM.  Bad thing is, though...I don't think dd15 likes it.  ☹️  *I* really like it.  Last year, we did a year-long study of Native America and that just blew anything we did after out of the water (I was afraid of that).  I mean, we read the coolest books - a vampire book that took place on a reservation....one book that ds17 claimed was the "best book he's ever read in his entire life"...it's hard to top that.  I had a feeling anything we did this year would feel blah.  The year before that, we did Sonlight.  I think dd15 preferred Sonlight to the classics.   

Economics - yeah, like you were saying, I don't think there's enough in the TWTM plan to assign half a credit to that.  Maybe government if you add in the extra books she talks about in that section you referenced.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll probably try the Great Books approach with DD (currently about to start 8th) because she is a good reader and generally willing to do what I assign, but it still may wind up being too much for her. I was thinking I'd have her do the relevant WTMA courses for 9th and see how she fares, leaving it open to change up the plan if she finds it overwhelming/unenjoyable. DS (currently about to start 10th) there's really no chance. He simply won't do the work if he doesn't like it. It would be setting him up for failure and setting me up for anger. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Evanthe: I know others also like the Beautiful Feet ancients year, and we've used/are using their California & Music history literature packs.  

May I ask you about this?  It looks like you'd be using the Ancient History Senior High pack.  One great thing about this pack is that it has literature from ancient China & India: a translation of Sun Tzu's "Art of War" and a shortened, prose retelling of the "Ramayana".  I wish the WTM lists included more great books from other cultures. 

However, if I compare it to the WTM great books list for ancients I notice that the Beautiful Feet list has only two original great books (Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" and the aforementioned "Art of War") and the rest of the books are more-or-less contemporary retellings; the spine is a history encyclopedia.  The WTM list is original works, translated in their entirety and not retold; the spine is SWB's high school history book.  It makes a lot of sense to me that using the retellings rather than the originals would be more manageable.  This is one of the things that has me asking about the feasibility of following "The Plan". 

ETA: I guess I'm wondering how & how much, in your opinion, those differences have affected your experience of the ancients year? 

 

Edited by serendipitous journey
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just finished Ancients. I love the WTM, but it is just a jumping off point for me. We did some Bible selections, The wished Gilgamesh Lori D. recommends, Iliad and Odyssey with the fabulous Vandiver lectures and some Greek plays, also with Vandiver. For history we used History of the Ancient World. I was really pleased with how it all worked.

In June we are reading Beowulf. When we are done we will listen to the In Our Time podcast about it to add some background, context, and expert opinions.

Thanks to the Coronavirus we are continuing on with Medieval history over the summer and also doing an 8-week, 0.5 credit US Government course.  After Medieval we will slide right into Renaissance and try to finish next summer. That will mean three history credits plus USGov in the first two years of high school. It will leave some social science wiggle room for the last two years.

This was not my plan, I'm just following the opportunities. 😀

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, serendipitous journey said:

@Evanthe: I know others also like the Beautiful Feet ancients year, and we've used/are using their California & Music history literature packs.  

May I ask you about this?  It looks like you'd be using the Ancient History Senior High pack.  One great thing about this pack is that it has literature from ancient China & India: a translation of Sun Tzu's "Art of War" and a shortened, prose retelling of the "Ramayana".  I wish the WTM lists included more great books from other cultures. 

However, if I compare it to the WTM great books list for ancients I notice that the Beautiful Feet list has only two original great books (Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" and the aforementioned "Art of War") and the rest of the books are more-or-less contemporary retellings; the spine is a history encyclopedia.  The WTM list is original works, translated in their entirety and not retold; the spine is SWB's high school history book.  It makes a lot of sense to me that using the retellings rather than the originals would be more manageable.  This is one of the things that has me asking about the feasibility of following "The Plan". 

ETA: I guess I'm wondering how & how much, in your opinion, those differences have affected your experience of the ancients year? 

 

 

I've looked through the Ancients booklist in TWTM a gazillion times and I have History of the Ancient World (dd18 read it).  I chose Beautiful Feet, because the books looked more like something dd15 and ds17 would enjoy.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with the WTM booklist, I just thought my kids would like the BF books.  I'm really on the fence about using Medieval history/lit pack next year.  I'll talk to dd15 about it, but we may switch back to Sonlight...  My first choice is to buy the Medieval package.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Evanthe said:

 

I've looked through the Ancients booklist in TWTM a gazillion times and I have History of the Ancient World (dd18 read it).  I chose Beautiful Feet, because the books looked more like something dd15 and ds17 would enjoy.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with the WTM booklist, I just thought my kids would like the BF books.  I'm really on the fence about using Medieval history/lit pack next year.  I'll talk to dd15 about it, but we may switch back to Sonlight...  My first choice is to buy the Medieval package.  

Evanthe, thanks so much for sharing how you are thinking about this!  Helps me get a grip on the options. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually did, yes. It was just easier for me to stick with what worked and to keep my two years younger child on the same cycles than to separate them out. So we just continued WTM style through high school, especially in how we did great books/history/literature. We did the four year schedule. Several years I used the exact resources from WTM as I found our groove and made changes where needed for us. I did assignments as laid out, set up the notebooks as laid out. I've always embraced the flexibility of hsing. I didn't attempt to churn out one paper a week, week after week, in the same format as WTM might seem to suggest at first glance. But I most definitely had my kids do research on an author and context of a book before starting. Then they read Well Educated Mind and took notes on their actual book after reviewing the Well Educated Mind relevant section. Then after we chose some type of writing assignment on the book. We definitely did not hit the number of great books a year that WTM suggests, but we did a reasonable amount, and went less deep on some than others. As a homeschool mom, I went back and forth. I couldn't be 'on' in all subjects all the time. So we might have as a group been reading several books on a variety of subjects, but we we could only be focused as a group on one or two. So we might be focused on a specific science-y topics and activities and projects for awhile. Girls are still reading literature, but I may not be reading aling with them on those at the time. Once we wrap up that science topic and book and projects, I'll then do the next literature book as a family and we'll have more discussion on it than others they did on their own. Etc. 

We also did some co-op classes and a DE class and some online math along the way. Mostly our co-ops were enrichment and part of my overall curriculum. We did very few that I was completely out of and relied on for the whole of their education on the subject and just accepted their grade.  It was difficult for me when my DD ended up applying to selective school to write up course descriptions at first. But I kept detailed notes along the way of our out of the box WTM style 'courses.'  My one DD that has graduated did very well (ACT scores, a national Questbridge College Match finalist, President's honor roll at the community college for the semester she did part time there, waitlisted at a top school currently, but going almost completely free to honors college in classics at our State University.) So I'm glad I stuck with the format I was most comfortable with. WTM history/lit was the most important for me not to give up because we were so good at it. We kept up the art projects around history SOTW style, but for bigger people, all the way through, maps and readalouds and timeline books, etc. 

Edited by 2_girls_mommy
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did use my own resources within the structure of the four year rotation, especially as I got more comfortable with high school and designing our curriculum or as I found material and lesson plans that fit the same purpose, but that I liked better for each subject. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/11/2020 at 6:59 PM, cintinative said:

This is mostly a bump for you since I have implemented nothing yet! LOL.

Since we did not do the outlining/notetaking she prescribed for the earlier history cycles, I took a look at the WTM great books history and knew it was just not going to work as written for us. For one, my kids do not love history enough for me to want to schedule a year of history and government and econ in the same year.  So I knew I would need to compact our study to three years. Secondly, because I am a math and science girl and her plan intimidates me. 😃

What we are doing though, is an attempt at a compromise.  My oldest already did ancient great books with Wilson Hill. Next year,  he and I are doing Medieval and Reformation history at home. I am using a portion of a Western Civilization text (about six chapters) as a spine and adding great books.  We will not cover as many great books as we would if we only did great books, but I lack the confidence (and ability?) to connect those great books together. I am using a study guide to help me with questions for the different works. It's from Great Books Academy, and I have reservations about recommending it. It's not awful, but it's not spectacular either. It does give me sort of a roadmap though, and there is a little discussion between the books discussing the context and connection to the other works studied (many of which we are skipping, but anyway!)

My goal for my youngest is to cover the history cycle in three years. He will get less Great Books because of the more accelerated schedule. 


Ancients/early Medieval (origins to 1300)  - 9th

Middle Ages to Revolutions (approx 1300-1815) - 10th

Early Modern/Modern (also include US history) approx 1780-present - 11th

Govt/Economics - 12th 

We just wrapped up year four in the cycle, and it was a heavy history year- Am. History (in context of world history,) state history, government, and economics in one year for my senior. I did not plan that out well. But they do all go hand in hand, so it was doable. 

 My sophomore, on the same cycle, did not do the economics this year. I'll put it in another year. And getting Am. History earlier might have in the end served my odd better than waiting til senior year in some ways. But in the end it did all work out. 

We were used to the heavy history year every four years, doing state and moderns heavily in 4th grade (2nd for the younger child,) and 8th grade (6th for the younger.) 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/13/2020 at 12:58 PM, SusanC said:

We just finished Ancients. I love the WTM, but it is just a jumping off point for me. We did some Bible selections, The wished Gilgamesh Lori D. recommends, Iliad and Odyssey with the fabulous Vandiver lectures and some Greek plays, also with Vandiver. For history we used History of the Ancient World. I was really pleased with how it all worked.

In June we are reading Beowulf. When we are done we will listen to the In Our Time podcast about it to add some background, context, and expert opinions.

Thanks to the Coronavirus we are continuing on with Medieval history over the summer and also doing an 8-week, 0.5 credit US Government course.  After Medieval we will slide right into Renaissance and try to finish next summer. That will mean three history credits plus USGov in the first two years of high school. It will leave some social science wiggle room for the last two years.

This was not my plan, I'm just following the opportunities. 😀

We are following opportunities too. There are some great free online things going on this summer that I'm able to combine with our current (kind of over) school year and our next year's plans to enhance what we're doing and to get a jump start on future credits for my dd15. 

She's getting speech/rhetoric mostly out of the way with two online classes. We're doing the free Pandemic unit study to wrap up her biology year, and watching The free Great Courses Black Death on Amazon right now. That's also hours towards her medieval history, when her official medieval year starts, even though we are finishing American history about to move to ancients.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/12/2020 at 5:53 AM, MamaSprout said:

I had planned for a 3 or 4 year cycle. We more or less did a four year cycle for elementary, and did a 3 year cycle for middle school.

My kiddo really likes history and government because of those years. We've ended up with a bit of a self-directed history mash up for high school so far. She's likely going to have three years of high school, though, so any kind of history cycle kind of unravels when you start adding government and econ. She's also a math and science kid, so her formal coursework is focused there.

Contemporary World History 9th (this was a serious bunny trail, but she's working on a second research paper right now that looks like we put together a well-thought home grown course.) 😉

Government and World Religions (if she finishes her current self study) 10th

US History and Econ 11th

Quoting myself for context. We did do logic in middle school and rhetoric in high school, and both were well worth the time.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, MamaSprout said:

Quoting myself for context. We did do logic in middle school and rhetoric in high school, and both were well worth the time.

We were off schedule in these from WTM. My dd's 10th grade year looked more like WTM's 9th as far as writing and logic. We got it all, but later. My dd's 9th grade was finishing a kit if WTM's 8th grade stuff- Alg, logic, WWS.  But we got it all in. But she did four years of high school Latin and four years of science, so she was ahead in those. 

My next DD is even further deviated from the exact layout, but I still rely heavily on the overall plan. It's a good starting point for me, OP. She was two years grade wise behind odd, so her four year cycle didn't line up. But I just always did them together with resources at their own levels. Dd17 was using lesson plans from an online go at your own oace history this year with a lit of reading from primary sources. Dd15 was doing a unit study I the history of fashion that covered a lot of history and mapwork and even English on top of the elective history of fashion topic. So for her actual history, after she did all the research, writing, mapwork for that unit study, I just had her read a pretty basic National Geographic Am hIstory textbook and didn't assign too much work out if it since she do so much with the other. Both read from Great Books lists, but we only did one play together this year. The rest they did separately. But it still jkept it easier for ne. We did a huge Am History field trip vacation to start the year together. We watched the same video series along thexway, etc. Then next year she'll be back to ancients for junior year, medieval for her senior year. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My oldest will be a junior in high school in the fall. We have followed the recommendations in TWTM fairly closely, but I don't know of many people who do. Do you have a specific question regarding TWTM for high school? For example, were you wanting to know how our Great Books study looks like or History or which courses she's taken? I'm by no means an expert. She's my first high schooler and we're still learning but I can share what we've done. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...