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Elementary history - is there anything like this?


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I used Story of the World with both of my girls and it worked well for them. But it's not a great fit for my son. 

Meanwhile, I have found a Bible curriculum that is WONDERFUL for him - Bible Study Guide for All Ages (intermediate level). It is structured as a brief snippet of reading (like 2-6 verses, usually), then an interaction with a worksheet, another brief reading, another interaction, etc. The worksheets have pictures and the child's tasks are things like "circle what Person A said to Person B" or "draw Person C's face to show how he felt about Event." It also includes review at the beginning of each lesson, and I can see that he is retaining the info. 

So I am wondering - is there something for elementary history that takes a similar approach? I know it's not particularly classical, lol. But if I can find something that increases LEARNING in this area for him, I will be very happy.

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Perhaps CAP's new program The Curious Historian might have some of what you're looking for.  It's aimed at grade 3-4 and up and rather than the review questions and narrations of SOTW, they ask the kids to match words to definitions, select multiple choice answers, draw pictures and answer "imagine you lived there" type questions.  The link I included is to their website and there's a "look inside" feature.  The chapters are definitely longer than 2-6 verses, but there are plenty of subheadings to use as rest points if you wanted to break the reading up over multiple days.

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Thanks @caffeineandbooks! Those review questions at the end of the chapters are probably more his speed than the SOTW narrations, for sure. Unfortunately, the length of the text is still going to be daunting for him. 

I probably should have mentioned originally that I have begun to suspect some auditory processing difficulties. (He is also unwilling to sit and look at the pages while I read; he is usually moving in some way.) So the thing that I think makes the Bible curriculum work for him is the very small chunks and then having to do something with the info right away. 

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Notgrass, but to get the chunks small enough it might take twice as many days. American history has 90 lessons and we did it in 180, American geography is 104 lessons and we're doing it this year. 

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I am wondering if there is a way you can just adapt a curriculum to his needs?

What you describe is how we did Story of the World in the beginning.  As I told the story, my kid was actively engaging with it: "flying" above a big map (er, sitting on the coffee table and looking down on said map, touching the places), making his double crown of Egypt, tracing Chinese characters, acting out the work with the paper figures on popsicle sticks..

The way many approach SOTW is not anything that would have worked here.  I could not have read, then had my kid do an activity the next day.  Everything needed to be done together and the story needed to be a centerpoint to hold us in.

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Finally had a moment to look at Notgrass - it's not exactly what I was envisioning, but it does look like it could be a much better fit for him than SOTW. Thank you @Slache!

@HomeAgain, that is a very valid question. I think it boils down to not wanting to add One More Thing to my plate, if that makes sense. I definitely COULD adapt SOTW to meet his needs, but it would be a lot of work, and I am already doing a lot of work in other areas. So shifting to something else, if it's a better fit, would help serve both his needs and mine.

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There is no law saying that you have to do SOTW the way SWB says.  It's ok to just read the section aloud and talk about what was interesting.  Once he is ready to write a bit, you could add a writing task where you ask him to tell you about the French Revolution or whatever.  He can then choose to write about what caught his fancy.  When I asked my son to write to this particular prompt, there was a lot of guillotine action.

There is literally no need to drill a child on history facts.  Ever.  Really.  I promise.

Edited by EKS
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2 minutes ago, EKS said:

There is no law saying that you have to do SOTW the way SWB says.  It's ok to just read the section aloud and talk about what was interesting.  Once he is ready to write a bit, you could add a writing task where you ask him to tell you about the French Revolution or whatever.  He can then choose to write about what caught his fancy.  When I asked my son to write to this particular prompt, there was a lot of guillotine action.

There is literally no need to drill a child on history facts.  Ever.  Really.  I promise.

This is basically what I do already, lol. Except that the "talk about what was interesting" ends up with him saying "I don't know - can you read it again?" Not because he is actually interested in hearing it again, but because he didn't register any of what I said. 

I don't want to drill him on facts. I would like him to take in at least a little bit of what I read to him. 🤷‍♀️

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1 hour ago, purpleowl said:

Finally had a moment to look at Notgrass - it's not exactly what I was envisioning, but it does look like it could be a much better fit for him than SOTW. Thank you @Slache!

@HomeAgain, that is a very valid question. I think it boils down to not wanting to add One More Thing to my plate, if that makes sense. I definitely COULD adapt SOTW to meet his needs, but it would be a lot of work, and I am already doing a lot of work in other areas. So shifting to something else, if it's a better fit, would help serve both his needs and mine.

It is VERY visual, and does a good job of having headings, thinks organized well, etc. My ADHD son did well with it the year he used it (other than being an atheist and getting "creative" with answers regarding religion, lol)

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1 hour ago, purpleowl said:

This is basically what I do already, lol. Except that the "talk about what was interesting" ends up with him saying "I don't know - can you read it again?" Not because he is actually interested in hearing it again, but because he didn't register any of what I said. 

I don't want to drill him on facts. I would like him to take in at least a little bit of what I read to him. 🤷‍♀️

You could engage him in conversation the whole way. 

Edited by EKS
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On 8/4/2022 at 1:31 PM, purpleowl said:

I used Story of the World with both of my girls and it worked well for them. But it's not a great fit for my son. 

Meanwhile, I have found a Bible curriculum that is WONDERFUL for him - Bible Study Guide for All Ages (intermediate level). It is structured as a brief snippet of reading (like 2-6 verses, usually), then an interaction with a worksheet, another brief reading, another interaction, etc. The worksheets have pictures and the child's tasks are things like "circle what Person A said to Person B" or "draw Person C's face to show how he felt about Event." It also includes review at the beginning of each lesson, and I can see that he is retaining the info. 

So I am wondering - is there something for elementary history that takes a similar approach? I know it's not particularly classical, lol. But if I can find something that increases LEARNING in this area for him, I will be very happy.

This is not quite that, but would a notebooking curriculum work?  www.dailyskillbuilding.com has some neat ones. Downside is you must purchase and then have them printed.  

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12 hours ago, Ting Tang said:

This is not quite that, but would a notebooking curriculum work?  www.dailyskillbuilding.com has some neat ones. Downside is you must purchase and then have them printed.  

Have you used these? I’m intrigued! Look a lot like what we did with Gather Round but without the religion and more focused. 

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39 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

What happens?

He might shrug and say "I don't know" before launching into something he wants to tell me about One Night Ultimate Werewolf, these days. He tries to redirect most conversation to his special interest. Or he'll just tell me "I can't doooo this, it's too much for me," or ask me to read it again (and he means the whole thing, not just the previous sentence or two).

But having a visual thing to interact with (like a worksheet), that requires him to attend to the spoken/read words, in very small chunks, seems to be helpful. It may be that seeing the questions before and as he hears the material is helpful. 

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I ordered the Notgrass, so we'll see how it works out.

When I showed him the samples and told him I was thinking of switching, he huffed out "FINE" and I was confused. I probed a little and he told me he likes SOTW. I'm like...really? Because you don't seem to remember it very well... "I like it even though I don't remember it." Okay, why do you like SOTW? "It's shorter." Actually, I think this other one will be shorter. "OH! Okay then! Let's get the new one and switch!" 🤣

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4 hours ago, purpleowl said:

I ordered the Notgrass, so we'll see how it works out.

When I showed him the samples and told him I was thinking of switching, he huffed out "FINE" and I was confused. I probed a little and he told me he likes SOTW. I'm like...really? Because you don't seem to remember it very well... "I like it even though I don't remember it." Okay, why do you like SOTW? "It's shorter." Actually, I think this other one will be shorter. "OH! Okay then! Let's get the new one and switch!" 🤣

Oh, the enthusiasm 🤣

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