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BJU 8th grade American History

Liza Q

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So. My 10.5yo daughter (5th grade) and I were discussing what she should use for History next year. We have been using Veritas w/SOTW for the past two years and she wants to use something more - structured. We looked at several programs online and she was not impressed. Then, on a whim, I showed her the BJU American Republic that I happen to own (used it as a reference with the older girls a few years back) and she liked it!


We discussed how we can do a chapter in one week with a few of the section/chapter review questions, maybe something from the Student Activity book and then spend the next week on fiction/biographies/writing/whatever is appealing for that lesson. She could do the book over 2 years (we always do American over two years), which would give us a 30-week schedule and then several extra weeks for, well, extras!


I am so not sure about this. I was pushing for All American History but she preferred the layout of BJU. We could do just SOTW with the TM and tests but she wants to try something new - she agreed that she would listen to SOTW on CD in addition to whatever we do. She didn't care for Winter Promise, Sonlight or any that had different pages from different books each week. I am wondering about History of US - are there student workbooks for those?


Basically....I am a little flipped out at the thought of doing a traditional textbook, even in a non-traditional way, at such a young age. But this daughter is so different from my older daughters and I want to respect that.


Any ideas? Is this a really weird idea?

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If she wants to do it, let her. BJU has very good history material. We'll be doing their Heritage Studies Curriculum for lower elementary instead of two rounds of world history a la TWTM and then we'll do their American History book in 8th grade. The important thing is... she's getting educated.

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We did BJU 7 history as a transition from SOTW vol 2 into BF Early American and World. It surprised me by being a very good curriculum. I do not care for it in the lower grades because it is taught by theme and not chronological. But, 7 was very good. We all enjoyed it.

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I have a daughter like this. I painstakingly put together a Sonlight Core (I think it was 3/4?) over a summer. She took one look at the pile of books and gasped -- that's TOO MUCH to keep up with; please, please may I just have a textbook? :glare: We used Abeka's 4th grade American History book that year and she LOVED it.


Other than Abeka (we used 1st, 3rd, and 4th) her favorite history resource has been Mystery of History. We started that in fifth grade and used volume one and then volume two in sixth. The third volume hadn't been published then, so

for seventh, we used "just" SOTW and I added some History of Us readings (I think I used a chart from Paula's Archives). By 7th grade, she didn't balk at using two texts, but it wasn't her favorite approach.


We did listen to one volume a year of SOTW, and we probably will continue that until everyone graduates from college!


I'm looking for an American History text for each of my girls for next year (fifth and ninth grade). I've learned that my preferred method of learning and teaching is not my daughter's preferred method. Life is generally happier when we compromise. :001_smile:

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Thanks for the responses!


I spoke to her again, asked my older daughters and thought about it more myself and I realize that:


she is not afraid of too much reading but she feels like Sonlight/WP/etc. would be too much like Veritas, with lots of little assignments. She would rather be assigned a few good novels/bios per textbook chapter and just read them, not worry about page numbers, kwim?


she didn't like AAH because the chapter was not straightforward (Atmosphere/Event/whatever the last bit is), though she liked that it was all in one book and she really liked the TM and Student Activity book.


she liked the BJU because it was straightforward, and she is convinced that it will NOT be too hard and boring. I, however, disagree! I think that she will get bogged down in it - there is a big difference between6th and 8th grade, I have found.




I will continue researching other US History texts that come with questions at the end of the chapter and tests and see if I find one closer to her reading level. I have already pretty much ruled out Christian Liberty (I know that she won't like the tone of A Child's Story and the biographical approach of Exploring America is not straightforward enough), ABeka/Rod and Staff (I don't agree with their overall view of America) and Alpha Omega/Christian Light (not up to my standards). But - is there any other Christian publisher??


I could consider secular texts...but I think that she is too young for one at this point unless it is very SOTWish!


At this point I think that we will stay with SOTW but use the TM and tests without Veritas. She may want a change but she is getting one in Writing and Science. I am very willing to compromise but...she is my most difficult child to please and I still have to consider my younger son!


Thanks for letting me work all this out - I think better in writing ;)

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What about the 5th grade BJU text (modern American) OR both the 4th & 5th grade books (one each semester), and round it out with a lot of books? Use the TMs for activities. You could pull some book ideas from years 4 and 5 of MFW (link below) which include some missionary biographies. I would suggest just doing MFW, but you said she doesn't want books broken down into smaller readings a la SL or Ambleside... although I will say that MFW has a lot LESS of that than SL, which is one (of several) reasons I chose MFW over SL. And the books in MFW are more age-appropriate than Ambleside.




There's also Beautiful Feet. Have you looked at that?


ABeka/Rod and Staff (I don't agree with their overall view of America)
I think I know what you mean here about Abeka, but R&S? I consider R&S to be very thorough, albeit less colorful than Abeka. My dd prefers Abeka over R&S in general, but *I* don't like how Abeka includes their eschatology timeline in their history texts. :glare: BJU doesn't do that, nor does R&S that I've ever seen.


My oldest is a lot like your dd in preferences, btw. She *loves* SOTW, but because we wanted a more biblical focus, we couldn't use SOTW by itself. MFW includes SOTW. She would be happy just doing SOTW (alone) for history and keeping Bible as a separate subject, but her dad and I don't view it that way. ;)

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About R&S - I am thinking about their pacifism? Maybe I am way off here!!


True. However, if the text meets your needs for the majority of what you're looking for, you could simply explain how *your* family views that topic as it comes up in the lessons. I think you'll run into something your family doesn't agree with no matter what you end up choosing, kwim?

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