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SoTW3--how to schedule?

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I would like to change the way we're doing this. Right now, we're a history based homeschool--our readings are history based, (and we do outlining from these readings) our music and art study is supposed to be aligned as well. (We get behind and so then I face agonizing decisions about wether to skip certain folks entirly or to fall "behind."--ack.)


I'd like to switch over to a more LCC structured homeschool--where we do our skills every day and our "content" subjects once a week.


We have done SoTW like this: (and it worked beautifully fo SoTW2. We haven't managed to hit our groove wth SoTW3 yet).

1. One chapter is scheduled per week.

2. We only do one section in one session. When we do it, we do our colouring page while we listen to the CD (usually over lunch.) We do the review questions orally. Then, we do narrations. My son used to go off and write out his own (after narratig to me sometimes, from which I would write an outline). My daughter and I would work together on hers until she had something I would write out and she would copy. (With the first sentences narrated back to her.) This took about an hour with SoTW2. We did this routine for every section. (If there were three sections to a chapter, History would take 4 days (see below).) We wuld do the map, usually at the end of the last section.

3. Chapter tests are a separate day and we do them like open book review excercises reviewing our narrations and our maps.


Concern #1: Both kids are floundering in SoTW3. It seems there's just too much information, or something., I don't know. On Friday, we listened to the section and then I started asking uestions. They couldn't remember anything. So, I sat there with the Cd player and started over. I let Weiss read for a bit, then hit pause and asked the question. We were almost finished this laborious way of "reading" the text when we were interrupted. Needless to say, we haven't got to our narrations all year.


Concern #2 So, how on Earth are we going to be able to do SoTW in one afternoon? As it is, without the narrations, each "section" is taking an awfully long time. (or rather it should--we aren't quite capable yet of keeping our attention onsometing for that long at a stretch!) I'm wondering if I need to give up the luxury of Weiss reading and do it myself--interrupting myself and asking the review questions as we go--then trying the narrations. What do you think of that idea?


I should also mention that I was an absolute stickler for the narrations before Christmas because I had dropped Aesop and wasn't doing any other writing. I have since picked it back up for my daugher who is loving it and have just started Homer A with my son.


(My apologies for typos. I have to have the key-board cleaned, soon! Just flipping it over and shaking out the crumbs ins't working so well anymore, lol!)

Edited by Alana in Canada
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Read aloud the chapter title, section title and narration exercise sections FIRST before listening to that section of the chapter (or the review card for the chapter). Also study and/or discuss the map/narration and do some of the map work before listening too. It will prepare their minds to focus on the important details to listen for.


Sometimes kids zone out more when listening to a CD than when mom is doing the reading (or alternate reading aloud w/ dc).

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We are an Lcc-ish sort of family. I have read both of editions of Drew's book and fell in love with the whole LCC idea. I struggled with (and agonized over) these sort of questions last year when trying to plan out this year. I decided to make history an everyday subject, but we do it in a much less formal way than you, so I'm not sure if that would work for you. For a long time I was trying to do history TWTM way, but it just did not work well for us or fit our style and goals. Eventually, after much angst, I finally decided to just read the history section to dd, perhaps do the review questions (or not), and at the end of each chapter do the mapwork. It has worked well for us, especially since our goal for history right now is to expose our dd to it so that she has some idea of the chronological flow of history and she can understand a bit better our place in history. We are trying to give her what SWB refers to as "pegs" on which to place later information. Hopefully we will be repeating this cycle two more times before she graduates from high school, so I'm pretty confident that she will be able to delve more deeply into each topic and do more complex work each time around. We usually do our history reading at lunch time. It only takes a few minutes, and it doesn't really interfere with time for our content subjects. Good luck in deciding what will work for your family! Just remember, LCC should work for you and stretch to fit the shape of your needs and goals, not the other way around. KWIM? Good luck.

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I was having a terrible time getting SoTW2 going because my dd hated the idea of Rome falling and didn't want any history after the fall of Rome. Anyway, we finally started and we finally have our love of history back and are happily into the Middle Ages.


I relaxed about SoTW. I started treating it like a bedtime story. I faithfully read 1 section each night, 5 nights a week. We talk about it after I finish, simple talk. Why on earth would King whoever do that? Oh no, I wonder if this is going to be like when .... Wow, so when X was going on in one place, Y was happen here.


I moved narration to something else, other than what we do informally with the daily reading. I kept the literature and other things scheduled the way they were. It is really interesting to see them make connections between the material later - it kind of reviews it.


Maybe reading it yourself, or passing the book between the readers in the family will help. Also shorter sections and daily might help. You can do all the other history things in your history time once a week, but do the SoTW daily. It is only 5 minutes to read a section, and then have an informal discussion.

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Thanks everyone.


Oh dear. Currently we are doing SoTW one section per "session" so to speak--which, right now, works out to history 3x a week. Even at THAT, we are just not doing well at all.


What I'd wanted to do was switch to one afternoon--instead of three. That just may not be wise.



I love the idea of doing the questions first and then the reading. That may help. I may also have to take over the readings, too.


Thanks so much for your input. As my kids are getting older, now, I'm realising they are only going to get possibly one more rotation out of this "cycling" of History. So, I am a bit concerned to "do it all." Perhaps too much.

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Caveat: This is how I use SOTW in the traditional classroom with 19 seventh graders. Chew the fish and spit out the bones. There are some similarities to home education and some differences.


I teach SOTW 3 to many unmotivated 7th graders. First, I always design, print, and display a picture of the primary figure because I think it whets their unmotivated appetites, plus it sticks a picture in their brains. My routine this year has been to introduce the chapter by name and primary characters, ask them to think where in the world this chapter will take us, and then use the wall map to show them.


Sometimes I pass out papers with the review questions on them and we read through the questions prior to reading the chapter. Often, though, I don't pass these out first just because so many try to fill them in as we read and I don't want them to do this. It is of utmost importance, imo, for them to at least here (but preferably) read the questions first. It's kind of a "heads-up" and I think it promotes more active reading.


DAY ONE We read one section of the chapter aloud. (I have more rationale for reading this aloud, too.:) ) Then I leave them to answer, in writing, all of the review questions before the next class period. It's easy-peesie if they have listened and followed actively.


DAY TWO We orally check homework (the review questions) and then I do the narrations a non-narration way. It would take way more time than I have to do the narrations properly because these students have not been trained in narrations. (That's a whole nuther story.) Then we do the map activity, if I include it for that chapter. Afterwards, we read the next section and continue as we did the last.


DAY THREE Check HW. If there were only two sections in the chapter, I pass out a crossword puzzle as a test review. I also coach them on the test essay question. Since these kids haven't been trained to think critically, I put notes on the board for the essay question that they must copy and learn for the test. I know this sounds like learn and parrot back, but if the students are not used to testing any way but objective, this is how they must begin to learn. If I gave them the essay question WITHOUT any preparation, almost everyone of them would miss every point. I know that logic student should begin to naturally think logically and figure out what is asked and how they should compose an answer, but you would be surprised at how even very good students show evidence that they cannot do this. Sooo, it's a bit like spoonfeeding sometimes while at the same time, learning how to get them to think.


DAY FOUR Check crossword. Go over essay again.




My current dilemma is how to spend more time with the text rather than with the other materials and how to cut out the review day (which I think is frankly a wasted day). .....Always looking for a better, more efficient way.


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Jainie--that's utterly fascinating. You're teaching this to 7th graders? Wow.


Mine are fifth and third. (I think). And they are highly motivated--maybe SoTW is pitched "too high" for them, then? (We just started after Christmas).


I'd love to know how you do narrations in a non-narration way!


And the tests--are those the ones by Peace Hill Press?


I love the idea of presenting a picture of a person fom the period. I could easily do something similiar--and then we can put the picture on our time-line which we've all but forgotten to do.

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Yeah, 7th graders! And I also teach SOTW 2 to 6th graders and SOTW 4 to 8th graders.


This is a new curriculum change this year, and since I was in charge of it, that's what I decided after lots of thought and conversations with others. Since these kids haven't been raised classically or to work very hard, this year has been a rude awakening for many of them! The idea is that once WE get used to SOTW and tweak it to our use, we can move it down the grades to the grammar school.


Honestly, though, I cannot imagine using SOTW 4 4th or 5th grades. The thought processes for that book require higher thinking than those grades, imo!


When I have more time, I will try to resurrect this thread and describe my nontraditional narration. It might be better described as cheater-narration! But, it won't be this week!

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We did the second section of Chapter 11: The Moghul Emperors of India today (Aurangzeb's Three Decisions). We did the map work first.

Then, I read them the review questions.


It went brilliantly, really. We covered the questions again, after listening to the CD--(their choice!) and then I had them do the "directed" narrations. We did them orally-no written work today--(it is technically our day off--we're just trying to catch up from when we were sick) and then they've breezed through the chapter test!


Let's hope this continues. The rest of this week is The Plague and Fire of London!

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