Back to the future
Sometime last spring, the boys realized that we were getting closer than ever to the present day in our history studies and would soon run out of history.
“But what will we study next year, Mom?” they asked. I jokingly said, “The future!” They believed me too, for about two seconds.
One of the things that attracted DH and I to the educational plan laid out in The Well-Trained Mind was the emphasis on chronological world history in 4-year cycles, each one going a little deeper as the child gets older. We completed our first cycle and I always knew that at the end of year 4, we’d turn right around and start over at the beginning again, but I guess I neglected to explain that to the boys. It was like a light went off in their heads as they realized that they wouldn’t have to end their favorite subject just because we finally made it to the 21st-century!
We then reminisced about all the fun history projects we did in A’s first grade year and realized that D doesn’t remember any of them. After all, he was only 2 1/2 when school started that fall. I mentioned the Roman feast we had, our Olympic games, the sugar cube pyramids we made, the chicken we mummified. “A chicken?” he asked in total disbelief. Yes, we mummified a game hen and he doesn’t remember any of it.
So, apparently we get to do that little project again!
In fact, many of our projects and readings lately are eerily familiar. If I had an only child….wow, let’s think about this for a minute…so many things would be different if A were an only child, I can’t even imagine! But if we had already gone through Story of the World once, I don’t think we’d be using it again. C and D however are still in their elementary years and I feel like Story of the World is such a great history curriculum for that stage that we need to use it as our guide again.
I thought A might not want to listen, but he’s been sitting in on all of our reading and projects too. He then gets to go more in depth in library books and our history encyclopedias, mainly The Kingfisher Illustrated History of the World, and he keeps his own timeline now and is using MapTrek maps instead of the Story of the World maps. I want him to do more writing this year and we’re slowly working on that.
D has been doing really well with the easy SOTW maps and narrating the chapters for me. It’s all new for him. I splurged on the Notebookingpages.com treasury membership on the hope that having pretty pages would make us want to write more in our history notebooks. So far, it’s working!
C is right between the other two. He does remember most of what we did the first time around but still wants to do it again. I’m making him narrate more than A ever did (hopefully, we’ll keep it up as I’m the one writing down two children’s narrations now) and I know he’s reading a ton. He devours whatever’s in the history book basket. The SOTW maps are kind of on the easy side, but while the MapTrek ones are quite a bit harder, I may have him do some of those as well. He needs to be more challenged than D does, but isn’t ready to do what A is doing. So we’re still figuring out our new routine as I learn how to juggle three children on three different levels here.
As for me, at one point I thought that I would be bored going back to ancient history. I like to learn new things and have a “been there, done that” attitude sometimes. But I’ve been really looking forward to this year and starting the history cycle again. I’m enjoying watching D get interested in ancient history for the first time. I’m also excited watching A go more in depth and learn more of the cause-and-effect and chronological relationships. I also have my own study plans for this year that I’ll put into another post soon.
I thought I’d share a few of the FREE resources I’ve found this year to help us in our history studies:
- SOTW volume 1 lapbook–C and D are attempting this and we’re still debating if it’s going to be too much work, but I thought I’d throw it out there for anyone else doing volume 1 this year.
- Kind of an SOTW master resource list–from the same mom who made the lapbook, she has an amazing amount of helpful links and activities for every chapter.
- Classical House of Learning Literature program–I’m trying to do more than just have my kids read books this year! I’m assigning literature books that pertain to our history cycle and I’m attempting to read them too so we can discuss them together. I came across this program and we’re going to use it as a guide for at least some of our books this year so there will be a little bit more direction in the literature department.