Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Historically Speaking

So, this seems a bit redundant, because I have already waxed eloquent on my Unit Study approach to school this year via studying 1600-1800. But, whatever the home school prompt prompts is what you get...Promptly.

Today I am going to share more of the nuts and bolts of how we are tackling this hunk of history. The wherefore's of the equation.

These two pictures show the basic elements of my plan. The upper pic is our timeline, and the lower pic is our textbooks.

To break it down...

-Timeline: Our timeline is actually 4 consecutive timelines covering 1600-1800. We have a line each for United States, Europe, Great Britain, and Asia. At the far left of our timeline is a few facts for these geographical areas at the end of the 1500s. And we are moving on from there. Each week we will add people and events to our timeline, including science and scientific discoveries and musicians, poets and artists. The fat red line already on the timeline is defining the baroque and classical music periods. We put it on Europe because that is where a lot of the composers lived.

-Great Courses: This is a series of thirty 30 minute lectures on the history of the United States. Professor Thompson becomes a major character of the story/facts he is telling in that particular lecture. In the first one he was a Viking (I can't remember the name of the Viking) and in the second one he was Christopher Columbus. These courses are geared for high schoolers, but because of the format, my kids are really enjoying them. (as am I)

After we watch the lecture, we dig further by answering the questions in the workbook. So far we have just discussed them verbally. It is working well. If we need further clarification about something, we have Google and Wikipedia at our fingertips.

When we run out of applicable lectures from this series, we will fill in the remaining weeks with some lectures from the World History series.

-The Story of America. This textbook is listed as essential reading to tie in with the lectures. I bought this copy used online. There is between 10-20 pages to cover every week, but there are also lots of pictures and maps, so it doesn't translate to lots of reading. It reinforces what we heard about in the lecture. Adding one more level to their line-upon-line method of learning.

-BJU World History and US History. I just got these textbooks from my mom. They are the ones I used in high school. There will be a lot of overlap in concepts. But, because these are written from a Christian perspective, I think that will add another layer of understanding. Christianity and religion are very key in the history of the world and the United States. After all, it is God who is ruling over all times, places, people and kingdoms.

-Biographies. I don't have pictures of them, but I did share somewhat a couple weeks ago about how our reading lists this year will be also filling in our big picture of this time period. We are reading a lot of both political and Christian biographies plus historical accounts of this period.

History-stories of people doing things...

How are you broaching the subject of history this year? Do you love history? Or do you suffer through it? Would you ever make it the basis for your curriculum?

Since I really love history, I am looking forward to reading how each of these gals is tackling the subject this year...