Thursday, March 22, 2012

Focus on History

People complain about how messed up the world is today. They say, "It's getting so bad." Yeah, the world is messed up, but it's not a new thing. Pick up any history book and start reading. In fact, start at the beginning. Just read the book of Genesis in the Bible. Wow, that is beyond a PG13 rating there. However, there are also many good things happening today and in history. We need to appreciate the good, and learn from both the good and the bad.

I heard a rumor that my current state of residence no longer feels it is important to teach about the American Revolution in schools. That doesn't really surprise me. Why would a government trying to gain more control of the people teach about the dangers of a government with too much power?

I spent two days this week, trying to figure out our school plan. I have been so frustrated with trying to teach history. I can't find a curriculum that covers everything in a way to make it stick. I liked using Mystery of History. It was a great overview of the time period, but I don't think it went in depth enough. I was left wanting more. I like the concept of My Father's World. It lays out plans using tons of books and even living books. However, I just didn't like all of it. What to do? Create my own plans. I love the way unit studies incorporate so many different subjects and elements into them. I also love living books. I love adding movies into our studies. I haven't completed my plans, but came up with an initial plan that we will start on Monday.

It's been nearly a year since my last blog post. After hearing about the non teaching of history, and my planning days, I feel inspired to get back to it. As we go through the plan that I've created, I'd like to share it with you. Maybe it can inspire others who have been sharing my frustration with finding the right fit for our family. Let me start with my overview.

About halfway through my first planning day, I had my light bulb moment. First, I had to set a goal. What is it that I want to accomplish? My oldest is in 7th grade. I have grand thoughts of a 4 year plan of attack for high school, starting with ancient history in 9th grade. Therefore, I need to get through our current cycle by May 2013. I calculated that gives me 15 months to get through 3 centuries of history. Fifteen is fabulously divisible by three. That gives me 5 months per century. I spent the rest of my two days planning out the first segment. We are studying the 18th century (aka the 1700's). For you history buffs, you know that encompasses a ton of information. The key is narrowing down what to cover. I will post more about our specific projects and lessons as we work through them. I'll share all the good, bad and ugly of it. I'm sure, as usual, some of it will go great, and we will struggle to keep up with some, and we'll probably have some utter failures too.

To my friends: Right now, I am very excited about this and really want to share and post about everything. I give you permission to hold me accountable. When my excitement starts to wane, I need to continue to post.

1 comment:

Cristy said...

Thank goodness you're posting again!! I thought I was going to have to tie you down and make you type something, anything on your blog!! That being said...

I printed out an objective sheet for each subject. I need to figure out where we're going and how we're getting there as well. So much information, but what are the important things? Lots to think about.

Thanks for sharing!!