Saturday, March 15, 2008

How History is Going.

The final form I uploaded is the Outline for History Year 6 (it says Year 5 but that's because it's loosely based on Ambleside's Year 5).

What I did was cross-correlate three books -- Famous Men of the Middle Ages, Discovery of New Worlds, and Our Island Story. I put in tentative dates as references and left a place for notes. That way I can easily decide on what we are going to read that week.

Sometimes, not every week, I fill out one of these history forms -- with lists of readings, activities, and topics to pursue.

But many weeks we do it more simply. Here is the process:

  1. I read to Kieron and the younger ones from a historically related novel -- right now it is Hidden Treasure of Glaston.
  2. I read to him from one of the history spine texts.
  3. I give him a "research" assignment connected to what he read that day -- generally we use the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia or What your Fourth Grader Needs to Know, but sometimes he looks up something in the history atlas or the regular atlas. He looks it up and then we discuss it.
  4. Sometimes he does a Dover coloring page, or draws something connected with the reading, or writes a short paragraph.
  5. He usually has an ongoing "reader" -- a historically related book that he reads on his own. He finished We Were There with Richard the Lionhearted and is now reading Adam of the Road.
  6. And finally, I am trying to integrate this with the MEdieval Sourcebook. These online sourcebooks are a great supplement. I used them with my high schoolers in the past, but it suddenly occurred to me that many primary sources are readable by middle schoolers and that it might be good to start him in practice doing this before he is old enough to get intimidated by the idea.
This is working well. He often draws or colors while I'm reading. A side benefit is that the special needs 8 year old and the 5 year old often listen to the readings and draw or color, too.

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