11 March 2014

How History cames to Life in our House

When I wrote my post about what we are learning this year, I hadn't started our history curriculum yet.

The Story of the World is a Christian approach to history, starting with the Ancient Times in volume One. As I told you in my previous post, I was not too thrilled about this part of history - I remember it as very boring. So reluctantly, I picked it up one day and started to teach it. From day one, I loved the story-telling way of bringing the histories to life. And so did Coqui. It quickly became his favorite subject.... and now I can't get him away from it!

So what do I like about it:
Each chapter's story are intended to be read aloud. So I like that we are spending quality time together. He learns, and I do too. After the reading, he has to summarize it for me and answer a few questions, which usually lead to more questions by him and a good discussion.

After the oral fun, there is some map work which is great Geography training. Many times, we have pulled out the globe or an atlas to dig a little deeper. Often, there is also a coloring page that goes with the chapter and hands-on activities. We have made cave paintings on brown paper bags, wrote cuneiform on homemade clay and hieroglyphs on parchment paper (to make a scroll), crafted a doll that became a mummy, build a pyramid out of Lego, painted a colorful coat (Joseph), wrote our own Hammurabi laws, and are now building a ziggurat out of cereal boxes, clay, and sand. It is so much fun for young (and old alike).

For each unit, the SOW book provides a list of book recommendations for additional reading. So I bought the Usborne Book of World History and the Kingfisher Book of the Ancient World. I never find my son reading 'school' books, but these are a constant go-to when he has free time. He loves that it has alot of pictures and each picture tells a short story or fact. It makes learning fun, interesting, and enjoyable.

We did this for about a month, when I remembered that I had a bunch of church ministry stuff in my garage. So I decided to pull that out and go through that as well. After all, our bible is a history book. I found more books and hand-outs and coloring pages, which we are using now - especially the girls are liking those. 

Then I came across this review about the Veritas Press flashcards. I remembered that someone had given them to me, and I pulled those out. They are put together in the same chronological order as the Story of the World books. So I love how it all came together for us. We pick up the bible and read the relevant chapters, too. Unfortunately, I only had the first set, so I decided to buy the next set, when I came across the teacher's manual. I had to get it and loved using it right away. It offers additional worksheets that go with the piece of art and the bible story.

It felt like everything was flowing together and I got more excited each time we opened the SOW book. On top of that, I found a children's bible that I had purchased years ago and that explains biblical times in an easy and understanding way. Coqui really enjoys how the Bible and History come to life. He soaks it all up and actually remembers it well.

We are so blessed to be able to home educate our children. It really is a blessing for all involved.