We decided that we would teach history to our children in a chronological format. The curriculum we ultimately went with was The Story of the World, which originated from The Well-Trained Mind. So far, I really like the program. It's set up to do a chapter each week. They give several different options of how to spread everything out during the week; we chose the four-day approach. Day one and two we read through the chapter parts and then do narration and illustrations. Day three we listen to the CD of these same chapters (I highly reccommend the CD!) and complete our map work and coloring pages. And finally, on day four we read any additional literature I was able to find at the library, OR we do some of the wonderful suggested activities.
I really think this is a great history program for anyone looking into the classical approach of teaching. My only complaints are where they chose to begin Volume 1. Being a Christian history book, I expected to find the first chapter filled with Biblical history, i.e. creation, Adam and Eve, etc. I was disappointed that it wasn't mentioned at all. I have noticed that in just a couple chapters we will be studying Abraham and Joseph, so there is definitely Biblical history in The Story of the World just nothing on creation. Also, my particular library carries very few of the suggested additional literature that is recommended. I am a little apprehensive when it comes to teaching my children a subject that can be very subjective from one single source. Having additional literature would have alleviated this problem.
For now, we'll stick with The Story of the World for our ancient studies. I do think we'll switch to Connecting with History next year though. Of course, I have about 8 months to decide that! Don't you love how I like to worry about things so far off in the distance. My husband's (and my mother-in-law's) favorite phrase is, "we'll cross that bridge when we get to it." I guess I'm more of the, "but we need to know what the bridge is made of, how much weight it will support, and if it will get us to where we want to go," type of person!
In the midst of our Story of the World experience we have discovered fun crafts! The boys learned about ancient writing recently. How wonderful to have them actually make their own clay tablets with their names written in cuneiform! I think it's such an added benefit when we can turn any of our learning into hands-on projects.
September 8th, 2011