Thursday, April 7, 2011

Working through our American History -Thoughts on Methods

We have been working on American History and using our AOP Lifepacs as a kind of "spine". However, I plan to coordinate this with lots of living books and wanted to share a series we are going to be  starting this coming week. 

My younger son enjoys and was asking to listen and sit in on our reading of the book my teen is reading from called "A Patriots History of the United States" -we are really enjoying reading this almost into the second chapter and I am learning right along with them. It gives much more depth and my sons really enjoy this.

I could really see the interest in our younger son so I decided to go ahead and purchase a series of his own. ( he can still of course share in our reading but I really think these will be very fitting for him) I was only planning on having him read this series online but I can see he enjoys having the book in his had and flopping down on the couch in the den or living room and just reading away... history is a favorite subject of his~ I want to encourage this so we are going ahead and getting the series 
American History Stories by Mara Pratt ( these can be found free over on The Baldwin Project)   There are several volumes I - IV  and as we read I hope to take advantage of other books I might be able to find on specific events and people to give a more richer flavor for his history.  I know he is going to love this and don't dare tell him - I plan on making it a surprise for him once it comes in.

I was really taken back how he would sit and listen to the reading aloud we were doing with the above book- he would jump right in and discuss and ask questions on Cortez etc.. we ended up jumping online to look up something in particular on the Aztecs etc.. it was a really great discussion, unlike in school where so many times children tend to be "talked at" it is wonderful to just "talk with" and explore the journey together.

I share this since it might be something to consider when planning and teaching history in your home. It can be as simple as just finding a really good history book and diving in, the children will do the rest.. posters, lapbooks, websites, projects - it all comes out, the only difference is that much of it is their ideas ( with a little help from mum (wink)  - but having them dive in and internalize makes such more of a difference.
I really have to be candid here~ I think we are really hooked on learning through real books- I doubt there is any going back. Relief also since my oldest who sees this as a wonderful way to encourage reading of these subjects since in higher learning this is really all you do! :) Its a very good thing~
  * update, ok so I ordered the volumes and add "just one more" The Story of Napoleon" by H.E. Marshall ~ * that is a surprise too!  ( wink) 

Happy History Learning~

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