Monday, May 01, 2006

I've Been Planning!!!

We haven't even finished everything planned for this year, but I have been planning for next year and I think I have found the scaffolding resources. I'll start with history since that usually provides our structure. We will be studying Ancient Times, again, next year (if we get finished with modern this year). I have searched and searched for just the right materials for my 6 and 10 year olds. We read a lot of books but find that we get bogged down in one area or drift around if we don't have a narrative (overview) to read as well. This is what we will use:
  • The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem Van Loon -- First Newberry Winner book is a history in story form. Only the first 154 pages deal with Ancient Times but will be enough of a narrative to start us on our journey. We will save the rest of the book for other years. I will hold my 6 year old daughter responsible for this material.
  • The World in Ancient Times Series published by Oxford University Press -- Expensive($32 each), but excellent series of books on the Ancient Times and a great addition to a homeschool library. These volumes combine ancient artifacts, primary sources, modern investigative practices, and good story tellers to create a well researched and well written history for the middle school student and above. I like the series because the primary sources are documented on the page you are reading. If your child wants more, you know where to look immediately.
    • The first book, The Early Human World, uses archaelogical finds rather than ancient texts as source material. If you are offended by the theory of evolution you should steer clear of this first title, but it truly does a wonderful job of placing all of the hominids in time and discussing the work of Darwin and the Leakeys.
    • Other titles in the series are: The Ancient Near Eastern World, The Ancient Egyptian World, The Ancient South Asian World, The Ancient Chinese World, The Ancient Greek World, The Ancient Roman World, and The Ancient American World. There is also a Primary Sources and Reference Volume
    • The only annoyance I have found, so far, is the worn out literary device of the time travelling ATV used in The Early Human World. This is a pet peeve, but Joy Hakim used it in A History of US (though her mode of travel was a time space capsule), Susan Wise Bauer used it several times in different forms (flying carpets, etc) in The Story of the World and I'm tired of it.
  • Living History by Two Can Publishing Company is a colorful, compilation of several of Two Can's titles with activities galore. Make everything from ancient clothing to scale model homes, musical instruments, food, kites, gardens and art. My mother gave my son Make It Work Rivers and Ships by the same publisher and we had so much fun we went looking for more. Most of the projects are not one hour diversions, but more involved and require more than paper and markers.
  • We will supplement these resources with well chosen books of the times. I usually choose these books during the year based on what the libraries have available and which resources fit into our schedule. I rarely purchase books for the history readings (unless they prove to be unbelievable or well loved), but we have the titles below and will use them.
    • The Bible - We will try to read the entire book in the King James version.
    • The Odyssey and The Iliad -- Last time around we read Geraldine McCaughrean's version of The Odyssey which left my son begging for more. This is a truly wonderful retelling for children. I don't think he is ready for the full length version, but I want quality. I may try The Children's Homer by Padraic Colum. I am still searching here.
    • Beowulf - Again, we read a retelling last time and will do so again. We will try the Ian Serrailler version this year.
    • D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths -- We have this on tape and believe it or not this may be better than the book (I never say that), but the readers are unbelievable. Paul Newman, Sidney Portier, Katleen Turner and Matthew Brodrick have voices that are as rich as the stories.
    • Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick -- I've seen this book listed on several lists and have heard only good things. We will try it.
  • We have the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia and will use that again. Here are some other items on our shelf from last time around that we will use again. Most were gifts from my Mother who has an obsession with bargain books. I know I'm lucky!
    • Amazing Pop-up 3-D Time Scape by Biesty, Hawcock, and Platt
    • Rome, A Fold-Out History of the Ancient Civilization by Leigh Grant
    • Everyday Life in the Ancient World by Hermes House
    • Kingfisher Everyday Life in the Ancient World
  • We will also try to use Timeliner to make a computerized timeline this rotation. I was given this progam a while back, but wanted the last four year sequence to be unified so have never used the program for the big timeline, only smaller ones. The company has ready made time lines and clip art available for those who use the program.
Check back later for updates and for next year's science, art, math, language, and others.


Mother Crone's Homeschool said...

Oh! Oh! Another planner like me!! We did ANcient history this year, and next year are moving onto Medieval...and I am happily planning, too!
Your book list looks great; we love Van Loon and used him as our spine.

I don't recall the ages of your kids, but after I finish typing up our book list for portfolios this year, I will email you a copy. A few of the out-of-print books we got from the library were AMAZING! I was able to pick five of them up for $5-8 each through ebay or, to ensure we had them in our library.

wisteria said...

My children are 6 and 10 and this is our second time through. I would love your lists! Even though we will use some of the same books, I want some new books. Thank you!

Jo said...

Okay you two are making the rest of us look bad..stop it! ;)

I would be interested in any recommendations either of you might have for 12 and 15 year olds.

wisteria said...

If you are going to do Ancient History, I really like this new series World in Ancient Times and the Van Loon book even for the 12 and maybe the 15 year old. I fully believe in combining age levels (within reason)so there are not so many books, just offer more for the older and expect more. You would have to look for different activities because dressing up like a Samurai might be embarrassing for a 15 year old Yet, I have met many who would think that would be fun.