September 7, 2011

History Curriculum

I've found myself at an impasse with our history. We just finished with the Renaissance and Reformation. We are delving into the Age of Discovery (specifically we are in the 1600's). Mostly I'm putting the pieces together from what I already have from the first 2 times we've cycled through this time period. I'm hoping to have a more concrete plan before we get into the Revolutionary War. 

I've been using Mystery of History for the past 3 years. I enjoyed it in the beginning. I appreciated presenting Bible stories as true historical events, as I believe them to be.

Then we got into the Reformation, I really felt like the author went overboard on her personal interjections and beliefs. It felt out of balance. I found the evangelical message interspersed throughout the texts to be annoying. I don't feel a need to preach to my children through their history lessons. I found myself disagreeing with the author most of the time anyway.

I want them to view history through as many sides as I can present to them. I'm not concerned with being politically correct, or with conservative v/s liberal agendas.

My kids will know my beliefs from the way Leon and I live our lives out loud. I don't need history curriculum to teach them my values. We love people completely, even when they believe or think differently than we do. We teach our children to do the same. In my heart I believe that is the basis of my I value some of my friends even more for our differences. I think it's fear that causes us to draw lines in the sand. Fear that we will be converted or that our children will be carried away from us with all that free-thinking. Fear that we might be wrong.

I find that my kids have always made more of a connection to time periods when I combine their history studies with plenty of relevant fiction books. I'm not a fan of textbook learning for history or literature.

I've looked into Story of the World, but it is intended for grades 3-8. I'm not sure how much my high school student would get out of it.  There is another series by the same publisher for upper grades called History of the World, but they haven't yet published a book for the time period we are studying.

So the great hunt is on. I may end up putting my own history together like a unit study. I'd be using the public library as our primary resource. This options is much more time consuming for me. In the end it might be more rewarding. I'd be combining history, literature, and geography in the same lessons.  Wish me luck!


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