Thursday, January 16, 2014

Kindergarten History...Take Two

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This week I am taking the time to talk about how I teach each subject and also what changes I am making for the rest of the year.  If you didn't read the Classical Kindergarten...Take Two intro post, take a minute to read that first so you understand why I am making some changes for the rest of the year.

How we have been doing History

If you know anything about the classical model of education, you know that history is a big deal.  The study of history is usually the spine that holds all the rest of the subjects together.  As I began to love the idea of classical homeschooling, I began to get excited about starting to teach (and learn!) history.

Last year we began our study of the ancients, starting with creation and moving on from there.  We took a very hands-on approach, doing lots of crafts and activities, and read lot of books. (You can see some of what we did if you browse here.) I really liked this, but I was putting the whole curriculum together and I got tired.  It's not that I didn't enjoy planning everything out (because I love to plan), it's just that I was having a hard time finding the time to do it.

That was when I began to look for an actual history curriculum.  I knew that anything I found would be geared toward a little bit older kids, but I figured that I could simplify it as long as it would provide the basic structure for me.  What I finally decided on was the history curriculum from Veritas Press.  I fell in love with their history cards and timeline song.  I thought that memorizing a song would be perfect for my kids and that the order of events is what we could study, adding in age appropriate stories and activities.
Now before you get the feeling that I found something I didn't like about this curriculum (since this is a ...Take Two series) let me state that I LOVE Veritas Press history.  I love the history cards.  I love the timeline song.  You can read my full review of it to see more about what I love and how we have been using it.  I did decide to take a break from it for a little while, though.

The theme of this series is taking a step back to be able to enjoy my son, help him to regain confidence and not to get frustrated so easily.  Taking a step back from history is part of the plan.

History Changes

What we were doing was not too difficult for my son.  He loves singing the timeline song and looking at the flashcards.  I would read to him about the time period while we ate breakfast and we would do suggested activities and corresponding lapbook pieces about once a week.  Even so, I wanted to look into what else we could do for a few months while we are taking this step back.

Because I love Veritas Press so much, I wanted to see what they recommend for kindergarten history.  Come to find out, they published their own set of two books to be used for kindergarten and first grade, designed to be an introduction to history and the concept of a timeline.  The books seemed really simplistic, but they were pretty cheap, so I decided to order them.

Surprise, surprise, I think they are going to be just what we need!  Thanks again, Veritas Press =)   History of ME and History of US are designed to be used just once a week, and have simple stories, activities, and projects to help kids start to understand their own history and American history.

We've only used it once so far, but the book had us up, jumping, spinning, and learning about what a timeline is.  Seems like a perfect introduction to their grammar stage history curriculum and a perfect choice for us right now!  My plan use these two books and  then jump back in where we left of studying Ancient Greece and Rome.  I would really like to get the history cards for all of their curriculum sets and have the kids memorize the whole timeline (the songs) before we go back, but buying them all at once seems a little pricey...Anyone know if you can get just the songs and not the whole curriculum?

How do you teach History to your kids? 

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  1. Veritas Press looks like a great program. I kept eyeing their history cards for our next cycle through but I already have so many resources!

    I do know that you can buy just the audio cds through Rainbow Resource.

    1. I did not know that about the audio cds. Thank you for telling me!

  2. I want to pick up the new Bede's history books from Veritas Press! Thank you for sharing!

    1. You are welcome! So far we have loved everything that we've used from Veritas Press.


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