Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lost in History

Since we started homeschooling, history has become my new favorite subject.  There are so many wonderful living books to choose from, one can easily get bogged down.  I spent countless hours last summer putting together this year's lesson plans.  Well, so much for the best laid plans as we decided to scrap one of our history spines this week.

Good-bye Story of the Middle Ages

Hello Mystery of History Volume II

Why the change, you ask?

Well, a couple of reasons.  First and foremost, I was losing my kids.  I read aloud the first twenty some lessons and it was getting harder and harder for them to follow along.  I would watch them glaze over nearly every day.  As a matter of fact, last week I asked them what they thought of the book and how they felt things were going.  Ruben's head went down with no response, but RileyAnn said, "Oh mommy, it's good."

When I asked, "Shall we continue?"

RileyAnn said, "Yes mommy, I like it."  I felt strange about this because I really wasn't liking it myself.  But I thought I better buck up and press on.

Lo and behold, this week RileyAnn comes to me and says, "Mommy, I'm not sure about this book. It's kinda hard to understand."

I said, "OK, What do you think we should do?"

She said, "Are there any other books we can try?"

I say, "Last week you said you really liked it".

Now her head went down and in a quiet voice she said, "We didn't want to hurt your feelings."

Oh...they are so precious and I am so blessed.  So I say, "Of course we can try a different book."

I searched my shelves in a bit of a panic.  We dabbled with The Mystery of History Volume I last year and it went well.  So I pulled volume I & II off the shelf and began researching.  I love how Linda Hobar makes no excuses for being a Christian and writing from that perspective.

I should mention, a second reason I wanted to switch books was to realign with the Bible stories we were reading.  We're studying the New Testament this year with The Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos.  I originally thought our scheduled history books would align with the Bible, however, somehow we got ahead in history to around AD 450, but in the Bible we're reading about the days before Jesus' crucifiction.

The last 6-8 lessons in The Mystery of History Volume I are about Jesus birth, life and teachings, and death.  So I decided to back up and finish Volume I.  Then we'll proceed to Volume II, which starts with Pentecost.  I am excited about this as I think it will reinforce the Bible as history.   There are also several lessons on Peter, Paul, and the early church.  I was struggling to fit this in with The Story of the Middle Ages.  Now it will come naturally.

We started The Mystery of History Volume I at the end of the week and it went well.  RileyAnn was right there beside me with her nose in the book, asking appropriate questions, and reviewing information.  Ruben even offered some dialog, which shows he was actually listening.

The only down side for me, because I'm so anal about finishing what I start, is that we may not get The Mystery of History Volume II finished by the end of the school year.  I am a little bummed about this.  I know we could finish if I really pushed, but there is so much great information that I think it's worth slowing down and really understanding it.  I need to hold back and let old habits die even if it's hard....

I'll give the The Mystery of History a few weeks trial run and if all goes well, I need to reschedule our literature to match the new history timeline.  Here's a list of some literature I had scheduled for history this year...

The Sword in the Tree
Augustine Came to Kent
Viking Adventure
Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky
The Minstrel in the Tower
Brother Francis and the Friendly Beasts
St. George and the Dragon
The Door in the Wall
A Medieval Feast
Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess
The Black Death
Joan of Arc

"I once was lost, but now am found..."
                                       - Amazing Grace

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