Monday, June 29, 2015

Narrowing the Fine Science of TruthQuest History Planning (Part 1)...

I am a lover of lists and through a living book approach, I have come to thrive on the subject of history.   It is this that fuels my passion for TruthQuest.   Some say, TruthQuest is overwhelming or they're not sure where to start.  So, as I begin planning our final year of our first full six year history rotation with Riley and Ruben, I thought I'd share how I design our living book history study using TruthQuest History guides. 

The first summer I used TruthQuest History guide, American History for Young Students I (TQ), I made a chart with the following headings:

American History For Young Students I
This Country of Ours
Story of the Thirteen Colonies & Great Republic
Story of the World Vol. 3
Light & Glory – From Sea to Shining Sea
Beautiful Feet Early American History
(Primary & Intermediate)
Time Travelers
Lessons from History
Other Resources
SL – Sonlight
VP – Veritas Press
BA – B. Anderson

Under the first column, I typed the TQ Table of Contents.  Columns 2-5 were simply page numbers of those spines taken from the guide.  Column 6, was a list of books used in those particular Beautiful Feet history guides that were also scheduled in TQ.  I put "x" 's in column 7 where Time Traveler CD-Rom lessons matched up with the TQ guide.  Column 8 gave corresponding years that matched Lessons from History, which is another history series that I have.  And, the final column was a list of books that we had on our shelves found in the TQ guide or that matched the other programs listed.  The final chart was a whopping 22 pages, of which, I knew we couldn't possibly read every book listed in one school year.   However, it really helped me to see the big picture.

Because our school year is broke into three 12-week terms, I then decided to break the chart into 3 parts.  Based on topics in the Table of Contents, the three parts were, Sections 1-5 Exploration, Sections 6-32 Colonization, and Sections 33-49 (end) Revolutionary War. These were not perfect divisions because there was some overlap, but generally it worked.  

From there, I winged it!  Believe it or not, I really did not have a set schedule from day to day.  At the beginning of each week, I chose books that were popular among several curriculums like TQ, Sonlight, Beautiful Feet, etc.  I figured there must be a reason why these books were recommended repeatedly.  I also chose books based on our favorite authors from past reading and books located on our shelves.  I usually read aloud from 4 different books per day.  This lasted about one hour.  That year, I used TQ with my 2nd grade niece and our 3rd and 4th graders.  We covered a lot of ground and loved it!  

The kids also notebooked using Time Traveler CD's and History Pockets.  However by the end of the year, I spent way too much time, ink, paper, and money, printing pages for them to color, cut, and paste.  I also began reading The Living Page by Laurie Bestvater and realized this notebooking method was not in line with Charlotte Mason's methods, nor was it realistic.  In Part 2 of this series, I will explain how I changed my TQ history planning the second year we used it.       

By the way, you can view the books we did read using TQ AHFYS I, as well as links to reviews and sample notebooking pages, in three separate posts: Term 1; Term 2; and Term 3.


  1. I'm very excited to read this series! I'm using truthquest American with my history loving first grader this coming year. We'll just read and narrate orally, do once a week history copy work and drawn narration and hopefully lots of pretend play. :) that's the plan anyway. :)

  2. It sounds like you have a lovely plan for encouraging a love of learning.

    Thanks for logging on,

  3. Short on time...but I want to thank you for blogging about this. I'm in serious need of some sort of plan for TQ. Thank you!

  4. You're welcome Shannon...I just posted Part 3, which has the meat of the series. Hopefully, you'll find some comfort there :) ...feel free to ask questions!