Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Knowledge of Man, Cycling Through History....

I've been thinking a lot about history lately, or as Charlotte Mason said, the Knowledge of Man, and how I want to approach the coming years.  Initially, I'd planned a 6 year history cycle, to which we are finishing our final year in our first rotation.  I'm now at a crossroads and trying to decide whether to proceed with another six year rotation or two three year rotations.  In a nutshell, here's what we've done...

Angel - high school graduate - homeschooled from 6th-12th grade
      6th grade Ancient History
      7th grade Middle Ages, Renaissance, & Reformation
      8th grade In Depth American History
      9th grade Ancient History
     10th grade World History
     11th grade Early American History
     12th grade Modern American History

      1st grade Ancient Civilizations
      2nd grade Middle Ages
      3rd grade Renaissance & Reformation
      4th grade American Exploration, Colonization, & Revolutionary War
      5th grade American Westward Expansion
      6th grade American Civil War to Modern American & World History

      K Ancient Civilizations
      1st grade Middle Ages
      2nd grade Renaissance & Reformation
      3rd grade American Exploration, Colonization, & Revolutionary War
      4th grade American Westward Expansion
      5th grade American Civil War to Modern American & World History

Riley and Ruben have always studied history together.  However, I've decided to split them up this fall because Riley is ready to work independently and Ruben still needs a bit more help.  Also, because Ruben has one more year left than Riley, it will allow me to slow down a bit with him and focus on some other areas.  They will more than likely be on a similar time period, but each will be reading separate books.  I really want Ruben to go through two more cycles of history since he doesn't remember much from the first time around prior to American History.  Initially, I was thinking Riley could do another six year cycle, possibly using Ambleside Online and then I started looking at Veritas Press Omnibus who does two three year cycles, which is also appealing.

Right now, I'm in research mode and here are some options that appeal to me or things I've been studying....

6 Year Rotation
Ambleside Online
Simply Charlotte Mason

4 Year Rotation
A Delectable Education - The Chronology of History Podcast - History Rotation Diagrams
Story of the World
The Mystery of History
My Father's World - high school

3 Year Rotation
Beautiful Feet
Veritias Press Omnibus
Mystie Winckler at Simply Convivial

Other Options
Charlotte Mason Help
A Mind in the Light
TruthQuest History
Any thoughts?  What have you used to study middle and high school history?  Do you prefer a 6 year, 4 year, or 3 year rotation?  Please feel free to comment below...


  1. For some reason, nothing causes me more angst than history planning! My son is in elementary and he's the only one I'm teaching right now, so my opinion is probably irrelevant. :)
    I have, though, decided to go with the CM method outlined by the ladies at Delectable Education. This makes so much sense to me and I finally have peace about how to do history. I am implementing it via the TruthQuest guides (since there is no schedule, it works out perfectly!). I like the idea of the CM school plan because you can use the materials you want to accomplish it.
    Good luck with your planning!

  2. All opinions of homeschooling mom's are valid here as we're in the trenches together ;-)

    Since homeschooling history has become my favorite subject, I spend more time on it because it's enjoyable. On the other hand, math causes me angst.

    Anyway, I'm curious to hear more about how you will use TQ to study four strands of history since they are each so deep in and of themselves. Will you be pulling books from multiple guides? How will you handle TQ commentary?

    Thanks so much for your thoughts!

  3. Well, I anticipate being pretty selective regarding what I use for each pass through the history cycle so that I have room for everything. The first time through America history I'm just hitting the highlights. Next time, I will be more thorough, but not belaboring things he already knows and only choosing books and commentary that I feel strongly about. I think I will pull from multiple TQ guides when we add in Ancients. I will have to add in other spines or books as our history focus broadens from American to American/English and finally to Western Civ. I definitely think the best thing about TQ is the way you can use it as a framework, adding and subtracting as needed. I highlight the commentary and Thinkwrites I want to use, etc.
    Also, from what I remember, CM treated British/Western Civ/Ancients/Current Events as separate subjects, even when you are lining them up time-wise. So it should be easy to use TQ for some of it and other resources for the rest.
    But, you know, this is all theoretical. :) I think I'm heading in the right direction, though. Love those Delectable Education podcasts.

  4. I meant to add, what do you think? If you were to use the CM history rotations with your kids the ages they are now, how would you handle it?

  5. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around this whole CM history rotation, LOL. In rethinking things, I did inadvertently mix Ancients and American history when they were younger, reading from such authors as Mara Pratt, Edward Eggeleston, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

    Now that they are older, we are just coming off a very thorough 3 year study of American history and actually this year, we're using a Beautiful Feet guide which covers Modern American and World History so again, I'm weaving the threads unknowingly. However, I'm near certain that from this point forward 6th/7th through 11th/12th, we'll do two 3-year cycles using a mix of Ambleside Online, TQ, BF, VP Omnibus, and Sonlight. I plan to build my own program using books from a variety of lists. Our dd will start keeping a Book of Centuries, as well as a Commonplace book. Both kiddos will continue narration, oral and written. Their literature will also be somewhat woven with history.

    ...but then again, I reserve the right to change my mind ;-)