Monday, April 29, 2013

Planning for Next Year

{This post, like most of my posts that mention books, contains affiliate links.}

I'm one of those homeschool moms who starts thinking of the next year before the current one is finished.  I get a certain thrill from perusing the catalogs and making lists, searching Amazon and brainstorming, double-checking the library website and asking my kids questions

We have 3 weeks left in our school year before we take a 11-week summer break.  The final decisions won't be made until sometime in the middle of those 11 weeks, but that hasn't stopped me from going into full planning and dreaming mode.

My big dilemma this year will be what direction to take for history.  This year we used The Mystery of History Volume I: Creation to the Resurrection.  We loved it.  One day we sat down to read and Maddie said, "I love this book.  I love how she [the author] tells a story."  It would be the natural step to move on to Volume 2: The Early Church and the Middle Ages next year except that there is so much good literature available about the medieval time period that I don't want to miss out on.

I have seriously considered using the Beautiful Feet study guide, Medieval History: A Literature Approach (Intermediate: Grades 5-8) but I'm afraid this will alienate my youngest students.  While I know Maddie, who will be in fourth grade could keep up, I can't say the same for Owen (2nd grade) or Ben (kindergarten), and what would Alaine (pre-pre-school) do while we're engrossed in lengthy chapters about King Richard or Joan of Arc?

I've also toyed with the idea of taking a year off from history to concentrate solely on geography, but I've not found a text or guide that fits my style and I don't know what direction to take on my own. 

It's another case of Good versus Good

Currently, I'm leaning toward beginning with a slow read through Augustus Caesar's World by Genevieve Foster which will review ancient history and be a bridge into medieval history, and then compiling my own book list that will include my wide range of students, similar to what I did for American history

Have you begun to think about what you will do next in school?


  1. We still haven't decided whether we'll begin with American History (& our own book list) or start further back in time. I'd love to take a look through the Mystery of History Vol. 1.

  2. I haven't decided what we'll do for history next year yet either, but I've really enjoyed the geography based study we've been doing since January. I shared a bit about the first couple countries we read about, but I haven't remembered to keep up on it (cause truly, I've barely been blogging!) under the "For the Love of Flags" category.

    Basically though, I've picked a country (we started with England because my 6 year old was already interested in it from our Revolutionary War reading) and then done a bit or research into it on my own... famous people, historical events, inventions, scientists, artists/musicians, historical fiction set in that country. I get as many books as possible from the library, including a general book on the country (we really like the "Countries around the world" series) and anything else that looks interesting. I get a few picture books for the littles and the rest I get with the older one in mind. My 2 year old is around for much of our reading, sometimes playing quietly, sometimes on my lap... but I also don't wait for him if he's somewhere else.

    For our study of France right now we're reading "The Son of Charlamaine" (pre-france history and a bit heavier than I expected for my little ones, but I'm talking through a lot of it), about Louis Braille, Louis Pasteur, Monet, and several other little books about France (like a children's French cookbook) and Paris (Daddy was just there). I had a book on Joan of Arc, but I've decided not to read it at this age.

    There were lots of people and events, etc. that we skipped, but I remind myself that this isn't supposed to be exhaustive. During our study, my 6 year old also traces the shape of the country, we identify it on our map, he draws and colors a flag and he writes a little "paper" about the country. This is basically just 3 sentences (more as he gets older) of facts he learned in our general "France" book. This is his time to learn writing in an introductory way.

    All in all I've really enjoyed how the studies on each country have guided the rest of our topics. He does his math and handwriting separate and the rest revolves around the country we're studying at the time. :)

    Sorry I posted sooo long! I hope it gives some ideas though! :)


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