Thursday, August 4, 2011


For History:

We're adding a time line to our history studies this year. This is another thing I stalled on for lack of not wanting to spend the money on it. I chose History Oddessey's Timeline and the corresponding stickers. I plan to have it laminated so we can write on it with dry erase markers, too.

We're continuing with The Story of the World, Volume One: Ancient Times. We use the corresponding activity book and student pages as well.

We got started on history late in the first grade, so we have a long way to go into second grade before we finish ancient times. However, I feel confident we can still finish all four Story of the World books by the time Norah goes into middle school. We may need to do history through a summer, but I think we can catch up.

At some point (maybe with the forth book on Modern Times), Norah may choose to read and study through the whole book on her own. That would certainly catch us up quickly! We will see.

I usually try and do the bulk of our history work in only one day each week. I prefer devoting a whole afternoon to the same subject. This way, we don't feel rushed and we can really get into the subject matter.

We usually listen to the chapter we're on first. I have the audio version.

While Norah listens, she colors the corresponding student page. I have the digital version of this book, so I will often print Avril a copy of the page and she colors, too.

I always have Norah answer the comprehension questions listed in the activity pages to check her understanding, but I don't always have her narrate the chapter back to me.

If I do have Norah do a narration, we do it right after we hear the chapter. Norah's narrations tend to be long. I've been helping her pull out the most important points to make them shorter. But, for the first several weeks of the new school year, I believe I may have her copy the suggested narrations in the activity guide word for word until she gets the idea that her narrations should be just about that long, only one or two sentences. I think this will help her come around to shortening her own narrations.

We always do the map work and we also take time to find the ancient location of the map on the modern globe.

We put the student pages Norah colored, the maps and any narrations she did into her history notebook at that point.

If we are going to read any extra books that the student activity guide suggests, we do that next. I try and get these books from the library at least one week ahead of time. If the library doesn't have the book, I will often try and find one that is similar.

Many of the corresponding literature suggestions are longer than what we can read in one sitting, so that often means we will devote another afternoon to history later in the week. We usually listen to the chapter again on those days and then pick up where we left off on our extra reading.

If we do any of the history projects suggested in the activity guide for the chapter we are on, we usually wait until another day of the week when we have a big block of free time. The day we do the project, Norah will usually ask to listen to the chapter again. I say, "Sure!" and while she listens, I set up the project materials in another room. This serves to distract her long enough for me to prepare without her under my feet and it also serves as a review of the material for Norah.

But, even if we don't do a project or even if the extra reading is done on the same day as everything else, Norah will often beg to listen to he history chapter for that week again sometimes. So, by listening to the chapter again, she usually gets a review for every chapter.

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