Simple is best.
Educating my children Classically has proven to me that using just a FEW beautiful resources faithfully and well makes our learning most effective.
As we prepare for Classical Conversations Cycle 1, I have been gathering a few things we LOVED during our last study of the Ancients, and I've added a couple new things, too.
Remember, I keep all to ONE BOOKSHELF, and by limiting myself in this way I am deepening our homeschool through SIMPLIFICATION!
(I'm also trying to educate from a place of rest, so simplification is essential!)
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As my children have gotten older, our plan of attack for history has changed.
When they were younger we did many hands on projects and LOTS of reading aloud.
Now that I have a 9th grader and a 5th grader, times are changing. Our homeschool is changing, too. We are more purely Classical than ever before, and in that spirit we are focusing on memorizing, conversations, and quality literature, along with an intensive study of Latin.
I am having to spend more time redeeming MY OWN EDUCATION - therefore I need resources to be simple and meaningful.
The following resources have been picked carefully to ensure success and retention in our homeschool next year.
A New Approach to Learning History
The biggest change for next year (for my 10 year old) is that he will be learning the bulk of history through Veritas Press' Self Paced History Course.
I have heard such good things, watched all of the promo videos, and asked my son if he would like it (I got a resounding YES!).
I pulled the trigger and purchased the course (for $100 off -- only until May 25). This course will cover Ancient History - it is self paced, includes tests and games, and will give him some much needed independence.
I encourage you to check this out if you want a quality history course, taught on the computer, self-paced, and engaging. It also aligns closely with the CC timeline and history sentences!
History Spines/Texts for Ancients
Next year during Cycle 1 I have not planned everything out WEEK BY WEEK. I have done so in the past, and been lead quickly to disappointment when I fall behind or miss a resource I had put down for a certain week.
Again -- my philosophy of LESS IS MORE is in the front of my mind as I pick just a few resources we will spend A LOT of time with during Cycle 1:
Pages of History Volume 1 - this history text (really full of great stories!) is so exciting to me! It is on the bookshelf just waiting for next year. This will be our family read aloud as time permits during the school year.
The Story of the World Volume 1 - We have used this extensively several years ago and my son wants to go through the book and activity guide again. I imagine we will read this as a read aloud and pull activities from the activity guide as time permits - again --- not committing ourselves to anything, but having it available when we can use it. (Have you seen my page dedicated to SOTW? Lots of information there!)
The Story of the World Volume 1 Audio - We have this from the last time around, and it's particularly good for in the car, or for on those days when mom just wants to rest but the kids want to keep learning. I highly recommend these recordings by Jim Weiss!
A FAVORITE GAME FOR STUDYING ANCIENTS
We are big fans of the card games by The Classical Historian.
That's it. Nothing more, I promise.
(Well, if something out of the SOTW activity guide strikes my fancy we will create that game and play, but I'm not PURCHASING anything else!)
Add to this the memory work games that all Foundations students love to play and I think we will be set!
Quality Read Alouds/Alones for Ancient Times
Again, I will keep it VERY simple.
No fancy booklists - just a few tried and true resources that will take a special place in my son's memory.
I have these books on the shelf that I have committed to read aloud to Grant, and I am sure through library trips we will seek out other books for him to read alone.
Notebooking the History Sentences in Foundations
During Cycles 2 and 3 my son would notebook each of the Foundations history sentences.
This was just good practice in research skills, writing skills, and many times it was used as his presentation for the following week.
I anticipate we will do the same thing again. I will read the History Highlights (found on CC Connected) to him, and - using our Notebooking Pages subscription - require him to write a page about the history sentence.
That's our SIMPLE plan for studying Ancients next year.
I'm BEYOND excited about the ages of my children and the DEEP learning that will take place next year. (I'm also pretty excited that this planning is done NOW, and I can relax a bit this summer in anticipation of a busy and rewarding year.)