“history of me”

August 30, 2011

Today was the last day of her history study with Bring Histoy Home, “History of Me.”  The unit introduces children to the kinds of sources that can be used in history and how they can used, which moves the chidlren’s grasp beyond rote understanding. With “History of Me” she actually did history, which is a concept that I was not exposed to until the university–that history is more than information presented in a textbook, you can study and interpret it, too.

Some examples of sources she looked at include, her birth record, photographs, postcards, toys, food, music, and maps. Each example had hands-on activities and thought provoking questions that helped her to expand her understanding of history. The final activity was my favorite, which was an exhibit of sorts based on a timeline of her life using artifacts and photographs.


Since we did this as part of our homeschool and not a traditional classroom (which is what the curr. was designed for) we had the advantage of using many sources based on her and our family, but she did not get the opprotunity to see other children’s sources. If you use this unit I would suggest using this for a hs co-op or you could even create a community space on-line. (Maybe I should do this?)


kindergarten map study

August 11, 2011

Our first venture into social studies started with one of her favorite things–maps!

The map study went something like this

She did the activites in  EDSITEment, “Mapping our Worlds.”  I added the books Maps and Globes by Jack Knowlton and Mapping a Changing World by Yvette Lapierre . I also added the lesson  Montessori for Everyone, “Longitude and Latitude”(except part of it didn’t make sense so mostly I just told her about the imaginary lines of latitude and longitude and showed them on the globe) and Microsoft, “Making and Reading Maps in the 21st Century”, without their discussion on tradtional versus digital mapping and without the reflection questions (I think they had potential to loose her focus). I really wish that we did not have dial-up internet because she could have done so much more with the latter lesson–mostly we just looked for some of our favorite places and faraway relatives. Also, as a treat and to put maps in action she used a simple map I made to navigate trails in our local park, with the destination being a geocache–so she got to follow a map to real life treasure : )  

Our next study in social studies will be an introduction to history.

three r’s

July 19, 2011


I have always just let her play and read books to her, but I think it is time to get to work now. 

I know that she is very interested in learning to read and write  (she makes up her own runes, has loved reading since she was a tiny thing, and is always writing “essays”) and it is time for kindergarten anyhow.

The foundation for L’s kindergarten year has come together thanks to friends, friends of friends, and various hs and educational communities that I found on-line. Taking into account what others said about them and my goals for her education, these are the materials I settled on for the core subjects, you know, those three R’s.

For reading and writing:

(starting with) Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann

(after about lesson 75 when the standard alphabet is introduced)  Letters and Numbers for Me by Jan Olsen

(after Englelmann and Olsen) First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind by Jessie Wise

and for math:

RightStart Mathematics Level A Lessons For Home Educators by Joanne Cotter

(and if we move through that without problems we will move on to level B)

Of course I decided on all this without any hs experience or formal educational training so ask me at the end of the year how they worked out for us.