Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My New Favorite History Program

If you've followed my blog for very long, you'll know that I love, love, love history. I wasn't a fan of it as a child, but as an adult, I've developed a new appreciation for it.

Maybe because I now have a connection with history.

My children thought that I learned to drive in a chariot. After convincing them otherwise, I like to tell them about the events that I have lived through. Everything from the ending of the Vietnam War, to the eruption of Mount St. Helens; the first man on the moon, to the falling of the Berlin Wall; the shooting of Ronald Reagan, to the deaths of John Wayne, Elvis Presley, and John Lennon, which have been retold over and over again. I don't know which my children enjoy more; that I lived during these times or that I'm old enough to have pieces of my life in their history books!

This summer, I came across a new history program by Geography Matters. Having used most of their products over our 18 years of homeschooling, I felt confident in ordering their newest program, Trail Guide to Learning. While not inexpensive, it is more than worth the price paid. The first book, Paths of Exploration, Volume 1, has 3 units; Columbus, Jamestown and Pilgrims. Volume 2, introduces students to the lives of Daniel Boone, Lewis and Clark, and the fearless pioneers that braved the trails heading West.

And no, I didn't live through this part of history!

As a parent of special learners, I appreciate the simpleness of this program. All core subjects, except for math, are included and each day, these intertwine with each other. Today, my son worked on "kn" words, taken from a chapter of his Columbus reading book. He also learned about sunrises and sunsets, how sailors use the sun to navigate their ships, and finished with an art project that taught him how to shade simple shapes. Matty also did his daily copywork, read aloud from a Christopher Columbus biography and had independant reading time, where he is currently reading "The Secret Garden".

I should mention, "The Secret Garden" was not his choice. His choice would be a comic book or a movie, based on a book. We're working on that.

This level is geared towards grades 3-5, but could easily be adapted for grades 2-6. The next level is Paths of Settlement for grades 4-6, and then Paths of Progress for grades 5-7. Currently, there are future books in the works, beginning with Ancient History for middle school grades. 

Each lesson begins with copywork that sums up that day's reading.

Science covers many subjects, including weather.

Astronomy is always a fun subject.

Three of the books we're using at the moment. Others include; Eat Your Way Through the USA, 1911 Boy Scout Handbook, and Go West!, just to name a few. 

There are many more books included with the package, but you may already own some of them, or have access to them through your library. I was able to shave about $100 from my total because of this, so it made it very affordable for us. 

I can't say enough good things about this curriculum, except to say, I wish history would've been this much fun when I was 10! 

*I am in no way affiliated with GeoMatters except as an extremely satisfied customer. All comments are mine, but since I was taught to share, I will.  

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