27 June 2013

The Timeline Notebook

We have finally made a decision regarding the history timeline for K's history course. We are going to do a timeline notebook in a binder. I have begun printing out blank timeline sheets from the Contented at Home website. We are printing them one-sided and putting them into page protectors. This will give us the option of taking the pages out and lying them down side-by-side to achieve the complete timeline effect when the need arises. Once we actually get into some history that has definitive dates, I'll post some pictures of the timeline binder in progress.

25 June 2013

The First Farmers

I couldn't have asked for a better start to K's new history program. Not only did she do an outstanding job on all of her work, but she loved it while doing it!

After reading about the early farmers, she decided that she wanted to do further study on how the early farmers tamed animals. We didn't find a ton of information about how, but she was satisfied with what she did learn about the topic. 

Her week-end summary is below: 


Despite a few spelling errors, I think that she did a fantastic job! She has had a few formal lessons in writing, but I have never really sat down and walked her through writing a report of this nature. All I told her was to write three or four paragraphs about what she had learned throughout the week and to try her best to keep the paragraphs on topic. I was really surprised when she came back to me with more than a page of writing. I cannot wait to see what she is able to come up with once co-op starts back up and she gets into her writing class.

17 June 2013

The New History

Today began the final five weeks of the 2012-13 school year. It is bittersweet in a way, especially when you consider I am going to have a 5th grader soon. Where has the time gone?

K began her new history course today. I think she did a very good job. However, we haven't decided on a timeline yet and I'm still waiting on the geography coloring book to get here. For her first subtopic to learn more in depth, she has chosen the taming of animals. Basically, she wants to learn more about how the early farmers were able to domesticate sheep and cows. If we cannot find adequate information at the library, she is going to research the fertile crescent instead. I'm eager to see how she does on her outlining tomorrow and on her summary Friday.

15 June 2013

History Decisions

We have finally decided which way to go with K's 5th-grade history. We are just going to keep it simple and do it a la The Well-Trained Mind (TWTM).

We will be using Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History as our spine for the year. On Mondays, she will be reading the weekly topic page(s) in the spine text. After reading, she will write down several facts that she finds interesting about the topic. Then she will mark all the important dates onto a timeline and find the location discussed on a map. I am also ordering a geography coloring book for her to use for her map work.

On Wednesdays, she will do additional reading/research about something else that she wants to learn regarding the topic. For example, if the main topic was about the earliest farmers, she may decide that she wants to know more about the shaduf. After reading more about the shaduf, she will then use a short section of her additional reading to make an outline. At the 5th-grade level, TWTM suggests that the outline only needs to be a Roman numeral with a main topic sentence about each paragraph.

Fridays will be used to write a short summary about what was learned about the topic of the week.

In order to get our feet wet with the new method, we are going to be starting the new history course during our last 5-week session of the 2012-13 school year, which starts this coming Monday. I'm sure there will be some hand holding that needs to take place for a while until she gets the hang of the new history routine. I'm confident, though, that this will be the perfect fit for her learning style and that she will pick it up quickly.