I have spent countless hours researching and praying about how to present history, since I was a typical public school "date memorizer, then forget it". I have been validated over and over that I was not the only one for whom history was a dry and boring subject. As I have dug further into this matter, I have excavated the TRUTH about HIStory, and been left feeling, I’m just sure, like an archeologist who just uncovered ancient ruins!!
I have read method after method of teaching, all backed individually by valid reasons why to do it "this way or that".
The one thing I have found to work the best above all, is teaching through character study, and God’s plan for his people. I found recently that we were getting quite bored of American History, though. I had started chipping away at our own country after feeling that the younger children can and should relate to their own history first, and reading over and over that there is much too much excellent literature written about American History for elementary ages to pass up. I feel that the past few years of studying our own beginnings has really meshed well with our military lifestyle and experiences, and has seated a firm foundation and patriotism from the many different platforms and mediums, methods and materials from which it was presented: from living books, to traditional text books, dvd’s to re-enactments to live plays, Army museums and Memorial ceremonies of our fallen soldiers, to girl scout projects and badges. But all that said, we were only through the Revolutionary War period of our great country. So after much prayer, and allowing myself to step out of the "have to do it THIS WAY" mindset (again, LOL), I asked the girls if they would like to move on from America into ancient lands. There are no words to describe their response, LOL, so I won’t even try.
So, I found myself preparing for a new season of learning: HIS story of our world.
I won’t even embarass myself by getting into me figuring out where to start.
Of course I new it all began in Genesis and the Old Testament and have covered most of that, but where from there, and what order???
It all stemmed from Morgan going through the Drive Thru American History which we both thought was so cool. So I ordered the world history which consists of four dvd sets: Rome, Turkey, Greece and Asia Minor. www.drivethruhistory.com/ I thought these would be a fabulous introduction in themselves to Ancient History, especially since we loved the American History study so much. They are just awesome sets with great info, but sparked a great interest for more, more, more! So one thing led to another (figuring out my timeline of events for starters!) and I found myself smack dab in the middle of ancient history! God led me right to a whole bundle of Greenleaf guides and materials that led the way for a whole new season of discovery.
So we are in the middle now, of Ancient Egypt. It has been fun, exciting, and packed full of adventure for us. We started at the library, and although tempted to just order every book recommended by the guide I was using, decided I could surely handle through prayer and God’s hand the task before me with what the local library had to offer, as long as I have my Bible on the top of the pile.
We started with salt maps, which I had read about several places, but never implemented.
WOW!! It truly is a way to ingrain the geography of a land into your memory. After drawing out our maps, we all worked diligently, though in different manners, to fill in the lay of the land onto our maps. Then after they dried, placing the cities and regions, and significant events being studied on them. We have referred to them as we have studied each place we encounter through our Greenleaf Ancient Egypt Guide www.greenleafpress.com/catalog/index.php as well as the Egypt section of "A Child’s Geography, Explore the Holy Land" www.achildsgeography.com/volume-two/which which has been recently redone and sold through Knowledge Quest. (Wow, talk about exciting, I just can’t even say enough about that one!)
This is Taylor beginning to place the salt dough on the map that had been drawn:
Morgan working on hers:
Taylor working on hers:
And Mommabear’s before labels, though I am proud to say I can point out numerous places without the labels now!!!:
So as our homeschool is abuzz with Pharaohs and Queens, heiroglyphs and the Rosetta Stone, Moses and the artifacts found in the Red Sea, the girls’ imaginations are filled with new adventures. We ended up on a great website yesterday as Morgan began to create authentic costumes and dress from the period: www.fashion-era.com/ancient_costume/egyptian_fancy_dress_1_tunics.htm , and much to my surprise, an "extra credit" project was presented last night:
We started today listening to the audiobook "Cat of Bubastes" by G.A. Henty: www.theoldschoolhousestore.com/index.php after, of course, we plotted Bubastis on our salt maps. .
Final comments just cannot go without saying that homeschooling ROCKS. Never in my wildest dreams………..