Summer of Homeschool Curriculum Ideas!
Because Planning is Super Fun!
After lurking about on the Secular Homeschool forum, I have come to the conclusion that we’ll not be using the very popular Story of the World history series. I had come across the audiobook version of the Medieval Times portion of the SOTW series at the library, and was tempted to borrow it, but now I’m pretty sure that I want to stay far away from it.
- “Great (White) Men” approach
- Presents Biblical myths as history, possibly takes a Providential approach
To be clear, I have not seen the books or heard the audiobooks. But from this very helpful review ( http://www.secularhomeschool.com/content.php?r=717-Story-of-the-World-Reviews) as well as other bits and snips I’ve gleaned from reading forum posts and blog posts (mostly over at http://www.secularhomeschool.com/content.php )
Instead, we’ll be listening to bits of Howard Zinn’s Audiobook, People’s History of the United States, Highlights from the 20th Century
Z has already listened to “Galileo and The Stargazers” audiobook by Jim Weiss, and “Ask Albert Einstein” by Lynn Barasch. We also have Phillis Wheatley: A Revolutionary Poetby Jacqeuelyn McLendon on audiobook. There also seem to be some excellent history podcasts out there, but we haven’t really gotten very far into them yet, so I will post reviews when we’ve had a proper listen. Also, we’ve started “Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs” by Barbara Mertz, she of Elizabeth Peters mysteries fame. While it was written in the 1960’s (most recent publication, with revisions, dated 2007), it is a lively account of the history and archaeology of Egypt, complete with entertaining accounts of the hard work and foibles of Egyptologists.
(Have I mentioned how awesome the Davis, Ca library is? Totally awesome. Completely amazing collection of everything, but right now, I’m really digging their audiobooks. Tons and tons and tons of them! Which, for my little inefficient reader, is the best thing ever. He has an excellent memory for things he hears, especially when it’s stuff that interests him.)
The Totally Awesome Davis Library again supplies us with treasures! Z apparently loves being read stories about math! So far, we’ve read 2 Sir Cumference books (Sword in the Cone and All the King’s Tens), “What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras?” by Julie Ellis, and “How do Octopi Eat Pizza Pie? Pizza Math”, which is part of the I Love Math series published by Time Life in the early 90’s. He loved each one. Totally engaged, and was totally willing to do simple math problems I’d ask him, off the cuff, related to what was going on in the text. Super Win!
Other things I plan to do with him include:
- Worksheets/minidrills! Yeah, not the most thrill-a-minute task ever, I know, but he needs to acquire some fluency with his basic functions so he can feel more confident about his numeracy abilities (which are fine, really, but he gets so frustrated when he can’t remember simple addition or subtraction that all heck tends to break loose when he tries to tackle more interesting problems).
- Analog Clock skills. Again, worksheets are in order.