Monday, February 6, 2012

How We Do Charlotte Mason: History

We are studying U.S. History this year, after two years of studying world history. We are really taking our time with this, moving slowly along in chronological order. Right now we are reading about colonial times. This is how we do it:

On Mondays and Wednesdays I read one section from George Washington's World. This is a narrative history, used in Ambleside's curriculum. As we read, we discuss and narrate in a very informal manner. Afterwards, we look up the location we read about on the map, and if there is anything to add to the timeline, we do so. For our timeline, we write an event on the front of an index card, such as "Revolutionary War Starts". On the back of the card, we write the date. Then I do a google image search to find some clipart or a small photo to print out and paste on the front of the index card. The finished cards are clipped onto our timeline.  I only add major events to the timeline, and, to be honest, we haven't been adding to it much lately. 

Next, we read page or two of Colonial Days. We discuss and, if we have time that day, we do a short related project. So far we have made a model weather vane, ordered herb seeds to start indoors, and planned to try our hand at tapping maple trees later this month. Most of the projects will be done as a family, on afternoons and weekends.

Besides the read-alouds and projects, the kids always have a biography going. I let them choose a biography subject from the people we have encountered in our readings.They read 2-4 chapters of their chosen biography each week. I ask for at least one oral narration from the biographies each week.

And that's how we do history! I used to require a short history paper each week but, since starting Bravewriter, I have not done so. In the future, I may require some of their Bravewriter writing projects to have a history theme.

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