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On the hunt for new History and Science

Posted by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 10:20 AM
  • 18 Replies

 I feel like I've been digging for forever!  We try staying as secular as possible and I seem to be running into major road blocks while looking for Science and History. I'm willing to use non-secular material provided I can easily adjust it.

For Science right now we're using Real Science 4 Kids, and it's okay, but it is just lacking something for us. My oldest will be in 5th next year and youngest doing K/1st grade work, and I would love something that can at least work together on so I'm not doing 2 entirely differnet things.  I've come across Elemental Science and so far like the looks of it. Has anyone used it? I did read somewhere along the lines that the author believed in creationism but tried to write as neutral as possible but to "be ready to defend your beliefs". So if it does lean one way is it easy to adjust? (This is also where it gets hard for me because I'm not exactly 100% in agreement with Big Bang Theory either...but thats a different can of worms entirely)

For history though, I am at an utter loss. We used just Story of the World last year, and it did not go over well. We used Pandia Press, History Odyssey this year, which also uses Story of the World, and we're having the same issues. My daughter's reading just isn't the greatest and she is an "anti-audio" learner. Her comprehension is non-existant most days it seems too...things we're working on, but in the mean time makes some subjects very hard. We start the week with her reading a chapter on her own and writing down a word she comes across she doesn't understand or know. Many times, it turns out being she flipped letters around or wasn't following phonics rules and just mispronounced it entirely, and we move on quickly when we go over them when she is done reading. The next day, I read it to her, and we discuss after each paragraph usually, otherwise at the end of each page in the chapter. It helps for a whole whopping 5 minutes. The next day if needed, we go over it again, and I try to do some project to reinforce what we've gone over (I've had to come up with all my own projects and we haven't really been able to do any from either History Odyssey or Story of the World). On Friday's we usually take the test that goes with Story of the World, but not on her own. I go over the test verbally with her first, and if she doesn't know the answer, she looks it up, and then writes all the answers down...its basically open book, and with help...and she is still getting almost half of the questions wrong. We also don't call it a test, and it's treated like a worksheet. What this comes to hour wise per day...from 9 am to 3 pm. It is slow going and repetitive. This is what lead us to drop history mid year last year...but then Hubby got his undies in a bunch about it. And out of all the different ways we've tried to use the different programs, this has been the most effective, as sad as it is.

With all of that being said...Jamie is just not a reading/writing/research type of learner. She is hands on, and her brain is hard wired for math and science. I really want her to have SOMETHING for middle school at least...taking the next year off maybe for 5th...I haven't fully decided...I'm open to different suggestions for a history program, but I also was wondering if anyone has used/seen See Time Fly? I'm a little worried with it because it is geared towards Core standards, but at the same time, I'm not seeing anything that is really "wrong" with it....at least from the samples anyway. I don't know if it is really middle school level either. It almost seems too basic? I don't know.

Also, for anyone who has used History Odyssey past the first level and is using the second level, with the books used, is it just as reading intensive as level 1 and I should give up on it completely? I was considering finding just a US History curriculum for next year, and then starting with level 2 so I could start level 1 with Little Man at the same time so they were learning parallel to each other again.

Thanks for the advice/help/suggestions :) Sorry it is so long too!

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by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 10:20 AM
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KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 10:50 AM
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I'm wishing you luck because I am the opposite.  

We feel that education and faith do not have to be opposites.   Infact, if what you are teaching is that different from what you believe, then one or the other is probably wrong.    It would be time to re-evalute something.   




No_Difference
by Silver Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:08 AM

I try to stay as neutral as possible because I teach both sides of the coin, I just prefer there to be little to no bias. As far as science is concerned though, I do believe in evolution, just not the big bang per se, but I'm not a huge fan of the creation theory either. The kids learn both, and I leave it up to them to choose which they would rather believe in. Where history is concerned, I know religion plays a huge part, and I don't skirt the issue, but I'm not going to lean on religion as if it is because that diety/god/whatever wants things to turn out that way. I think that is rather naive. I don't just teach one religion either, we go over all of them as they become predominant throughout history. The kids will be allowed to choose which ever religion they want to believe in. At the end of the day, we teach the kids a very strong moral code and what it takes to be a decent/good person. We don't go to any church, and that is another big reason I prefer to not have a religiously biased curriculum. If and when they're interested, the kids are able to pick up just about any religious text in the house (I have many different ones, including many different versions of the Bible), and we do have discussions between the different teachings often. They're not sheltered from religion or any theory, I just don't want curriculum that is skewed towards any one specific theory.


Quote:

Quoting KrissyKC:

I'm wishing you luck because I am the opposite.  

We feel that education and faith do not have to be opposites.   Infact, if what you are teaching is that different from what you believe, then one or the other is probably wrong.    It would be time to re-evalute something.   


 

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DyslexiaParent
by Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:16 AM

For science, one of the programs we used and liked a lot was Glencoe Science.  For history, we used a lot of History Channel DVDs and they have some comprehensive (but expensive) "Classroom sets" for American History, World History, etc.  My guys really enjoyed the History Channel DVD series.  The Classroom DVDs have additional assignments, quizzes, etc. built into them which made them good for our homeschooling.  I think you have to watch for them to come up used on eBay though as last time I looked, it didn't look like they were readily available on the History Channel website any more.

SandyKC
M.S. Instructional Design, Homeschooling Mom of "Light of My Life" Boys,
Author, Individualized Instruction Design Consultant


jen2150
by Silver Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:28 AM
We use a living book approach to history. So I pick and chose my own books. We are also using an online source for science through simple homeschooling. We are also reading exploring the world of physics and Alice in quantumland.
No_Difference
by Silver Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:30 AM
Thank you. I'll check the science link out. I've tried using History Channel to supplement with things we were learning and it never stuck unfortunatly. Thank you for the suggestions :)
Quoting DyslexiaParent:

For science, one of the programs we used and liked a lot was Glencoe Science.  For history, we used a lot of History Channel DVDs and they have some comprehensive (but expensive) "Classroom sets" for American History, World History, etc.  My guys really enjoyed the History Channel DVD series.  The Classroom DVDs have additional assignments, quizzes, etc. built into them which made them good for our homeschooling.  I think you have to watch for them to come up used on eBay though as last time I looked, it didn't look like they were readily available on the History Channel website any more.

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No_Difference
by Silver Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:34 AM

 I've been curious about living books for awhile now...what exactly are living books? I guess I have a probably wrong preconcieved notion that they would be more reading and comprehending than what we're already doing, and I'm afraid of giving myself a concussion from frustration of the day taking forever.

Quoting jen2150:

We use a living book approach to history. So I pick and chose my own books. We are also using an online source for science through simple homeschooling. We are also reading exploring the world of physics and Alice in quantumland.

 

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Pukalani79
by Kristin on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:40 AM

 We're hands on learners as well.  We use Oak Meadow for History

QueenCreole313
by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:45 AM
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I found a cool cartoon called Liberty Kids on YouTube about the American Revolution.
jen2150
by Silver Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 11:55 AM
1 mom liked this
http://spunkyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2008/08/what-are-living-books.html

Good place to start. Basically staying away from textbooks. I still use them as reference books. Most of them are filled with errrors so use carefully. Right now weare studying lewis and clark in depth. We are using lewis and clark for kids, the caption's dog and trail guide to US geography. We are also getting ready to get some books on pioneers, native americans, and lighthouses.


Quoting No_Difference:

 I've been curious about living books for awhile now...what exactly are living books? I guess I have a probably wrong preconcieved notion that they would be more reading and comprehending than what we're already doing, and I'm afraid of giving myself a concussion from frustration of the day taking forever.


Quoting jen2150:

We use a living book approach to history. So I pick and chose my own books. We are also using an online source for science through simple homeschooling. We are also reading exploring the world of physics and Alice in quantumland.

 


No_Difference
by Silver Member on Oct. 28, 2013 at 12:10 PM

 Thank you :) I'll definitely look into it more.

Quoting jen2150:

http://spunkyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2008/08/what-are-living-books.html

Good place to start. Basically staying away from textbooks. I still use them as reference books. Most of them are filled with errrors so use carefully. Right now weare studying lewis and clark in depth. We are using lewis and clark for kids, the caption's dog and trail guide to US geography. We are also getting ready to get some books on pioneers, native americans, and lighthouses.


Quoting No_Difference:

 I've been curious about living books for awhile now...what exactly are living books? I guess I have a probably wrong preconcieved notion that they would be more reading and comprehending than what we're already doing, and I'm afraid of giving myself a concussion from frustration of the day taking forever.


Quoting jen2150:

We use a living book approach to history. So I pick and chose my own books. We are also using an online source for science through simple homeschooling. We are also reading exploring the world of physics and Alice in quantumland.

 


 

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