Homeschooling Discussions


Reply to topic

Search

Is there a history curriculum that meets these criteria?

Is there a history curriculum that meets these criteria?

Is there an American history curriculum out there that has the following characteristics?:
1. Interesting, something that won't bore us to tears.
2. Christ centered, Christian world view.
3. Preferably not textbook, although I am getting desperate.
4. Suitable for a 13 year old struggling reader.
5. Includes some geography and map work, but not overkill on the busy work.
6. Easy to add extra literature too if desired.

I am running out of time and options.

This post was edited on Jan 05, 2018 10:33 PM

re: Is there a history curriculum that meets these criteria?


Are you against Notgrass America the Beautiful?

I don't know what will bore you to tears.

Drive through History dvd for american is only columbus through constitution.


re: Is there a history curriculum that meets these criteria?

4. Suitable for a 13 year old struggling reader
*********

A. as far as I know, there is not an audio version of Notgrass. With a struggling reader, you might have to step up and work alongside and read it to him. Check out the sample lessons. Can you endure reading that out loud if 13 y.o is following along in the book?

B. have you considered something like Monarch even if it "bores" you and is texty? You could do the grade 5 US overview before the grade 8 one. Courses can be purchases individually. There is a text to speech option where words are highlighted as you go along on the screen. and you can toggle to the text during questions, and even let them try again.

C. what video sources do you have access to that you could add in your parent perspective on worldview as you go along? maybe if you have a table of contents in a text you can find some videos on this (discovery streaming for example?) and watch together?


quote: I am running out of time and options

Please explain this? it might help others to talk you through some of the concerns.

re: Is there a history curriculum that meets these criteria?

Unfortunately, with a struggling reader, you are going to have to either lower the reading level and the amount of reading required, use audio books, and plan on working with the student rather than independent work - unless you use audio/lower level books.

Something to keep in mind - when you have a struggling reader pick the important battle - strengthening/remediating the reading issues but don't add to those struggles when working in other subject areas - history. ACE is a workbook/text with lots and lots of reading and recalling lots facts and then filling in those blanks. Not a good fit and the student will just shut down, defeat makes its place in their brain and they begin to hate all learning.

Oh yes, I get that they must learn, and do school and suck it up - but you have to be careful with working with kids who struggle. There is a fine line and that line is easily crossed.

The Monarch/SOS stuff is fine because it can be read to the student but it is very pesky in what they type in for an answer - and, again, it is still a workbook/worktext type of learning.

If you are doing American Story with your other kids and you are reading aloud and discussing the information your ds will gain far more from that exposure than being expected to read stuff that never processes in his brain. I've used her older versions before they became MasterBook material and we had a lot of fun researching topics of interest at the library, movies, documentaries, and games. We drew the map of a battle from the Civil War on a 99 cent poster board from Walmart and used toy soldiers, etc. to recreate the battle. Rather than a whole new curriculum you might just get him his own journal and invest in some geography games and puzzles. Maybe find something to help learn the US states and landmarks.

I've used Notgrass and it is okay - definitely more manageable, but not a lot of depth for a struggling learner. Again, you can use the workbook and get the workbook activities/fill in the blank, word bank puzzles, etc. but having your ds off on his own to learn on his own might produce the same results that you are currently achieving with ACE.

I know someone mentioned Memoria Press in your other post but keep in mind - classical - lots of facts, and reading for the information.

One option that many have had success with is the Veritas Press online course - you can actually have your ds work through a trial lesson(s). The only caveat on this option is spelling - as there are activities that require spelling but I'm betting there are ways around this or scaffolding (note taking) that could alleviate that stress.

I don't have a whole lot of specific curriculum advice because I didn't use anything for history that was independent until 11th grade with my struggling reader. At that point I used the CLE 8th grade book which is beautiful and not full of controversial/slanted stuff and he was much stronger to practice the worktext skills he'd need at the college level (there are so many professors that use the read textbook/take a quiz).

Just a few rambling thoughts.

After I posted this one last idea came to mind - does your ds read stronger with a comic book form? My one ds loves comic books and there are so many options with history that you could just clear the shelves at the library and let him just dig in to anything that really interests him - Horrible Histories, Nathan Hale, Chester Comix

and one other option - the Rush Revere books. They are pretty easy to read and they have quizzes on the website for each chapter. I've not been on the website lately but they have a whole homeschool section. Just might be what you need to get through the end of the year -I know more reading but the reading is definitely a step up from easy readers - right in the middle of say 5/6 grade. We've read through two of the books. Lots of fun and lots of learning in disguise - no politics.

This post was edited on Jan 06, 2018 08:59 AM

re: Is there a history curriculum that meets these criteria?


The Monarch/SOS stuff is fine because it can be read to the student but it is very pesky in what they type in for an answer - and, again, it is still a workbook/worktext type of learning.
*****

I am someone who is using Monarch with struggling student. (age is traditional grade 10 age, but using grade 5 materials.) We do it together. I let her copy and paste from one screen to the answer box if needed. And on the "non multiple choice" questions, I'm lenient in the grading of that as teacher.
It's not the right program for everyone of course and it is dry and all of that and most likely would bore the OP and her children to tears. But I didn't find it all that pesky with that aspect. But then again, my child is not capable of independently using it, so if there is something specific (pesky) we can enter it together. and I can change "grades" as I need to to help the program not get stuck.

But I do agree with you if someone is insisting on independent use with struggling student then don't use monarch.

and wholeheartedly agreeing with your advice with struggling reader vs independent. keep preaching. maybe she'll listen to one of us :)

oh yeah, horrible histories.. those were video clips, right? middle gal loved those. if it's a graphic novel, I don't know those. but the videos were fun.

re: Is there a history curriculum that meets these criteria?

ACE is a workbook/text with lots and lots of reading and recalling lots facts and then filling in those blanks. Not a good fit and the student will just shut down, defeat makes its place in their brain and they begin to hate all learning.

******

agreeing and adding.

and with the physical layout of the workbooks, many students with struggles cannot use them. If you have kid like mine with eye tracking issues (that we're still working on helping!) the amount of small text is painful when used above grade level. and maybe even lower with my kid. I get it that they use less paper, but oh. not a good match with learning challenges. When we did the ace grade 9 english with her, I would use the worktext as a teaching guide, and then have her do some exercises on dry erase board for practice. I'd sit there and block out half the page or more with blank paper to help her look for answers in the right sections. No way to do it independently with the layout and her reading struggles.

like 1short, I get it.. they need to do some work, but please make it realistic for ability level and struggles.

I'm so glad to hear someone else understands that.

re: Is there a history curriculum that meets these criteria?

As a total side note to this discussion.....

I just looked on the Notgrass website, and they do have an audio supplement for their high school level Exploring America program. I didn't see that option for their other levels, but perhaps it's in the works for the future. Just wanted to mention....;)

re: Is there a history curriculum that meets these criteria?

Well, I hesitate to throw something else out there, but feeling for you on your search.

Have you looked at Veritas Press? Their on-line self paced 1815- present would be the easiest on you and think your son would enjoy it; but it is 32 lessons that takes about one week each lesson, so it's going to go into next school year (I felt like you did not want that). It meets all your criteria though. See more information and some samples here: https://www.veritaspress.com/selfpaced/history.html
There are characters that teach the material and it's interspersed with map work, games, worksheets and quizzes (all on line), and it's Christ centered. It follows history chronologically. (they do run specials periodically, but know that is not going to help you right now - but put it out there for your radar in the future). They schedule literature to read with each lesson with summaries of what was to be read at the end of each lesson. We've been using these programs for two years now and I feel they are worth it. They give you two different levels of literature that are each scheduled, so it makes it easy to pick and choose what you think is appropriate for your child. We've used a mixture of the two levels.

A new history curriculum Veritas has is their Transitions History Guide. They are focused on those that are not ready for their 7th - 12 grade history, but need a few more years before they can go into it (which sounds like where your son is at).
https://www.veritaspress.com/history-transition-guide-2-e-book.html
You would only need the second volume as that is Explorers to modern times. You'd need the two sets of time cards (explorers to 1815 & 1815 to modern times). From there you could pick and choose from the list of literature books they recommend. That looks doable in one semester, without the "textbook" feel to history. I have not used this or seen it yet, but looks solid given the focused of it.

Recommend you check out the samples of both. Also, their customer services is excellent, so feel free to call them on Monday and ask questions: (800) 922-5082
They have a 90 day money back guarantee.

I hope this is helpful and not more confusing. It's a bit overwhelming what is out there, but have no doubt that with prayer you'll find the right thing.

12

Reply to topic

Search


Return to Homeschooling Discussions