from November 1, 2012
Friends, even with the help of the wonderfully efficient and organized Jacki Young, I have been negligent in getting these notes to you. If you are new to our little spot here “Under the Maple Tree” then please join our little group. You will find details here about this actual and virtual support group and our first set of notes here. In short, we meet as a small support group to learn from one another and a good book as well as to encourage and spur one another on in this crazy homeschooling life. This year our book of choice is A Biblical Home Education by Dr. Ruth Beechick. If you are interested in joining us even if only virtually, then the book is available through Maple Tree. Contact me, Cori, for ordering information.
If you are following our little group online, or if you missed the meeting in person, or if you were here and wanted to look over the ideas and resources that we discussed then please enjoy the notes below with thanks to the great Jacki Young.
Beechick writes, “We must match history to the Bible – not only its timeline and chronology, but also the principles and the meanings we attach to it.” (p.23)
It is difficult to find resources that integrate Bible with history. Here are some suggestions:
o www.dianawaring.com – “Ancient Civilizations” curriculum and other resources for integrating Bible and History
o History resources from Simplecharlottemason.com
o A Story of the World – keep in mind that the Bible is treated as literature, not as core
o Mystery of History – in this curriculum the Bible isn’t just integrated but is the core of history
Beechick encourages us to “resist the hype” i.e. set realistic goals for history (p.39)
o Don’t try to do too many activities; rather, focus on the reading
o Notebooking and reading work well with multiple age levels
There are benefits to reading in short spurts or in longer chunks
o Good to stop before seeing the “glazed look” in their eyes
o Leave them wanting more and excited to see what happens when reading is resumed
o Reading for longer chunks allows more depth of study
There are many benefits to using extra-Biblical sources to study Ancient history:
o Helps us understand that the world is bigger than Biblical history
o Integrates Bible and History to help us see parallels – things happening at the same time in different places in world
o Helps to lend credibility to Bible
o Helps to give place in history
o Artifacts also give credibility to Bible
o Shows the contradictions between the Bible and History eg. we know from the Bible that people were made smart (no cavemen); this contradicts common “History”
o We need the whole picture to argue our point eg. To discuss evolution vs the Bible
o Enables us to stand up for our beliefs even if persecuted
o If we can stand up for our beliefs, we will “stand before kings”:
“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. ” Proverbs 22:29
Today, history is not necessarily taught in society; instead, an “individual history” is emphasized
o Charlotte Mason thought history should be taught so that students could “think justly of what is occurring today” (“Home Education”, p. 169)
o Understanding history helps us to be less self-focused
Where should a homeschooling parent start with history? Some suggestions:
§ Integrates Bible and “History”
§ Can be too repetitive depending on your style/taste
o Mystery of History (available through Maple Tree)
o 50 Famous Stories by James Baldwin – stories of heroes & famous men (available as a free ebook or on www.librivox.org for free audio download)
o An Island Story by H.E. Marshall (Recommended on Amblesideonline.org) (also available free online)
o “Trial and Triumph” by R. Hannula – stories of heroes of church history
Building a timeline
o Create a timeline (either on the wall or “Book of Centuries”)
– some suggested delaying timelines until grade 3 and later while others started them earlier
o Various websites can help you make one eg. Knowledgequest.com
o Cori has made a timeline book; request the file if you are interested
o Simplycharlottemason.com has 2 versions of a “book of centuries”. One is free, while the other costs but includes categories ie. Art, culture, religion, etc.
For good history book lists, refer to the following resources:
o Through the Ages by Christine Miller
o Greenleaf Press
o A Story of the World
o Heartofwisdom.com (Biblical history)
o See also great series like Our Canadian Girl, the Dear Canada diary series, and the Canadian Flyer series for Canadian history
Beechick’s categorization of history differs from most. It is not divided according to Jesus life/death:
1) Early Times (Creation – Abraham)
2) Kingdom of Israel(Father Abraham – Fall of Judah)
3) Gentile Kingdoms (Captivity of Israel & Judah – God’s kingdom on Earth)
– According to Beechick, the statue from Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2 “shows the whole history of the Gentile world from Babylon through to the kingdom of Christ” (p.32-33)
o This image is also studied in Precept Bible Studies for kids by Kay Arthur
We also took some time to discuss Living books and in short these are some of the notes that we had on them.
What are living books?
o Whole books written by a single author where the subject is a “favourite” of author. We can share the author’s enthusiasm for the topic as we read. (S. Schaeffer McCauley)
o Special interest books that could be fiction or non-fiction (K. Andreola)
o A simple test of a good book is if kids are interested after reading one page (K. Andreola)
Some examples of living books:
o Apologia books
o Andrew Lang fairy books
o Trailblazer Books by Dave & Neta Jackson (unfortunately out of print) *Maple Tree has found a few of these still available new – let me know if you would like a title or two.
o See also Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt and Books Children Love to Read by Elizabeth Wilson for excellent living book bibliographies.
Well, there are a few notes to get you started friends. I’m again looking forward to hearing some feedback. To those of you who were there, is there anything we missed? I’m sure there are more resources you can recommend. If you weren’t there, what are your thoughts? What were the take away lessons that have challenged you or have helped in your home school recently? Please try to post your comments directly on the blog (rather than replying if you are receiving this as an email) so that we can all participate in the conversation.
I will try to get the notes to you for Decemeber’s meeting in the next few days and am looking forward to seeing some of you in person later this week!
Maple Tree Publications