Part of the fun of homeschooling is learning things we didn’t learn when we were in school.
Or re-learning them because we don’t remember them. This year, I knew that I wanted to cover modern history with my kids. I remember bits and pieces of it from high school, but in 15 years of homeschooling I have never covered modern history. Well, the girls used BJU history for a year and that covered a bit of it, but I was out of the loop because it was a text book and they were in different levels.
I want my kids to understand what led up to where the US is right now. They need to hear how awful slavery was, how the telephone and automobile revolutionized and connected the world, and what the excitement was all about when man walked on the moon. They need to grasp everything that I don’t recall learning.
I want to learn it all for myself, too.
My search for modern history curriculum spanned several months, many tweets, and Facebook updates. I asked everyone I knew, and many people I don’t, for suggestions. Several people suggested BiblioPlan to me in the comments of my post about it. At first I was hesitant. I remember when BiblioPlan first came about. I was part of The Well Trained Mind parent forums and saw the Internet buzz about it.
At the time I thought, “Why would I pay for what I can do for free on my own?” But of course, I didn’t do it very well. It took me a while to take another look, but once I did I knew I needed it. This year BiblioPlan and I have teamed up to introduce their program to you. This post contains several affiliate links.
We are using Modern America and the World this year, and I can’t tell you how excited I am about it!
We started our first two weeks off by easing into all of our school work. For our spine we decided to use BiblioPlan’s Companion text.
There are several spine options:
- The BiblioPlan Companion
- Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History
- Story of the World Volume 4: The Modern Age
- Power Basics American Government (for High School levels)
Homeschool moms are allowed to change their minds.
I prepared for using this program by reading over the various components and making decisions about what to use and how to use them. We have the Cool Histories for Middles and Upper Middles levels. I decided to have D1 do the Upper Middles and D2 use the Middles level. At the end of our first week I changed my mind.
You know you can do that, right?
The Middles questions are mostly fill in the blanks. The Upper Middles require some thought and short answers. I like that better because while they haven’t really done assignments like this before, it’s a challenge that both of them are already benefiting from. Starting this week, both boys are using the Upper Middles assignments.
They are also working through the geography and map assignments. Have I ever mentioned that I *love* having my kids do map work? I totally do. I want them to GET IT and not be clueless about the world.
This school year I’m all about fostering independence.
We chose to use The Companion as our main spine text. I loaded it on our iPad and on my Samsung Galaxy Tab. I do some prereading on Monday mornings so that I know what they’re going to cover and will be able to help them find the answers to their questions. I’m learning a lot!! They love the digital format of the Companion.
In addition to the Companion, we are also reading from Story of the World Volume 4: The Modern Age. I thought that it would cover different material, and it does to some extent. We may end up dropping SOTW if there is too much duplication though. It would be perfect for a family with Middle level or younger kids who couldn’t sit through the Companion readings. My boys enjoy the short article format of the Companion, so it works for us.
The Bible study for Week One is as far as we’ve gotten. It has been very interesting contrasting the different versions of the Parable of the Sower. It helps the boys to understand that the slight differences in the stories are due to the different points of view of the disciples witnessing Jesus’ storytelling.
We also found one little gem to add to our studies each week. It’s a DVD of the History Channel series America: The Story of US. I wish I would have thought about using this LAST year, because it begins at the beginning of United States history and it would have been a great supplement last year as well. We began with an episode on Lincoln and the Civil War. It was very eye opening. The DVD is over 9 hours long, broken into 30-45 minute episodes.
We are enjoying BiblioPlan so far, and I’ll be telling you more about it as we go along. This little company has created a really great curriculum.
I’m happy to share them with you!
What is one thing you would like to know about BiblioPlan?
I’ll either answer your comment with a comment or with a post, depending on what it is. Ask away!
Disclosure: I am not employed by nor affiliated with BiblioPlan. They provided our history curriculum for the 2013-14 school year, in exchange for my writing a series of posts throughout the year about our experience with BiblioPlan and helping to promote their curriculum. I am not being monetarily compensated by BiblioPlan for my writing.