Usually I know exactly what I want.
I’m a curriculum junkie, you see. I have searched and REsearched curriculum almost nonstop for the past 15 years. I know what’s out there. Or I think I do. And I know what my plans are. Roughly.
When we began following a chronological history timeline, I knew we would begin with Ancients (Egypt, Greece and Rome), move on to Medieval, then on to Explorers and Early US History, then Modern History. The progression is natural, right?
The thing is that I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve never made it to Modern History before.
We always started something else. The girls ended up doing a couple years in BJU textbooks after the Middle Ages, which covered a lot of modern US history. And then they went to public school.
In 15 years of homeschooling I have never covered the 1800’s-1900’s with any of my kids, outside of a textbook. Sure, they did a survey of inventions and various other topics, but it was all textbook-based, rather than MOM being involved. I was very hands-off for that the last two times we hit it. “Read the chapter, answer the questions and I’ll correct them.”
This time I have kids who would rather die than read a textbook. Or any book for that matter. Let’s just complicate things shall we?
We have learning and developmental disabilities here. We need to set the bar high enough to achieve but not overwhelm. I want them to actually READ some of the assigned books this coming year. That means there can’t be a long list of them.
We are going to study Modern History this coming year. I don’t know how to do that. The fact that there aren’t an abundance of programs that cover this time period don’t help the problem.
Let me explain what I’m looking for:
- Middle school level
- Weekly lesson plans
- A good core spine book
- A few additional books to spin off with but NOT dozens of chapter books for them to read or for me to read aloud. Just SOME.
- Map work
- Doesn’t overlook faith in its narratives OR make exaggerated claims to the extent that Christianty played a role
- Occasional projects to illustrate their learning
- Questions to answer, but again not SO many that they will be overwhelmed
Does such a thing exist?
I probably could put something together myself, but knowing what a slacker I’ve been lately, it’s probably not a good idea. I need a book list and some lesson plans. I need a framework. Please, give me boundaries!
The possibilities I have seen are Modern History by Pandia Press; Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer; Trailguide for Learning (in theory only– they fit this outline but DON’T have a modern history level yet!)
SO tell me, is there anything else out there that I am overlooking? Most literature based programs have too much reading, so although their lesson plans may be great (ala’ Sonlight), we could never tackle all the reading. Or even half of it. And I need something that covers from after the Revolutionary War to the Space program.
Some of the programs we are looking at include:
History Odyssey: Early Modern Times
By Pandia Press
History is the grand, old story of people—so much more than dates and places! Pandia Press’ History Guides will help homeschoolers through a year-long, comprehensive study of literature, world geography, and the history of the Early Modern Times 1660-1850.
Easy-to-use lessons are arranged chronologically by region, with three “Timeline Timeouts” designed to help students synthesize the chronological events on their timeline. Lessons are written for students to use independently, and include checkboxes for the day’s reading, assignments, and what to mark on the timeline. Topics and people covered include Europe & the Stuarts, Louis XIV, the Age of Reason, the Pilgrims, African States, mercantilism and trade, Peter the Great, Thomas Paine, the Seven Years War, Australia and New Zealand, Lewis & Clark, and more.
This Level 2 guide is designed for students in grades 7-9, who are in the classical “logic” stage of education. In level two, students learn information organization, literary analysis, research skills, and writing skills through reading some of the greatest historical literature for each time period. Level two also teaches advanced outlining and summarizing skills, how to write a biography, research skills, beginning literary analysis, critical thinking and analytical skills. The end of the guide includes all the necessary historical blackline maps.
89 lessons plus 21 reproducible maps. Loose-leaf pages with cover sheet. Reproducible for home use only. Grades 7-9.
BiblioPlan Modern US and World History
UPDATE 4/18/14: We settled on using BiblioPlan Modern US and World History. It has been a blessing! The perfect balance of God, history, geography, and reading. Not overwhelming and easy to adjust up or down as needed. I have written a series of posts about it, <— so check them out!