Posts Tagged ‘History of the World’

History Nerds UNITE!

May 24, 2011

I simply had to share my excitement for next school year.  American History for highschool is what I will be teaching, as well as casually guiding my two younger kids through American History literature.  OH, I’m so excited about all the books we will be reading this coming year!  I’ve already announced to my two sons, who do not love reading YET, that this will be a foundational year for them and their reading careers.  Yes, they both rolled their eyes at the woman who gave birth to them!  Sheesh.

My planning is almost done and for the first time in ten years of homeschooling, I’m branching out to try a few different curricula.  Of course, I’m still using Konos for History of the World 4: American History.  Nothing beats the activities in HOW!  Nothing.  But for the youngers, I’m trying a few more structured choices that will enable them to be a bit more independent.  I’m stretching myself here, believe me.  I’m a control freak, and I’m giving up some control somewhat willingly.  We’ll see how this goes!

I’m so glad all of next school year is written down and organized and planned and structured and ready!  Whew!

H.O.W.3

July 7, 2010

Today I read on a Konos loop that History of the World 3 will be available this month as an online download.  It makes me sad.  I hoped and prayed for several years that it would be available for this coming school year RIGHT when we needed it.  And it is.  My high schooler has done HOW1 (Ancient History – Founding of Rome) and HOW2 (Medieval World) ….. then when early Spring rolled around and we were making class decisions for the upcoming 2010-2011 school year, I realized that my Arizonan children do not need HOW3, or more specifically, they do need certain history requirements that don’t include four successive years of world history.  The gap in their education that I have feared for nine long homeschooling years has finally surfaced….. Renaissance, Reformation and Revolution.  Oh well. 

My kids will be taking Government and the History of Arizona for their junior year of high school.  We found a YMCA government class where the kids actually participate in AZ government.  Sweet!  And I plan to teach History of AZ.  Both are one semester (although we’ll have to dig deep to come up with a semester worth of AZ history…. the baby state)… and necessary…… buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut, I’ve heard that HOW3 is Jessica Hulcy’s best work.  Her magnum opus.  I’m tempted to get it just to use it as a literature course.  The books chosen for all of HOW are amazing, giving the student a well-rounded view of history with samplings from so many great works… the classics…. the books I never read in high school, let alone in college.  Books that my husband has never heard of…. but I digress.

For the school year 2011-2012 we will be doing HOW4 – American History…. and get this…. I’ll have TWO high schoolers!!!  Where, oh where, has the time gone????  Weren’t they 7, 4 and 2 just last week when we started homeschooling?  Back in the good old days when it seemed like reading was going to be the missing gap.  Oh, we’ve come a long way, baby.

School Has Started

January 15, 2010

Can you tell?  I’m still not quite caught up with everything, but by next week I’ll be golden.  Konos, grammar, math, worldview and Larisa’s History of the World are all going strong.  I still need to decide what to do with Spanish for the boys.  We’ve been using a highschool level course, that has been ok, so far, but someone gave me an elementary version, so I need to give it a looksie and pick one or the other.  Larisa needs more of my time than he got last semester, so my blog time is limited.  (I wish my love of math was transferable to  non-math-loving children.)

The naked house is slowly getting dressed.  The family room was put back together today as we needed the end table to stack our library books.  The pewter picture frame collection for the entry table is out… but not set up quite right.  Next week…. golden.

Please stand by for exciting hockey news.

HOW1 is Done!

May 19, 2009

The last Konos History of the World 1 class ended today (Ancient Civilizations through the founding of Rome, in case you’re wondering).  I’m happy and I’m sad.  I’m happy because it was nine grueling months of trying to stay ahead of three high schoolers.  Let’s just say, it was also my first time through Mesopotamia, Sumeria, the Promise Land and Greece.  I read more literature on the subject this year than the rest of my life all added up.  I’m so smart now… ask me anything about hoplites, mastabas, murex snails, and chitons.  Then again, as any good teacher would say, “Look it up.”  I never could figure that out… if you don’t know how to spell a word, how can you look it up????  Please!

I’m sad because I love this course and I’m not teaching the HOW2 class next year.  Our little Zaza will hopefully be here consuming large amounts of my time.  But I do love the Konos curriculum because it engages every style of learner, especially the hands-on type.  Our 10th grader will still be taking it, but not in a class setting, and we all know how consistency is improved with peer pressure!  Or student pressure as the case may be.

We will have our final gathering, Greek Night, on Saturday night and then after grading the final projects I’m officially done with school for three months… but like I said before, who’s counting??? (besides ME!)  This is always a joyous time for me as a homeschooling mom.  This wraps up our ninth year of teaching our kids at home… and I still L-O-V-E  it.  With the HOW1 course, this is the first year that I have felt somewhat successful when the year is over.  As homeschool moms, we know what we could’ve, should’ve, would’ve done better… after the fact.  But with teaching the HOW class with OTHER people’s kids, I really made sure we studied all the goodies.  Ahhhhhh.  I can already feel the load lightening.  Sweet relief.

And yes, I’ve started reading Quo Vadis already for next year.  You can never start reading that gigantic book too soon.

Oh, and please pray for Jessica Hulcy, the author of Konos.  She was in a car accident yesterday and has multiple injuries.  Thanks!

Studying the Hebrews

March 4, 2009

There are three homeschool high schoolers who are digging their way through Ancient History with me on Tuesday mornings.  I give them a Weekly News sheet that gives the details of our study for the coming week to keep them on course and make sure they are using both sides of their brains.  Immediately upon getting the Weekly News in their hot little hands, their beady little eyes go directly to the section titled ‘What We’ll Do Next Week.’  I enjoy making their lives interesting so I put little hints in there like “bring your dancing shoes” and “wear grubby clothes” and “bring sunscreen.”  I do it for my own entertainment… and it works.  I smile every week when they read it and ask what it means.

They are strong.  They are brave.  They are smart.  And it was all put to a test this week as we learned about when the Hebrews split into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah.  During this time, for your historical information, the Children of Israel built walls around their cities to fortify them.  What better way to learn about building walls…. than to build a wall???  My thoughts exactly! 

Wandering around our yard, I couldn’t find a place for a block wall flowerbed that didn’t require major sprinkler line running.  So I phoned my parents and asked it they needed a block wall.  Well, boy howdy!  They sure did!  Bring on the cinder blocks and the mortar.  Here I give you a photo essay of the HOW Wall.  (History Of the World = HOW) 

Here is my daughter sifting dirt while the men look on…… (hmmmm).

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Again, the GIRL using the heavy tramping device that probably has an appropriate name, but I don’t know what it is. Good posture!

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They mixed the mortar.

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They laid the blocks.

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They leveled every single block side-to-side, front-to-back, and vertically.

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This is Mortar Man Matt.  He perfected the art of mortar patty-cake pancakes that could be easily rolled onto the tops of the blocks.

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They even drove rebar (which stands for RE-enforcement-Bar) into the corner blocks.  Vocabulary and masonry all mixed into one delicious lesson.  Oh, that makes my motherly homeschooling heart pound with glee.

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Ta-Da!  The 3 1/2 hour block wall flowerbed…. constructed by three 15 year olds.  My dad plans to put red brick along the top for a decorative edge.  Mom wouldn’t stand for open block holes…. heaven forbid.

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I’m so glad these kids have the opportunity to learn life-skills outside of the classroom.  They laughed.  They played ti-tac-toe in the wet mortar.  They sprayed each other with the hose.  And they learned how easy/hard it is to lay block.  On the way home we passed a block wall that crossed about 12 backyards.  The kids were in awe of how long that must have taken to build!  Fine job, my pupils!

HOW 1 ~ and HOW I’m Doing

September 17, 2008

HOW1 stands for History of the World and the 1 is the first of 4, making this Ancient History.  It is a homeschool High School course by Konos that includes History (duh!), English and Art.  Even though I’m feeling quite inadequate to teach this… I am.  I’m actually quite enjoying it… so far so good.  I have four students, all freshman, including my lovely daughter.  We have only made it through the four week introduction at this point.  Paleolithic… Neolithic…. AND next week is our first people group….  ooooooh.

Part of the reason I teach kids is because of the thrill of having them learn by doing.  I’ve read studies that show children remember 10% of what they read after two weeks, 30% of what they see and hear, and 90% of what they say and do.  I didn’t believe it seven years ago, but now I most certainly do. 

My children have been taught at home with Konos curriculum unit studies for seven years, so they think nothing of me announcing, “Today we are taping our thumbs to our hands for the whole day,”  or  “Today the boys of the family will be blind and the girls will help them,” or “We will be spending four hours in the playhouse as if it were the Mayflower.  Remember to bring rations,” or “Find the measuring tape, we’re marking off a runway at the park,” or “Make a medieval costume for yourself.”  You get the idea.  Not much rote book learning goes on here.  They have created Olympic events with skateboards and jumpropes.  They have floated out on a lake and taken soundings with their homemade equipment.  They have climbed through a WW2 B-52 Bomber and toured a tower at Sky Harbor Airport.  They have replicated every bodily function and noise with straws, balloons and tissue paper.  (My boys LOVED the Systems of the Body unit.)

Back to HOW1, not all of these kids have done this type of learning.  So last week I had them paint terracotta pots in some ancient art design.  They were so careful and turned out the prettiest pots.  Two days later I smashed them to bits and buried them in my backyard… for archaeological excavation, of course.  When they figured out what I had done, the shocked looks on their faces today were priceless!  I sent them out with brushes, dustpans, small hand tools and rubber gloves to excavate the flower beds.  They whined a bit about the heat, and it was a mere 95 degrees today.  I explained that in the regions we were studying it was hotter than Phoenix and those digging projects were years long… not 20 minutes.  Not air conditioned.  No breeze.  Just you and the paintbrush, lots of dirt, old bones and pots.  It’s not a pretty job, but some history-loving-nut has to do it.  The kids did make it fun, as highschoolers are known to do.

 I found ONE!

 I found FOUR!

 Am I in the right spot?

 I’m diggin’ this!

I’m not sure which brought more joy to my heart, the initial looks on their faces when they discovered potsherds or the final looks of disbelief when I told them to take them home and glue them back together for next week’s class.  Muuhuhuhhhaahahahahaha!  Archeology ROCKS!

The New Kids on the Block

August 11, 2008

Bags for Zaza, the fundraiser for our adoption, has four new kids up this week, Junie B. Jones, Pudd’nhead Wilson, Caddie Woodlawn and Danny Lynn!  The FIRST REVERSIBLE wonder of a tote bag created by my brilliant sister-in-law, Jennie!!!

go-go wooden-bead surprise, by yours truly.

Dellynn, eat your heart out!  Thank you to all the faithful fans, bidders, watchers, linkers and word-of-mouthers.  We are so appreciative of everyone’s support for Zaza.  www.BagsforZaza.blogspot.com

We’re busy this week preparing for school starting.  Larisa starts on Aug. 22 and the boys start on Sept 2, the day after Labor Day, when school is supposed to start.  Remember?  Back in the good ol’ days?  This is my first year teaching homeschool high school, so I’ve been prepping for a while so as not to feel quite so utterly inadequate.  You’d think with a teaching degree I’d have some moxie, but no.  It made me feel even more incompetent reading a recent study that showed homeschooled kids with non-certified moms do BETTER than my kids.  Great!

As I’ve been previewing the topics and objectives for History of the World 1 (HOW1) from www.Konos.com I was elated and jubilant that my Art History class knowledge and text from college are actually going to be useful!  Dust off the expansive volume Art History by Janson.  I never thought I’d be looking in that creaky old book in this lifetime, especially to teach my kids!  If wonders never cease.  Janson has since improved the blue canvas cover of old (of mine!) to this spectacular man wearing an entire king-sized red bed sheet on his noggin.  Impressive.  Especially if you like turbans.  There, my friends, is a knot tying class in the making.

1433 Jan van Eyck – Man in a Red Turban
Oil on panel. The National Gallery, London, UK.

www.LindaCrosby.com


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