History is my jam. I was a church history major in college. My favorite all-time teachers, the ones who impacted me the most, taught me history. Impressed upon my heart and mind, I can still see Mrs. Berry (10th grade World History) standing at the front of class, speaking like Demosthenes. I can still remember my 8th grade American History teacher’s impressive display of Civil War artifacts.
As I tend toward history and literature or language learning, it was easy in our early years to attempt to make the Classical Conversations history sentences come alive to my student(s) by simple activities. In those early days, we did very little extra. but most of the time the extra would be history. We wrote better than Charlemagne; held spontaneous coronation ceremonies; “nailed” pretend 95 Theses to the wall; visited a building with a Magna Carta mural; went on a presidental tour around town; and on and on.
Then, as we began to practice a bit more of a Charlotte Mason approach to our education, we practiced the arts of noticing, attending, and storytelling as we read living history books about the characters who dotted our Classical Conversations Timeline and history sentences. Often, we stopped to sing snippets of the Timeline song or a history sentence related to what we had just read.
All that I considered simple, not because it was easy (because it was) but because it was natural. It was borne out of my natural love of history. I suspect other parents would just as easily and naturally add to the sciences or math.
One Thing More
I already stated my thoughts on keeping Classical Conversations as simple as it was intended. But I truly believe there comes a time in many a Foundations student’s schooling when she is ready for a little bit more. I believe there should be One Thing More for this student – one extra thing in one chosen subject. As we embark on our first repeat cycle, I have been gathering resources to present to my Foundations student. It is not intended for these lists of match-ups and resources to be too much. Just One Thing More.
The overachiever in me had a real moment of testing after my student came across the One Thing More for Cycle 2 Science. She was so enthusiastic about it, that she declared right then and there, “I want my One Thing More to be science!!” I gently encouraged her to wait and see. I didn’t want her to be too hasty in making her decision without seeing the riches she could have if she chose a different subject.
(And…I may have selfishly wanted the opportunity to revel in resources for her in all the other subjects.)
Cycle 2 History One Thing More
Which brings me (finally) to our One Thing More list for Cycle 2 History! Oh! The joy in my heart on this one! Still, I worked very hard to simplify this list. It is pared down to resources I know we will LOVE. There are some options here. I have all of them, but I don’t believe we need to overwhelm our students with a completionist approach to this list.
- Trial and Triumph by Richard Hanula OR
- Monks and Mystics: Chronicles of the Medieval Church by Mindy and Brandon Withrow
- Kingfisher’s History Encyclopedia
- Questions and Answers: World History by Capella – I found this at the Dollar Tree but it is available on Scribd, too.
- The Renaissance Inventors by Alicia Z. Kepeis, OR
- Michelangelo for Kids: His Life and Ideas with 21 Projects by Simonetta Carr
- Robin Hood by Howard Pyle- this is the copy we have, but one can often find portions of Pyle’s version of Robin Hood in literature compendiums. I prefer the old language with each “quoth” and “prythee.” But the story is the story, even if it is updated with more modern language. We have enjoyed reading it while listening to an audio version on Scribd.
- Our Island Story by H.E. Marshall – we read this for our Ambleside Online readings and have grown to love it.
- Draw and Write Through History – I went ahead and purchased the entire set of these because they were a better price in the bundle. I won’t use all of them this year. OR
- I Drew It Then I Knew It membership site for Medieval Era and Modern Era: I do have a student who really loves to draw and I want to encourage her in her pursuit of art. She loves Nana’s videos and I know adding this to our One Thing More routine for History would surprise and delight her!
Go to our Shop to get your printable copy of the match-ups.
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Read-Aloud, Lead-Learner Reads
Because I simply cannot resist, there are a few more resources I am excited about for Cycle 2 History. I consider these to be read-aloud level, meaning they are best done together – with parent as lead-learner and “co-enjoyer.” Yes, I just made that word up. If you are looking to really dive deep with your kids or add a read-aloud for the family related to Cycle 2, here’s what I am considering:
- Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi – we are reading this for our CC Parents’ Book Club this fall. I am planning to read ahead for my enjoyment and listen to the audio version with my student.
- Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray – I am excited to dive into this Newbury Award-winning novel from the 1940s.
- The Little Duke by Charlotte Yonge – we read this aloud last year for our Ambleside Online readings. It starts super slow, but it picks up and my student (2nd grade at the time) LOVED it!
- The Magna Charta by James Daugherty – a book scheduled for Year 4 of Ambleside Online, promises good reading for a repeat Cycle 2 student.
- The Door in the Wall – another book for our CC Parents’ Book Club, another Newbury Award-winner from the 1940s. What’s not to love?
- Joan of Arc by Diane Stanley – another read from Year 2 of Ambleside Online. My student read this last year, mostly independently and enjoyed it!
Before you go, I wanted to let you know about a resource I have been working on that includes memory work review and the little extras I had always meant to get to, but never had the time for. Our Gathering placemats are intended to be similar to the back of a cereal box — only BETTER! They have art and art study, geography drills, vocabulary from the classical Latin roots, poetry, hymns and SO much more. And, yes, because I love history so much, there are even timelines and biographies!
They have helped our family to have interesting conversations around the kitchen island as we have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My kids love them and I hope you will, too. To check them out, click over to our shop or go here to find out more about our Gathering.