There are many good things about this curriculum. It's organized into monthly topics, weekly skills and daily assignments. Coming off a year where we studied 1800s American History using library books, websites, documentaries and other freebies, this was a nice change of pace. Though very well organized, some may find it overwhelming, especially if you are the type that simply must complete everything. I think that would take 5 years. For me, I looked at the information as a buffet and was able to lay a great foundation for ancient history and Middle East geography for my children.
There are 9 chapters in the book which each take a month to complete, working nicely with a 36 week school year. Mrs. Waring's philosophy is that all children learn in different ways. In an attempt to hit the most popular of these areas, each week of the month approaches the topic from a different style. Although her method is far more in-depth, here was our monthly schedule doing history three hours a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday):
Week 1: Listening
I would read the key concept article to my children, usually over the three days. Interspersed, I would have them listen to the corresponding CD tracks. The stories and information contained in these were wonderful, but usually way over the heads of my 5 and 7 year old, and often my 10 year old. My 12 year old got a lot out of them, though. Even the key article was written at a fairly high level. The students are actually supposed to read this article themselves (it is found in the student workbook), but I often found myself paraphrasing so all the children would understand.
Week 2: Research and Reporting
I'm a naughty mom. I don't follow curriculum very well. This week is the perfect case in point. So this is what I did:
Friday: Watch documentary
I want to address the timeline pages provided in the student workbook. More than once, the dates provided were so vast that the events we included were clumped into a small area. This drove me buggy. After that, I would look carefully at the events we were recording, look at the first and last year, white out the provided dates and replace them with our own so there was more room to write. I'm including a photo of both situations here, and as a bonus, you get to see how cute my 10 year old's handwriting is.
|Here I wrote in the dates and we were able to|
create a well-spaced timeline.
|Believe me when I tell you this is a tree and the sky.|
|An obvious sea creature. You can clearly see my "over|
the balcony" handiwork here.