History is not a subject that I particularly enjoyed during my own schooling. I honestly don't remember learning anything about history at all at primary school, and at secondary school our teacher was literally a walking corpse who didn't inspire any interest in the subject for me. An outstanding teacher has the power to bring a subject alive and make it relevant and interesting for children, so I do think I was just unlucky there.
The Story of the World
Last year we made a tentative start with the history curriculum The Story of the World: History For the Classical Child by learning about the very first people who settled on the banks of the Nile. What we love about this curriculum is that the history is taught through a read aloud story, and then with the addition of The Story of the World Activity Book we have a wealth of activity ideas and book recommendations for further learning. We've really taken our time with this, as there are lots of ideas, and each time I plan an activity we re-read the chapter, so I feel like she has a sound understanding of the topic we're learning about.
This term, we are going to embark on the next two chapters by learning about Ancient Egypt. We've already been to visit the Egypt exhibition at Bristol City Museum, and I've gathered some books from our own collection and from the library to keep us going. I'm pretty sure that she's going to love learning about hieroglyphics.
My Book of Centuries
This year I've also put together a 'Book of Centuries' for Bean and I to begin to record important dates and historical figures that we've been learning about. We have limited wall space in our home for a physical timeline, so I'm hoping that this book version will help us to understand how everything is related. Each double page spread features a 100 year period of history, from 4000 BC to modern day. You can read more about how to set up and use a Book of Centuries here.
Geography is one of my most favourite subjects. I love our planet. Exploring our diverse natural world, experiencing different cultures, studying maps, sitting on a bus or train and watching the world pass by, are all some of my most favourite things to do. I had hoped to World School Bean, having done a lot of world travel myself prior to becoming a mother, but there are so many factors that make this seem a very difficult option for us now (parenting alone, finances, environmental impact, to name just a few).
Our plan for Geography for this coming year is to read all of the recommended Multicultural books for children aged 6-8 years old from Give Your Child the World by Jamie C. Martin I'm then going to invite Bean to choose a continent that she is interested in, and we will work our way through the recommended book list for 6-8 year olds for that continent. We'll look up each country on our map and globe. We'll watch videos, research and cook recipes, and work on arts and crafts from each country too. We'll also explore all the bits and bobs that I've collected from my travels and have stored in our Montessori Continent Boxes.
In addition to our continent project, I have subscribed to Letters From Afar, a letter subscription service featuring different countries from around the world. This month the letter is from Kandy, Sri Lanka. We've been looking at photos from when I visited Kandy in 2009, as well as watching videos and reading blog posts. We also had our first go at making a lap book (with mixed success!) If anybody has any ideas of activities that would compliment our learning about Sri Lanka, I'd be keen to know!
This is the fourth of five blog posts sharing our plans for the upcoming school year. You can read the others in the series here...
I hope that you have found this post interesting and useful. Next week I'll be sharing with you our Extra Curricular plans (all the other enriching activities that form part of our home education journey)…
With love, Rowan x
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