Thursday, September 25, 2008

I can't help it - I LOVE HISTORY!

History has always been one of our favorite subjects. I was a history major and have always loved the romance and intrigue and lessons of it all. ARG has absorbed my passion for history and soaks up historical fact and fiction like a sponge.

At the beginning of this year, we started history all over again. From the beginning. You know, Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece ...etc. The curriculum we've been using took us all the way through the fall of the Berlin Wall by the end of last year. As we started over again with cavemen and cuneiform, ARG came to me and said,

"Mom, there is no way I'm reading this book again. It's for babies!"

And he's right. It's targeted for 2-5th grade. A bit youngish for him (even with supplemental reading). So there I was: the start of the school year and no history curriculum. Alak!

But thanks to a helpful homeschool maven, I discovered the coolest, most inspiring and interesting history course for ARG. It is called HistoryatOurHouse. Homeschoolers call in on a conference line to a lecture/class taught by a guy who, aside from clearly knowing and loving his stuff, is a compelling speaker. Totally cool!

So, four mornings a week ARG sits in front of the computer looking at a map or image for the class, phone in hand, taking notes and learning history. But not just factoids. This guys is giving it to them in context. His first lecture was "Why History?" Why the heck do we need to study this stuff? He gave a great case for having a base of knowledge to help us navigate this crazy, mixed-up world we're in now.

And he has organized history into segments that make sense:

Ancient History
European History
American History

It's sequential. It's ordered. And he emphasizes teaching only things that are important (ie. they changed the world), not every little detail. Plus, he lectures once a week on History through Art. Cool historical paintings. Right on.

We love it. I listen in most mornings (while the little girls are banished upstairs) and I'm learning a bunch of stuff too. But, man it is hard to get preteens to talk. Sometimes the silence on the line is profound. The teacher does a pretty good job of dealing with it.

So...Ancient Egypt is where we're at. Cyles of organization and unifcation, then decay and chaos. Sound familiar?


Beth said...

Glad to see you are enjoying History at Our House. Be sure to let Scott know about your endorsement.