June 2nd, 2011

EOI: Lady Meghan Arnwyn

Well, then....

I sat down yesterday to try and find some note/lap book elements for...I don't remember what I started out looking for. I know at one point I decided to try and find stuff on WWI - for next year (why wait? I have the time NOW; might not later on, and it'll keep)...and found some teacher's site with a COMPLETE unit study on WWI. AND WWII. :whee!: One thing led to another (you know how it is with Google, right?)....

I ended up with (in no sort of order): Complete Unit studies on:

Early Greece
Early Rome
The American Revolution
The French Revolution
Overview of the 17th Century
Mary, Queen of Scots
Famous American Women
The Renaissance
The Middle Ages
The Presidential Election Process
The Constitution
The Declaration of Independence
The Aztecs and Mayans

:whew: I have NO idea what search terms I was using...but I hit PAY DIRT. Some of these are from companies that SELL these - I asked SG if it was wrong to snag them; he said no, because I wasn't trying to hack, I wasn't looking specifically for them - and they were on the first 5 pages of my google search, FROM the companies themselves.

I still didn't find ANYTHING on the Byzantine Empire...so I caved and purchased a set for that ($7. Worth it - I have spent 4 hours - so far - on getting Ch. 9 set up...and I'm only 1/3 of the way thru. Even tweaking, this will speed up what I need.). That's today's project - get Ch. 9 done, and see if I can't get Ch. 10 done as well (The Dark Continent and China. Whee!)

I have noticed something......I know a lot of homeschooler's use Story of the World for their History spine. I....have issues with that series - I've looked at the books multiple times, and just can't buy them. (Even on clearance and 50% off the last sales price. :sigh:) There's quite a few problems with them (check out Amazon's 1 and 2 star ratings for specifics......I found a few just flipping thru.) and...well, let's be honest. It's not "history", it's "historical fiction" (Yeah, they're called "Living History"...be honest. It's fiction, with history mixed in.) - I have NO PROBLEM with historical fiction, if you label it as such. For younger kids, it's probably better to introduce history with fictional stories....as long as you get the facts right. (For most younger kids, everything is stories anyway - so this is a *great* way to teach them the basics.)

SOTW? Doesn't. I know - because the author admits it - that she moved at least 1 event 100 years (the rebellion of Boudiccia. She said she moved it up a century to "make it flow better". Um. You can't DO THAT to history!!!! Put it 100 years later in sequence, but explain that it happened at the same time as X...but X was followed by Y and Z so quickly that you didn't want to mess up the connections.) She also mixes Bible stories in with no warning/explanation (Note: I don't mind that - we do accept the Bible as History. However....some people don't. If you're marketing a book for the masses, you need to notate what's Biblical and what's not. And you really should include *other* religious stories as well, to balance it - IF you're aiming for the mass market, and not the niche market. /soapbox) However...she includes some stories from the Talmud.....which.....well, aren't Scriptural......and, again, IF you include those, you need to include stories from other religions as well. :sigh: EDIT: Ali tells me that SOTW does, in fact, include other beliefs, so I retract that part of my rant. For the Record. :lol:

Anyway, back to my point - a lot of folks use SOTW for History. They also buy a LOT of these lap/note books sets.....which are all sold as "Unit Studies" WITH Historical notes. IF the book is History, as it claims to be, why do you need PAGES of Historical Notes (which, basically, ends up looking like a chapter pulled from an actual TEXT book, but I digress) to supplement the lesson? I...don't get it.

I am using the lap/note books to help the kids *retain* what the text says. Yes, our book is a textbook - and it's rather dry. BUT - it's also solid History.....without any fictional errors mixed in. Granted - if I had younger kids, it wouldn't be suitable; it's written for middle/high school students. But....I don't know that I'd go with SOTW as my *main* source. Unfortunately - I like the idea, I really do. It's just.....the facts aren't solid. :sad:

Wow...didn't mean to go off like that. I guess I'm just a bit upset - it seems that because the "most popular" (or so it seems) history text is light on actual History, the lap/note book companies are trying to take up the slack - and that pushes up the cost. $16 for a lapbook set? Or $30 for a set (which is what I paid for some of the Science sets.....yes, it's high. However, those were set up to go along with our Science texts...and there's a LOT there. But no "science" notes - if you don't have the book they were set up for, you won't really get a lot out of them.).....yes, it's a lot of work to set these up - I've been doing it! - but....$16 is still a lot, especially when they are so focused. (Which is why I'm trying to pull my own together - yes, I'm using freebies from the 'net, but I still have to tweak them, because our text covers things that other texts don't seem to. Should have researched it a bit more first...but hey - I got the books on sale! :lol:)

Today was a light day - Himself had to review Ch. 6 in Science, and do Art. Herself simply had a Science review (and I KNOW she's gonna fail again - but this time, the grade stands. I will NOT let her jack around.....she's got to learn that this is REAL school. :sigh:)