Friday, June 24, 2016

Multi age Learning

Multi-Age Learning is the Way To Go! Start with History!

If one of your goals in homeschooling is to do it as a family, then multi-age schooling is your ticket to success.  Whether you purchase multi-age curriculum or do it yourself, you’ll find much less stress and much more quality “together” time when you quit trying to do the bulk of your subjects with graded curriculum.

One of my favorite things to point out is that I’ve never read the Bible verse that says children must learn subject-verb agreement in second grade, or that they must do American History all through grade school.  Seriously, does the Bible give you any instructions like that?  Even though we KNOW this, we still struggle with the “what if they don’t get___________” (you fill it in.)  It’s our biggest stress.

Here’s the thing, it has more to do with our lack of faith than what we do or don’t teach.  Can that be true?  Think about it.  If we truly give our children back to God we are trusting Him for the outcome, then any little “miss-step” on our part He is surely great enough to overcome, isn’t HE?
Now that that’s settled, let’s dig in to the most family effective way to homeschool:  Multi-age!

One of the easiest subjects to multi-age with is History.  You can use inexpensive simple curricula as your “spine” and fill in with library books, internet sources and even DVD’s.  Even a timeline found online can be used as your “spine” and you can fill in the “stories” along the way from various sources.

Let me give you an example:

Go to a timeline like this.  They are not hard to find, I simply Googled “Biblical World History Timeline” to get this one.

Now pick the time period you want to cover this month, quarter, year etc…  For instance here’s just a couple events pulled from the timeline:
  • 79 – Mount Vesuvius erupts, destroying Pompeii, Italy
  • 105 – Chinese invent paper
  • 117 – Roman empire reaches its greatest extent
  • 220 – Han dynasty ends: separation of China into three states
Go to the library or online and find some books or articles on these topics.  Most any children’s section of the library has several books on Pompeii.  There are even videos for viewing online.  Again, type in “the invention of paper” and see what you find.  Often your older children can “help you” with finding material for lessons.  This “digging it out themselves” often helps them learn more than they would have by reading an often boring textbook!

If using a timeline and adding all your resources seems a little “too loose” for you, you might consider a simple spine text.  When our children were younger (and funds were much more limited than they are now), we used The Complete Book of United States History, which I found MANY copies of on Amazon today for around $4 used!  This book has a 1-2 page “lesson” on each major event/person in the timeline of America.  There is a World version as well.

I've got most of the books mentioned here for sale! See below.
Using a book like this allows you to just read the text now and then if that’s all you have time for that day; but, on days when you want to (and have time), to cozy up together and really dig in, you can use it as a starting point and delve further using the internet and library.

Some other great inexpensive spines could be The Light and the Glory, Our Island Story, and Green Leaf (audio version).   I’m sure there are MANY more that would work, so take a look at your bookshelf before you buy!

Of course there are also more expensive “regular” homeschool history curricula designed for multi-age teaching.  Two I have used and highly recommend are The Mystery of History and Truthquest History .

I could go on and on and on but I think that’s enough to get you started on multi-aging your History and spending more time schooling together!

p.s. I've got almost all my copies of the above books for sale, check out this post for some bargains!  Great resources!

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