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Welcome to "Exploring Our World" and Week 4 of the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair, hosted by Homeschooling Hearts & Minds! This week's focus is on Social Studies and Science. That's a pretty broad group of studies that can include history, geography, world cultures, worldview, biology, botany, geology, astronomy, and more!
The world we live in really is wonderful and an exciting place to explore! History and geography are two of my own favorite ways to explore, so it's no surprise that those are my favorite subjects to teach. I feel strongly that history should be presented chronologically, at least to begin with, so for most of our homeschooling journey, we have done just that. History is more interesting, in my opinion, and easier to understand, when you learn how events build and develop and are related, rather than just memorizing dates. Geography plays a big role in history and in culture, so I think it's important to have maps to refer to even if the focus of the study is not specifically geography.
This year we are doing World History, using Exploring World History from Notgrass, which has been a staple curriculum in our homeschool. It's been a favorite because it presents history from a Biblical worldview, and combines History, Bible, and Literature for a potential three full credits in one course. (Exploring America does the same with a study of US History.) The curriculum consists of a textbook in two volumes, and a book of essays, speeches, poetry, and excerpts from larger works of literature. In addition, there is a list of novels that are assigned reading during the course. Each of the novels was either written during the time frame being studied, or is written about events during that time frame. I love this idea because it gives the study of literature more context, and it helps to tell the stories of the historical events in an engaging way. The reading list included below is a combination of the novel lists from the older and newer editions of Exploring World History, with the titles from the first edition in parentheses. When my boys did this course, none of them particularly liked reading, so we chose just a few of the novels from the list for them to read, and along with the selections from the book of essays, it was worth a half credit in Literature. Kennady is doing the same this year.
Exploring World History
(Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis)
The Cat of Bubastes - G.A. Henty
The Art of War - Sun Tzu
Julius Caesar - William Shakespeare
The Imitation of Christ - Thomas a Kempis
Here I Stand - a biography of Martin Luther - Roland Bainton
(Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan)
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell (Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen)
The Hiding Place - Corrie ten Boom
Bridge to the Sun - Gwen Terasaki
Cry, the Beloved Country - Alan Paton (Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad)
(Eric Liddell: Pure Gold - David McCasland)
Animal Farm - George Orwell
The Abolition of Man - C.S. Lewis
And for reference, here is the list of novels that goes with Exploring America.
The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
Narrative of the Life of David Crockett - David Crockett
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass - Frederick Douglass
Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe
Company Aytch - Sam Watkins
(Little Women - Louisa May Alcott)
Humorous Stories and Sketches - Mark Twain
(Up From Slavery - Booker T. Washington)
In His Steps - Charles Sheldon
Mama's Bank Account - Kathryn Forbes
(Christy - Catherine Marshall)
Miracle in the Hills - Mary T. Martin Sloop and LeGette Blythe
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Giver - Lois Lowry
Since I believe that having some visual reference for where the events of history took place is important, we've been printing out the relevant maps from Map Trek. This collection of historical maps has been so useful over the years, and on their website, they offer free Curriculum Integration Guides to help you coordinate maps with several history curricula, including the Notgrass studies.
Kennady has a good background in world geography already, thanks to the course she did over the past two years, Cultural Geography from BJUPress. We've made great use of the resource Geography Through Art over the years as well, and I highly recommend it.
The study of the sciences is another fascinating way to explore the world, and this year we are doing Biology. We've chosen a general biology course that covers the basics, but doesn't depend on dissections and lab work. Biology is a required high school credit, but since Kennady is not pursuing a scientific field for her career, we felt that a less rigorous course would be best. We are using Biology 101 from Answers in Genesis, along with some written work from SchoolhouseTeachers.com. Again, the coursework completed last year, Survey of Science History & Concepts, served as a good foundation to round out what we're doing this year.
See my related posts: Worldview and Why It Matters
How do you explore our wonderful world in your homeschool? Leave a comment and let me know! Also, please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers as they share thoughts on "Exploring Our World" in this week's Virtual Curriculum Fair.
This post is part of the Virtual Curriculum Fair 2017. This year the Virtual Curriculum Fair is hosted by Susan at Homeschooling Hearts & Minds. Visit my fellow bloggers listed below and see how they are "Exploring Our World" (all posts will be live by noon EST on January 23, 2017)!
Notebooking Our Way through History by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Studying the Where and How by Michele@Family, Faith and Fridays
The History of Our Mysterious Struggle With History by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Social Science, Science and Exploring our World - Our Path by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Learning History Through Fiction by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset
History in Our Homeschool by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool
Exploring Our World Through History And Science by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Bringing History to Life! by Yvie @ Gypsy Road
History, Living Books and the Imagination by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Exploring our world comes in many different forms. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
Bible, History and Geography by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home
Beyond the Books - Social Studies and Science by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
Exploring the World with Living Books by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
High School History & Science without Textbooks by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Exploring the World Starting with Canada by Annette @ A Net in Time
Visit The World Through Video by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
Nature Study is Our Favorite Way to Do Science by HillaryM @ Walking Fruitfully
What A Wonderful World by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
The Time we got Lost in the Woods by Dana Hanley @ Roscommon Acres
What A World by Jennifer King @ A "Peace" of Mind
Now it's your turn! We invite you to join the conversation about words by linking up your posts about your curriculum choices in the area of Language Arts:
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