One of my favorite advantages of homeschooling is the opportunity to teach history in a chronological way. When you think about it, kids in school tend to bounce around a lot when it comes to history, learning about great societies in whatever order happens to fit the curriculum. With homeschooling, especially if you’re doing classical homeschool, it makes more sense to learn about history in a linear way and then go back and repeat the line in later grades so kids can get deeper into the subject.
The funny thing about starting this line is that it takes you back and drops you into different subjects, namely theology and science. History textbooks don’t do a lot of talking about the world before man shows up so we had to piece that together on our own. Trying to answer the “how the world began” question for Eva was complicated by the fact that Kyle and I don’t believe in the Genesis story but we both felt like it was important for Eva to know it since we want to parallel teach the Bible as a historical text. We don’t know what the kids’ religious beliefs will be as they get older so we’re leaving it as open as possible.
Interestingly, Eva had no problem understanding either the Genesis story or the theory of the Big Bang, which were the first two creation stories we covered. What she got hung up on was the idea that one of them HAD to be right and she had to pick one, like picking a sports team. She couldn’t believe that you could walk around just not knowing. I blew her mind even more when I explained that some people believe that God is responsible for the Big Bang and therefore believing in that didn’t mean you didn’t believe God made the Earth. Yeah, heavy stuff for Kindergarten.
To make these heavy concepts more tangible, we started a history notebook. We’ve been going slowly, talking over lessons a little at a time, and when she’s ready I write down a concept and she draws an illustration for it. Then we tape both into the notebook and move on. I’m hoping that by being able to flip through and see her own work, she’ll retain more of our conversations as we keep moving. I’m also trying to get her to leave space for questions or other thoughts in case something comes up later, but she thinks the space is for stickers so we’ll see how that goes.
Oh, and that gorgeous Earth in the front of her notebook was done the same way we did the coffee filter Halloween pumpkins. I love it! I want her to make a garland of them for Earth Day when we get there.
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