For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Monday, January 21, 2013

Virtual Curriculum Fair - Learning about our World

Week 3 of the Curriculum Fair is here already. This week the theme is :
Exploring Our World: Social Studies and more Science
This theme can include history, geography, world cultures, worldview, biology, botany, geology, etc., etc., etc.
Last week I already touched on the subject of science while talking about logic and Math, so this week I will focus on History, Geography and Civics.

History is my oldest son's favourite subject. He is literaly a history buff who loves learning about battles, wants to know the dates of everything, and loves studying maps (we have at least 4 big maps in the house).

I did not really create that in him, I just started History when he was in grade 2 using Tapestry of Grace because I believed in the importance of teaching the humanities to our kids. We are people who live in History and in time; we need to know what has happened before us and learn from it.

When we first started he got hooked right awa,y and his love for the subject just grew. My youngest on the other hand is not fond of it but He does tolerate listening to Story of the World's CDs which my oldest inflicts on him every night. I believe they know Volume 1, 2 and 3 almost by heart.

Why do I believe the study of History and the study of the Humanities are important? Well, a few weeks ago I stumbled upon this article (on Classical Education) and I think this portion explains my point better than I would (it's sort of out of context but makes my point - the study of the great books, which Tapestry includes, is part of the study of the humanities, of which History is part of - it's just one big subject):
"We live in the continuum of western history. In order to evaluate this stream of which we are part, we must step back from it and discern the ideas that have shaped it. To attempt to ignore the ideas that have shaped our cultural history is to guarantee ourselves not only cultural irrelevance but also entrenchment in the Christian ghetto. This position will not only lead to our own intellectual poverty but will also disgrace the Sovereign God who needs not be mocked by the cowardice of His children. The King's children do not hide in the alleys but walk confidently knowing that the sun that shines belongs to their Father."
When it comes to Geography, I do it through Tapestry of Grace which incorporates within its curriculum, not only History but Geography, Literature, Government and Bible survey or biblical history. Logically this is done because they all cross each other at some point. They are all interconnected.

This was from our 3-week study of South America's revolution in the 1800s'

Both the boys have learned so much, between the reading suggested in TOG and the writings of Susan Wise Bauer in Story of The Wold. To hear more about what I have to say about Tapestry of Grace check my post from last year's fair.

Because Zach loves the subject matter so much, he has taught himself a lot just by staring at maps for hours, searching through encyclopedias and atlases, watching History videos such as the ones from the History Channel,  and also from imagining domination stories, battles and the likes.

The latest in his love for History has been the computer game we gave him for His birthday last November: Civilization IV. It has served him as a great way to review the main actors and events of History and locations of empires and colonies.

For Civics I have not done any formal teaching in this area, but Zach has picked up a lot as well through his studies through TOG and his own research, as he gets quite curious about how things work in different places and why.

For more on Social Studies in different homeschool, make sure to visit the participants in this year's fair:

Virtual Curriculum Fair ~ Exploring Our World:

Virtual Curriculum Fair: Learning about our World  by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory


Kristi said...

I love love LOVE TOG! We had to take a year off this year, because we moved a lot and simply couldn't carry it with us, so we focused on SOTW. All of my kids are SO excited to get back to TOG next year. I never thought of having them listen to the SOTW CDs at bedtime, that's a wonderful idea!

Susan said...

Isn't it wonderful to see them striving to obtain as much knowledge as they possibly can? I love being able to help my kids discover their passions, something that was definitely missing from my own education.

Thank you for sharing with the Virtual Curriculum Fair!

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