Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Middle Ages and a 2-Year Plan

I am the type of gal who likes to have both short term and long term plans. It's helpful to begin with the end in mind, and it keeps me from being willie nillie in my buying decisions. The other thing is that I don't feel pressured to focus on every subject every trimester, or even every year. With a long term plan, I know everything will be covered eventually, Lord willing.

For the last few weeks, I have been looking at what is on the horizon over the next 2 years, for 7th and 8th grade. Our time periods will be Ancients and Middle Ages, so I have been tweaking plans and looking at curriculum. I have looked at Winter Promise, My Father's World, Tapestry of Grace, Sonlight 6, and TruthQuest. For science, I am looking at Prentice-Hall Science Explorer or Rainbow Science.

In the end, I prefer to 'do my own thing' and know that spending a lot of money on a prepared history/literature curriculum will be a waste of money in the end. After spending some time window shopping, I have decided to stick with an Ambleside Online/TruthQuest blend for now. It's been working for years, so why change it? I like to modify Ambleside by using the AO subject headings and plugging in books that will work for my family.

The TruthQuest commentary is wonderful, and I like to have the increases flexibility on book or spine choices that TQ offers. I don't need a schedule so much as options and choices.
I have finally hammered out the rought draft of my internet-linked schedule for 8th grade. This will combine TruthQuest Middle Ages and parts of Ambleside Year 7. I plan to have dd use the links to complete history spine reading right from the computer. In the past I have always printed out the e-books, but I think she is old enough to read from the computer. In fact, I think she will enjoy it!

My schedule has spine readings, required reading, and optional extras. Required reading will be done slowly, over the course of each term, Charlotte-Mason style. I have found great advantage to this in terms of mulling over the ideas presented and letting the mind soak up all the characters and ideas in the book. There is also a "less is more" philosophy reflected in the fewer books chosen: only 2 are required each term. The rest will be student-selected from TruthQuest choices.

If you want to take a look, I will share my 8th Grade Middle Ages Schedule in
PDF and Open Office. Let me know what you think. Also, I am looking for more videos set in the Middle Ages, so please let me know if you have favorites I have not listed.

Happy planning!


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for signing up. It's encouraging to know that you will be joining in prayer with me!

Stacy said...

Hi Tami!
Wow! Your post is so perfect for me. Believe it or not, I was going to email you regarding why you weren't going to use TQ for the higher history grades. (I had seen a post of yours on the WTM boards about how you were considering TOG.) I soooo wish I had taken your advice and used TQ for history this year. It would have been so much cheaper and simpler! I have wasted money on things that haven't worked and we have been very frustrated. I have been considering trying TQ for further years of history. So, thank you for posting this. I always glean so much from you.
Stacy :-)

Rhonda said...

I've been waiting for this. :) I've also wondered if you were going to use TOG. I've looked and looked at it and just can't justify it. I like your idea of combining AO and TQ.

Are you doing the Ancients in 7th grade? AO only spends two terms on it. Are you going to stretch it, or supplement with something else for a term?

Rhonda said...

Never mind. I found it on your blog. Don't know how I missed it! :)


Maria Pauline said...

I am finding your blog quite fascinating.

As a homeschooled high school student myself, I would like to mention Apologia science. These books are unlike any other science curriculum I have seen. Even their physics text is fun! And the labs are so simple and meaningful. I tried Rainbow science in junior high, but I really didn't enjoy it. They tried to cover too much without enough explanation and I got quite lost. Another nice thing about Apologia is how their books build on each other, whereas Rainbow is only a two year course, as far as I know.