Sneak Peek #7: New World History Guide

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Carrie
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Sneak Peek #7: New World History Guide

Post by Carrie » Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:17 pm

Ladies,

With a few health issues at our house, I've had a bit of a delay in sharing my next sneak peek. So, I am delighted to have the opportunity to share my next sneak peek with you now. :D

This sneak peek is one that is very important to me. It deals with the area of literature, which is one of the areas that always takes me the longest time to ponder how to handle. This is because there are so many ways that the study of literature can be approached, and while many approaches have merit, not all approaches have the same effect. In looking at the study of literature, while it is important that students learn how a story is put together and recognize how the various elements work together to form a cohesive whole, as students mature it is even more important to look at a story's central themes and weigh those against what God tells us in His Word. :D

While it is also important that students gain practice in reading more difficult literature, it is a worthy goal for students to still being able to enjoy the experience as much as possible. Charlotte Mason stated that "...a living book is able to quicken the mind and is full of living ideas." She felt that children need to enjoy the book, and so do I! :D

Since doing "too much" to a piece of literature as students read it can often steal the joy of reading good literature, balance is needed in following up with reading literature too. Charlotte Mason felt that "All children get from a flood of explanations is the trick of coming up with the right answer." I agree wholeheartedly.

As we select books, it's also important to remember that high school level literature can often contain many adult themes that may leave a student feeling hopeless and/or searching for meaning. So, in our book selections, it's important to temper that without totally running from it. This means that we need to allow students to grapple with more difficult, adult themes without allowing the themes to become so heavy that they overtake the story until the child is weighted down in the reading. With this in mind, some books (in my opinion) are just better read as a mature adult. :D

Does this mean that we should only read literature that has an inherently Christian message? Not necessarily, as students need to learn to weigh what they read against the Word of God, to see what life looks like without God at its center, and to have the opportunity to learn from a character's mistakes.

With all of this in mind, I'll share that for the literature portion of the World History Guide we are going to use a purely real books approach to literature study. While the year in the World Geography Guide spent alternating BJU with real books provides a terrific and rich literary experience, I enjoy mixing things up from year to year to keep everything fresh. So, for this upcoming guide, we will forego the BJU and just stick with the real books. :D

While it was my original intention to have a year of "World Literature" for this guide, as I began the careful process of selecting literature I quickly discovered that I didn't want to stay within the confines of selecting a book from each continent. Rather, I wanted to choose from all potential books, steering more toward longer standing classics overall without staying within the parameters of the World Literature category. So, our book choices reflect that and will fall under an English II distinction instead. The books generally go in a loose chronological order and are as follows: :D

Ben Hur (unabridged book followed by Focus on the Family's Radio Theatre Audio Version)
Julius Caesar (unabridged play, along with a full-cast unabridged audio production)
Pearl Maiden
The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle
A Man for All Seasons (play by Ray Bolt)
Scarlet Pimpernel
Count of Monte Cristo (Abridged)
Les Miserables (Abridged, followed by Focus on the Family Radio Theatre Audio Version)
Animal Farm
Celestial Railroad

I will share that while in true Charlotte Mason style I typically avoid abridgments, I also feel that both the Count of Monte Cristo and Les Miserables are so wonderful that neither should be missed. All abridgments are definitely not created equal, but the particular abridgments we will be using keep the important storyline, leave out some long descriptions, omit minor subplots with mature themes, and still keep much of the original writing. When students are older someday, perhaps they will desire to read the full-length novels (both of which weigh in at around 1200 pages each)! Be warned that the full-length novels also will contain some elements that you may not be comfortable having your child read until he/she is older. In the meantime, we will settle for the abridgments, which still include close to 600 pages each. :D

The plan at this point is to have students utilize Charlotte-Mason inspired follow-ups for the readings. This means that students will be using a combination of daily readings with annotations, Common Place Book entries, and a rotation of oral and written narration. In regards to annotating, Charlotte Mason suggested..."marginal notes be freely made, as neatly and beautifully as may be, for books should be handled with reverence." She also shared that oral narration is a worthy and complex skill, requiring the child to read, process, remember, sequence, choose the most important events to recall, compose what to say, and say it. Written narration takes this skill set even further, by adding the composition aspect to the narration. Her thoughts on the Common Place Book were that it was for passages that struck a child particularly and also to give some account of what was read in each book. So, these skills all fall well within a Charlotte Mason styled literature study and work well to achieve our goals too. :D

As part of our CM styled literature study, students will have some guidance in literary styles to watch for as they read (such as irony, allusion, foreshadowing, and symbolism). After reading, students will also have an opportunity for reflection in a literature journal. As Charlotte Mason shared, "Books need to make children expend some effort in thinking. The child needs to make generalizations, classify, infer, make judgments, be able to visualize, to discriminate, or use the mind in some capable way until knowledge from the the book is sorted so some is assimilated and some is rejected according to his/her own decision. In the end, he's the one who decides what he'll get out the book, not the teacher." This will be our goal. :D

At the end of each book, students will meet with the teacher (after first completing a chart/ graphic organizer related to setting, plot, characterization, and possible themes to bring to the discussion). The discussion will tend toward processing what was read and the overall themes of the book. As part of the discussion, the book will be weighed in light of what the Bible has to say about the themes. :D

We will take care not to get between the child and the book and to avoid the problem shown in the following quote: "Mom, I think I'd be able to understand, if you stopped explaining so much." :lol:

I'll leave you with one more great Charlotte Mason quote in regards to literature, "Maturity and wisdom require reflective thought about ideas. Getting through a book at too quick of a pace leaves room for little else beside a brief brush with the storyline. There must be time for the mind to linger with the characters and contemplate their moral aspects."

This is what we will take care to keep in mind as we desire for our students to linger, contemplate, and develop moral discernment as part of their literature experience! :D

Blessings,
Carrie

Nealewill
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Re: Sneak Peek #7: New World History Guide

Post by Nealewill » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:00 pm

Thank you so much for posting the upcoming sneak peak and I am truly hoping you are feeling better.
Daneale

DD 13 WG
DS 12 R2R
DD 10 R2R

Enjoyed DITHOR, Little Hearts, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, R2R, RevtoRev, MtMM

Tiffini
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Re: Sneak Peek #7: New World History Guide

Post by Tiffini » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:13 pm

Ask and you shall receive! :D I have enjoyed reading about your literature plan for next year. I have researched every literature program out there, I think, and have not been able to figure out which is best. It's interesting that you are choosing not to use a pre-written literature program at all this year. I'm excited to look further into this idea and the books you have chosen. I know this route is certainly more work for you to put together than just scheduling a pre-written program. Again, I am just amazed at the amount of work you put into each year. Thank you!
Tiffini
DD (21 ) Graduated! Used HOD from 5th Grade through 12th Grade!
B/G Twins (18) Graduated! Used HOD from 3rd through 12th Grade!
DS (12) and DS (10)- Preparing Hearts
HOD Users since 2008

momtofive
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Re: Sneak Peek #7: New World History Guide

Post by momtofive » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:21 pm

It just truly gets better and better!!! :D

The literature selections look fantastic, and I just love the classic Charlotte Mason style to this all important subject! I know this will be quite a bit more work for you, Carrie, and we will continue to pray for you as you recover and continue on with writing this guide.

Thank you SO much! ;)
Lisa ~ Gal. 2:20, Prov. 3:5-6
Mom to five great blessings :)
Ds19 - Graduated from HOD!
Ds17 - US2
Dd15 - WH
Dd13 - MTMM
Dd11 - RTR

Loving HOD since 2010!

LynnH
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Re: Sneak Peek #7: New World History Guide

Post by LynnH » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:44 am

Fantastic selections Carrie! Thanks again for all the careful consideration you put into each subject. We are praying that you will continue on the road to healing.
Mom to:
dd 22 college graduate and employed as an Intervention Specialist
ds 18 US2, Loved Preparing, CTC , RTR , Rev to Rev, MTMM ,WG, WH and US1
http://www.graceandfur.blogspot.com/

Carrie
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Re: Sneak Peek #7: New World History Guide

Post by Carrie » Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:22 pm

Ladies,

Thank you so much for sharing! I feel blessed to have you praying for me as well. I am slowly getting better and am thankful for the healing taking place even as it hones my patience and turns me more toward dependence on my Heavenly Father. :D

I wanted to share a bit more about my journey toward the literature plan that we've come up for the new World History guide. With my oldest son, we have done a variety of things for his high school literature study. We did all of Smarr's Intro. to Lit, did a meshing of Smarr and LLATL Gold for British Lit, did BJU with novels for American Lit., and this year did more of the approach we are taking with our World History guide for literature. While each program definitely has its merits, our son has far and away enjoyed this year of literature the most! :D

The question then becomes, "Why is this true?" From my perspective, it is true because for this year my son is able to read and enjoy the book without as much forced interpretation (from me)! He is able to linger with a book a bit more, allowing himself to take time to think on those parts of the book that struck him. This is because he has the responsibility for making the connections, instead of waiting for the quiz show question approach coming right after his reading to tell him what to notice. The question, question, question approach often tells the child that he/she only needs to pay attention to the answers to the questions; rather than forcing the student to really think for himself/herself. :D

We've had our older son do both Common Place Book entries and annotate as he reads this year. Both have gone well! We find the Common Place Book entries keep him looking for quotable lines as he reads. It makes sure that he doesn't miss beautiful descriptive passages, significant quotes, or subtle nuances that may otherwise be glossed over in a rush to get done reading. In essence, it allows him to stop and take note (because that is the goal of the assignment). The annotating is a personal way that has connected our son with the reading, and it helps him note what stood out to him. Both of these exercises place emphasis on the reading, rather than the follow-up. This is as it should be! :D

We've also discovered that a brief introduction (3 sentences or less Charlotte Mason suggests) of something to watch for or note in the day's reading is helpful. This sets the stage a bit for the reader, focusing him/her on the story before just jumping in and reading without thinking. These combined with Common Place Book entries and annotating makes the reading purposeful. :) We will be providing these brief introductions as appropriate for the student.

We've also found that some guidance in reflection after reading is good, but it is better if the guidance really directs the child to reflect (rather than guiding the child to answer a question that requires one right answer). Since reflection is often personal, journaling the response is a great way to reflect upon the day's reading. :D We'll be guiding the reflection within our plans.

Last, we've met with our son after the book ends and discussed the story elements, but more importantly we have discussed the book's theme and how that theme compares to what God tells us in His Word. We left these discussions pretty open to our son and have found that with his maturity (being a senior) this has worked well. However, for the World History guide, we have decided that with the younger age of those students in mind, it would be helpful to have a bit more guidance in the discussion with the questions to ask and the Scriptures to go over. So, this will be something we will provide for families at the end of each book to aid in the discussion. :D This type of discussion works best after the book is all done, as it allows for fully developed themes and plots to have revealed themselves and allows opportunity for more sifting and sorting through the entirety of the story to find the meaning. :D

Our son also watched a movie version after reading most of the literature he has done this year. That has been interesting as well, as the movies don't always follow the book's storyline. This has resulted in some great discussions too. Most of the books on our literature list for the World History guide have some good movie versions that are worth watching. We will be noting these in our guide too, should you desire to pursue the movie after the book. :D

As you can see, the plan above focuses on the book first and the analysis last. It doesn't interrupt the book with constant questioning or with continual essay-writing projects. It still gives you as the teacher a system of checks and balances, and makes it harder for the student to zone out of the reading by just finding the answers. :wink:

If you think about it, this type of literature program would be very difficult to circumvent through the use of Cliff Notes or Spark Notes (which are so often used in placed of actually reading the literary work). The continual reflection, annotation, and Common Place Book entries would not be easy to do unless you really read the book. Both oral narrations and written narrations would also be tough to pull off without reading the book. The discussion at the end of the book would be hard to participate in very much, if you hadn't really read the whole work either, as much of it will be interpretation. So, through this type of program, the child is being encouraged to pay attention, read purposefully, linger, select, reflect, draw conclusions, infer, synthesize, evaluate, and interpret. :D

In the end, the final reason we chose to do literature this way, was because as we looked at all the literature programs available and contemplated their use, we discovered many barriers. Often the program drew the reading of the book out too long, or (on the other hand) read the books much too quickly. Other programs asked way too many questions, or required a huge amount of essay-writing and written work (de-emphasizing the reading to the point of the writing taking over). Some programs didn't use full-length literature, or emphasized way too much poetry or too many short stories. Still other programs were very focused on vocabulary exercises and one-right answer questions, leaving the students with little to reflect upon. Selecting a pre-made literature program also required me to use books that I would not really choose to use with my own children, and this did not sit well with me either!

I finally realized that to do any other literature program meant that the program would drive the book choices. Instead, we wanted the book choices to drive the program. This meant that in true Charlotte Mason style, the booklist should come first and be of the utmost important. So, this is how we arrived at the plan we have now. A huge amount of time, prayer, and effort has gone into our book selections for literature. Each selection has a definite role to play and themes that are relevant today. :D

After the year of testing this type of literature program with our oldest son, we are thrilled with the results. We pray you will be too as you embark on this study of literature along with us in the World History guide. :D

Blessings,
Carrie

LynnH
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Re: Sneak Peek #7: New World History Guide

Post by LynnH » Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:38 pm

Carrie,
Thank you so much for further explaining the literature program for this guide. This helps me to understand the overall goal of doing lit this way and honestly it takes some of the pressure off. As you know Noah sometimes struggles with comprehension of deeper literature. When he has questions to answer he will look back to find the one right answer, but I feel like he still doesn't really think about the story. Sometimes he just can't seem to find the one right answer. I can see where the method you have outlined will be excellent for the student that has strong reading comprehension skills as well as the student like Noah that can struggle with comprehension. If he knows that what he is annotating is what sticks out to him and what questions he finds himself asking and that there isn't a specific answer necessarily I am looking for then I think he will enjoy reading the book more and I will enjoy discussing it with him more. Thank you again for all the prayer and thought you put into each component of the guides.
Mom to:
dd 22 college graduate and employed as an Intervention Specialist
ds 18 US2, Loved Preparing, CTC , RTR , Rev to Rev, MTMM ,WG, WH and US1
http://www.graceandfur.blogspot.com/

momtofive
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Re: Sneak Peek #7: New World History Guide

Post by momtofive » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:10 pm

Oh Carrie, I absolutely love this plan!! So in depth, and meaningful!! ;) Thank you for sharing just how this will look. I love that you're planning to include the support and guidance parents need to make it easy to use, and be able to have good discussions with our children. We're going to love studying literature this way! :D

One question....will this be the plan for future literature in the following two guides as well? I know this may be premature to ask, but it just sounds like you've come upon a plan that you love, works well, and brings such quality and depth to this subject. I can see this working well for future guides.

Thank you so much for putting so much "heart" in these guides!! ;)
Lisa ~ Gal. 2:20, Prov. 3:5-6
Mom to five great blessings :)
Ds19 - Graduated from HOD!
Ds17 - US2
Dd15 - WH
Dd13 - MTMM
Dd11 - RTR

Loving HOD since 2010!

Carrie
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Re: Sneak Peek #7: New World History Guide

Post by Carrie » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:24 pm

Ladies,

I wanted to update this thread for those of you who may have children who will not make it to the final guide in our planned high school scope of guides. Since correct placement is such a key to success with Heart of Dakota's guides, we don't want to automatically jump high school-aged students up to the first "official" high school guide. :D It is far better for us to place kiddos correctly using the placement chart and family dynamics instead. This means that there will be kiddos out there who will not complete all of our "official" high school guides. :D

For those who will not get to the final guide in our cycle, and miss the British Literature planned for that guide, I wanted to offer an alternative way of thinking of how to earn that credit. :D Since, we are not going with a World Literature distinction for the new World History Guide, and instead went more with titles I felt shouldn't be missed, ironically it ends up that there are 5 titles on the list that could fit in the British Literature category. The titles that would work to count credit in British Literature include Julius Caesar (unabridged Shakespeare), Pearl Maiden (by British author Haggard), The Story of King Arthur and His Knights, A Man for All Seasons, and the Scarlet Pimpernel. Often 4-5 novels/plays constitute a half-credit of British Literature. So, if you desired to give a half-credit in British Literature and a half-credit in regular literature (which we will still be titling course-wise), for the World History Guide's lit. you could do so. :D

Or, if you also did the World Geography Guide, and needed a full-credit of British Literature, you could also add the Brit. titles you read from the World Geography Guide to the 5 Brit. titles already in this new World History guide to gain a full-credit of British Literature instead. Typically 8-9 novels/play constitute a full-credit. :D

For example, from the Girl Set in the World Geography Guide, Pride and Prejudice and The Importance of Being Earnest fit into British Literature. From the Boy Set in the World Geography Guide, A Christmas Carol, Treasure Island, Men of Iron, Screwtape Letters fit for sure. Children of the New Forest and Captains Courageous are also by British authors and could be listed as well. When added to the titles in the new World History Guide, you can see where a full-credit of British Literature could be earned through completion of both guides. :D

In the scenario of awarding a full-credit in British Literature upon completion of both the World Geography and World History Guides, I would lean toward listing the credits on a transcript as 1 full-credit in Fundamentals of Literature for the first year and 1 full-credit of British Literature for the second year. That credit would include composition/grammar as part of the credit. :D

For those of you who will have students making it through all 4 HOD High School Guides, you will not have to worry about what I have shared above. :wink:

Blessings,
Carrie

Sharon
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Re: Sneak Peek #7: New World History Guide

Post by Sharon » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:05 am

Thank you so much for sharing about how to include the British Literature credit! I have been thinking about this for the last few days and what you have put forth sounds like a great plan!

The new guide sounds so good, I think I am going to do it with my youngest when the time comes!
Wife to Jesse,
Mom to Michelle, Dawn, Rose, Marie
DD14 Rev to Rev, MTMM in the Fall
Enjoyed Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, RTR, RevtoRev, and World Geo.

SouthernMrs
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Re: Sneak Peek #7: New World History Guide

Post by SouthernMrs » Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:19 pm

Thanks so much, Carrie, for taking time to let us know about this. I'm so glad to know that the British Lit credit my dd needs will be included in the new guide + what she is currently reading in the literature portion of the World Geography guide.
Hope you are feeling better!
Thanks again....
Charlene

Rev2Rev (8th gr. ds)
World History (11th gr. dd)
HOD Users since 2007

aprilmd
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Re: Sneak Peek #7: New World History Guide

Post by aprilmd » Sat May 03, 2014 5:36 pm

I was wondering how many of these books, and which ones, could be considered World Literature?
April - BHFHG, CTC, RTR, RevtoRev, MTMM, WG & now WORLD HIST
2014-2015
DD 16- World Hist, Chemistry, R&S Eng. 7, Saxon Adv Math
DD 15- World Hist, Bio, R&S Eng. 7, Saxon Adv Math
DD 13- MTMM/ext, finish R&S Eng. 6, Saxon Alg 1

Tiffini
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Re: Sneak Peek #7: New World History Guide

Post by Tiffini » Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:42 am

Carrie, I have a quick question about Les Mis. If my dd used the audio version of Les Mis in the Extensions of a previous program, should she still read this book for Lit this year or should we replace it with another book? Thanks!
Tiffini
DD (21 ) Graduated! Used HOD from 5th Grade through 12th Grade!
B/G Twins (18) Graduated! Used HOD from 3rd through 12th Grade!
DS (12) and DS (10)- Preparing Hearts
HOD Users since 2008

Carrie
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Re: Sneak Peek #7: New World History Guide

Post by Carrie » Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:03 pm

Tiffini,

I would still have her do Les Mis as scheduled in the World History Guide. The audio is a wonderful preview of the book (or a wonderful accompaniment), however it is very abridged. So, the book itself (even in the partially abridged form we schedule in the guide) is much richer. I wouldn't want to miss reading Les Mis for the world. It is truly a life-changing book (and I listened to the audio before I read the book that we are scheduling in the guide)! :D

Blessings,
Carire

Tiffini
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Re: Sneak Peek #7: New World History Guide

Post by Tiffini » Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:37 am

Thank you! That is very good to know. I am planning to read it on fall break and am looking forward to it!
Tiffini
DD (21 ) Graduated! Used HOD from 5th Grade through 12th Grade!
B/G Twins (18) Graduated! Used HOD from 3rd through 12th Grade!
DS (12) and DS (10)- Preparing Hearts
HOD Users since 2008

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