Do you get this catalog?
Memoria Press's catalog, The Classical Teacher, always has great articles, making me feel that this is yet another magazine subscription that I should cancel in my ongoing effort to trim the budget. Then I remember that it's a free catalog, not a pricey magazine, and I settle in with a cup of coffee and some compelling reading.
The latest issue has a wonderful article by Cheryl Lowe entitled, "History is Not Chronological."
I nodded my head in agreement throughout, especially at the portions in which she recommends covering American History and Bible stories for first graders (as opposed to covering history in chronological order from the earliest grades on.) She discussed exactly what I was already planning to do with Ramona next year, which is to use whole, living books (Little House is calling our names) and Bible stories, and do plenty of fun activities such as making butter, and corncob dolls and doing other related crafts.
I've always thought that we need not study all the periods of history in chronological order, but rather that, for the early years in particular, we should study what's relevant to us, what makes sense when you're six, and what will stick. That's the way I started when Anne-with-an-e was in first grade -- it was the year of All Things Little House, Many Things American Girl, and The Beginning of the Timeline. And, for our history studies, this auspicious beginning has served us well. We seem to have raised kids who love history, as evidenced today in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. As we toured the tremendous museum here, the girls snapped pictures and moved from one fascinating exhibit to another. They stood in stark contrast to the surly boy who, when his father pointed out an amazing artifact with the exclamation, "Imagine! They've preserved that!" responded with, "So?"
I felt so bad for that poor dad.
Now, Ramona, on the other hand, was pretty bored at the Gettysburg Museum. She's just not old enough yet. And that's why, in the fall, we'll be diving into All Things Little House.
It just makes sense. Thanks, Memoria, for the affirmation. I often feel that my individual, anecdotal "evidence" of how well something works just isn't enough. It's so nice, sometimes, to see in print the respected opinions of others that demonstrate that my instincts and anecdotal evidence are more universal than I think they are.