March 12, 2010

Why and When I Do What I Do

I had a great question in the comments that I thought was worth answering in a post. Lynette asked me how I choose what I am going to teach. Since my answer gives you a heads up of the units that will be appearing on the blog shortly, I thought more of you might be interested in the answer than just the asker. I started homeschooling last year (oldest is currently in 1st grade) and after much thought decided to teach using units and centering everything around history. I started last year with the settlement of the United States by immigrants from Europe followed by the Revolutionary War and then the Constitution. This year my overarching theme was settlement of the West, so we started with mountain men (to coincide with the rendezvous at Fort Buenaventura) then went to Indians, slavery, and now the Civil War. Next month is pioneers in general and May is Mormon pioneers.

I make history the focus three days a week, and the other two days we do a different unit on either health (I love studying manners and my children always need it!!), science, geography, or something else my children have expressed an interest in. We just finished up a unit about China because my son became obsessed with the Great Wall of China and the Huns, and before that we learned the names and locations of all the continents and oceans. Currently we're studying simple machines, or engineering (sounds fancier). While we study history chronologically, there is really no rhyme or reason to my additional units. But they're fun!

Next year I'm switching gears and studying ancient history because my children love things like pyramids and ancient legends and the Industrial Revolution and WWI seemed a little advanced for the ages of my children. If there is anything you want to study next year, let me know. If it sounds like something my children would be interested in I might schedule it in, and then we could help each other come up with good ideas!


  1. Thanks for sharing, Andrea! Your ideas are terrific and I am having so much fun seeing the pictures of your Mountain Man Unit! I can't wait to read more.

    Thank you so much for sharing your love of history, too! I'm ready for hiking - when it warms up a degree or two. :) Melinda

  2. Thank you for responding! :) :) I'm not a history buff (I do appreciate history, though!), but I can see how that would make it easy to decide where to begin. Thanks again!!