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Connecting with History

Connecting With History is a history-based unit study for Roman Catholic families and schools published by www.rchistory.com This site is designed to answer common questions about the Connecting with History program. If you have questions you'd like to see answered here, please let me know!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Is Connecting with History for Everybody?

The answer is no, and yes.

No one program will be perfect for everyone. Families are unique, individual teachers and students are, well, individual! The first step in evaluating any curriculum choice is first evaluating your family's goals, needs, your preferred teaching style and your individual students' learning styles and interests. To do this I can recommend some wonderful tools and resources:

First, find out what kind of teaching style is most comfortable for you. Andrea Chen, PhD Psychology (and co-author of volume one of CWH) has designed an excellent (and free!) on-line evaluation that has been found to be extremely accurate. Take her Teaching Type Test . Teachers who are most likely to enjoy using the Connecting with History program are those who like to design their own curriculum, but need some help and guidance or just need to save on planning time.

To continue reading click on the Comments button.


Blogger Sonya said...

So now you have a better idea of your personal teaching style. It's also important to consider your students' interests and learning styles. The first year I began home educating my children I was very excited and idealistic. We would never use textbooks, make learning fun and hands-on, do lots of projects and follow our interests! My oldest child, however, had just come out of nearly 4 years in the public education system. She liked textbooks, worksheets and schedules. It wasn't just what she was used to, it related to her learning style and personality. It took several years of struggling to understand each other and find workable compromises before we found a system of "doing school" which worked for us both.

There are many, many books on learning styles available through your local library or bookstore. I'm going to recommend a short-cut that is less overwhelming and takes you to the core of things quickly - have each of your children take an on-line learning styles analysis. If you have only young children, go straight to the books, but if your child is reading relatively well and can use a keyboard they'll have fun taking the on-line test and you'll have immediate results and suggestions for your specific child.
There are two on-line tests that I can personally recommend.
Dr. Andrea Chen, again, has designed an excellent test that you can take at Mercy Academy"; there is also a very good test available here.

Continue by going to the next comment post.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Sonya said...

OK, you have a pretty good idea now of what kind of teacher you are and what kind of students you have. Now back to the original question, "Is Connecting with History for Everybody?" I answered no because no one program will ever please everyone.

But I also said yes.

Connecting with History isn't a heavily structured program - there are no pre-written daily lesson plans, no scripts for the teacher to read to the student, no written tests to take at the end of a unit. But, that's only what CWH is not.

CWH is purposely flexible to be easily adapted to almost any situation. It's a Guide that takes you by the hand and teaches you how to teach and learn history - from a Catholic worldview. For more on the Catholic worldview go to the Articles section of our website.

What Connecting with History provides is a structure to follow - the 6-step CONNECT system which is designed to lead you through each unit of a year's worth of history lessons at a time. It also provides background information for you the teacher to increase your own understanding of history in general and the specific time in history your family is studying. You don't have to be a history scholar to use this program, we give you the information you need to make your children think you know more than they do, and then you can learn right along with them, and even from them!

More specifically, Connecting with History prepares the teacher and student for each unit, includes teacher's notes and discussion starters, an overview of the time period so students know where they are headed, instructions for students to compile a notebook of projects and activities along with specific suggestions for each unit, planning charts for the teacher and students, writing ideas, hands-on activity ideas, and reading assignments for each unit with page assignments based on how much the "average child" could cover in a day. Also included is memory/copy work including poetry and scripture passages and research charts to help students focus in on the people and civilizations covered in each unit.

And don't worry, we also include a Guide to using the program which takes you step-by-step through the process so you're never on your own! CWH is like having a Catholic history teacher come into your home and teach you how to teach! If you're not already a history-buff, you'll soon become one!

Want more info? Go to Connecting with History. Or email your questions to me and I'll post them and my answers on this blog!

12:28 PM  
Blogger Sonya said...

Another superb resource for understanding learning styles and how to choose the best curricula for your children's unique needs:

Cathy Duffy's new book
100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum: Choosing the Right Curriculum and Approach for Your Child's Learning Style

The first five chapters of this books are worth their weight in gold, and this is a hefty book!

Chapter titles include:

1. How on Earth do I Figure Out What Curriculum to Use?
2. "Drill and Kill," "Real Books," "Delight-Directed Studies"...What's Best?
3. Putting Together Your Philosophy of Education
4. Learning Styles: How Does My Child Learn Best
5. Who Should Learn What and When?

After those treasure-filled chapters Cathy goes on to give her top picks of curriculum materials, noting which ones fit which learning style/teaching style best.

This book is long overdue and would have saved a lot of people (including myself) a LOT of money, time and grief - but it's never too late to learn!! That's one of the great lessons of home education!

I got it at the library, but I'm going to have to buy my own copy because it's torture not to be able to take notes and highlight things in it!!

You can find it at Cathy's site:

4:22 PM  

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