Monday, November 05, 2007

RC History

Here's an overview of our history using RC & SOTW. I mostly use SOTW as a supplement as it fits into RC History (Roman Catholic History). (The parts in italics are parts included in the program - book pages are given in the program, you have to buy the books, mapping software, audio tapes separate - this program could get expensive if you try to buy everything...be choosey & utilize your local library when possible or go in with another family and just buy some of the books and trade)

Overview & Understanding RC History :
  • The history program covers history in a chronological 4-year cycle, so if you started in 1st grade, you'd get through all of recorded history (at ever deepening levels) 3 times by grade 12.
  • The program is divided into 4 levels (K-12) called stages so all children in a family can learn together.
  • It is designed to be flexible, so the parent makes all the decisions (which can seem overwhelming when you're first looking at the program.) You can go through the program as fast or slow including as many or few resources, activities, assignments as fits your family situation and allowing your child to work at the level that is best for them.
  • A method of teaching called "CONNECTing with history" that includes all learning styles and integrates other disciplines (writing, art, geography, literature, religion...) in with history.
  • An underlying structure with Christ at the center of all history (think of a cross with the horizontal beam being time and BC time on the left, AD time on the right & Christ at the center) and Christ at the center of everything God wills in heaven & earth (think of the vertical beam of the cross with the top being happenings in heaven and the bottom being happenings on earth and Christ at the center where it meets the horizontal beam)

Nuts & Bolts - RC History includes :

  • book suggestions for each level - these are further broken down by priority
  1. core readings
  2. basic assignments that are optional, but helpful
  3. additional literature for further study if you're so inclined
  • mapping suggestions
  • timeline suggestions
  • poetry selections
  • questions to ponder and discuss
  • writing assignments to reasearch
  • some units include the WONDERFUL Novel Inquiries literature study guides
  • hands-on activities (and book suggestions with craft/art projects in them)
In Action - how we use RC History :

For us the "CONNECT" aspect works on a monthly basis (about 1 unit per month). The hardest part of the program (for me) is to wrap my mind around how much & what to assign when throughout the month. I plan the kids' school 1 month at a time to accomodate RC History & the pace we want to go through the program.

C - Consider : ask the introductory questions given in program (jr. high & high school level), Mama reads the background reading as prep. (1-3 days)

O - Overview : read the overview of cultures from program (jr. high & high) to be studied in that unit & assign other overview reading from Kingfisher World Hisotory (jr. high), Usborne World History (elem), Oxford (jr. high), Bible - for example, they are all reading the same stories in the Bible, but you'll decide which bible they read from or that you'll read to them based on their level, etc. (all) (2 days)

N - Notebook : assign literature readings- what you have on-hand & suggestions from RC History, narrations, writing assignments, art & projects... (all) (2-3 weeks)

E - Explore : this really goes along with Notebook time & specific activities are given in the program - mapping, bible readings, get movies that tie in from library, religion tie-ins (I don't want to give you the impression that religion is separate in the program, it's all tied in)

C - Concentrate : prepare for end project, finish up writing assignments, do timeline, etc -- goes with Notebook in my mind.

T - Tell : This is my kids favorite part. They've done writing assignments or narrations (depending on their age) throughout the month and then they select a project that summarizes or focuses on what they've learned that month. (2-3 days)

It really took me quite a while to wrap my mind around the program. For our family is works GREAT and combining all the componants just took practice on my part. I love the way the program focuses on Catholic history while not neglecting secular history. I also like that it includes so many things (poetry for memorization or enjoyment, the academically challenging Novel Inquiries, art projects, deeper reading suggestions if we want/have time for them...) and that all the kids can learn the same topics at the same time encouraging family discussions, impromptu play-acting, etc. It is a very teacher-intensive program in my mind, but definately worth the effort.

1 comment:

  1. I liked your explanation!
    Very helpful.

    We use the RC History book lists but not the RCH program