13 May 2005

American History for Children

I mentioned yesterday that the first two things that attracted me to The Well-Trained Mind were the study of Latin and the four-year chronological study of history.

Many of the women on the WTM boards like the four-year history cycle recommended by The Well-Trained Mind. However, there are often discussions of whether this system covers American history well enough. I'm always surprised by this. It doesn't sound like their concern stems only from meeting their state requirements for American history, although that is an issue for many homeschoolers, but that they honestly feel that American history is not covered well enough in the recommended WTM history cycle.

I don't agree. Story of the World, the world history text written for the WTM, has a heavy emphasis on Western civilization in general and the United States in particular. No child using SOTW who has a diligent teacher is going to miss learning about the Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers, or the Constitution. In fact, she should have a better understanding of these great events because they understand the context surrounding them- she realizes that the British Empire was much more than Great Britain and the American colonies. She understands where James Madison got his ideas about democracy and republican government. She has a better understanding of slavery and the many issues involved in the Civil War.

There is plenty of time. If you're worried that your child isn't going to know enough about American history, get a stack of books by Jean Fritz and read them with your child. Visit battlefields and American history sites. No matter where you live, history is there. Just do it.

No comments:

Post a Comment