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Michelle Miller

How we spend our history time each day

Mary says:

"I love it! Love, love, love it! I had been missing snuggle time. The Lord removed the blinders and I realized that I had been trying to do this in my flesh. I found myself thinking I needed to do certain books because they looked beefier, and then I remembered I'm not trying to impress anyone. I'm doing what I think is going to help my son understand history the most and the ones that will spark wonderful discussions."

Kathy from Michigan says:

"My husband began reading through your text with us from the beginning of the book in the evenings. He wanted us to review where we'd been and understand it with different eyes. And we surely have! As a family, we are having such good discussions and are personally challenged!"

Adrianne from Illinois says:

"It is amazing how much history can be learned from wonderful books, including simple children's picture books! As I have said before, this is the way to learn history. Reading great books and simply talking about them is the classical, Socratic method of education. We can always add in extras such as hands-on projects, etc., but if you only read and discuss, that is all that is really needed. It is a rich, fun, enjoyable way to learn about history."

Kimberly from North Carolina says:

"I will try to give you a peek into our TruthQuest History adventure. I have BOYS that are ALL boy. They are not the kind who sit nicely at a desk and work away quietly at their copywork. No, no, no. These are the kind who crawl behind the furniture as if they were preparing for an ambush while I am reading aloud. They are the kind who can make anything out of paper. I do not jest. My 8-year-old made a working musket out of construction paper, with the ball, rammer, and a little hook place for the rammer. While we do have parameters, don't think that our children sit in 'Circle Time' and listen quietly while I read War and Peace!"

"At present, the basement walls have the workings of an American Revolution battlepaper soldiers, cannons, etc. taped to the walls, some high for the mountain effect and some low for the valleys. They live history."

"We do have a set-aside reading time, which often gets extended at their begging. So, read aloud is a main component of our TQH. However, I also find that the TQH recommends wonderful books for early readers. For these, I have a book basket and allow them to choose from pre-selected books to read on their own. Sometimes they choose books that could be read in one sitting. Other times they choose books that require up to two weeks, reading about one chapter per day. They do their independent reading in the afternoons."

"When reading aloud a book that is recommended for older students we often discuss the early chapters to help them follow the storyline; once the story gets going they are usually fine. Also, I will stop and ask if they know what a word means. I do not do formal narrations every day by any stretch , but I do find it helpful to have one of them 'remind us of where we left off' in our last reading."

"My boys do have history notebooks but they decide what goes in them. They draw pictures and maps, and sometimes illustrate something I am reading. They have also used some history notebook products. We don't have beautiful 'display case' notebooks, but they are theirs. Each one is unique (reflecting the uniqueness of my sons) and they love them. I have never had to ask them to do them. I just explained early on that this was their record of what we study in history, and I showed them different things they could do, as well as providing materials. They have just taken off with it! (I do think it is easy to overload on projects.)"

"As to the Big 2 Questions, the TQH commentary will bring you back many times to who God is and how people are choosing to relate to Him or not relate to Him at a particular point. So, our discussions on this have been frequent, but informal. Definitely not a 'test.' Rather, we try to evaluate what we read about people doing or not doingand then compare it to what we have learned through Scripture. God, in His Sovereignty, has often made a recent Bible lesson come through in living color in the pages of HIS story. I could never orchestrate it the way He does."

"What I have found to be wonderful about TQH is that you don't have to SCHEDULE everything (and this is coming from a Planner). Rather you get into the flow of things and natural checkpoints occur along the way."

Michelle from Iowa says:

"Our typical pattern is to read something out loud in the morning, often a biography or more serious book. Each boy reads a book in the afternoon he'll later narrate. We frequently have a fiction read-aloud in the evening, and we often write narrations, make timelines and maps, and add a variety of other things to our notebooks."

"You need to understand that this is not a 'read-this-page, fill-out-this-worksheet, do-this-activity' sort of program. It's like touring Europe with a warm and knowledgeable guide along the way to point you towards the things you don't want to miss, to keep you oriented to the purpose of your tour, and to help you avoid pitfalls along the way. The guides provide help as YOU decide what to read, how long to take doing it, what other methods to bring in for your children, and children can have considerable input into this. Mine notebook as we go. Although they don't decide what we do, they often choose individual books and we stay longer in areas they are interested in, and move on somewhat more quickly in areas they are not. They choose many of the ways they record what they have learned."

Polly says:

"I generally have one read-aloud going at a time, and I also assign some independent reading. I do not make the kids sit still during read-aloud time. They can draw, color, play with Legos, etc., as long as they can answer questions I throw out if it looks like someone isn't paying attention. We set up a cheap two-way monitor so that one is next to me as I read, and the other is in the kitchen so that the child who has to wash the dishes can hear the read-aloud as well. We have been doing this for years, and it's been working out great. Sometimes a book I am reading is over the heads of the younger ones, but I have them play quietly in the room anyway. It's amazing what they pick up when you think they really aren't listening!"

Susan from Pennsylvania says:

"The best time I have found for read-alouds in my home is lunchtime. The kids are all corralled anyway. I just eat earlier or later (or both, sigh). I hated reading aloud for years. Now I truly enjoy it. What I needed was to just start doing it more. The more I actually did it, the more I liked it."

Marianne from Australia says:

"We have a time together in which I read from the guide, from Greenleaf's Famous Men and other books I happen to have, as well as from a novel of that period...Then the children also have their own time period in which they read independently: a historian, literature from the period, and from Kingfisher. I sometimes ask them to make a history page from their reading, or narrate to me. I try to include some sort of creative writing idea from what they have read that week...Anyway, that is how we are using TruthQuest History. I find it invaluable as far as the commentary goes because it binds together all the information you might otherwise read as snippets of history. This has helped me to see God's plan and purpose, and how He is the Master Weaver of all."

Paula from Wisconsin says:

"I would simply read to him some commentary (from the TruthQuest History guide) and he would read from Guerber's Story of the Greeks. We would take it as slow or as fast as we wanted, and when I found a living book from the library or at home we would read that instead of Guerber. Sometimes he would read it and other times we read it together. He also loves picking out activities from the activity books (cited in the TQH guide) for ancient Greece. Dad reads aloud to the kids literature daily."

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