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10/6/2010 10:48:22 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter -- October 2010

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter
October 2010 -- History: A Grand Narrative
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Dear Friends,

Greetings from one of the history making capitals of the world!

October means that most of you are back in the saddle of homeschooling
yet another year. Last year is history! Each year we receive phone
calls from parents who are making decisions concerning what history to
teach, what order to teach the courses, how to teach history in an
interesting way, and more.

Necessity of History Studies

History influences our lives from beginning to end. No one can escape
it. Just looking at the calendar each month reminds us of some
historical fact. We probably all remember the axioms that "history
repeats itself" and "we should learn from history." If these are true,
then it's important to take the study of history seriously whether we
love it or not. In both of our families, there are some who are
history buffs and others who tolerate the subject. Nevertheless, all
were taught to respect the events and attempt to learn from them.

We recommend that all teens take courses in world history, U.S.
history and American government. No matter what a teen's future plans
may hold, these courses form a foundation for good citizenry. In
addition, most colleges will expect to see such courses on the
transcript.

There is no set schedule or pattern to follow as to what year to teach
which course. We will leave that up to you. Because similar history
courses are taught in middle school, you may decide to teach a high
school level course which hasn't recently been studied.

Approaches Used

Thankfully, there are many avenues through which to approach history,
even in the high school years. The only requirement necessary when
deciding on your approach is that the material you use must be high
school level. If you are in doubt, don't hesitate to check with the
curriculum provider or a respected curriculum reviewer such as Cathy
Duffy and others. http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=9308

The textbook approach is traditionally the method used by many
families. It allows a systematic study through the periods of history.
Parents are assured they will cover the typically required course
material in that particular school year.

Another popular way to study history is by integrating history with
literature and Bible. The student will earn a year's credit for each
of these disciplines upon completion of the curriculum for that year.
In this manner, students are shown how historical events played a role
in shaping the culture through religion and literary means. The facts
then take on a life of their own, and teens may remember the material
longer.

Some families will choose a literature-based history course. The study
of history is tied to reading literature from specific time periods
rather than using a textbook. The emotional tie to the events taking
place will bond the material to memory. Students may find themselves
climbing into that era and beginning to relate to the prevailing views
and attitudes being adopted. Good discussions can develop regarding
how such beliefs have affected the thoughts and mores of our day.

For students who are not gung ho about history, studying the subject
as a grand narrative may entice them into enjoying it. Everyone loves
a good story, and that is exactly what history is. Interweaving
biblical history from the beginning of time to the present day will
show the significance of our existence and where we are headed. It
will demonstrate God's fingerprints through the ages.

Course Supplements

No matter what direction you take to teach history, you can supplement
your course with field trips to historical places. Seeing what is
studied will bring it alive in your teens' imaginations. Many
historical sites offer tours and re-enactments. Contacting your local
historical society by phone or internet may provide you with
educational opportunities in your local vicinity. Another idea is
listening to stories by relatives, veterans, and others to make the
material "real" and personal.

Your teens may not realize it, but they are intimately involved in
making their own history! One assignment could be to have your teens
interview people for their stories - most people have at least one to
share. Or, you may ask your teens to write their autobiographies. Some
teens are very interested in their ancestry, so researching and
constructing a family tree may be used to study the places and times
that those members lived. Journaling may be an interesting way to pass
on recollections of daily life and current events for future
generations to read and enjoy.

Any or all of these suggestions will take a dry, musty subject and add
life and vigor to the course. After all, history really is His-story!

Come back next month and join us as we offer ideas for field trips for
high schoolers.

Watching time fly,

Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Coordinators

Quote of the month:
"But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with
the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one
day." - The Apostle Peter (II Peter 3:8)

Becky & Diane's speaking engagements:

October 22, 2010 - Map Your Future, Indianapolis, IN (Becky and Diane)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8760

February 15, 2011 - FISHE, Fairfax, VA (Becky)

March 25-26, 2010 - St. Louis Area Home Educators Expo, MO (Becky)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=9309

April 14-16, 2011 - MACHE, MN (Becky and Diane)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8761

April 29-30, 2011 - MassHOPE, MA (Diane)
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8762

Looking for some interesting opportunities for your teens?

JETS (Junior Engineering Technical Society) competition,
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=9310 , for high schoolers open to
homeschoolers. For additional competitions see the HSLDA high school
website. http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=9311 .

German-American E-pal program for homeschoolers--improve your teen's
German language skills or give them a taste of another culture!
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=9312

Free Veterans Day Teachers Resource Guide includes activities and info
for honoring veterans on November 11, 2010.
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=9314

For reprint permission information:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=9313

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-> Who's knocking on your door?

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More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1099

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