"Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education." ~ Charlotte Mason

Friday, March 2, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up 25 - History Sketching

We've been working through American History with a set of workbooks called: The Story of the USA - link. The workbooks have short chapters followed by a chapter review with questions. We read through the chapter and then talk about its content using the questions. I am not as concerned that they know exact dates for history. If they understand a time line of when the events happened that is more then sufficient in terms of being able to pinpoint when historical events occurred (for instance WWI began in 1914 and ended in 1918). What I am most concerned about is that they are able to clearly grasp and speak intelligently about the historical event(s) we study, that they are able to connect with the material. We use a fair amount of sketching with our history program. I find this is beneficial in helping them to connect with the information. For the first two workbooks we did a story board. They divided up a huge bristle board into 20 squares and sketched about each chapter in the squares. This time around I picked up a sketch pad at the Dollar Store so they could sketch through each chapter, using larger pieces of paper. I found a gem of a book while looking through a store on line. The books are called: Draw and Write Through History (see my above photo for the book we're using). They have several books that cover World History and American History. See here for the complete collection and details. The book contains the steps to drawing, along with some facts about that particular period in history and some copy work. The copy work is lengthy so they will write a couple sentences a day and finish the history lesson with the sketching. (the copy work will be part of the Language Arts in the morning). So for instance, they were learning about WWI this week. We did the chapter in the The Story of the USA workbook, along with some narration about it, some copy work, followed by the sketches. The World Wars are difficult to digest, and when we look at the sketches they don't necessarily show the reality of how awful those wars were. My son likes to draw and anything with tanks is even more cool. But I also wanted him to understand that war isn't just about tanks and what a soldier looks like. For this reason I chose a read aloud that would reflect the reality of how terrible war is and how it affects people on profound levels; often for the rest of their lives. We talked about how men who had fought in those wars came home different. I found a really good read-aloud to demonstrate this reality, called Miracles on Maple Hill. It's a Newberry Award Winner (suggested reading level: grades 3-5) and it is about a father who came home after the Second World War. He struggled with what he saw and did. The story depicts the healing process that him and his family went through. See here for more information on that book.

Graham's completed picture of a WWI soldier:

Heather is sketching out the beginning of her picture of the WWI soldier, she colours it in later on.
They did the copy work on regular lined paper and I taped them into their sketch books.

This post is linked back to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrap Up


  1. What a fantastic program. We aren't to this stage in our learning yet but I'll have to tuck this resource away for later.

    1. Glad you found it useful! I am very pleased with the way this years History has been working out. :)

  2. Wow! I haven't heard about Draw and Write before, but it looks great! Thanks for sharing.

  3. That looks like an awesome program! Your children's drawings are amazing! Many blessings for a great weekend, Lisa


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