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SusanTheWriter
History trouble
October 2, 2012 at 6:49 PM

DD (10th grade) is doing US History this year. It's never been her favorite subject, but tough potatoes. It's gotta get done. We're using A Patriot's History of the United States as our text, and supplementing with our American Lit study. We finally finished The Scarlet Letter, which she hated. Again, tough potatoes. Now she can whine along with the rest of the country going back generations who have had to read it. Shared misery and all that.

So I get that this isn't going to be fun for her. On top of that, we had a really rough beginning to our year and we're only just now starting to catch back up with things. We actually started history and Lit over a month ago and she did the final essay on TSL yesterday and finished the essay portion of the Ch 1 test for history today.

She rocked the essay, but failed the test epically. It was like she didn't even read the chapter, which is weird considering how insightful the essay was. And honestly, it's usually the other way around. She aces the test and bombs the essay.

My idea right now is for her to just re-read the text, but I'll be more hands on with each portion, doing discussion questions along the way, and then she'll re-take the test. But is that the right approach?

I really, really don't want to start over with curriculum at this point. And my problem with a lot of the "living" books are that they simply aren't advanced enough.

Not sure which way to jump here. Any advice?

Replies

  • Boobah
    by Boobah
    October 2, 2012 at 6:51 PM
    I detest history, so I'm not much help, but it sounds like maybe having her re-read the chapter and possibly adding in living history books with it might be good. Or hands on activities like museums, computer or tv videos, etc. history bores me to death, but I enjoy actually going to a museum, or reading an interesting book about it. Listing Facts is awful for me.
  • SusanTheWriter
    October 3, 2012 at 7:27 AM
    Bump!
  • No_Difference
    October 3, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    I'm not entirely sure what I'd do in that situation. Sometimes history books are just so dry and boring it really makes it hard to learn it from the book (and I'm a history major so I read a lot of 'em lol). I have to keep history hands on for my kids otherwise I know they won't learn a darn thing. They could care less about history...
    Maybe, all it might take is reviewing over the text and areas that really aren't clicking with her, do a project of some sort?  To teach my kids about King George's taxes, we played a board game that I drew up the night before (and this was for 2nd grade....)
    The funny thing I've been learning with all the history classes I've recently taken myself, the proffessors could care less about the year and to an extant the major people in an event. They would rather you know what took place, why it took place, and how it affects today. When I do my own homework, I look for thos answers, and the when and who usually stick then.  Maybe shaking the text up a little bit and trying to go through it from a different angle may help?

  • oredeb
    by oredeb
    October 3, 2012 at 10:31 AM

     what about reading portions and letting her tell you what shes read?

    or have her teach your younger kids american history(real hands on!)

    or have her make a power point on portions of it and forget the test! 

     or have her make american history tapes for the kids, let her read it and make it interesting on tape.

    or tell her if she doesnt do better on the test shes gona be reading this section the rest of the year!

    is this what shes reading http://mhsamericanhistory.wikispaces.com/file/view/A+Patriot's+History+of+the+United+States.pdf

    or she could write down in a journal the people she reads about in each chapter and tell a bit about them (writing!!!)and what the chapter is about and forget the test!

  • SusanTheWriter
    October 3, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    We were just at a museum last week, but unfortunately, it didn't really cover the era we're studying. I think we'll just re-read and review the chapter, then move on. Thank you!

    Quoting Boobah:

    I detest history, so I'm not much help, but it sounds like maybe having her re-read the chapter and possibly adding in living history books with it might be good. Or hands on activities like museums, computer or tv videos, etc. history bores me to death, but I enjoy actually going to a museum, or reading an interesting book about it. Listing Facts is awful for me.


  • SusanTheWriter
    October 3, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    It's not a fascinating text, but it's not as bad as others I've read. My overall goal for this study is to get her to a point where she knows enough of the facts to be able to make those big picture connections and why things happened and their effect on current events and beliefs. But you have to know what happened first!

    I'm going to re-read the chapter today (should have done it yesterday) to see if I can find a different way to approach it. Thank you!

    Quoting No_Difference:

    I'm not entirely sure what I'd do in that situation. Sometimes history books are just so dry and boring it really makes it hard to learn it from the book (and I'm a history major so I read a lot of 'em lol). I have to keep history hands on for my kids otherwise I know they won't learn a darn thing. They could care less about history...
    Maybe, all it might take is reviewing over the text and areas that really aren't clicking with her, do a project of some sort?  To teach my kids about King George's taxes, we played a board game that I drew up the night before (and this was for 2nd grade....)
    The funny thing I've been learning with all the history classes I've recently taken myself, the proffessors could care less about the year and to an extant the major people in an event. They would rather you know what took place, why it took place, and how it affects today. When I do my own homework, I look for thos answers, and the when and who usually stick then.  Maybe shaking the text up a little bit and trying to go through it from a different angle may help?


  • SusanTheWriter
    October 3, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Yeah, some narration by her may the way to go. And good call on the Power Point! She's pretty good at that, so I may alternate tests and projects.

    or tell her if she doesnt do better on the test shes gona be reading this section the rest of the year!
    Ok, that cracked me up! LOL!

    And yes, that's the text we're using. There are tests and essay questions available on the website, too.

    Quoting oredeb:

     what about reading portions and letting her tell you what shes read?

    or have her teach your younger kids american history(real hands on!)

    or have her make a power point on portions of it and forget the test! 

     or have her make american history tapes for the kids, let her read it and make it interesting on tape.

    or tell her if she doesnt do better on the test shes gona be reading this section the rest of the year!

    is this what shes reading http://mhsamericanhistory.wikispaces.com/file/view/A+Patriot's+History+of+the+United+States.pdf

    or she could write down in a journal the people she reads about in each chapter and tell a bit about them (writing!!!)and what the chapter is about and forget the test!


  • KickButtMama
    October 3, 2012 at 11:29 AM
    I think making it more conversational will be a great help. The essay is somewhat like a one sided conversation, where as a test is more like wrote memorization, so discussion should help the information stick.
  • KickButtMama
    October 3, 2012 at 11:30 AM
    Oh, I just wanted to say - I too hated history until I spent 1 year learning history through movies. I watched all the period pieces I could get my hands on, then wrote a small outline of any inaccuracies I could locate through basic research....since it was based on holly woods movies, it sure didn't seem like school!
  • bookmommy
    October 3, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    I always hated history, but I enjoyed the few miniseries I watched that made the characters come alive..

    some suggestions here about the American revolution:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_plays_and_films_about_the_American_Revolution

    The Adams Chronicles:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073952/

    Ort just search "movies about X time period" and see what comes up. I know if I can see the characters in history as the people they are, it makes way more sense.

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