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Bluecalm
Confused about Social Studies
April 18 at 11:17 AM
I'm trying to decide what to do with my son next year for 2nd grade. In public school here Social Studies builds from my family, my community, my state, American geography and history, and then world history, but homeschooling Social Studies seem to start with ancient history. Can anyone explain the rationale behind starting with ancient history so young?

Replies

  • mem82
    by mem82
    April 18 at 11:55 AM
    Technically, it really just depends on what curriculum you choose. The classical methods all start with Ancient and cycle through every four years, going deeper each time they do a pass.
    You can usually start at any point.
  • Codysmom2106
    April 18 at 12:05 PM

    I still haven't found anything. We are just kind of winging it :(

  • debramommyof4
    April 18 at 12:15 PM
    I started with ancient times because that is my favorite and for me it is like telling a story. My kids have loved it. But you can do it anyway you want.
  • NYCitymomx3
    April 18 at 1:46 PM

    The Typical Course of Study from worldbook.com has a nice guideline for 2nd grade social studies.  Here's what they suggest:

    Social Studies

    * Holidays and festivals
    * Patriotic celebrations
    * Communities in other lands: past and present
    * Family and family history
    * Families around the world
    * Neighborhoods
    * Community services and helpers
    * Shelters, stores, and food
    * Citizenship and social responsibility
    * Interdependence of people
    * Basic geography: oceans, continents
    * Map skills

    Here's the link for all subjects, all grades.

  • bluerooffarm
    April 18 at 1:56 PM

    Rationale for starting ancient:  Kids that learn world history first get an appreciation for themselves as citizens of the world.  They are more likely to think of their own culture in terms of how it fits into their world view.  While kids who learn about their own family and community first are more likely to think of their own culture as the "right way" to do things.  

    Rationale for teaching local family and community first:  The child begins with what they are already familiar with, the stuff they know.  They learn to interact within their community right from the beginning and then are more likely to continue interacting with that community.

    Both have their good and bad points, but I chose to do the ancient history and cultures forst because I believe in this era it is more likely for people to move around and more likely for people to interact across cultural boundaries and I wanted my kids better prepared for that.

  • KrissyKC
    April 18 at 4:21 PM
    I haven't used mystery of history or story of the world.

    However, we have used my fathers world, time4learning, and rod and staff. From what I have seen, these don't start ancient history until at least upper elementary.

    For example, mfw teaches the following:

    2nd-3rd grade: adventures level, focusing mostly on US information and animals.

    4th - countries and cultures (world geography, useful to know some of this for next years.) Also, science topics are based on learning about forests, desserts, climate, weather, cycles in nature, etc.

    5th-8th. Chronological series that covers ancient history (creation) through present day.

    This then leads them to high school where they cover world geography, us history, world history, and civics/government more indepth.

  • KrissyKC
    April 18 at 4:33 PM
    Oh.. side note. I think before 4th grade, history should just be used to help reinforce your basics (reading writing maths) and to help pique their interest in learning for knowledge.

    I don't feel the specific topics covered are as important.

    Example, if my kid is really interested in holidays and other people, I would help them read books and make projects about international studies. The point is, they are becoming strong readers and seekers of information.
  • collinsmommy0
    April 18 at 6:13 PM
    I taught public school....I taught every grade 1-6 through over 7 years as a teacher (special ed, but all used regular Ed social studies). Honestly, I thought the first & second (& some of third) grade social studies was total crap. Either the child had a basic understanding of their community and were bored or had no clue but it wasn't enough to teach them what they needed to know.

    In other words, your child likely already knows most of the content so either choose to expand it or do something different like story of the world.
  • KickButtMama
    April 18 at 7:18 PM

    We used story of the world. I highly recommend the workbook as it's chock full of great project ideas. 

    I agree w/ some of the other ladies. We started with ancient history for 2 reasons - 1. It goes in order. 2. America is so young as a country. I started with ancient so the kids would have an appreciation for their parts as people of hue he world, later they could appreciate being a part of this country then state. Kids just understand big things easier than little IMO

  • JKronrod
    April 18 at 8:36 PM

     I absolutely agree with this.

    I'll also point out that it doesn't have to be one or the other exclusively, and it's a lot easier to learn about "my community,"  "my family," etc. through experiential education (i.e., you visit the fire station; you talk about police, doctors, nurses, etc. in the community; you attend services at your religious institution), so if you are even remotely diligent in looking for experiences and then talking about them, they'll learn the "community" stuff through osmosis.  Ancient history, on the other hand, does require some effort. 

    I have to say that my 7-year-old LOVES history.  Once he could read independently he begged to "read one more chapter" of his history books.  The idea of being part of something  much bigger than yourself both physically AND temporally is huge, and I think an important concept to learn young, and I agree with the notion that having that perspective about other cultures is also something that is a missed opportunity if you don't do it young.    

    Quoting bluerooffarm:

    Rationale for starting ancient:  Kids that learn world history first get an appreciation for themselves as citizens of the world.  They are more likely to think of their own culture in terms of how it fits into their world view.  While kids who learn about their own family and community first are more likely to think of their own culture as the "right way" to do things.  

    Rationale for teaching local family and community first:  The child begins with what they are already familiar with, the stuff they know.  They learn to interact within their community right from the beginning and then are more likely to continue interacting with that community.

    Both have their good and bad points, but I chose to do the ancient history and cultures forst because I believe in this era it is more likely for people to move around and more likely for people to interact across cultural boundaries and I wanted my kids better prepared for that.

     

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