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Need help deciding how to use MP curriculum next year

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    Need help deciding how to use MP curriculum next year

    Hi! I’m new to the board and have a few questions about MP curriculum. We have been homeschooling for 6 years and my oldest is a rising 7th grader. We were in a classical co-op for several years, but we are not this year and do not plan on being in one again. We need to focus on writing and spelling this year and next. My big question has to do with history—I need something that will be fairly independent but still pushing the logic stage! Also, I love MP books—I have several, but none of the guides, so this question is more a “will this work?” question than anything else!

    Anyway, just wanted to give you some background, so you know where we’re at and would love any insight or ideas!

    So this is what I was thinking for next year:

    Start my 7th grader with Classical Composition—Fables and maybe accelerate it? He’s quite far behind in writing, so I’m hoping we can get through Fables and start on the next book during the year. Could I use this for both my rising 7th and rising 5th? And can I accelerate it?

    And then for history I would like to use the Dorothy Mills guides for Ancient World, Ancient Greeks, and Ancient Rome, since we’re in the ancient cycle for our history. I already have the books and was hoping I could get through all three books this year using the MP guides, since we’re on the ancient history part of our cycle. I thought I could use these for both the 7th and 5th grader, too. (I always think I’ll be able to pull together the questions, etc, but I never do! I would like to have MP do that for me in the guides!).

    Should I try to have the 7th grader study the Iliad and the Odyssey, too, then, or would that be too much?

    And then for Bible, I was wondering if using Christian Studies IV or III would be better for both the 5th and 7th grader. We’ve studied the OT pretty extensively and the NT some (that just naturally comes in during devotions, Bible reading at the table, etc.). Just wondering which would be a better fit.

    Thanks for any help with this! I’m really excited about using MP materials this next year—it seems like the hand-holding I need as we move into the middle school years!

    Jacey

    #2
    Good morning.

    We'll be glad to help you all we can. I'll try to answer all your questions now.

    Classical Composition: You can accelerate this course. Since you feel your children are weak in writing, I think I'd spend 1/2 a year on Fable and 1/2 a year on Narrative, taking a slower accelerated pace. Then, the next year, you can start the Chreia/Maxim and see how you are doing. Eventually, your older student may want to move at a more accelerated pace than the younger student. Our 6th graders spend an entire year on the Chreia, so I wouldn't push beyond that with the younger child. And it may prove challenging enough for both students.

    Classical Studies: I don't think I would try to do 3 history books this year. If you complete 2 books, you will need to do 2 lessons/week, and that is enough. You still have plenty of time. At the risk of messing up your order, can I suggest that you do The Ancient World the first semester and Ancient Romans the second semester? Then, the next year, you could do Ancient Greeks before reading Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. And while your older student is studying Homer, your younger one can study Coolidge's Trojan War. (It would be a good idea for your older student to read The Trojan War the summer before Homer.) Your students also need a good introduction to Greek mythology if they haven't already had one. I would suggest that they read through D'Aulaires' Greek Myths, which makes a good family read-aloud.

    I want to stress that you still have plenty of time to complete a fine classical education, so I wouldn't try to do too much at one time. Let your students relax and immerse themselves in this rich history.

    Christian Studies: I think that since you have studied the OT in detail, I would spend a year in the NT with CSIII. It will give your students the background they need for harder church history, and you can then spend the next year with CSIV, which is an overview of OT and NT. I think these two years will solidify your students' knowledge of the major Bible stories before delving into more difficult history.

    I hope this helps!

    Regards,

    Tanya

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      #3
      Thank you, Tanya! I'm hesitant to change our history cycle, because I don't want all my younger children off. But it would be good not to overwhelm him. Thank you for giving me lots to think about and for your insight!

      I think I will go with Christian Studies III for both of the older children and Fables and Narrative for writing. And think about history...

      Jacey

      Comment


        #4
        Well, now I have one more question! Why wouldn't I do Greece after the Ancient World and keep it in chronological order? Is it just to keep the Greek history together with the Iliad and the Odyssey?

        Thanks!
        Jacey

        Comment


          #5
          Jacey,

          That's exactly right - to study Greek history together with Homer. But you don't have to do that if you are totally set on studying history chronologically. Our philosophy on that is a little different. We study each time period chronologically, but not necessarily in a chronological order, if that makes any sense at all. You might want to read these articles that explain our philosophy:

          http://www.memoriapress.com/articles/July08/historynotchronological.html

          http://www.memoriapress.com/articles/Spring09/teach-history-chronologically.html

          Regards,

          Tanya

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you again! I'm checking those out right now!
            Jacey

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