Sharing ideas, teaching tips and resources for the homeschool journey.
“As I have said elsewhere, the ideas required for the sustenance of children are to be found mainly in books of literary quality; given these the mind does for itself the sorting, arranging, selecting, rejecting, classifying...it seems to be necessary to present ideas with a great deal of padding, as they reach us in a novel or poem or history book written with literary power.” Charlotte Mason
Teaching history does require some thought when incorporating it into the Australian National Curriculum as the two philosophies differ considerably. You can read more about this on my blog post Charlotte Mason and Australian National Curriculum-History.
In NSW (and other states are moving towards this expectation also) there is an emphasis on following the set syllabus. Currently history (and geography) are still part of the subject Human Society and its Environment. Plans to implement the new history curriculum are not till 2015 - 2016. This curriculum is currently under review as many people, including our former PM John Howard (his history speech is worth reading), believe it is bias and lacks teaching of the British heritage and a Judeo Christian heritage and ethics. For this reason you may choose to make sure that you teach these area.
In NSW the Board of Studies wants homeschoolers to show how their chosen curriculum conforms to the NSW Board of Studies foundation statements and outcomes. For those of us who have to justify our curriculum to a particular government authority this is how I would approach the planning of my history curriculum.
The National Curriculum divides history into two strands, historical knowledge (really Australian social studies) and historical understanding. In order to follow a CM way of teaching we need to add an extra strand which I am calling a chronological history strand.
For those of you who wish to follow a CM approach choose living books from the following categories as the basis for your study. A timeline and a Book of Centuries will put history in context. Book narrations will help you keep a record of your learning.
While teaching history chronologically you will find that you can meet many of the historical skills required. I would demonstrate this plan still uses the educational content of the ANC (or NSW Syllabus) the only difference is you are also teaching in a slightly different sequence and adding a chronological history strand.
Here are some General World History Book Suggestions
Flexibility is built into the plan of the ANC (and the NSW Syllabus) as the desired learning outcomes are set out in stages even though they are presented in specific graded years.
For primary school the NSW Board of Studies suggests 6-10% of your time should be spent on history. This equates to 1 to 2.5 hours per week. However since this curriculum is so literature based you can also use much of this suggested curriculum for teaching English as well.
This strand is really Australian Social Studies from Foundation to Year 3. No chronological history is in the syllabus. Australian Book Traveller will help you meet many of your history (social studies) outcomes for Stage One (Foundation to Year Two).
This curriculum still uses all of the lovely literature that CM recommends plus it has the added bonus of covering a few other subjects. Using this curriculum you can fulfil nearly all outcome of the National Syllabus for this stage.
Worldview is a subject that is first brought up at this age. This is a good place to discuss that history is approached from different ideologies. You might also want to talk about having a Biblical worldview or a Secular worldview. An obvious conflict is between the Biblical worldview of creation and the secular worldview of evolution.
Museum visits will help your child identify things from the past. While covering your chronological history you can have your children draw artefacts from the past. Discuss how we get information from the past.
I suggest that while you meet the requirements of the curriculum you also begin studying history in chronological order. If you have a few children you will probably find it best to slot your Year One child into the history that matches the others so you don't have too much reading aloud. You can still teach the National Curriculum requirements but teach chronological history as well.
You might like to follow our History Makers - Creation To Christ curriculum.
This history guide will take you through Ancient History and the Bible. It will also help you meet the other objectives of historical skills and historical knowledge. You can read through the Bible as your main source of literature and add some historical fiction and creation science materials.
Story of The World Volume 1 Ancient Times From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor by Susan Wise Bauer is a good spine to start teaching Ancient History. You can also get it as an audio. That is the way my family have listened to it.
Booklist ideas Middle Ages Booklist .
Whilst some of the outcomes for stage two can be met using these two fun unit studies the bulk of the stage two outcomes are met in Year 4 when Australian history is studied.
Outcome: identifies celebrations, commemorations and symbols used of significance in Australia.
Mary MacKillop is an interesting person in Australia's history.
Outcome: Describes and explains a significant person who helped the development of Australia.
Story of The World Volume 3: Elizabeth the First to the Fourty Niners or buy the audio version.
This will work well with the National Curriculum because the time period is finished our next history period follows neatly with Australia's history.
Booklist ideas Middle Ages- The Crusades
The National Curriculum gives you three years to cover Australian history. The history lessons are still mixed up with Australian social studies. The scope and sequence that I suggest here will still cover all the content and outcomes but the sequence is different.
This year is all about Australian history. The National Curriculum splits Australian history into three time periods First Contacts Before 1800, The Colonies After 1800 to 1900 that are studied from Year 4 to 6. You can do these time periods in one year using an Australian history book. If you have been following the suggested chronological timetable you will find Australian history slots in nicely here. The Australian social studies component of the National curriculum we will leave for year 5 and six as we carry on our chronological history studies.
Our Sunburnt Country - An Illustrated History of Australia will take you through all of the National Curriculum time periods.
Add the Australian History Notebook and discussion to your reading and you can acheive the following outcomes.
Year 5 and Year 6
Civics and Democracy
This resource comes in two parts. It covers Prime Ministers of Australia and Australian government. You could do one each year.
Parliament, Prime Ministers and Politics will help you achieve this requirement.
Australian Biographical Stories (Primary Source material)
Three main biographical groups are highlighted in the syllabus for study. Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander story and An Asian Immigration Story. I highly recommend these two books. You can study one per year.
Sally's Story: "My Place" for Young Readers - Part 1 (My place) by Sally Morgan Tells the story of aboriginal children growing up in the 60's in Perth. This is a highly recommended book about the life of an Aboriginal family in the 1960’s.
The Happiest Refugee: A Memoir by Ahn Do. Excellent story of Vietnamese boat peoples' immigration to Australia. Some swearing. We read it as a read aloud. Not to be missed in my opinion.
Only a brief overview is expected (10% of the teaching time) and then three indepth studies are required over the each year.
Over 2 year there is a focus on Ancient history and then Ancient to Modern World. 50 hours per year (approx 1.25 hours per week) has been allocated to this subject. Only 10% of the time has been allocated to giving a broad overview of the curriculum and then six in depth studies are required.
If you desire to do more hours focussing on this subject choose historical subject matter for your English assignments.
Please note there is no specific coverage of British history or Jewish History in this Australian curriculum.
Year 7 -Ancient History
In the National Curriculum the study of world history begins from Year 7.
1. Ancient World - this begins with the origins of man. The National curriculum content comes from the evolutionary assumption of origins of man and the Africa theory. It also covers archaeology and fossils.
In our family we still teach archeology and inform our kids of the other theories out their about the origins of man but we use a Biblical worldview and the Bible as the historical base for teaching the origins of man.
2. Mediterranean World - This includes the civilizations of Greece, Rome and Egypt. You are only expected to teach one of these civilizations indepth.
When you study Ancient Rome you can also incorporate that into the study of the origins of Christianity and Jewish history. This is also the perfect time to teach Bible/Jewish history although not required by the National Curriculum. We have already taught this topic extensively in the primary years.
Egypt and Greece naturally fall into Biblical world history as well.
See our Ancient Rome and Greece Booklist
3.Asian World - You can choose India or Chinese Ancient History
This includes the history of China including Confucious and the Emperors around 2000BC to the Song Dynnasty 1200AD.
See our Asian History Booklist
Year 8 -Middle Ages
You will cover from The fall of the Roman Empire around 4th Century to 17th Century
From these three focus areas you are supposed to pick from one each group to do an idepth study.
Here is are some booklists to help Middle Ages and British Empire Booklist Europe Booklist Rennaissance and Reformation
(a) The Vikings (b) Italian Renaissance (c) Medievil Europe - (note this is the only place that British history is suggested for study it could also include the Crusades)
(d) Byzantine and Ottoman Empire - The rise of Islam.
2. The Asia - Pacific World
(a) Angkor/Khmer Empire (b) Japan and the Shoguns (c) Polynesian Expansion across the Pacific
3. Expanding Contacts
(a) Mongol Expansion (b) Spanish Conquest of America (c) Black Death of Asia, Europe and Africa
If you wish you can continue on with the final books in the Story of The World Series- Modern History. (Don't forget you can always use the audio books).
Three focus areas are
1. Making a better World.- industrial revolution, slaves, convicts and settlers
2.Asia and Australia -History of Australia and Asia
3.World War I - 1914 --1918
4.World War II
5. Rights and Freedoms
6. The Globalising World : Pop culture, migration experiences and the enviromental movement.
To see the curriculum suggestions on all subjects for a whole year check out graded scope and sequence.
Here are some more ideas for teaching Australian history.