If you have been following along, you now have a list of history topics on which to focus your reading. You may or may not have some books in mind already. If you do not, I highly recommend Tapestry of Grace’s Bookshelf Central. An “Advanced Catalog Search” of this website will present you with all kinds of literature related to history and divided by the classical stages of education. Of course, you may also prefer to not center all your literature around history. The joy of homeschooling is that it is completely up to you!
Generally speaking, it is not hard to come up with a list of great books. However, for novel studies, it would be best to limit your choices to 3-5 books for the entire year. This is not the only reading your students will do during the year. It is still extremely important that they do independent reading and that you read aloud to them. However, doing a full study on every book a child reads is overwhelming and could seriously hamper his joy of reading.
I usually pick four books with the idea that we will read one each quarter. That said, some books are longer and require more time. William is currently reading Twain’s “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” Naturally, this book is taking him longer than Avi’s “Iron Thunder” did. So how do you plan for this?
Once I know the books I’m going to have the student read, I do a search for literature guides. One of my favorite series is Lit Links by On the Mark Press. I think they do a great job of covering grammar and vocabulary while also putting together excellent comprehension questions. Many books do not have study guides written on them. For these, I recommend my book, “Now What: A Guide to Teaching Reading After Phonics.” It is full of worksheets that can be used with any literature. I say all this because many guides will have already divided the book into chunks. It can give you a sense of how long each book should take.
After figuring out how long you want to spend on each book, it is time to start filling out your chart. Be sure to place the books in the historical order that you want them to be read, and then begin filling out your chart. Each paper should show the chapters you want read that week and any activities you want them to accomplish. Outside of your literature guide activities, you might consider adding Reader’s Theater, during reading strategies, discussion topics, and reading response journals to their activities. One other thing to note. Make sure you write down the title of each new book in your plan as you write down the first chapters. I once forgot, and it took me 30 minutes of frantically searching my shelves and comparing books and lit guides to my plan to figure out what I had planned!
At this point, you should have a good sense of how to plan your year. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
...a self-avowed "Wander Woman," homeschools her three children while traipsing the globe with her Army Chaplain husband. Her third greatest passion, falling below her love for God and family, is empowering other parents to teach their children.