Last month, I introduced a series of blog posts that I plan to go through over the next few months, sharing some of my favorite Charlotte Mason homeschool resources broken down by subject. These are the ones we’ve tried and have been so helpful in making our days run more smoothly. They have also engaged my kids in whatever subject we’re covering. In some cases, they’re resources that have been made by other homeschooling moms or are from reputable homeschooling companies, and sometimes they’re just different items that have been helpful to us in a specific subject.
These are by no means the only resources out there, and I will offer others in some subjects that I have heard of but haven’t had the chance to try yet, or I have friends who have used them and appreciate them. But the main list will be the resources we’ve used in our homeschool over the last (almost) six years that have been so helpful to us.
Today I’m sharing resources for History and Plutarch! Plutarch actually falls under “Citizenship” instead of history. Still, since he wrote short biographies, and that’s such a powerful and engaging method for learning history, I’m including these two in the same post.
Much that has been said about the teaching of geography applies equally to that of history. Here, too, is a subject which should be to the child an inexhaustible storehouse of ideas, should enrich the chambers of his House Beautiful with a thousand tableaux, pathetic and heroic, and should form in him, insensibly, principles whereby he will hereafter judge of the behaviour of nations, and will rule his own conduct as one of a nation. (Home Education)Charlotte Mason (Home Education)
We use AmblesideOnline for our history spine texts (I have only replaced a few of the books), and then I also like to supplement with other books to add more diversity. The other websites listed above offer many lists of living books that provide different perspectives of a given timeframe in history. Stories of Color is particularly helpful as you can search by Form and time period. For my Form 2 student, I have assigned some of these as readings he does on his own and then narrates to me. The rest of the books have been available in a basket that I keep in our homeschool area for the kids to read at their leisure, which usually means as soon as I put them out at the beginning of each term.
We also put entries into our Books of Centuries (me too :)) once per week, usually written ones the first three weeks of the month and then a drawing on the last week. This allows us to see how events and lives happening in different areas of the world overlap, which has been very interesting!
The Lives are read to the children almost without comment, but with necessary omissions. Proper names are written on the blackboard, and then the children narrate what they have listened to.Charlotte Mason (School Education)
Plutarch, has left us a wonderful store-house of great ideas and examples, showing how the life of the individual is the life of the state, and that where private standards are high or low, public morality is upheld or falls…R. A. Pennethorne (Parents’ Review)
AO schedules Plutarch to begin in Year 4; however, we chose to go with the PNEU Form II schedule instead and read Stories from the History of Rome in Year 4, and then started Plutarch in Year 5. Along with Plutarch, per the recommendation of a friend, we also started reading the Peeps at Many Lands series, which gives a neat little glimpse (or peep) at these ancient civilizations. The first chapter is a little slow, but they pick up quickly, and you soon begin reading about how the cities are set up or how the military is structured (and “seeing” the individual soldiers and battleships up close!). I chose to read these books with my student, but these could also be read by your student on their own.
I really appreciate Anne White’s guides, all available free on the AO website, as they include the main text and many helpful notes and summaries, especially since I had zero experience with Plutarch prior to finding Charlotte Mason. I print these out at the beginning of the Term and put them in a three-ring binder to use throughout the term. I do pre-read our Plutarch selections as the language is thick, and usually, when I’m reading it the second time with my student, it makes more sense than the first reading.
Before I begin reading that week’s selection with my student, I go over the names of places and people we will be reading about and write them on our tabletop whiteboard (more on that in a later post) so he has them for quick reference when he’s narrating. Maps have also been helpful, and I found a wonderful site that includes maps for several different Lives that I linked to above. I print these out and laminate them as they will be useful for different Lives, and I will use them with both of my students.
So these are the resources we use in our Charlotte Mason homeschool for History and Plutarch! In my next post in the series, I’ll be sharing our favorite resources for Language Arts! If you’re not signed up for my newsletter, click here to get a notification when the new post is available!
Other posts in the series:
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