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Teaching the Trivium • Younger (K-3rd) • Middle (4th-8th) • Older (High School)
Frequently Asked Questions for Younger Student Ages (K-3rd)
Q: What age is considered “Younger”?
A: Younger Students are best defined as those between Kindergarten and 3rd grade or students older than that with learning challenges. Younger Student activities throughout the MOH are hands-on by nature. Even a high schooler may choose to occasionally participate in a Younger Student activity, particularly if younger siblings are involved. The whole family can streamline by choosing any activity and modifying it for each student as needed.
Q: What can I expect my Younger Student to learn?
A: Younger Students are not expected to master world history, but rather to be introduced to it. They are learning new names, new places, and new cultures. By the end of each volume, even a Younger Student will be familiar with about 100 characters of the time period. They will also begin to see God’s hand in history. Because of the built-in reinforcement of items like coloring pages, Folderbooks, Memory cards, timelines, etc, students are constantly reminded of previously studied lessons. Ideally, each name or event they hear triggers a memory of a story or project they created with their own hands. These memories will be built upon as the student matures and can attach more meaning and understanding to the events and stories.
Q: Can I start the MOH with a Kindergartener?
A: Yes! Even a young student can understand that there was a beginning. We call it Creation. It’s a great place to begin their studies as Volume I addresses who, why, and how the world began as described in Genesis 1:1. Furthermore, a Kindergartener will find the stories in the MOH to be lively, fascinating, and fun. After each lesson students can choose a hands-on activity to reinforce the story using their god-given senses. They can eat, burn, dye, sculpt, color, write, or build a multitude of projects to stimulate their learning experience. The “fun” stuff will help shape a positive attitude toward school. Students may or may not choose any of the other components available in the curriculum if they are not yet ready. You as the teacher can determine their readiness. Ideally, in a few years, this same student will repeat the MOH and advance to the next level of activities and involve themselves in all the components of the curriculum. Keep reading to learn what those components are.
Q: Does a Younger Student need a Bible atlas?
A: If a Younger Student is ready to begin basic map work, he or she will greatly benefit from The Student Bible Atlas by Tim Dowley. This atlas is colorful and easy to handle. Important mapping exercises in Volume I include the formation of the twelve tribes of Israel and the dividing of the Kingdoms after the reign of Solomon. These events alone are an excellent introduction to Bible history that helps unlock the Old Testament. Younger Students are not ready to grasp all the details but are introduced to these important events by mapping them. In Volume II students are asked to map the journeys of Paul. This teaches them the names of cities he visited and allows them to match those to Paul’s New Testament letters. The Student Bible Atlas is available for purchase on the MOH Online Store.
Q: Will a Younger Student need a historical atlas?
A: Some Younger Students are ready for this but many are not. The mapping exercises in all volumes of the MOH range from easy to difficult allowing you to choose those appropriate for your students. If a Younger Student shows maturity in understanding maps and enjoys coloring instructions, he or she may benefit from a historical atlas to guide them through the exercises. A historical atlas is unique in that it uses old names of old boundaries to define the land rather than modern names. Example: In Volume I, students are asked to map the boundaries of Alexander the Great’s empire on a blank map. This is very challenging and they will now have an answer key. Most Younger Students are not ready for this, but they may be able to look at a pre-made map of the region and appreciate the size of the empire. A suggested resource is A Historical Atlas of the World by Rand McNally and is available at the MOH Online Store.
Q: What are Memory Cards?
A: Memory cards are student or teacher-made flashcards. They are a valuable tool for all ages. Not all Younger Students are capable of writing the cards, but many can benefit from the experience of making them by either dictating main points to a teacher or copying sentences from the book. The process of deciding what goes on the cards is a lesson in summarizing main points or practicing dictation and narration. Once made, a teacher can use the flash cards to ask something like, “Tell me one thing about Hammurabi.” Or, “Give me one fact about Noah.” Young Students minds are being filled with information during the Grammar stage and Memory Cards are a great way to do that. Mastery comes later.
You can use 3 x 5 index cards and store them in an index card holder. However, some younger Students may find the lines too small to write on. Medium sized binders and 5 x 8 cards are an alternative as well as full size binders.
Q: If my child is not quite ready for Memory Cards, are there other choices for reinforcement?
A: Yes! Bright Ideas Press has created two products for Younger and/or Middle Students to consider for reinforcement. They are coloring pages and Folderbooks. Each of the 36 page set of downloadable coloring pages is a beautiful collage of one week’s worth of lessons. These are not juvenile coloring pages, but rather sophisticated so that many ages might enjoy them.
Folderbooks are a bit more involved as a paper/cardstock keepsake that students can cut, fold, color and assemble as part of their studies. Folderbooks are especially helpful to the visual and kinesthetic learner who better grasp concepts that can be felt, seen, and organized. Folderbooks can be made simple or grandiose depending on the age and interest of the student. Very young students may choose to save these when taking another trip through The Mystery of History.
Q: What is a good way to make a timeline for a Younger Student?
A: The point of a timeline is to see a big picture of what was happening when around the world. Therefore, the younger the student, the bigger the timeline ought to be to help them have this visual. The author gives directions for creating a timeline on a foldable sewing board (also called a pattern cutting board). These boards are typically available at Wal-Mart, Joanne Fabrics, or Hobby Lobby. If a sewing board is difficult to find, science project boards and refrigerator boxes are good replacements. As students study the MOH, they place 3-5 timeline figures on the board per week. Many MOH Younger Students choose this as their only extra component to the curriculum because it is fun and easy. The book instructs students how to make their own timeline figures with memorable add-ons (a burnt match for Gideon to represent a torch, garlic salt on the Phoenicians to represent their famous stinky dye, etc) Students who find hand made figures too tedious may opt to cut and color pre-made timeline figures. The author recommends Amy Pak’s Homeschool in the Woods timeline figures. (These are available on card stock or cdrom. The advantage of the cd rom package is that the same figures can be blown up and made into coloring pages. They’re beautiful!)
Q: What kind of activities are there for Younger Students?
A: Examples found in Volume I
The Sumerians: make a cuneiform tablet out of modeling clay
Early Egyptians: roll up student and stuffed animal like a mummy using toilet tissue
Ramses the Great: Summarize Egyptian kingdoms with folding paper pyramid
The destruction of Nineveh: build a sand castle and use a garden hose to wash it away
Ezekiel: form an edible scroll of bread and honey
Belshazzar: Draw mysterious handwriting on the wall
Xerxes I: build a Greek battle ship of foam and toothpicks
Hippocrates: use a mortar and pestle to grind spices for medicine
Alexander the Great: students write their name using the Greek alphabet
The Maccabean Revolt: light a menorah commemorating the miracle of Hanukkah
Examples found in Volume II
Dead Sea Scrolls: create an ancient document
Constantine: construct a battle shield
Fall of the Roman Empire: play a shopping game to understand “inflation”
King Arthur: sample Celtic music
Gregory the Great: dress up like a monk
Wu Zetian: build a pagoda birdfeeder
King Alfred: make an Anglo-Saxon helmet
Eleanor of Aquitaine: host a Medieval feast
Eric the Red: build an igloo
Robert Bruce: create a spider web of Silly String
Examples found in Volume III
Dias and DaGama Round the Cape of Good Hope: make a miniature spice filled “Treasure Chest”
Christopher Columbus: brew a “Sailor’s Sherbert Float” with apple ships
The Safavid Empire of Persia: weave a paper Persian rug
Erasmus: visualize and discuss different world views using shaded glasses
Cortes and Pizarro - Conquistadors of Spain: build a “party popper” miniature cannon
Elizabeth I: create “Regal Stand-ups” displaying the wardrobe of Queen Elizabeth
England defeats the Spanish Armada: Play “Sink the Spanish!” with water bottles in a tub or pool
Tokugawa Japan: dress like a ninja using illustrated directions for head gear
Founding of Jamestown: make a feather headband like Chief Powhatan
The Separatists of England: Have fun with water, oil, and sugar as a word picture for understanding differences between the Puritans and Separatists
Q: What would a typical week look like for a Younger Student?
A: Each volume contains three lessons per week. Volume I contains 108 short lessons(1-3 pages) based on 36 school weeks. Volumes II and III contain 84 long lessons (2-4 pages) based on 28 school weeks.
Monday: Oral Pre-test and Lesson #1 with an activity of choice. Students may enjoy coloring while listening to a story read by the teacher or the author on CD.
Tuesday: Lesson #2 and an activity of choice
Wednesday: Lesson #3 and an activity of choice
Thursday: As bonus, students may choose on this day to make timeline figures and memory cards, Folderbooks, or finish any activities not completed earlier in the week.
Friday: If ready, students may do basic map work and take a quiz. Or use this day for additional outside reading.
A variation of the above schedule may look like this:
Monday: Oral Pre-test and Lesson #1 (read by teacher or author with or without coloring pages)
Wednedsay: Lesson #2 and Lesson #3
Friday: Optional mapping, timeline and/or quiz
Q: Can this curriculum be finished in a year?
A: It is set up to complete in one year with 3 lessons per week for 36 weeks. However, many families with younger students are choosing to spread it out over one and a half or two years. Your pace can be set by your choices of activities, field trips, and additional readings. A family can “speed up” the course when necessary by reading through the lessons and leaving out other components. Flexibility is found easy in The Mystery of History.
If you have any questions and would like someone to contact you, please feel free to send an email to one of these ladies:
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