|Posted on May 30, 2013 at 8:35 AM|
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One of the main reasons I wanted to cover an Ancient Civilizations unit or lapbook is because sometimes a history study can get draggy. Focusing on the details of history, though I love absolutely doing that, can get a bit sluggish because you lose the momentum of the overview. There are lot of kids and teachers alike that are I-have-to-see-the-big-picture-before-I-get it people. Me? I love history any oh way you serve it up but can get buried in all the details. I appreciate the big picture too. It is important to pull up and away and look at the big picture so you understand the major players of ancient history. For us, I think after we examine the big picture and come up for air, it gives us another bunny trail to go down. You know what I mean? Often times, I end up with more units or topics than school months to learn about them.
Too, if you start homeschooling with older children and are wanting to cover some time periods like ancient civilizations that are normally given just a glimpse in public school, then a unit focusing on great empires or ancient civilizations is key to understanding them. It is key to keeping history fun and relevant.
Though Mesopotamia is an early civilization, it can be confusing to understand about Sumer. So I made it a separate minibook. Understanding that Sumer developed in Mesopotamia which I normally explain to my boys as an area located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers helps to understand that Sumer was an early civilization too.
From there it is easier to associate the Sumerian ruler, Sargon, which I had made a minibook about him in my first round when covering this time period. This time I made a minibook focusing more on what they actually invented which was a system of writing and irrigation. Because they were farmers, irrigation was an important livelihood. Understanding how irrigation helped them to live farther away from the rivers is an important concept in explaining how they thrived as a civilization. Sure, it probably is not as glamorous to study about farming and irrigation as maybe studying about mummies, but it is solid because it is the roots of ancient civilization.
So here is the next minibook. As usual, I try to give some accompanying facts and as always you don't have to use them. I provide them as I can because we do lapbooks as enrichment and my time is limited sometimes so I know your time can be too. Also, these minibooks can be glued on pages for notebooking. You decide. Sometimes we do a lapbook, sometimes the older boys glue the minibook on pages for a notebook.
One curriculum that we are using right now too because I am interested in getting a bird's eye view on history is Western Civilization Study by Brimwood Press. I have a choice of curriculum that I like to review and I am giddy about this newest one we have been using. This review will be coming up soon. The reason I am excited about this one is because in a few short lessons you span several thousands of years of history. In fourteen lessons you span 5,000 years. A great teaching tool for getting a sweeping overview of history. We are already loving it. You have to check it out.
I can't wait to tell you more as we are so engaged going through it.
I hope you enjoy the Sumer book. It makes studying history a bit more fun when you can cover civilizations, hit the highlights and move on.
Do you find it hard to teach the highlights of history?
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