The kids and I have been working our way through WinterPromise’s American Story 2 program. Well, more accurately, we’ve been working our way through the awesome booklist without actually owning the guide/schedule. I thought about buying the guide at the beginning of the year, but that was the only thing I wanted from them, and shipping for that one item was, like, $15! So I decided I could put the books in chronological order myself and obtain supplemental resources online and from the library as needed. We don’t have a huge homeschool budget, and I would much rather use our resources to buy “real” books than spend $95 ($80 for the guide and $15 to ship it) on a guide that I might not get much use out of, anyway. I did buy the guide when we were doing American Story 1, but I definitely don’t feel that it was worth the price. Mostly, I just glanced at it occasionally to see which new books were coming up.
So far this year, we have made it from the Civil War period to right around the year 1900. Currently, we’re reading about the Klondike/Yukon/Alaskan Gold Rush, which is really an interesting subject that is somewhat near and dear to my heart, as I did a big school research project on it when I was in eighth grade (including writing and illustrating a fictional short story). Also, I used to really love playing a computer game called The Yukon Trail, created by the same company (MECC) that made The Oregon Trail game. I was able to find The Yukon Trail game for my kids, and they are now enjoying playing it as well, and I love that it is enhancing their studies.
It occurred to me, today, though, that we are approaching the World War era, and I just don’t think my kids, at ages 6 and 8, are ready to learn about the harsh realities and tragedies of modern warfare. Besides, there really are not many good books (like, pretty close to zero, it seems) for young children about World War 1. Even the WW1 book WinterPromise includes in this program is not written at an elementary level at all (I skimmed it this morning and realized it would bore the kids to tears). So I think my new plan is to finish up the program books about the Klondike Gold Rush, immigration, and inventions, and then save the war stuff for a while, maybe inserting our leftover books into a more advanced American history course in a few years.
Maybe when we’re done with our history studies this year, I’ll actually get around to doing the Apologia Botany course that I’ve been avoiding (ugh…experiments! I even have a ready-made experiment kit, so I really have no excuse). Actually, doing the course in spring and summer makes a lot of sense, due to nicer weather and more growing things to observe.