What did you love about the Early American Primary study?
We loved the Early American Study because it includes beautiful and living books. The teacher guide is very thorough; it breaks each book into bite size pieces (perfect for this age group) and asks narration questions to guide both child and teacher in reflecting upon what was just read. References to the Bible and character-building quotes are used throughout, and wonderful resources are offered (such as the free picture packet found online)!
Which book was your favorite?
Such a hard question! There are a few we did not finish when going through this study, and we will circle back around and read them while doing our current Modern American and World History... but of the many we did read, I absolutely loved Pilgrim Stories (I found it so fascinating). I also must say I love all of the d'Aulaire books ~ you can't go wrong with any of those!
Why do you find history important for children to learn starting at a young age?
I feel history is so important. I remember when I was growing up, it was made into a “big deal” of taking notes, memorizing facts, taking tests, etc. I felt as if it was a chore. Since we didn't start learning history until we were older, I subconsciously assumed it was something that was “difficult” ~ something for only older students because the younger kids couldn't handle it.
I think if we introduce history in story format (history is, indeed, a story), children will grow into it...grow WITH it... loving it along the way. Since we home educate, I decided to begin history early ~ only teaching through living books and online resources that help it come to life. My children often hear me talking about my past in school... how even though I was a straight A student, I really didn't know much about history. I learned for the test and dumped what was in my brain. They see me learning alongside them, being enthusiastic about the learning... the stories we're reading. If we don't look backward and learn from the past, we will never be able to effectively move forward into the future.
What is your favorite part of using living books to teach your children?
I love living books because I can enjoy them with my kiddos. They are stories ~ we are ALL wanting to know what will happen next and desiring just 'one' more chapter! Living books aren't intimidating or dry... they are books that come to life, immersing us into the time period. How better to learn?!
For first time parent using this study, what tip would you give them?
I would advise to go at your own pace. If a child shows extra interest in a particular book or time period, linger a little longer! Use the websites suggested, or find some others! When asking the narration questions, try to throw in some suggestions/thoughts of your own before looking up the correct answer in the back. Show them you are on their side, learning right alongside them!
As you look forward into your homeschool year what are you most excited about?
We are now doing the Modern American and World History, and I'm loving it! I look forward to all the living books we will read! I'm also excited about seizing the opportunity for a second chance to learn history myself... and to help it come alive for my children.
What was the biggest take away from your last year of homeschooling?
I have learned that each home education journey will look different. Yours will look different from mine, and that is more than okay. I try not to feel pressure to fit a mold, but instead to embrace our unique learning styles and needs. I am learning more and more each year to extend grace both to my children and to myself. All of our days won't look picture perfect... but I hope we can learn and grow from each one.
Describe the EA study in three words.
Beautiful, Thorough, Captivating
Annie is a homeschooling mother of three living in Mississippi teaching her kids how to learn freely. Follow along her journey @learningfreely