Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Getting Started Homeschooling - Part Two - Deciding Your Philosophy

This is the second post in this series. You can read Part One: Deciding if it's Right for Your Family first if it would be helpful for you.

Once a family has made the decision to homeschool most assume the next step in the journey is deciding what materials they will use to educate their children. This is important to be sure but there is yet something that precedes this. First you need to determine your educational approach - the philosophy/methodology by which you will filter all other decisions. This first step and the next (this is when you choose what materials you will use) are typically the most time consuming of all.

Before you decide the "What?" (curriculum choices) of your school you should decide the "Why?" and that "Why?" will largely determine the "How?" Will you follow a Classical approach? Charlotte Mason? Unschooling? Textbook/Traditional Method? Eclectic? Unit studies? Waldorf? Montessori? Will you use an online school? An umbrella school? There are other options as well.

Skipping this step can be a bit like preparing for a long trip not exactly sure where you are going and no map to guide your way. You probably have a pretty good notion of where you would like to go? Do you like hiking in the mountains or laying on the beach? A busy trip to an historic city or a more peaceful time browsing art museums? And if you are not exactly sure where you want to go, what do you pack? How do you prepare? How do you get the most out of your time if you spend much of each day planning the next? And with no map, you don't know the specifics of HOW you will even get there. You may get to your final destination...or not. And if you do, it won't be because you were efficient in the journey, unless you are insanely lucky. ;) No one would ever plan a trip like that. And no one should start (or get very far) on a homeschool journey without deciding where they want to go and the best vehicle (educational method) to get them there.

What you decide about which educational approach you will adopt is influenced by many factors which can include (but is not limited to):
  • how you feel children best learn
  • how you feel about the education you received
  • your ultimate goals for homeschooling
  • your personality: type A or laid back?
  • your child's learning style and personality
  • what you can commit as a teacher: Will you work while homeschooling? Do you have any health issues that may limit your role? Any mental health concerns?
  • other family factors: large family? small family? special needs child(ren) who will require large amounts of time and/or attention?
  • budget
Now let me pause here and say that I have an education degree and I never, ever learned about different educational methodologies. Kids learn one way in most public schools - textbooks/traditional. There was no need to teach us about other ideologies we wouldn't be able to implement anyway. When I made the decision to homeschool and started hearing all these terms I was completely overwhelmed. It was akin to learning another language. And the more I read, the more words were thrown at me. If you are already feeling like I was, just breathe. Seriously, it will get better soon. :)

So, where do you go from here? It depends on your level of overwhelmedness (*giggle*) at this moment and how much time you have before starting to homeschool. You can read this short article (or just google "homeschool methods" for tons of other links) for a quick overview. Then I would recommend Homeschooling Methods: Seasoned Advice on Learning Styles by Paul and Gena Suarez. This book shares about each method by first giving an introduction and then following up with articles from experts in that particular area. Very readable, very informative and very well done.

Next I would offer Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum. This book also gives a brief overview of different methods but is not nearly as in depth as the prior book in this. It also begins to cross over into what the third post in this series will cover dealing with choosing your curriculum but has much that will help you get to that point. Her first five chapters are: (1) How on Earth Do I Figure Out What Curriculum to Use? (2) "Drill and Kill", "Real Books", "Delight-Directed Studies"...What's Best? (3) Putting Together Your Philosophy of Education (4) Learning Styles: How Does My Child Learn Best? (5) Who Should Learn What and When? These two books together I feel compliment each other well. If you only had time/desire to read one, I would go with 100 Top Picks.

I hope you are feeling a bit empowered. You can do this. It is overwhelming for just about everyone in the beginning. Really it is. You will look back on this someday and smile. Really!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Decorating: I'm Trying! ;)

Recently I referred to my old "Confessions" post. Confession #6 was about how I cannot buy my own clothes (now I can organize a closet full of clothes, but the buying of them - ICK!) and I certainly can't accessorize. This applies to my home as well. Decorating is not my cuppa. Yet recently I have been so inspired by different decorating blogs out there.

I think it has something to do with the fact that I no longer have babies in the house. I have a tiny bit more time to devote to actually thinking about what I want my home to look like. I love going to Mt. Hope Chronicles and looking through her "Project Hedi" posts (and lately I want to visit just to see all those adorable pictures of little Lola Collette, too!) And I just adore the Nester. When I grow up I want my house to look just like theirs. ;)

In the meantime I have taken a baby step (and yes, it is truly a baby step) towards decorating. I decided that for one year I would keep a centerpiece on my island that I would change with the seasons. I got the idea of using these candles from Heidi at Mt. Hope years ago. I bought the candles and they sat in a cabinet until a few months ago. Here is what is currently sitting on my island. (I cheated and already changed it out for Christmas since we leave town in the morning and won't come back until the weekend. I wanted to come back and already have the house decorated for Christmas so I was a busy beaver this weekend).

Here is what it looked like before when I had it decorated for Thanksgiving.

I wish I would have taken a picture of what it looked like in October; it was precious. I had Halloween ribbon and candy corn filled the bottom of the plate. Just wanted to share something silly and fun.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Five Dollar Friday: Shredded Barbecue Chicken Stuffed Potatoes

Stuffed baked potatoes are one of my favorite comfort foods. Mix that with one of my other favorite comfort foods, barbecue, and you have comfort food heaven! On top of that, this recipe is perfect for a busy school day and, if you watch your toppings, it's healthy to boot. Take five minutes to pop the ingredients in the crock pot at your morning break and you will have the majority of dinner ready in a few short hours.

One tip: There are a few times a year you can be sure to find great sales on barbecue sauces - Memorial Day, Labor Day and Fourth of July. These holidays that revolve around grilling are a great time to stock up on your favorite sauce for cheap!!! I typically make my own sauce using a kid-friendly modified version of this yummy recipe from, but when a good sauce goes on sale for $1 a bottle I can't pass it up.

Shredded Barbecue Chicken Stuffed Potatoes

3 lbs bone-in skin-on chicken breast
1 bottle favorite barbecue sauce
4 baking potatoes (about a lb one for Dad & smaller ones for the kids and Mom)
4 T butter
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
a few tablespoons of corn starch or arrowroot starch (optional)

1. Place chicken in crock pot and pour barbecue sauce over the top.
2. Cover and turn crock pot on high for 4 hours.
3. Remove chicken and allow to cool slightly. Remove skin, take chicken off bone and shred.
4. Skim sauce in crock pot to remove any extra grease.
5. This step is totally optional: If your sauce is too thin or you just prefer a thicker one, remove a cup or two and place in a small saucepan. In a separate small bowl, combine 2 T corn/arrowroot starch with equal amount hot barbecue sauce until it's completely dissolved. Pour starch mixture into barbecue sauce and raise temperature until it comes to a very gentle boil and thickens desired amount. Add more corn/arrowroot starch if needed (using the technique of dissolving first in small amount of hot liquid) to get to desired thickness. Add mixture back to crock pot.
6. Return chicken to crock pot. Turn crock pot to low, allowing mixture to simmer and all flavors to meld for 30-60 minutes.
7. In the meantime prepare potatoes (check out if you need help with this step).
8. When potatoes are ready, sprinkle all generously with salt and pepper. Stuff each with one tablespoon of butter, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/4-1/2 cup chicken mixture with sauce and top with 1/4 cup cheese.
9. Enjoy!

Thoughts on this recipe:

My first attempt at chicken in the crock pot was a similar recipe a friend shared with me that started by using boneless skinless chicken breasts. That time the meat turned out a little dry and had a bit of an odd texture. When I tried it this way, on the bone and with skin, it was juicy and wonderful...and the meat had even been previously frozen for two months.

To thicken or not to will depend on your preference, how thick your barbecue sauce is to begin and how much water is retained in your chicken (most chicken has water added, some more than others).

You can add more seasonings to the crock pot when starting if desired. A teaspoon of garlic powder and/or onion powder can be yummy if your sauce is a bit bland. Or a kick of cayenne if you like it hot (just don't forget about the kiddos!), or an extra tablespoon or two of honey or molasses if you want a sweeter sauce.

I skip all toppings and simply use the chicken and barbecue sauce on my potato to keep calories lower. I love all the butter, sour cream and cheese but don't need it. My skinny boys, now that's another story. :)

Cost Breakdown: $6.14 (with plenty left for a mommy lunch later that week :)
$ 3.00 - chicken breast (bought on sale for $.99 per lb)
$ 1.00 - barbecue sauce (see note at top of post)
$ .75 - baking potatoes (from a 5# bag purchased on sale and with coupon for $1.00)
$ . 28 - butter (sale)
$ . 50 - sour cream (sale for $1 for pint)
$ .61 - cheddar cheese (I buy in bulk each month at wholesale club)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Needful Medicine

Almost three years ago I did a post called Confessions because I never want others to think I have it all together. I didn't then; I certainly don't now. All those confessions I wrote 34 months ago still are true today, but recently God has been showing me I need to grow much in one particular area. And He has revealed this to me through my middle son, Haddon, the one I have nicknamed, "Chocolate Eyes". When you see your own weaknesses showing up in your children it is humbling...and saddening... and a huge kick in the pants. From that old post:
Confession #5: I take myself and life in general waaaaay too seriously. I need to laugh a lot more and chill out. Dh used to tell me that on a scale of one to ten everything for me was a 12 - from the Tupperware drawer to something that really matters. I have come a long way but still have much room for growth
Haddon is taking after me in this area and it grieves my heart. But I am greatly encouraged in this...I know the cure, or at least part of it. Laughter! Yep, laughter. Dh is such a blessing to me in this. When I am in one of my "take myself too seriously" modes he has wisdom enough to know that the salve for my soul in that moment is laughter. And I have seen several times this week that it will be the salve for Haddon, too.

This change needs to first start with me. The adage, "It is better caught than taught" rings true here. My boys will learn to laugh at the little things (and sometimes the big things, too) when they see me doing so. Knowing that Mommy doesn't sweat the small stuff will give them freedom to do the same. How far I have to grow in this. How very, very far.

To inspire myself I have found quotes on laughter. I am printing these off and putting them in my Teacher Notebook and on my fridge. I want my house to be marked more often by the sound of children laughing. For when my boys think back on their childhood to remember that we laughed as a family. Because where there is laughter there is joy. Proverbs 22:17 says, "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
~ ee cummings

Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.
~ Lord Byron

The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.
~ Mark Twain

Laughter is the brush that sweeps away the cobwebs of your heart.
~ Mort Walker

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.
~ Victor Hugo

Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God.
~ Karl Barth

Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.
~ Mark Twain


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Getting Started Homeschooling - Part One - Deciding if it's Right for Your Family

Through my church or this blog, I get lot of calls and emails from moms who are either thinking about or have already made the decision to homeschool. The majority of the calls/emails begin basically the same: "Where do I go from here?" I am beginning a series of posts I can reference that will hopefully be a resource for moms starting out on this journey...or even moms who have already jumped in and are learning as they go.

If you have already decided homeschooling is for you, feel free to skip this post. The second in this series (Deciding Your Philosophy) will be published soon and that one may be more helpful for you.

Last I want to say, borrowing from Lisa Whelchel's So You Are Thinking About Homeschooling, I am not anti-traditional school (be it public or private). I am just pro-homeschool...for our family. This is a very personal decision and I am not one who feels homeschooling is right for every family in all seasons of life. I want to be dogmatic about the things that Scripture is dogmatic about and give freedom in the areas where we have liberty. I think homeschooling is certainly an area of liberty in the Christian life. Deuteronomy 6: 4-9 details the parents' responsibility to teach their children God's truths:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Nowhere in the above passage does it specifically detail HOW we are to make this a reality for our family; homeschooling is one way that this passage can be applied. In my opinion, you can be obedient to the command of this Scripture and have your children in public or private school, too. Furthermore, there are also many reasons not to homeschool that a family need to consider before beginning, too. I think that for any family though, it is a worthy investment of time to thoughtfully consider all educational options for their children before beginning.

And now onto the reason for this are thinking about homeschooling and you ended up here. First, I would love to humbly point you to two posts I have written. The first details our journey into homeschooling (Why We Homeschool - Part One) and the second gives the specific reasons our family has chosen this path (Why We Homeschool - Part Two). I also have thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Greg Sherman's article titled, "Ten Good Reasons to Homeschool."

If you would like to learn even more about the specifics of homeschooling here are two books that can provide much more information. The first is,
So You're Thinking About Homeschooling: Fifteen Families Show How You Can Do It. This was the book a friend put in my hand when I told her I was pretty sure we would give homeschooling a try. Whelchel gives a snapshot of fifteen families who all homeschool for different reasons and in different ways. It is a quick read and I was so encouraged after reading it years ago. I think you will be, too.
The second book is called The Homeschooling Option: How to Decide When It's Right for Your Family by Lisa Rivero. This book goes into greater detail about the specifics of homeschooling. One of my favorite chapters is Chapter 7, "Parent Coffee Break: Frequently Asked Questions". I think both of these books together are an excellent one-two punch for someone wanting to earnestly learn more about what homeschooling really is and if it might be a fit for their family.

This is certainly not an exhaustive study on this topic. If you google "why we homeschool" or "reasons to homeschool" you will find pages and pages and pages of information. I have tried to find just a few of the resources I personally have enjoyed or that others I trust have used with success. Use this as your stepping stone and research more if you need additional information. And many blessings on your journey. My hope and prayer is that you are able to come to a decision that you feel a great peace about and one you feel will bless your entire family, whether that is homeschooling or not.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Five Dollar Friday: Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Recently Thatcher, Haddon and I had lunch at Panera. Thatch tried this soup and loved it. I immediately came home and started searching for a similar recipe to make for our family. I made a pot and Thatch declared that it was just as good as what he had at the restaurant. :) And you can get it on the table in less than 30 minutes if you cheat like I did and start with a rotisserie chicken and a box of chicken stock.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
(a nod to Panera Bread)

1 box long grain & wild rice w/seasoning packet (I used Uncle Ben's 6 oz)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 a yellow onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup all purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water (optional)
2 cooked chicken breasts off rotisserie chicken chopped in bite-sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups milk (I used 2 % to get some richness but keep calories and fat lower)

1. Prepare rice according to directions; set aside.
2. Heat olive oil on medium heat in stock pot and cook onion until translucent. Add celery and carrot and cook 3 more minutes or until slightly tender.
3. Remove vegetable mixture from pan and save. Add butter to stockpot and melt. Add flour slowly and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
4. Add chicken stock slowly, also stirring constantly. Raise temperature to medium high and cook until slightly thickened.
5. Lower temp to medium low. Add cooked vegetables, rice, chicken and milk to pot. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until heated through and thickened. Add water as needed until soup is desired consistency.

Thoughts about this recipe:

I love soup. When fall arrives in Houston I am always excited about two things: no more mosquitoes (for a few months anyway) and making soup. But soup is more of an art than a science; a recipe is just a starting place in my opinion. ;) This soup is no different. The recipe above is a mixture of four different recipes I found and above is the way I like it. You may want more veggies or less, more chicken, thicker, thinner, whole milk or even heavy cream (yum, but oh the calories!). Use this as a place to start. Just be sure to snag your ingredients on sale to keep price of final meal low. I used several organic ingredients in my soup so your price will be lower if you use non-organic or will balance it all out if you can't get some of the ingredients on sale.

Cost Breakdown: $6.70 (recipe makes enough for dinner and a lunch or two for dh to take to work)

$ .14 -olive oil
$ .25 - 1/2 yellow onion
$. 20 -2 organic carrots
$ . 25 - 2 celery stalks
$1.50 - 4 cups organic chicken stock (one box on sale)
$2.00 - 2 chicken breasts off rotisserie chicken (sale)
$ 1.29 - 1 package long grain and wild rice (sale)
$ .05 - 3/4 cup all purpose flour
$. 40 1/2 cup butter (sale)
$ .62 - 2 cups organic milk (sale)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Considering Tapestry

November has barely begun and already I am thinking about next fall and beyond. This year will complete our first rotation through the Classical cycle as outlined in The Well Trained Mind: Year One - ancient history & biology, Year Two - medieval history & astronomy/earth science, Year Three - early modern history & chemistry, Year Four - modern history & physics.

I have always assumed I would use Tapestry of Grace as the next step in our homeschool journey. I love what moms have to say about TOG. I hear things time and again like this, "Challenging reading. Thought-provoking questions/answers and activities, and LOTS of great discussions." They operate from a Christian world-view and one of the main goals of Tapestry is to educate kids in a way that they grow in their love for God and His world. Because so much of my own education was lacking, my hope for TOG is that it will support me as I endeavor to provide for my boys the education I never had all within a Christian context.

I spent time this afternoon watching the informational videos on their site. I have also printed off the 3 week Egypt sample and plan to spend time this week looking over it and learning more. I devoted a chunk of time over at the WTM forums seeing what others have had to say about TOG as well as over at the Tapestry forums. So far I love all that I see. No curriculum is, or ever will be, perfect. But TOG aligns with my goals better than any other program/curriculum I have seen so far.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Voting Has Begun!

The nominees are up for the 6th Annual Blog Awards at the Homeschool Post. Voting runs from now through November 18th at midnight so hurry over and vote for your favorite blogs. And wanna know what I'll be doing the next several nights? Checking out many of the nominated blogs! I saw tons of old favorites but oodles and oodles of new blogs to browse as well.

Congratulations to all the nominees and happy voting!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

And we haven't eaten McDonald's since...

Okay so this graphic is tiny here. But check it out full-size and see if it doesn't stop you in your tracks like it did me.
I have never thought I fed my kids much fast all. But we always enjoyed dollar burgers and fries at Burger King on Wednesdays as our "Hump Day" treat. All of us could eat for $6 since we all got dollar burgers, shared an order of fries and drank water. Then this summer I started going through McDonald's drive-thru for dollar breakfast burritos on Sunday mornings on the way to church. I had to be there at 7:30am with all three kids in tow and I could feed the boys for $3.20 ($1 burritos for Thatch and Hadd and $1.19 sausage/biscuit combo for Beck). I know. I know. I should know better. You don't get anything (worthwhile) for free (or even close to it)!

It didn't seem like much because out of 21 meals in a week and 14 snacks only 2 consisted of fast food. That's just barely more than 5%, right? But then when I stop and think that 2 times a week x 52 weeks a year means my kids will eat fast food 104 times a year. And that doesn't count travel, special events, birthday parties and such. It's not crazy to think my kids could be eating fast food 150 times a year. YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was contemplating all this when dh sent me the link to this graphic and we haven't walked in a McDonald's or Burger King since. That's not to say that Chick-Fil-A isn't still on the menu every once and again! ;) Now for our hump day treat we spread out a blanket on our living room floor and have a picnic while we watch an episode of Magic School Bus or Liberty Kids and on Sunday mornings we have breakfast burritos I make the night before. I will choose not to stress if we just have to grab fast food sometime, but at least we will hopefully be eating fast food more like 20 times a year rather than 100 or more!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Our Plan for SOTW 4 (Condensed to 21 Weeks) and Books to Compliment

We are in our fourth year using the Story of the World series by Susan Wise-Bauer. We have thoroughly enjoyed this introduction to history. The stories have captivated Thatcher's imagination even though we never got to most of the fun projects suggested in the Activity Guide...or the mapwork or the color pages. We simply read the chapters, often listening to them on audio-book, and talked about them when time allowed. In addition I've have always tried to have a book or two to go along with most chapters for additional reading and a few history resource books on the shelf if he wanted to learn still more. And that's been enough to for him to develop a passion for history. He loves it!!!

Each summer I pre-read the volume of SOTW we will be using the upcoming year so I can begin to prepare myself as I didn't learn much of this in my own schooling. After I read, I make a booklist using the SOTW Activity Guide, recommendations from the wonderful moms on The Well-Trained Mind Message Board, my own research on Amazon and other curriculum's booklists (Veritas Press, Sonlight, and Tapesty Of Grace {look at this site, Bookshelf Central, where you can view/buy all of TOG's books organized neatly by year}).

This past summer began like the others, with reading and making a booklist. I quickly realized, though, that this year would be different. As I began to read Volume 4 I saw immediately that this period of history is tough. Really tough. The reality is horrible events have happened all throughout history but not with such rapid intensity...or within just a few generations of us either. Also this volume seemed very redundant: new ideas lead to revolution and bloodshed which leads to new leadership only to have that leadership become corrupted. This same sequence happens again and again; the basic storyline stays the same but in each chapter it is played out in a different country. SWB addresses both issues (intense period in history plus the redundancy) in the Foreword of Volume 4:
This volume is less evocative than the precious three. I have always tried to tell history as a story, to bring out the color and narrative thread of events. But with this history, I have found myself veering continually toward a more matter-of-fact and less dramatic tone. The events of the twentieth century - the bombing of Hiroshima, the purges of Stalin, to name only two - are dramatic enough. Turned into story, they would be overwhelming.
Revolution (a dominant theme of history in this period) shatters the structures; but the men who build the next set of structures haven't conquered the evil that lives in their own hearts. The history of the twentieth century is, again and again, the story of men who fight against tyrants, wind the battle, and then are overwhelmed by the unconquered tyranny in their own souls. (Parenthetical addition mine)
After contemplating different options, I decided I would cover this period in history but condense it. I didn't want to leave anything out but I there are several chapters I didn't want to dwell on either. A simple reading of the chapter would suffice. The chapters that dealt with America's history, I decided, would be our main focus. Plus in the back of my mind I knew at some point I wanted to cover Texas history and this would be the perfect opportunity to do so! We will cover SOTW in 21 weeks and use the remainder of the year to cover state history. So here is our schedule for SOTW 4 as well as the additional reading selections I chose.

Memory Work for this period in history:
1. Gettysburg Address using this illustrated version of Lincoln's famous speech (also listed in Ch. 5 additional reading list)
2. Order of all 44 US Presidents using Yo, Millard Fillmore (currently out of print but we found a copy at Half-Price books for $2. It ends with President Clinton but we just made up the remainder of the story to cover Bush and Obama.)
3. I Have a Dream speech (selected portions) using this illustrated version (also listed in Chapter 36 additional reading list)

Week 1-
Chapter 1: Britain's Empire
Chapter 2: West Against East

Additional Reading(s) -

Week 2-
Chapter 3: British Invasion
Chapter 4: Resurrection and Rebellion

Additional Reading(s) -

Weeks 3 and 4-
Chapter 5: The American Civil War

Additional Reading(s) -

Week 5-
Chapter 6: Two Tries for Freedom
Chapter 7: Two Empires, Three Republics, and One Kingdom

Week 6-
Chapter 8: Becoming Modern

Additional Reading(s)-

Week 7-
Chapter 9: Two More Empires, Two Rebellions
Chapter 10: A Canal to the East and a Very Dry Desert

Week 8-
Chapter 11: The Far Parts of the World
Chapter 12: Unhappy Unions
Chapter 13: The Old-Fashioned Empire and the Red Sultan
Chapter 14: Two Czars and and Two Emperors

Week 9-
Chapter 15: Small Countries with Large Invaders

Week 10-
Chapter 16: The Expanding United States

Additional Reading(s)-

There is redundancy in this list because I couldn't make up my mind (and I was able to get all four books for a fraction of their new book price through either PaperbackSwap or Half-Price books). Now that I have read them all, if I was to just get one I would get Rachel's Journal. It tells most all that the others do but in an engaging first person narrative.

Week 11-
Chapter 17: China's Troubles
Chapter 18: Europe and the Countries Just East
Chapter 19: China, Vietnam and France
Chapter 20: Revolution in the Americas...War in the World

Week 12-
Chapter 21: A Revolution Begins, and the Great War Ends
Chapter 22: National Uprisings

Additional Reading(s) -

Week 13-
Chapter 23: "Peace" and a Man of War
Chapter 24: The King and Il Duce

Week 14-
Chapter 25: Armies in China
Chapter 26: The Great Crash and What Came of It

Additional Reading(s)-

Week 15-
Chapter 27: Civil War and Invasion
Chapter 28: The Second World War

Additional Reading(s)-
Snow Treasure (Ch. 28)

This chapter for me covers one of the absolute hardest things we will ever learn in history. I picked several books and will gauge carefully Thatcher's responses to determine exactly how much he needs to be exposed to at this point. For me personally, I learned about WWII in fourth grade and I spent the majority of that year learning everything I could, especially seeking out biographies of children who survived concentration camps. Still, different children have different emotional capabilities and I don't want him to learn too much too fast if his little heart isn't ready quite yet.

Week 16-
Chapter 29: The End of World War
Chapter 30: Partitioned Countries
Chapter 31: Western Bullies and American Money

Week 17-
Chapter 32: Africa and China after WWII
Chapter 33: Communism in Asia
Chapter 34: Dictators in South America and Africa

Week 18-
Chapter 35: The Cold War

Additional Reading(s) -

Week 19-
Chapter 36: Struggles and Assassinations

Additional Reading(s)-

Week 20-
Chapter 37: Two Short Wars and One Long One
Chapter 38: Two Ways of Fighting
Chapter 39: The 1980's in the East and Mideast

Week 21-
Chapter 40: The 1980's in the USSR
Chapter 41: Communism Crumbles-but Survives
Chapter 42: The End of the Twentieth Century

Did I miss any of your family's favorites? If there is a must-read that I have left off, I'd love to add it to the list.