“History is the most absorbing and
enthralling story you can tell a young child, because it’s true.
A good history narrative is as strange and wondrous as a good fairy tale.
Kings, queens, mummies,
wooden horses, knights, and castles
can be as fascinating as giants and elves
– but they really existed?”
Susan Wise Bauer
Now my kiddies, and the child within, would dispute that last bit:) And I do believe in the fantastical world of fairy tales and archetypal stories that Waldorf and Oak Meadow so celebrate. But why can’t we have it ALL, the fiction and the true, laid out before us?
In keeping with my clear and present goal for my babes, to show them we can, in many instances, ‘have it all’, I am a seeker and discoverer of any and many things that speak to my heart. I am also a great believer in questions and the often surreal and serendipitous way the answers always come. As such, when I began this LifeSchool adventure I asked myself, you know that guru within, “How can I provide an educational experience that not only unlocks my boys desire to learn and ultimate potential, but stimulates my craving to expand in mind and heart and spirit.”
Through my work with Project YES! Life, asking, delving within and traveling the world for answers and then putting them in a neat yet evolving package for myriad audiences, I unlocked spirit time and again and this is a process that guides me still.
Through Oak Meadow, I discovered a system and flow that unleashed my heart and the heart of my children with its focus on all that we intend to learn, be it math, or science, or social studies, weaving its way forward and inward through a story. It is magical and fantastical and my boys’ eyes dance with delight as we work.
We had these and were content, but a whisper of wanting had weaved its way into my heart. Yes, I could read fairytale after fairytale and dance in the wood and sing my own stories along the way. And yet, when I considered this gig wayyy back when, I remember picking up science and history books off the shelves in the children’s section and thinking, “WoW, I don’t remember any of this. I wish I had had more fun in school, because boy do I love to learn. And mannn, these kiddie books make it so easy to revisit it all. I can’t wait to homeschool, for ME:)” hee hee
So, I needed a brain-booster of sorts. First came LifeSchool Inc., this blog, LifeSchoolInc. Facebook Page and this incredible opportunity to apply biz savvy, planning, structure and mentorship to the mix. Check.
The day-to-day is what needed a lift. I craved learning, beyond alphabet and crafts and outings. And then came, Stephanie. We met at a Friday gymnastics class that our children attend, and, well, I did what I always do. I started to ask questions, about her, her family, her children and what she uses for homeschooling that speaks to her and stimulates the kids.
She light right up as she recounted a program, of activities, fun, interactive learning with a lasting effect. And a loud booming voice within called out, “Here it is.” This program is called The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer, a writer and historian. It is the history of the world in story-form that speaks to children young and old. As it recounts in chronological order the wonder of our world unfolding, the teacher is prompted with questions to ask and the child has opportunity to recount, act out and create in accordance with the account of the time. Priceless. And it only cost us $95 (including shipping).
While we do not follow the entire processes outlined in The Classical Education guide, this Story of the World program compliments our Waldorf-esque ways and Oak Meadow curriculum and above all, the kids are bright-eyed and fully engaged with every step along the journey. No kidding, my four year old can tell you exactly what an historian and an archeologist do and why. And boy can they stake-out, shovel, uncover, and record at our Maki dig-site. Awesome, I’d say:)
Honestly, this program is NOT just for educators,
but anyone who longs to know the stories of our past
and how they are play together to shape our present.
Whether you are stimulating your own mind, making up for the history lessons you slept thru as a youngster, or looking to introduce the world of the magnificent and true (as best as we can recount it), to a child or your teen, this is a journey worth exploring. Once again, I leave you with a quote and the links to dig into for yourself:)
“In classical education, history lies at the center of the curriculum. The chronological study of history allows even small children to learn about the past in an orderly way; after all, the “best way to tell a story,” as the King tells Alice in Alice in Wonderland, “is to begin at the beginning and go on to the end.” When the study of literature is linked to history, children have an opportunity to hear the stories of each country as they learn more about that country’s past and its people.”
The Story of the World – Activity Book One, How to Use this Book
We have much to learn, and much to teach by way of creating an opening of understanding of our global family past and present and, thankfully, we have a guide to navigate our way.
Happy exploration of your New World,