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Location: Rhode Island
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|Posted: Oct 24 2012 at 12:44am | IP Logged
|Just to have every possible viewpoint here ( ) we do usually read more than one book at a time. How many books depends on the number of pages they're reading from each book, and how many other books are being read in other subjects for that day.
My 7th grader (12yo) has 5 different books going on at once (some are VERY light). All are narrated.
I don't put as many books on a younger child's schedule. My 3rd grader (7yo) has 2 different living books for history reading for the week.
You asked specifically about these books:
|if I want them to read The Sword in the Tree, The Red Keep and Son of Charlemagne, would I make sure they finish one before starting another? Or can I have them read all of them at the same time, like 4 pages a day from each book, alternating days.
Or maybe since they are different times according to the timeline they should stay separate?
Looking...and I see that you have a 9yo, 7yo, and 4yo.
And the books you listed are:
Sword in the Tree - 6th century (King Arthur)
Son of Charlemagne - 8th century (Holy Roman Empire)
The Red Keep - 12th century (Middle Ages)
First, what period of history are you hoping to cover this year? Are you reading everything aloud or do you have the 9yo read independently? Are the two oldest boys independent readers? Strong readers? Is your 7yo reading?
These are things I'd consider when choosing history books.
(1) First, I look to the time period we're studying and decide how many centuries I'd like to cover in the year.
(2) Then, I break my year/century choices into three terms. So, you might tackle one of each of the books you listed at a time...and add in 1-2 more "lighter" books (depending on the age/reading ability of the child).
(3) Third, I look to the child - his age, reading ability, general enjoyment of reading genre (like books of adventure).
(4) Fourth, it's time to look at the books - if you have a tentative list see if you can borrow the books to preview: look inside with the feature on Amazon, check with your local homeschool group, check your library, search the archives here. If you're not familiar with the books, get them in your hands because a really good, attentive skim will tell you if the book fits the period and the child for whom you have intended it.
(5) Fifth, schedule/list your reading. Since we do read books concurrently, I usually try to have one meaty book going, and let the other books for the week/term be easier reading level/still excellent content, or just lighter overall. In other words, unless I'm scheduling for high school, I try to only put one meaty book per subject in the reading schedule each term.
Even when we read books concurrently, they're usually from the same period and there's a pretty big disparity in the book choices you list. What you could do is work through Sword in the Tree and Son of Charlegmagne this term, and save Red Keep for your next term. (Assuming Red Keep is just for your 9yo, I wouldn't read ANYTHING additional alongside Red Keep because it will be meaty for his age...and possibly a really good stretch for him.)
Throw in Castle and Cathedral by David Macauley and you have another living book that will work really well. The other books are meatier, and Macauley's books, while very well done, are lighter, making them a great fit alongside another meatier work for the week. And...Macauley's books have always inspired a lot of projects and creative play here!
Also, while Red Keep is an EXTRAORDINARY book, it would probably only fit your 9yo son, and then only if he's a good, strong reader. If he IS a strong reader, this book is an excellent choice for the Middle Ages - quite captivating!
I'm going to add a suggestion to consider for your 7yo. At this age, I really just stick to shorter living stories from history. An excellent book of stories which covers the period you're studying of the 6th - 16th centuries and containing a variety of stories is Page, Esquire, and Knight: A Book of Chivalry by Marion Florence Lansing. The stories are rich and engaging, retold from many classics such as King Arthur, Prince Roland, St. George, the Crusaders, etc. It is beautifully written and has extraordinary b/w illustrations.
Good luck building your history reading list!
I'm so glad you answered here as well, as your tips are always words of wisdom.
My 9 year old is a very strong reader. He can pretty much read anything that he picks up. Actually, the same goes for my 7 year old. He spells really well, and reads very well. I'd say at a 6th grade level. I hadn't picked a century, I was just kind of mushing the whole of the middle ages together. But I can see the value in working through a century or two at a time. To really be able to sink our teeth into some great literature. I'm off to bed finally (insomniac) and will ponder this more.
Tending Our Lord's Garden