Posted by: raisingmustardseeds | June 29, 2010

Staying a few steps ahead

I’ve just come back from the library with a stack of books…

…a few early readers for the boys,

…a few Canadian historical fiction chapter books for the girls,

…and a whole pile of Canadian history books for me.  Yup, me.

I’ve been requesting books through the local library interloan system, (which as an aside, is a far cry from our previous library system, but I’ll have to make it work somehow) and attempting to skim and/or read through them quickly.

As I mentioned, a whole load of them are Canadian history books. Why, you ask?  Well, because the only Canadian history I remember from a semester in Grade 8, and one in Grade 10, is the War of 1812, and something about Confederation in 1867.  I just remember the dates – but I don’t remember what it was all about.  The result of having to memorize for tests, after which the mind was purged of all information.  SAD.

Well, now it’s come back to bite me.  Because I am in the painful process of piecing together a Canadian history curriculum that mirrors somewhat the US history that we’ve been study.  Mirroring in the sense that the US history we’ve learnt was not all textbook, and boxes of facts, but rather stitched together with interesting historical fiction novels and books that read like narratives.  For reasons that boggle my mind (and countless other Canadian homeschool moms), it is hard to find the same level of literature for historical studies north of the 49th parallel. Lots of books read like textbooks, and encyclopedias.  And lots of good books have gone out of print.  Whatsup with that??!!

Anyway, I know it’s not impossible, just excruciatingly slow & painful, to find the material I want to use.  The library has a few items that look interesting – and it’s nice to be able to take a look at the books to decide if it is something I’d like to have on our bookshelves.

In the meantime, I’ve got some speed reading to do – I need to give myself a crash course so that I’ll sound like I know what I’m talking about this Fall, when we begin the new term.  Want to see one of the titles I’ve picked up? —it’s one that I WON’T be buying for our bookshelves.  haha.  But I’m hoping it’ll give me a sweeping overview of what I need to know.

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