Welcome, friends! We’ve had a long hiatus from the blog due to life (you get that, right?!?) In the meantime, we have been working diligently on finishing our History Cards and keeping up with orders. We are also fortunate to be members of several Well-Trained Mind forums. When we first discovered a need to expand the Story of the World curriculum, we both investigated what history products were out there and what could really help our homeschooling families. We couldn’t find anything that truly fit the need, so we ended up creating our own History Cards. (Side note: if you’ve never followed us before, you can learn more about our unplanned launch into homeschooling products and our History Cards that coordinate with Story of the World curriculum HERE.) If you are new to homeschooling and needing help navigating classical curriculum (or if you aren’t new but feel like you need a fresh idea), the Well-Trained Mind forums are a great place to get help or support!
Recently, as we’re looking around to see what others are doing, we’ve seen several mentions or questions about timelines. Imagine our surprise (and elation) that when reading through a stream of ideas, we saw an idea on OUR product! Yes, our own ‘baby,’ with pictures of this customer’s brilliant idea! It was no time at all before Bonnie reached out to ask her more about what she was doing and how she did it. Can we just tell you – it is refreshing and energizing to find that someone appreciates your work! And really, she doesn’t just appreciate it, but LOVES it! This makes the months and now years of research and work seem WORTH IT!! (Thanks Renata!!)
So, without further delay, here are Renata’s own thoughts on how to use Olive Grove Educator’s History Cards:
“We are studying Story of the World Volume 1 this year. We have enjoyed all our travels through Ancient Times. As we started nearing the end, I realized so much was learned and so much was forgotten, or soon would be forgotten. While the goal of the Classical Education is exposure in the Grammar Stage, some recollection and review of this incredible journey through time and space demanded remembering! So we started reviewing the history cards the curriculum came with and listening to the SOTW disc again. We photocopied, on card stock, the small cards that reviewed each and every chapter from the Earliest Nomads to the last Roman Emperor. We read through maybe 5 cards and listened to 8 chapters of the CD before the protests began. My son was done. Ready to move on. I wasn’t. He needed more: the last 8 months we spent on this curriculum couldn’t end so abruptly and unceremoniously! My 6 1/2 year old is a very visual learner. Read VERY. He can listen to audio books for minutes at a time and quickly craves an image. He can review the history cards for the same number of minutes, but with no color, no life and no energy to them, the interest fades as well.
The history cards from Olive Grove Educators fit Story of the World to a T. Every chapter is a card. Every card has life, color, a picture that brings the picture-free text of the curriculum to life. Not only is the picture helpful, but the text on the back is meaningful and perfectly sums up the chapter it covers. The boldly written memory line at the top of the back of the card concisely and succinctly encompasses the chapter and event in history. And the cards are laminated! No small detail when children are involved. The cards themselves are numbered by chapter and have a year recorded on the front. So, if hung together, they brilliantly form an actual timeline. So of course, we got out the yarn and the nails and the brightly colored clothespins and went to work. Beauty is, when we complete Volume 1, the cards will come down and Volume 2 will take their place. One wall will forever be a history timeline.
Of course that wasn’t enough for us, so we hung an actual timeline close by. So now, a few times a week, my son goes to his living timeline of OGE cards. He reads the card. Then we get out our nifty label maker, record enough information that the card provides and the label can hold, and stick it on the timeline. He then goes back to the OGE cards and hangs the card he read back; but this time he flips it over to show the card was read and recorded. (That was his idea.) My hope is not that he will memorize the dates or the events. My hope is that he will physically become a part of the worlds to which we have traveled, and always have a frame of reference. He should know history didn’t happen in a vacuum: abstractions such as time and years matter. He should know the chapters do come together, and they are not just chapters: they are history. History is real and it lives: on our wall as well as in the past.”
We honestly couldn’t have said it better! We hope that you enjoyed Renata’s ideas as much as we did! Thank you, Renata, for your feedback and thoughts on how to get our History Cards really active in your history lessons! Comment, Share, or Provide customer feedback below; we’d LOVE to hear your thoughts and will send you an exclusive coupon with our thanks.
Bonnie & Bethany