Friday, September 9, 2016

Story of the World Vol 1: INTRO - What Is History?

I knew that Story of the World would be a little challenging for our 7 year old.  My son is a visual/tactile learner, with a short attention span.  The first section on history...well, it's a lot of just listening for him to take in, without any good pictures to accompany it (even in the workbook).  Up to this point he had struggled to focus when listening to more than a paragraph without pictures.   So, I decided to do each section of the introduction on a different day, and see what other ways I could break it up.

The text included a lot of questions which helped to break up the reading as we stopped to answer them.   When it asked how we could find out about  what mom and dad were like as a baby, we talked about how we could call Grandma and Grandpa on the phone and ask them about it.  But my parents passed away several years ago.  So how could we find out about what I was like as a baby?

That's when I brought out my Baby Book.  My mom had collected all sorts of things in my baby book (clippings of my baby hair, my identity bracelet from the hospital, so many pictures).  She had written so much in it, and we talked about how, even though we couldn't call Grammy on the phone and talk with her any more, that reading my baby book was sort of like listening to her tell stories.  I had brought his baby book too, and my dad's, and we spent a while looking through them.  I explained my baby book was a history book about me, and his baby book was a history book about him.

I tried to go on and read the rest of the chapter but honestly I should have stopped right there.  It really was too much reading for his short attention span, and the details of someone else writing a letter about some hypothetical baby really confused him (I think if I had asked a question then pulled out a real letter which had the answer, that would have worked better).   By the time we were done reading the section he was burnt out and disinterested and didn't want to do the timeline activity I had planned...but he enjoyed looking at the pictures of himself at different ages.

Still, compared to how he usually does with pictureless text, this was good.  The props really helped. 

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