Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hh is for History

Because the systematic introduction to the seventy phonograms of the English language is likely to take more than one year to master, we have extended the third level of the curriculum by incorporating three separate cycles of history and geography topics. While we shy away from assigning grade levels to the learning levels of Letters of Grace, the skill levels mastered in the third level of the curriculum roughly correspond to second, third and fourth grade. Of course, this is not to say that a precocious six-year old could not be placed in Level Three or that an eleven or twelve-year old struggling with spelling wouldn't benefit from the extensive study of the written sounds. But regardless of the age a parent elects to assign for each of the curriculum levels, we were careful to offer an abundance of subject matter to pique a child's interest for many years.

The first cycle of Level Three history is focused on the study of the United States. Letter-themed topics offer the child a weekly introduction to key historic figures and events. Cc is for Christopher Columbus, Rr is for Revere's Ride and Zz is for Ground Zero are examples of the themes the child will encounter each week. A beautifully written and illustrated children's book on the topic has been selected for each week of learning, along with ideas in the Learning Notes section for narrations and creating notebook pages.

The second and third cycles of Level Three thoroughly cover the geography of the United States. State by state, in chronological order of its admittance to the Union, the geography and history of each is studied through the Sleeping Bear Press state books. The authors of these widely-available and beautifully illustrated picture books offer a child an alphabetical tour through each of the fifty states as well as our nation's capital. Covering historical figures and events, geographical landmarks and the unique culture of each state, the books are written with two tiers of information. A younger sibling interested in sitting for a read-aloud will enjoy the simple rhyming prose, while the older child will be engaged by the in-depth information on the sidebars of the text. The Letters of Grace Learning Notes will include ideas for narration, notebook pages and a printable state fact sheet for the child to fill in after reading each book.

Ll is for Language is the next stop on our tour. We're happy to answer any questions in the Q&A post scheduled for the end of the Letters of Grace tour, so feel free to leave them in the comment box or send them via email.

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