Friday, August 9, 2013

Ancient Music Fun

This year, my two youngest are taking a bit of a divergent road from our accustomed "hard-core" history approach.  Believe me, I love and believe in Biblioplan, and I fully expect to return to it, but I have learned from my oldest (it's a pity we don't get Mulligans in child-rearing) that there's plenty of time to be more academic in some pursuits.  This year is my middle guy's 8th grade year.  Next year I'll have two in High School. So this year, I decided to spend his last year traveling down some different roads.

My kiddos have always loved history (well, with one exception, my youngest!), so there was no doubt that we would continue to study it. The question was rather, how we would approach it this year. I have personally gone through the history cycle (as outlined by Susan Wise Bauer in The Well-Trained Mind) three times fully. All of my kiddos have gone through it at least two full times. This year, we were approaching Ancient History, AGAIN. I just felt I couldn't face it. AGAIN. So I started looking at other alternatives, and as what I believe to be a God-sent inspiration, I came across Easy-Peasy.

Essentially, Easy-Peasy is a website that offers entirely free curriculum via your computer and an internet connection. I had never heard of it before, and was doubtful that it could be of quality, but I gamely started checking it out. What I have found is that it is a delightful combination of multi-sensory resources that are engaging, Christ-centered, and rigorously sound. While many out there are using the website, which was designed by Lee Giles, I have chosen to select just a few courses. For those of you curious about the program, you can find her FAQs here.

As a part of her Ancient History program of study, I chose to also include Ancient Art and Ancient Music, as well as selections of Bible. We are only one week in, so I suppose I can't completely assert that all is going to be awesome, but what a start we've made! For the first time, my daughter is enjoying history! This week alone, she has toured caves in France, virtually designed and built a pyramid, created music such that might have been enjoyed by Adam and Eve, and currently is in search of a rock and natural supplies to paint it with. In short, I'm impressed!

This is the type of learning that I've yearned for for my children. It is multi-sensory. It is engaging. It is creative! I will continue to evaluate it throughout this year, but in the meantime, go over and take a look at it. I bet you'll be as impressed as I am! And if you decide to take the plunge, you will find plenty of support at the EasyPeasy Facebook page.

Oh yes, one more thing of note:  for those of you who are wondering whether the curriculum adheres to Common Core Standards, Lee emphatically states that it does not, nor will it. For some of you, that may be welcome news, and for others, maybe not so much, but I found it something noteworthy. Obviously, you can see that it doesn't bother our family at all!

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