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Today was fantastic. I was sitting at home reading Anna Karenina and waiting for a painter to come by to give me a quote on the front door (can’t wait to check that off my list) when all of the sudden a 30 pound box showed up. At first I was mildly confused about what it was that I ordered that could weigh that much, when I remembered the History curriculum for my school. That’s right, in my hands I now have half of the materials I ordered to get our History program up and running for next year. The other half is on the way!
I tore into that box so fast it would make your head spin, sorry Anna Karenina. I ordered this curriculum hoping it would be a good fit for our small Christian school and I am super happy with the outcome. The topics covered in the Year 2 book are excellent: Continents, Communities, Landforms, Native Americans, Explorers, Early Colonies like Plymouth and Jamestown, New England Colonies, Southern Colonies, Middle Colonies, Revolutionary War and the Founding of Our Nation. I am chomping at the bit to teach this stuff!
Also, there was an excellent blurb in the front of the teacher’s guide that explains why “Heritage Studies” is so important. It reads:
“Studying Heritage Studies will help the students understand who they are as Americans. Many Americans possess very little knowledge of their society’s past. Because of this, they do not understand the values that have shaped our nation’s story in order to preserve what is good about the past. They also lack the ability to critically evaluate the current conditions of our nation…If students are to understand the past-and if they are to know how to help minorities today-they will need to know about justice and injustice in the story of America.
Yes, yes and yes. There are many, many, many extraordinary and excellent things about our country and we need to promote and carefully study them so we can remember what makes this country a place where people from all over the world want to live! We also need to make sure that the stories of injustice are discussed; but not in the absence of the good. There must be balance to the curriculum. Since we are a Christian school, our students are not new to hearing about the horrible things people do to each other, see: The Old Testament, so I am very excited for them to embrace their nations history with them same scholarly attitude they have with the Bible. I am so excited to see this type of curriculum at work and wish more students were able to experience it. Basically, this curriculum has me so excited I immediately wanted to plan out my timeline for the the year using it.
Planning means a new lesson plan book is on the horizon. Since I will be teaching 3 grade levels and 8 subjects next year I need a plan book that has enough room for me to write 3 separate lesson plans for each subject. It is always a bummer when buying a stock lesson plan book because our school does not have class on Fridays, so the Friday space in a plan book is always wasted (unless I use it as my overflow…which sometimes happens)
I began my search for the perfect plan book on Amazon and my top three are:
These are not perfect, but have a lot of space to write and have enough subject areas for me to plan for everything necessary. I am going to keep looking and found a promising block scheduling plan book that might work, but I’d recommend these to teachers with similar circumstances to mine. After I went down the teacher plan book rabbit hole I found myself itching to get back in the classroom, and not just to paint it (I spent part of my week doing just that this week). I want to get teaching! I am so blessed to get to spend so much time with the future of our country!
I took a break from scanning the internet for plan books and reading my new curriculum to go get new heads for our Sonicare toothbrush after our dental check ups yesterday, and found myself in the middle of the school supply aisle at Wal Mart. Yes there are already school supplies and yes, It was like heaven. I could smell the Dixon Ticonderoga pencil shavings and Elmer’s glue stick residue already! I saw Expo markers galore! My favorite pens for grading student work were hanging beautifully on their pegboard.
So basically, this fine summer day had me wishing for my classroom, my students, books, learning and the tools we need in order to have a successful year. I learned that if you give a teacher a new curriculum you’re going to have to get her a new plan book to go with it. And when you give her a plan book she will ask for the pens, pencil, glue, markers, crayons, paper and highlighters to go with it.
Until next time,
I love you more than the study of Americans and fancy new pens,