Wednesday, February 28, 2007

5 Where to start?

Any ideas for studying creation before we start?
Can I start part-way through the first volume?
Can I start with volume two?
Where do I start with my younger children when the older ones are already doing later units?


Any ideas for studying creation before we start?

Last summer before beginning LA our family embarked on our own adventure through Creation to Abraham. I used 3 main Books as spines and then added other storybooks, videos, coloring pages, crossword puzzles that I found online, and any other materials I could find. My own units are usually like that. I use what I can find Smile

I used 2 books by Ruth Beechick that I very HIGHLY recommend. These were "Adam and His Kin" and "Genesis: Finding Our Roots." I used these for History/ Literature and also copy work, dictation, and creative writing, geography, map work, etc. In the "roots" book, there are many ideas for further study and also a time line project, which we have been adding to since. I also used "Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation," as our science book. This is a print version of a Creation Science Seminar. I used this as our spine and also used it to debunk many of the evolutionary myths we would be coming across this year and in future years using library books and other secular sources. I do try to steer clear of secular sources, but this is not always feasible. I have pulled this book out many times this year during our other studies. It came in handy especially during our Rock/ mineral/ volcano/ earthquake unit.

To the science, we also added experiments, drawings and videos.

I also can recommend the Turner Broadcasting series of Biblical Movies for this unit (for older children and grown ups only, please view with your children or preview.) For the younger set, we loved Hanna Barbera's Superbook series and the Testament series.

This study took us 9 weeks, but could be squashed down to 6. It is worth 1/2 credit for High Schoolers. I counted this one for Ancient History/Old Testament Survey...1/4 cr Science/ Physical Science....1/4th credit. I hope this helps someone. Blessings, (Faithe)


I highly recommend Diana Waring's set of tapes called "WHAT IN THE WORLD'S GOING ON HERE" (Creation to Christ). The accompanying study guide: "ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS & THE BIBLE" has a chapter on Creation. In it she recommends these books: UNLOCKING THE MYSTERIES OF CREATION by Dennis Peterson, ADAM & HIS KIN by Ruth Beechick, and THE GREAT DINOSAUR MYSTERY AND THE BIBLE by Paul S. Taylor. In addition, she has resources for older students, questions to discuss, research ideas, vocabulary, maps and mapping, arts in action, art appreciation, music, cooking, drama. These are *not worked out in detail like Dorian's unit study*, but they are great ideas that you can pick and choose from…

Even if you just read the three books mentioned above, plus the chapters in Genesis, of course, you would learn a lot! By His Grace ~ For His Glory (Elaine in NC)


For creation we are starting a unit type study called "Creationism". It is by Charles Lynn. It has 7 lessons. It comes with a teacher’s guide, student workbook and a video by Dr. Kent Hovind. He teaches for about 10 minutes for each lesson. The best part it only was $41.00 WITH shipping. WOW I could not pass that up. It looks great. It also has activities to go along with it. Just what we are doing. I ordered it from Dr. Kent Hovind's ministry - Creation Science Evangelism - We love his work, and we have most of his videos. They are wonderful. If you what to really study Creation Science watch these!!! My kids have learned SOOOOO much.

Creation Science Evangelism's number is: 850-479-3466 or toll free: 877-479-3466 their web site is: their site is great. They have so much stuff... adult and children’s books, adult and children videos, shirts, ties, bumper stickers, and my sons favorite replicas of fossils!!! you can buy. Also if you’re near Pensacola, Florida they now have "Dinosaur Adventure Land".

(I don't think the "Creationism" curriculum is on the site yet. It is brand new. You can call them and just ask for the Homeschool study on creation.)

I also found this wonderful on Creation. I thought you would enjoy. We are studying this this summer to get ready for Egypt in the fall.

(Tammy in IN)


Also see for excellent articles, lessons and study guides.


Can I start part-way through the first volume?

I think it is important that we use it in the order it is written. When you get to the part on the Middle Ages, your kids will might say "WOW, so that's how it all fits in." At least we might say "WOW". (Lori)


I can understand why you wouldn't want to re-do Egypt or Greece if you've done an in-depth study already. Although, you might find that A World of Adventure approaches the study in a different way than the way you covered it. For example, in the study of Egypt there is a great study of the story of Joseph in Egypt. I wouldn't have wanted to miss that. The unit also studies the Exodus and the Ten Commandments, and gives instructions for a Passover celebration with great Passover recipes. The science unit studies deserts and does some good experiments and projects.

In the Greece unit there is a study of Aesops fables and Greek and Roman myths. The literature selection they use for this is soooo good. I learned so much about myths and word origins and expressions that come from Greek mythology. The science in this unit is body systems and first aid. The unit ends with an Olympic games celebration. I'm in the Rome unit now and am as happy as ever with the curriculum.

To answer your question about the "structure of the program," what would be the most challenging thing to catch up on is the writing process that is taught progressively. You will have to go back and teach your kids how to do the pre-writing activities and outlining and such that are taught in the early units. Picking that up in the middle of the book might be frustrating to your kids. The grammar is also progressive. It starts out slowly and simply in the first couple units but builds to more complex things after that. (Kristi)


Each book [i.e. each volume of Learning Adventures] can be used independently of the others, but we do NOT recommend that you do any out of order (Start with book 2 and then do book 1, for example). Also, once you start a book, you should start at the very beginning if at all possible - or at the very least, do NOT do the units out of order. The concepts and skills that are introduced build on one another as the book progresses - it would be very confusing to jump around. (Dorian – author)


We thought of starting LA halfway through, at the Middle Ages section, but finally decided it was worth starting at the beginning. My main thought (I'm a retired language/literacy/ESL teacher) was to "begin at the beginning" of Dorian's approach to the Language arts rather than trying to pick bits out to try to "catch up" on the first 90 days' work.

What we are finding is that the other content is different from what we had done, consolidates and expands on it, looks at different aspects etc. so it is definitely not wasting time to start again at Egypt. (Dorothy)


Can I start with volume two?

If you have not done a very recent and fairly detailed study of ancient history up through about the 1600's, we STRONGLY discourage you from using Book Two as the first book. Your children will be missing so many answers about why and where everything came from as we delve into American history. You would be missing a COMPLETE understanding of WHY people came to America in the first place and you would not completely understand WHY the French and Indian Wars never seemed to end - why our founding fathers were able to establish such an excellent governmental structure - because of the good and the bad they had learned from ancient history . . . the list goes on and on.

As for the language arts - Peggy is right - the same basic and fundamental intermediate skills will be covered - just in slightly different ways and within a completely different context. But there will also be different kinds of writing in Book Two - such as, much more emphasis on mini-"report" writing that will be added to the state, world, and president notebooks, and newspaper writing - both of which we did not cover at all in Book One. However, to do this, there will be less emphasis on other very fundamental writing concepts that were covered in Book One - such as contrast and comparison, for example. Not to say that this would be completely left out - but we can't possibly "emphasize" everything every year and still give lots of time to practice all of it. I'm not done writing all of the writing parts so I can't give you more specifics yet - as I don't know exactly how it will all "shake out" in the end.

All that to say - PLEASE don't jump into Book Two just because you really like "American" History, and don't really want to cover ancient history. We have a lot of private e-mails about this very thing. You are not giving your kids the whole picture if you have a chance to ancient history, and don't.

However, if you have finished a DETAILED study of ancient history (preferably in a non-textbook program) up through the 1600's by means of a different curriculum within the last year - you'd be able to slide right into Book Two without any gaps.

We can't "FORCE" people to use Book One before Book Two, but we can try to get them to see how much they are missing by using Book Two first – and then hope that they trust us when we say we really are thinking in the best interest of their children when we give this advice. (Dorian – author)

Also see


Where do I start with my younger children when the older ones are already doing later units?


If you are finishing Book 1 at the end of this school year and are using it with a fourth grader, you will move on to Book 2 after that. If you have a younger student joining in on Book 2, he will simply join the adventure at that point. You would not start over for him, because that would either mean that the older child would have to repeat the same year over again - or that you would be doing two separate studies for each of your children. That defeats the whole purpose of the unit study approach. While we strongly advocate the chronological approach to history (starting at the beginning) - if you have more than one child at different levels and want to use a unit study approach, it simply is not possible to ALWAYS do it (start at the VERY beginning) this way. However, you will still be moving chronologically - no matter where you start in history - if you follow the books in the series' order. You will add children to the study as they are ready and follow along together until the end. Then you will all repeat the series and those who have finished it completely already will supplement at higher levels (or move on to a different course of study - perhaps a little more condensed this time around so they will have a good thorough review. They should have already gotten a SOLID foundation through the LA series and will be familiar with much of what is reviewed/and covered the second time around.) The younger ones will now go through the series as written, this time picking up what they were too young for the last time around. They can either follow the series all the way through again, or branch off and do some supplementing of their own when they feel they have already covered a period thoroughly in LA.

I know it seems a little confusing - especially if you have lots of children. But, think of it this way - you will start in the beginning with Book one and go on through Book five, then start over again. Whichever one of your kids enters or exits the study (or adds or subtracts from it) depends on readiness and family preference. The cycle will continue so that you can cover the span of history thoroughly, but also in enough time to allow for a thorough review of it later, as well.

My experience has been this: if you go too fast and cover the entire span of history every year or two, you will never really do get anything out of it because you will have covered too much - too fast, and you will not have had time to catch any of the details. If you go too slowly and only cover one civilization or so per year (I believe) you will not get finished in time to do a thorough review. I can say this with credibility because it is happening to us right now! Ryan and I started too slowly - that's why I wrote the Adventure book(s) differently. I favor the five-year approach so that you can dig into each period without burning out on it, but you will be finished in time to get that good review. (Dorian – author)


I have addressed the question of how grammar (and other subjects) will be covered in future books to some of you individually, but I don't think I've explained this to the whole group. In any case, with so MANY new adventurers in our group, let me make sure you all understand how they will work once again. First of all, each book in this series is for ALL children in grades four through eight. The first book is NOT a fourth grade book, the second a fifth grade book, etc. Each book can be used for ANY child in grades four through eight. So, if you think about the books that way, it will help you to understand that they are to be used in a cycle. When the five-year cycle is completed and you still have younger children that have not completed it, you can just start over with them and either have your older ones do a review with some good supplements or replacements in certain subjects, or have them working completely on their own in some areas, but staying with you in bible and history (they would be doing an in-depth review at their own level, but would also be moving along with the rest of your family through the span of history), for example. Still others will want to have their high schoolers working out of formal high school textbooks in order to prepare for college while the rest of the family completes the cycle again. ANY child can start the cycle at the beginning of any of the books and the only thing that he/she will miss out on is the sequence of history that was covered in the previous book(s). Nothing else will be "continuous" in the same way, though. Different science topics will be covered in Book 2 with basic science objectives, different Bible themes will be covered with basic spiritual enrichment objectives, fine arts will be covered as it pertains to early American history (and some European history of the same time period), and the same basic social studies objectives will be covered (geography and map skills, cultures, etc.) only they, too, will pertain to the time period we will be studying. All language arts concepts and skills will be taught again, but within the context of the required literature or the time period.

Just as the parts of speech, writing skills, punctuation, study and reference skills, figurative language, etc. are covered in a fourth grade text book, these are also covered in fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade textbooks. Children learn through repetition and review - that is why these topics are covered over and over again each year, so that by the time your kids are in high school, they will know these "basics." Just as a textbook reviews topics at the beginning of each year, we will also do this in the Adventure series - so that any child coming into the series at the beginning of any one of the books will be exposed to each concept and skill in a way that is easy to understand. IF he/she has never learned the skill/concept before, it will be easy enough to pick it up because we will always provide plenty of information to use with a beginner. Older children in your family who either already know and understand the skill/concept - or, who have gone successfully through a previous Adventure book will use that same activity as a review. You will note that these concepts - such as grammar, get increasingly more difficult within the course of each book, so that by the end of each year, your younger students (maybe 3rd and 4th graders) may not catch on to everything. That's okay, though, because our job is not to beat something into our children's heads the first time they hear it, but to EXPOSE them to a concept toward eventual complete understanding. We will review as the year continues and the next year the same concepts will be introduced and reviewed again - just like they would be in school. Think about it, if we all understood, mastered, and remembered EVERYTHING the very first time, there would be no need for twelve whole grades! Since this is not the case, we need many years to practice, review, and master the skills that are necessary to function with literacy, godly integrity, and success in our adult world. Some students will catch onto certain concepts the very first time and find them very "easy" - others will NEED all five years of "re-introduction" and review on a certain topic in order to gain confidence and mastery of it.

So . . . Peggy, in answer to your question about where your younger son will fit into the picture when he gets to fourth grade, and his older brothers are in sixth and seventh grades . . . ALL of your children will be working out of the same Adventure book on the same lessons. By then, if your oldest child has completely mastered a certain concept, you should supplement with something more advanced. This would be just like if one of your kids was in the sixth grade, but was working ahead of that in some subjects - even if you were using text books, you would want to supplement them or replace them with something that would be more challenging to him.

For now, with your third grader, just try to expose him to each of the concepts, and if he struggles, either adjust the assignment and/or move on. He will see it again when we review it and at least it will be familiar to him, even though he might not understand it all. Each time it is covered, he will meet it again. I have used the example of a "friend" to illustrate this - and I will use it again here to help make this clear. When you meet someone, you know NOTHING about him/her except what you have seen and learned from that first introduction. You can't possibly know everything about him because you have just met him! Each time you see him, you get to know a little more about him and feel more comfortable around him. The more time you spend with him, the more easily you get along with him until, after seeing him periodically for an entire year - he has become a "good friend" - someone with whom you are completely comfortable and know well. It should be the same thing with new skills/concepts and the learning curves of our children. To expect them to master a subject just after it is introduced would be unreasonable and unfair of us. Yet we tend to do just that when it comes to teaching our kids. Perhaps it is because we constantly find ourselves on the defensive with non-home educators. We always feel the intense need to PROVE that our kids our learning - even at the expense of our children - by FORCING them to GET SOMETHING before they are ready! Do you know what I mean? I'm sure we ALL have done this at one time or another - I know I have. After all, it is a reflection on us as parents and teachers if our kids don't "get something" isn't it?

We DO have a responsibility to teach our children and there should be high expectations and high standards - but they should also be reasonable – and the definition of "teach" does not include "forcing knowledge down the throat" of a child!

I am sorry if it seems that I am belaboring this question with an unecessarily LONG answer, but I can't even COUNT the number of moms who have asked questions that really pertain to the "levels" of their children. Because we grew up using textbooks, it is hard for us to even THINK about skills and concepts out of their "grade-level box" and to those who are new to the unit study approach (especially) this is a FUNDAMENTAL issue in understanding how it all works.

Your goal should be to teach all of your 4th-8th graders from this curriculum - you will find that some children are a perfect fit, to others it will be more challenging (just keep gently moving on), and still others (more advanced in certain areas) will need more challenging supplements to go along with this curriculum. For younger students, or for those who are really struggling with a certain concept, adjust the assignment so they are exposed to it, but are not forced to do the entire thing. Remember, if you skip something entirely because your child doesn't understand it - you are not doing him any favors. Later on, he WILL need to understand it, but he won't have even a clue as to what it is about. Again, if you just introduce that "new friend" to your child don't force them to "work at it until they get it" just as you might force a child to "play with a new friend for hours" - instead - just make sure they keep "meeting" for rather brief periods at a time - and eventually they will become more comfortable with the concept. They still may not understand everything about it, but at least there will be a familiarity with it - which is a great start.

Peggy, you are right to be thinking ahead - I hope I have answered your questions and have not confused you further! This is sort of a hard concept to get across to parents - especially since most of us came from textbook backgrounds ourselves! These questions about grade "levels" have got to be some of the most frequently asked questions, so don't think you are alone! If you have any further questions or still don't quite understand what I have tried to say here, please let me know. (Dorian – author)


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