Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A History/Literature/Humanities Plan

I mentioned on the Secular Charlotte Mason yahoo list that we had largely done history and some science without textbooks. Several people asked me to share our plan and this post is an attempt to do that for history. We have always read literature that matched, either in time period or theme, with our history. Also, at times, we have included art and music resources so a more accurate description of our program may be a humanities course.

I am listing the resources we used for 2 different students, my daughter and my son. No one student read all the books or watched all the movies and lectures that I mention here. My son has always read history on his own and had a very complete knowledge of the flow of history, especially Western history, before he was in the 9th grade. My daughter, a more literature oriented kid, actually preferred to read a textbook for the narrative of history. She supplemented with art and music resources. American History is not completely covered in this plan, either. My son is completing an American History/ Literature course now and my daughter will do it next year so that plan is still being developed.

Depending on the resources used, this is a 2 or 3 year course.

The first thing you need is an enthusiastic reader for a student.

Textbook - The Human Odyssey by Jackson Spielvogel. My daughter has wanted to keep reading this because it gives her an outline that she likes. This is a highly readable text and, for my money, qualifies as a "living book".

Annenberg Media Courses, free at learner.org. You have to register to view the videos.
The Western Tradition
Art of the Western World

Teaching Company Courses

The Iliad of Homer, Herodotus: the Father of History, and The Aeneid of Virgil by Dr. Elizabeth Vandiver.
History of Ancient Egypt by Dr. Bob Brier

History Readings
Selections from Herodotus, Livy and Tacitus
Byzantium: The Early Centuries by John Julius Norwich
Life in a Medieval Village by Frances and Joseph Gies
A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance: Portrait of an Age by William Manchester
Life Along the Silk Road by Susan Whitfield
The Last Knight: The Twilight of the Middle Ages and the Birth of the Modern Age
King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild
A History of Russia by Nicholas V. Riasanovsky
Stalin: Russia's Man of Steel by Albert Marrin
Mao Tse-Tung and his China by Albert Marrin
Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
The Last Valley: Dien Bien Phu and the French Defeat in Vietnam by Martin Windrow
The Battle for the Falklands by Max Hastings and Simon Jenkins
Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

The Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer
The Aeneid by Virgil
Apology by Plato
The Trojan Women by Euripedes
Oedipus the King by Sophocles
Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney
Grendel by John Gardner
The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
The Inferno by Dante
The Prince by Macchiavelli
Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Twelfth Night by Shakespeare
Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Everything written by Jane Austen, read multiple times
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekov
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Marie Remarque
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Movies, videos
Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppola
Antigone, a 1961 film

We also used Story and Structure by Laurence Perrine and Thomas Arp and Perrine's Sound and Sense by Thomas Arp.

That's all I can think of today. I will update as I remember more. PRM


Lorna said...

Thank you for posting this list. It looks fantastic!
One requirement our daughter is already fulfilling is:
'Everything written by Jane Austen, read multiple times'
I laughed when I read that.

Ruth in NC said...

That's my daughter's contribution. She's read them all over and over again and seen all known TV or movie productions.

Becky said...

would have enjoyed more in high school than the Jane plan!