Planning Our 2018-2019 Homeschool Year {Part Two}

In Part One of Planning Our 2018-2019 Homeschool Year I offered an overview of our intention to slow down a bit next year and use the first few months of the school calendar as more of a review. I also outlined our goals for Math, Language Arts, and Spanish. This post will address our plans for Geography, World Religions, and Mythology.


Geography


We purchased the Geography Visual Encyclopedia {published by Smithsonian} at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, and we’ve incorporated some aspect of it as a spine for the last three school years. 

The first two years, we worked our way through sections on planet earth; rocks and minerals; water; climate and weather; and life on earth. During the current year, we finished up the sections on human geography and mapping and did a brief survey of each continent, supplementing with another great book, Where On Earth Atlas.

Next year we plan to start at the beginning of the book again, spending about a month {give or take} on each section. We will also be re-reading the corresponding books by Seymour Simon, one of our favorite go-to authors for geography, history, science, and health. For example, when we re-read the first section on Planet Earth, we will also look at The Solar SystemEarthquakes, and Volcanoes, among others. We like his books in particular because they are detailed enough to be interesting for my older students yet simple enough to be easily followed by the youngest.

World Religions


As with our Geography spine, we purchased the book What Do You Believe? for the 2015-2016 school year. The Senior Agents and I have already read it cover to cover twice. We started reading it with Agent A last year, but he wasn’t quite ready for it so we put it aside. This year we plan yet another re-read, along with some additional books/series we’ve enjoyed to supplement. This will likely include the This Is My Faith series {covering BuddhismChristianityHinduismIslamJudaism, and Sikhism from the perspective of a child who practices the faith}; The Belief Book and The Book of Gods; as well as Rupert’s Tales {an introduction to Pagan practices}.


Mythology


Our original objective was to dive into Norse mythology at the beginning of the next school year, but now that we’re on this review year path we have decided to go back over some of the stories we’ve already explored. Our list of probable re-reads includes Basher Mythology: The Stuff of Legends, the Treasury of Greek Mythology, and the Treasury of Egyptian Mythology. We will also likely take another look at the Children’s Book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Monsters, as it was so much fun. I’m sure that many other folk tales, legends, and fables will work their way back in for a second time, because this is a favorite Agent topic.

Note: For my non-religious students, making a distinction between what constitutes a religion and what constitutes a mythology can be fuzzy. To them—to us—it’s all fictional, so why separate into two separate studies? In fact, it has been said that mythology is simply a religion no one currently practices. If you consider myths to be another word for stories, you could say that all religions have mythology, but not all mythologies are religions. I make the distinction between the study of the two only to emphasis which ones the Agents are likely to know real live practitioners of and which ones they are not.

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