Full Spectrum Learning 371 E Barbarita Ave Gilbert, AZ 85234
No. Younger children will need a phonics program and each child will need a solid math program. Religion, Science, Writing Skills, Vocabulary, Spelling, Critical Thinking, Library Skills, Home Economics, Crafts, Art and Music are all covered, but not in a systematic fashion. Depending on the abilities and needs of your child(ren) you may wish to supplement some of these subjects. There are many opportunities for writing, oral reports, interviews, etc., but it does not include a comprehensive grammar program. Includes plenty of Home Economics, Crafts, Art and Music, although you may still want to include a more formal Art or Music program.
How long does each unit take?
From 2-4 months, or longer, depending on each family. The exception is the General Studies unit, which we recommend should take no more than one to two months. Some families like to alternate a science unit between the History Links units. Links is set up to be repeated every four or six years, using the same units over again. Your children learn the material on a deeper level each time. Flexibility is encouraged. Parents should not expect to do every project or teach every concept.
Who wrote History Links?
Two experienced homeschooling moms, Barb Little and Jennifer Alles are the principle authors of History Links unit studies. They are occasionally joined by others to provide diversity to each unit. Barb Little has twelve years experience in homeschooling her five children. Her training in Occupational Therapy focused on learning modalities, recreational therapy, gradating activities for various ability levels, and extensive use of arts and crafts.
Jennifer Alles was a schoolteacher before retiring to teach her five children seven years ago. Her humanities degree has an emphasis on art history and intellectual history. Together Little and Alles bring a wonderful combination of education and experience to each unit.
Stephen Little joins his mother and Mrs. Alles in writing the Creation unit. His interest in the Creation/Evolution Controversy began in 7th grade when the Littles first studied this unit. So engaging did he find the subject matter that he spent two years researching and writing a extensive paper entitled "The Monkey Wrench" for a highschool research project. Philip Little designed many of the graphics for the units.
What is the philosophy behind History Links?
We believe that relationships and skills are best developed in a family learning atmosphere. All children study the same topics simultaneously, each at his own level. Children do the same activities whenever possible. When the difference in ability levels prevent this, one child either helps another child or he works independently. When they come together at meals, it is a time to recap what they have learned. The youngest child's sharing helps to solidify the older's knowledge, to fill in any gaps in his understanding. Conversely, older children's sharing helps younger children to stretch their understanding and to add to their knowledge. If Dad has not been available to do the lessons but hears of the day's events, he adds a new dimension to the subject matter while keeping in touch with the family activities.
We believe totally in the capabilities of the parents. We recognize that you, the homeschooling parent, are best able to choose the methods that will work for you child(ren). We believe that you are best able to choose those assignments that will suit the needs of your children and your place in life. Therefore, the program has flexibility built-in. You may opt for a unit that is all hands-on or for one that is all book-work and sedentary, depending upon your needs. If it is a banner year and you have lots of energy, if your kids are kinesthetic learners, go for the whole enchilada. If it is a pregnancy or new baby year, or your kids learn best by reading, adjust accordingly. We have used the program both ways and it works. (We have never had a high-energy year, but we are sure that there is such a thing.)
We believe that many kids learn best by doing. The younger the child, the more he can benefit from this approach. Some children will move out of this phase early, and others will need this approach into high school.
We believe that the foundation for learning is reasoning. Children need to think about why things are the way they are. By doing this they will not be memorizing answers but understanding concepts, and thus they will remember the material presented. Therefore, the presentation of most concepts is followed by a reasoning activity. The children think first and then do.
We believe that the Truths of our Faith should not only be memorized, but understood and lived. Catholic doctrine is incorporated as much as possible, and questions about the faith are raised to help the child solidify his understanding. We have presented the teachings of the Church in an authoritative manner, but we also believe that, in gray areas, it is the parents' privilege and responsibility to pass on their beliefs. We have tried to leave the gray areas open-ended for you to form your child according to your beliefs.
Must I prepare separate material for each child?
No! Each unit provides material for the entire family, ages preschool through high school. There is no need to buy a history textbook for each child! Although children will do different activities based on their skills, all will be studying the same subject. This will build family memories and family relationships while learning. Also, with each child studying the same topics, be prepared for some lively mealtime discussions!
What resources will I need to get started?
All you need to get started are a few reference materials such as: a set of encyclopedias, a Bible, a dictionary, a globe or world map, and the new Catholic Catechism. Access to a public library or the World Wide Web is also useful. Other books are recommended but not essential. For a more thorough discussion of this, see Resources to use with History Links.
How does Family Learning work?
All children will study the same topics simultaneously, each at his own level. Children do the same activities whenever possible. When the difference in ability levels prevents this, the more advanced child either helps another child or works independently. When the children come together at meals, it is a time to recap what they have learned, thus reinforcing what each child has studied. In this particular sample unit, the beginning material is geared more toward the younger children and the latter sections are geared toward the older ones. Have the older ones get started on their reading and research while you work with the younger ones.
What are the features that make History Links special?
The information in the margins is intended to be a handy reference for you, the parent. The icons in the margin indicate the subjects that the assignment would be classified as in a normal classroom. The shadow numbers in the margin indicate the ability level toward which the activity is geared. A supply list can be found in the margin as well.
The ability level is indicated by a P, 1, 2, or 3. The Preschool activity level (indicated with a P) will include projects for the pre-reading child. Generally, the Beginner level (1) will be aimed at students in the early elementary years. The Intermediate level material (2) is designed for use by students in fourth through eighth grade, and high schoolers will find their assignments in the Advanced level (3).
When you are doing lesson planning simply skim the margin for activities that are coded as appropriate for the ability of each child. From these assignments choose those which you want to include in your lesson plans. It is not expected that any family will complete all the lessons. Complete units will take 2-4 months. Once you have chosen the lessons to be completed, scanning the supply list will let you know if there are any supplies that you will need to obtain.
Toddler Ideas can be found at the bottom of the pages. These are ideas for keeping the toddler happy and constructively occupied while you are helping the other children.
View sample pages