Today will be my final review on Switched-on-Schoolhouse as we wrap up our first full school year with it. You can read my previous reviews: my first overview and my spotlights on English, geometry, and biology.
Despite some of the annoyances of Switched-on-Schoolhouse – and I’m sure every curriculum has them – we’ll be using it again next year. After more than a year using it (thanks to a restart following a computer crash), Brianna still says that she likes it best of all the other high-school-level curriculum we’ve tried.
I think she likes that it’s straightforward and no frills. She knows what she’s got to do and she can just do it.
Subject Spotlight: World History
As an adult, I love history. I didn’t enjoy learning it as a kid, though. It was all boring dates and dry textbooks. I prefer teaching my kids history through great historical fiction, so I have been surprised at how much Brianna enjoys SOS world history. It’s basically textbook on the computer without the literature that I prefer.
Enjoy it, she does, however. When I asked her why, she said that it’s presented in an interesting way. She also stated that she really likes that it meshes world history with Biblical history when applicable. Brianna said she gets a good sense of what was going on in the world as a whole at the same time that familiar Biblical events took place.
I understand why she likes that. I have this tendency to think of the events I read about in the Bible as happening in some sort of bubble, so I really love when they are put in the setting of other world events. This makes the Bible and history make so much more sense to me since world events shaped the lives of Biblical figures.
Since Brianna is using the SOS curriculum independently, I’m not intimately familiar with the scope and sequence of the world history curriculum, however, from what I’ve seen on the work that I’ve had to manually grade, I think it’s covering what I would expect a high school level history program to cover.
I know that one thing she’s learned about has been the fall of Rome. We’ve had some very interesting discussions – many of them initiated by Brianna – about how our current society mimics much of what was going on in Rome before it fell. To see Brianna learning about history in such a way that she can see and understand those parallels is very rewarding.
I think one of the most compelling reasons to study history is to avoid making the mistakes of those who came before us. So, to see a student make those connections tells me that their study of history is doing one of the most important things it should be doing.
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