I believe that within the context of HISTORY falls all matters of Social Studies. History itself is progressive just and the instruction of social science. Eventually it will include sociology and deeper studies of historical events. It even builds a child to better understand psychology when in high school.
As I see it, we learn from the past. So here is my approach and future plans for teaching the overall concept of social science:
- begin at the start to learn about where you live and your community and family
- teach family history and correlate it to a map of where you live now and where you came from (we are in the USA and most came from someplace else)
- next take that map of your state and make it one of North America then the world. Keep it simple with colorful separation of states and continents
- now they understand that the US began and take the East coast in general to teach the beginnings.
I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I was when G, who was in public Kindergarten last year did not at least know that George Washington was the first president. (sure some day she will learn about the first Continental presidency but one step at a time)
- make small introductions about our founders that are notable in history that they will come across again and again....see how it becomes progressive.....
- I mean why in the world should you expect or what to learn everything about Ben Franklin at one time. Add to it over the years
- gradually add the history of America before progressing to the history of the world....WHY? because you learn best about what effects you first such and grandparents and parents, your own community, then reach out as it will be relevant and they will want to understand how it is all connected
- also because young students do not have the ability to grasp some of the time frame issues of world history yet
- eventually a greater understanding of the world will produce a greater understanding of mankind over all
- they are now ready both academically and developmentally to learn psychology, sociology, political science
This takes years and years of preparation. One cannot just decide to begin teaching this subject when they are in 8Th grade. Use this time to teach and learn about citizenship and encourage the same just as you encourage your child to pray and to be faithful.