Dear readers, thank you so much for bearing with me through my spotty posting record. Lots has been happening here — visiting schools, watching for the next adventure that looms on the horizon.
I’ve promised (for weeks) to post resources for 7th and 8th grade history stories, but before I do that I wanted to share a book that I absolutely love.
If you are someone like me, who has huge gaps in your own history education, this is the book to read. In about 300 easy-to-read pages it sweeps through the entire course of human history. It definitely has a European focus, which was something I appreciated as my own education included hardly any history of Europe. The chapters read like little stories and though it is often sparse on detail, it brings the major points of each epoch in a beautifully thought-provoking way.
Because of its lack of detail it is of limited usefulness as a teaching resource (meaning you likely won’t tell stories straight from it), but it is invaluable for summarizing and capturing the essential points of human history. For this reason I consider it my most essential history resource and I would not want to teach Waldorf history without it. I would recommend reading it at the beginning of your Waldorf journey, so you have a clear picture of where your history studies will take you as you travel through the grades. Then, reread it before beginning fifth grade when the study of history properly begins. Then, before each grade, read the section that pertains to the era of history you’ll be addressing that year. Gombrich’s voice will become a cozy and familiar presence. I found that this book positively shaped my teaching of history and I am infinitely grateful to have discovered it as a resource.