Duh! Not Just History (A Follow-Up of Sorts)

The category says “social sciences,” not just “history.”

In general, colleges want to see a year of American history/government. Yes, that’s how I keep seeing it listed. Government is not, strictly speaking, the province of history, but rather political science.

Social sciences, however, encapsulates a range of disciplines. Wikipedia lists the branches of social science as “anthropology, economics, education, geography, history, law, linguistics, political science, psychology, [and] sociology.”

One of the advantages of homeschooling is customizing education to a student’s strengths. Beyond that, I can see many more opportunities for linking cause and effect explicitly within such fields as economics and geography.

I don’t have an answer for where I want to go with this. The short answer is that at the very least, I want to integrate the social sciences into EG’s other courses of study. It would require ‘dialing back’ a bit with regards to history expectations, and adding material alongside.

What kinds of materials am I looking at?
• creating an economics course using a multitude of resources, including the Life of Fred Pre-Algebra 2: Economics book, and possibly The Literary Book of Economics
• studying United States government and politics, using some of the Complete Idiot’s series: U.S. Government & Politics and The American Presidency
• cultural anthropology, using The Teaching Company’s People and Cultures of the World, or biological anthropology, using Biological Anthropology: An Evolutionary Perspective
• psychology, for which there are numerous resources
• similarly, philosophy
• geography, starting perhaps with Ellen McHenry’s Mapping the World With Art (again, another possibility in Geography)
• linguistics and the history of the English language, using Excavating English
• perhaps an introduction to Constitutional law? There’s a Complete Idiot’s Guide to the US Constitution that might provide a good starting point for a middle school or early high school course, along with The Federalist Papers and The Anti-Federalist Papers.
• Mark Kurlansky’s books could provide a different avenue for studying aspects of history.
• Both history and music, I fully intend to put together a “History of Rock N Roll” course for my kids when they are each in high school. I’ll use something like this, and add reading and further listening for a nice 0.5 credit course. Maybe we’ll culminate it with a vacation that includes a swing by Cleveland, OH for the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame & Museum.

What are some not-quite-as-typical ideas that you have for social sciences (or another area, for that matter)? Resources you’ve spotted that look like a great deal of fun? Bonus points if you can steer me towards some resources for sustainable agriculture, whether from an economic or scientific perspective.


Gretchen said...

Have you had a chance to look at the life of fred economics yet? I was wondering if it has a particular political slant to it or not.

Kash said...

I haven't, but honestly I'm not sure I could tell anything from it. *hangs head* The only course I ever dropped was econ - I have little to no economic knowledge from either perspective (except I do know I don't like the idea of a flat tax or a national sales tax!).

Kash said...

If you ever get bored and want to start something on WTM, though, you should ask that question. ;)

Gretchen said...

ha--yeah, I guess I could :). I have gone as far as doing a search for it, and nothing came up. I don't mind a standard rah! rah! capitalism! kind of thing. I just don't want a trendy libertarian slant to my (kids') economics. Also, I think I could really annoy some libertarians by calling them "trendy" all the time...but I digress.

Gretchen said...

...and I already defended progressive taxation on WTM once this week, so I think I'm all set for awhile ;)

Kash said...

LOL. Awesome. :D

Ruth in NC said...

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has some lesson plans that look adaptable for the home school rocker.


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