Social Studies may be one of the most difficult subjects to teach at home. What is it really about? Social Studies starts with idea that we are not alone. As individuals, we have our own identity and contribute to our communities at various levels. The nuclear family is one such level, as is our local neighborhood, village or city. There are provincial, national, and global communities as well, all of which are influenced by the physical environment, including climate, natural resources, rivers, mountains, and oceans.
To study social studies is to learn about ourselves in relation to our communities. When we learn Social Studies, we want to learn to think carefully about ourselves, the people around us, and how we govern our actions such that we can live together. We learn to understand so that we can explain why things are as they are, how actions have consequences, and how our own beliefs and values guide us into becoming better friends and citizens. We want to learn how to decide if something is good or bad—that is, to make value judgments using evidence rather than prejudice and reason rather than bias
When we see ourselves in relation to our communities we may want to know the story of how things became the way they are. We must learn how to be good citizens, participating in democracy and able to weigh the issues. We begin to study history with a view to understanding why we live the way we do. In particular, we want to understand why we live among First Nations peoples. We want to learn how material resources, for example, led to change over time. History is really a small part of Social Studies and is really only the focus in Grades 7 to 9.
As we study Social Studies, we want to gain study and thinking skills: to demonstrate why things happen, to reflect on what it means today, and to analyze how things may have been caused. We want to use our knowledge to learn to appreciate others even when we don’t necessarily agree with them. We can learn how to use our minds to solve problems that come about as a result of living together. When we see that others are different it truly helps to understand why. Indeed, God did and does love the world. He has put us here as change-agents, ready in mind and spirit to bring about its transformation. For this, we need clear minds and strong hearts. We must know ourselves and we must know how others.
Dates and Resources
My main job during this part of the year is to review your samples and provide feedback. The more samples you send the more you get service you get from Rob. I look in SeeSaw each morning and respond to everything I see.
Dates and Links: November 23-- Term Ends
February 22 Term Two cutoff for submissions to SeeSaw
You may be interested in my recommended resources page. I only add to these resources when I see a learner has done well using it within the BC curriculum. I hope to add a few more links this year.