Do I understand that your curriculum is for grades 6-12 but can be used for grades 3 on up? We have a home school coop and are not completely happy with the history curriculum we are currently using. Our kids are on campus three times per week.
Thank you very much for considering our curriculum. I appreciate your question. Please bear with me as I provide a detailed answer!
To use our program with children under the age of 11 or 12, we would have to alter our Classical Historian curriculum. You could have it as a supplement to the history programs you are currently using. I would recommend that all students (and the teacher) complete the Teaching the Socratic Discussion DVD curriculum. This curriculum is very gentle, and young kids can benefit from it. After, as you continue learning the history content with your main textbooks, you could choose one or two Socratic discussion topics per quarter of school (one ever 8 or 10 weeks, for example) from our Take a Stand! book. The older students, ages 11 or 12 and older, should be required to do the extra reading, research, and writing. (I know that the texts I recommend provide enough evidence for the research. I assume the texts you use will have enough content for the research, but I am not 100% sure. For this reason, I would recommend you use the texts I recommend with the One Year curriculum. You could copy the readings necessary for the individual assignment for the class to keep the costs down). If some of the younger kids really want to participate, then they could also try, but the teacher's intention should be to view this as an educational experience for the younger kids, and not have extremely high standards as to their ability to form their own perspectives. We shouldn't worry too much if our nine year old boy isn't a critical thinker! Then, every quarter you would have one Socratic discussion class. The younger kids could listen to the older students, and if the younger ones want to participate, they could. At the end of each semester (as I have explained in our One Year Curriculum materials), I recommend that each student prepare a five to ten minute presentation on one of the assignments. The presentation should happen with all parents present, and it should be somewhat formal, with the young men wearing ties, etc. The younger children, though they shouldn't be compelled to present, will learn by watching the older kids. After the presentation, there should be a short reception with cookies and punch.
(The Long Story of Why I Wouldn't Use the Complete Classical Historian Program Only With Younger Studetns)
The Socratic Discussion DVD curriculum and the Take a Stand! books are intended for grades 6 - 12 because at the age of 12 or so kids seem to be ready to go beyond memorizing. Before this age, most kids are not naturally inclined to research longer assignments using different sources and form their own perspective. However, there may be an individual student who is ready who could do well in a group. For example, I once let a fourth grader join in a discussion group I led with 6th and 7th graders. She was able to form her own opinion and express herself in speech and somewhat in writing. However, I could not expect her to do the same amount of reading as the other children, and for much of the year, we lowered our expectations for her as compared to the other students with writing. This experience was a positive one for the student, but she was advanced in her thinking.
One thing I would be concerned with, is if the student is not ready and put in a position where he will fail not on account of effort, but on account of the development of the brain. My 11 year old daughter joined our home school class this year, and it has been working out excellently for her, but I would not expect my 9 year old son to complete the same program.
Teaching with the Take a Stand! series helps me get to know my children and students better and it helps them how to think critically, form historical judgement, and express themselves in speech and in writing.