Words from my youngest after we'd spent 2+ hours researching Aristarchus, ancient Greek astronomer and mathematician who is the first known to have theorized a heliocentric universe. Then we followed "rabbit trails" that lead us through an investigation of why we haven't managed to send any space ships to other galaxies yet. Short answer to that last question: We did. They aren't there yet. We learned that the Voyager I and II missions just reached the limits of our heliosphere within the last year (Scroll down to see the Voyager links)
We changed curriculum providers this year. The current one is called TRISMS. Time Related Integrated Studies for Mastering Skills. We're using the middle school version titled History Makers It's a survey of world history following biographies and achievements of scientists and explorers. We'll be reading some historical fiction and many biographies. When available, we may even look at some primary sources and we'll be checking internet resources -- if only so my son can figure out why those aren't always reliable.
#1 skill on the agenda -- research. Finding answers to your questions and figuring out whether or not they're valid. We start with a list of explorers and scientists, but are encouraged to stray outside the written boundaries of the program. I understand that the high school levels of the program encourage students to find one focus -- music, art, food, medicine, etc. and follow it through the ages as they make their way through the program.
The program incorporates vocabulary, grammar, history, science, geography and art -- most of the middle school agenda. We can incorporate the music of the cultures as well if we do a little additional research. We won't do much of that this year as keeping up with his piano lessons keeps us pretty busy musically.
In addition, we're learning Latin using the Prima Latina program from Memoria Press. It's designed to be used with kids as young as Kindergarten, but works well as an intro for a 6th grader too since it incorporates the Latin Prayers he wanted to learn. His goal is to eventually be able to converse in Latin with the Legionary priests and brothers who assist with the Conquest Club he sometimes participates in.