Homeschooling // American History Pt. 1


I love American History! It makes me happy for sure. When I was a kid in public school it was actually my least favorite class. With the exception of a few historic related field trips in elementary school and my 7th grade history teacher, who did an AMAZING job doing hands-on history related activities, all of my other teachers made history about as dry as possible. 

History, as I was taught, was nothing more than memorizing dates that meant nothing to me and the related facts so that I could regurgitate them on a test and then promptly forget.

When I was 16 and in college, it wasn't any different. Memorize, test, forget. I remember nothing from any history class I ever took [other than that 7th grade course]. It wasn't until I was on a trip to Annapolis, Maryland to visit my grandmother that I fell in love with history. She took me to downtown Annapolis. If you have never been there, you're missing out. It's just gorgeous and rich with American History. The houses, inns, museums and cobblestone roads all whisper of historic life!

It's no wonder that when I started homeschooling I wanted a different experience for our children. My husband and I want our kids to visit places, and learn to retain information. The quest to find the perfect history curriculum was on around this time last year. I looked into Beautiful Feet Books, Sonlight, Tapestry of Grace, My Father's World and more.

All of these programs look wonderful! All I really knew for sure was that I wanted it to be a Charlotte Mason type of experience with us reading lots of living books instead of a textbook approach. I didn't love every aspect of each program but I loved parts of each one. Even though I thought I was more of the "buy a boxed set with everything I need in it including a daily schedule" type, I found that I rather enjoyed the work of putting together something special for our kids instead.

Basically I Frankenstein-ed us an American History study. I bought most of the books on Amazon, and the others on Beautiful Feet Books. I bought whatever was cheapest. I could have borrowed them from the library, but I wanted to build a great home library. When we started this book list our girls were the only ones in school, but our 3 year old likes to listen also. The girls were in 1st and 3rd grade officially.

Here is our reading list for American History from the late 1400s to about 1880:

Meet Christopher Columbus
The Very First Americans
The Lost Colony
Pocahontas : An American Princess
A Lion to Guard Us
The Pilgrims of Plimoth
What Was the First Thanksgiving
The Thanksgiving Story
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Meet George Washington
Betsy Ross : The Story of Our Flag
The Matchlock Gun [we only made it one chapter in and decided it wasn't for us]
Benjamin Franklin : Young Printer
{We watched Liberty's Kids DVD's up to The First Fourth of July}
The 4th of July Story
A More Perfect Union: The Story of our Constitution
{Finish up the Liberty's Kids DVD's}
Abe Lincoln : The Boy Who Loved Books
Meet Abraham Lincoln
The Trail of Tears
Orphaned on the Oregon Trail
Prairie School
We are also reading the My First Little House Series of books which are super cute and the American Girl books. We're huge fans of American Girl! 
When I'm reading the longer books, the kiddos draw and color in these sometimes:

No comments:

Post a Comment

dude. thanks for your comment :-)

Featured post

The Surfing Animals Alphabet Book // Review

After a couple posts about surfing books here & here , it shouldn't come as a surprise that we love books about surfing. We are f...