We have spent the last four years journeying through Story of the World. We loved it. The kids enjoyed the hands on activities. We all learned a lot about history and having it presented in a chronological fashion allowed us to better grasp history as a whole instead of in bits and pieces. However, we are taking this year off from that program before beginning a second cycle. This year is going to be a more in-depth study of US history and geography. Story of the World covered a great deal of what we will be studying but not very deeply because it was including so many different things. We want to go a bit deeper into these subjects. Our plan is to spend 10 months (we take summers off) and use each month to cover one period of American History.
For each period we will read books about that era, have at least one project and typically at least one field trip that ties into that era. We will cook meals that go with the period when it is applicable and exploring a variety or resources. While there are some things that I will make sure we cover because I feel they are important, the kids will also have the opportunity to choose topics with-in that time period and dig deeper and do their focus projects on that topic.
Each month I will post a list of the resources that we have chosen thus far, project ideas, and any other components that we have developed that might be helpful to anyone that wants to try American History with us. These will be located in the resource library. Simply sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter and you will also receive access to all of our free resources. I will post the resources during the month prior so you will have time to find and select the ones you wish to use. I will also share weekly about how we are doing and what the children are learning. I am sure that the list of resources I provide in the beginning will not be exhaustive as we always find new things as we learn and research so I will update that as we go along as well. I welcome any suggestion or ideas for great American History resources. I have broken the resources down into books, audio books/stories, field trips (some of these will obviously be more applicable to those that live in proximity to myself but should also give you some ideas of where to look around wherever you live), project ideas, and other resources. For anyone that happens to have a daughter in American Heritage Girls I am also including some tie-ins with several badges that my daughter will be working on completing.
We also try to include art where we can, whether in artist studies, art lessons, or just fun creative crafts. My children have been using chalk pastel tutorials over the last year or so and loving them. This year we are going to be doing the US History set of tutorials to tie-in with our history. We love these tutorials because they are easy but quality, require minimal supplies, and doesn’t take much planning on my part. Here is a link to the set we are using in case you are looking to add a bit of art to your studies. http://www.chalkpastel.com/product/american-history-video-art-lessons/?ref=215 (aff)
I would love to have you join us on the journey through American History. My hope is that it is a chance for us to learn and grow as a family and to enjoy history together.
September–Explorers and Colonial Times
November–New Nation (1790-1815)
December–West Expansion (1815-59)
January–Civil War (1860-65)
February–Reconstruction and Gilded Age (1866-1914)
March–Great War, a Great Depression and Jazz ( 1914-1935)
April– WWII and Korean War ( 1936-53)
May–Modern/Cold War (53-80s)
June–Technology Revolution (80s- present)