This year we are studying early American History. I really want to use Story of the World but I’m holding off for another year or two. I just don’t think Lilly is quite ready. I also have some decent American History materials on hand from my former teaching days that I want to put to use.
Here’s a very basic overview:
We began with blank map copying of the continents and continue to review this so we know exactly where the pilgrims came from while reading some great books about why they came. Those books included many wonderful D’Aulaire books and many others, like some of these. We read about Native Americans and pilgrims both, and the trials they both faced.
We have also taken advantage of our very long hallway to use it as a place for our timeline to begin to get a grasp of when these events took place. Whenever we read about a significant person or group of people in history we put a picture in the corresponding place on the timeline for the kids to begin to visually see how time has transpired and where they themselves fit into the history of our world. I really love that they do something similar to this in their Faith Formation class at church so the big picture is starting to make sense to them. When we read about the Native Americans we strung beads, did some crafts, and took a field trip to Living History Farms where we saw corn husk dolls, clothing made of beads and shells, etc. first-hand.
One day while reading a book about the pilgrims we learned that the children were given their education at home. Since there were very few materials for them to use, the children used what they had. They mixed dirt, ashes from the fire and water for ink and used a feather quill as a writing utensil. Toby & Lilly decided they just HAD to try that!
Toby is also doing one lesson each week from Maps, Charts, Graphs, The Places Around Me by Modern Curriculum Press which he absolutely LOVES and would do every single day. Unfortunately there are just not that many lessons in the book! I don’t know what it is about this book but Lilly even loves to watch him do this and “help” him with it. We’ll definitely be doing more of these for map skills.
I know I left out a lot of things but that is a very general idea of what we do for geography/history. Reading great books, discussing them, looking at maps/globes/time lines to help identify points and make connections, finding other activities to make more connections and having fun doing it!
Check back for another subject overview soon!