Large Family Homeschool–History Lessons–Family School Style

Our family believes that History is–HIS STORY–as in God’s story of the past. So, though we have not studied any ancient history, we are currently studying American History from a Christian perspective, with the understanding that not all believe that God was involved in America’s heritage. Don’t get me wrong, we DO believe that God is and was involved in America’s His-Story. We do want our children to understand that there are other views and beliefs, so that they are not broadsided when it is a topic of discussion. If they are adequately prepared, they will be able to have an educated discussion and quite possibly be able to help someone learn the truth.

I am not a boxed curriculum kind of homeschooler. I don’t use a boxed set for anything. History is no different, and boy do we use a lot of very interesting and mind challenging resources. Here is a list with links of the many resources you can find on our shelves. We also use the library and check out many books at a time, to go with our current topics.

TruthQuest History–Our spine
Homeschool in the Woods:

Time Travelers New World Explorers

Time Travelers Colonial Life

Time Travelers The American Revolution

Time Travelers The Early 19th Century

There is one we don’t yet have, but it is in the plans– Time Travelers The Civil War

From this site we also have:

HISTORY Through the Ages Collection of Historical Timeline Figures on CD Scroll to the bottom of the page for the CD, which is what I have and I LOVE it.

The Olde World Style United States and World Maps CD Again scroll to the bottom of the page.

We have Story of the World Vol 1-4, and the Activity Guides.

For supplements to read, so that if we don’t go to the library, we can still do history we have this “spines” on our shelves:

This Country of Ours by H.E. Marshall

A Child’s History of the World by Virgil M. Hillyer

All three volumes of The Light and The Glory for Children Series.

The Story of the Thirteen Colonies by H.A. Guerber

Now for how I use all this and don’t get anyone bogged down. We do not read any of these from cover to cover. I go through and find what pertains to what we are learning and if it is age appropriate for all, it becomes a read aloud, if it is above most, our oldest has it for assigned reading. A lot of the above are activity based to bring these lesson home and make them real. We also have a history notebook that has lots of our lessons in it. This is mainly for my fourth grader.

Our History notebook contains mapping activities, short narrations about istorical figures and events, coloring pages, poems, readings printed off from online resources or Homeschool in the Woods, brief descriptions of projects, and anything else that we come across.

Many of our notebooking pages are made using the Homeschool in the Woods Timeline figures. I also use them to make coloring pages. If I can’t find what I want on that, I google it. I have also found two fairly reasonable price notebooking sets that are nice to have:
Notebooking Pages

History Scribe

Below are a few pictures from our History Notebook–I want to add here, that my fourth grader has dysgraphia, so his handwriting is not up to par, but I am proud of his efforts, and am glad to see improvement, and he likes to have these in his notebook.

We also are enjoying timeline activites. We have three different timelines, a wall timeline, a notebook timeline, and then we have “topic” timelines.

The wall timeline is an overview of everything. It is not large enough to put everything on. The notebook timeline is more in depth and has much more in it, including any books that are read that pertain to history. I print the cover of the book off and we glue it in, in the “era” that it took place. The topic timeline is just that. It is just for a certain topic such as Explorers, Colonial, etc. By using these three timelines our children can grasp how much time there really has been.
Notebook timeline:

Wall Timeline

Fridays are Timeline days, so our timeline is missing about 7 figures. They are cutout and ready to place tomorrow.

We also include some other activities. We have cooked food from certain eras, made replicas of different things, (viking boats), and visit museums and other places of interest. Knot tying, labeling, and locating places on maps too. Right now as we study the explorers, there are not many “activities” that I have found. However, shortly we will be moving into the Colonial era and there will be an abundance of activities.

We do history in the afternoons. Our whole family is learning new things and our children have a desire to learn about our heritage. I hope this helps you see how you can get rid of that dull, dry, textbook, and bring history to life for your family.

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