This school year my kids have been diving into American history and loving it! I enjoy learning alongside of my middle school boys in this subject area since there is so many fascinating things in history to discover. This famous quote by Theodore Roosevelt sums up how I feel about why history is so incredibly important to learn.
History was my least favorite subject when I was growing up. I did not like it one bit. Most of my teachers strictly used a textbook and did not add any excitement to this subject whatsoever. Even though I aced the tests, I graduated college with little "real" knowledge of history and certainly no passion for this subject area until....
Teaching Tip: Here is an excellent visual that a college professor shared with me 24 years ago. (Typing that sentence just made me feel old.) Imagine a file folder cabinet that is filled with multiple files on different topics. That is your brain filled with many topics. The information in your brain's files is your "schema" or background knowledge about a topic. Everyone’s schema for a topic is different, depending on your individual experiences on what you have learned about a topic.
This television series is a perfect way to introduce young children to history. My middle schoolers still like watching these shows with their younger siblings. The character voices are provided by award-winning film legends, such as: Walter Croncrite, Annette Bening, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal, Ben Stiller and Liam Neeson. I purchased the entire series for $5.00 (and with free shipping) on Amazon!!! And that is not a typo- 866 minutes worth for five bucks! Now my family watches them in our van while traveling. Loving it!
Drive Thru History is my all-time favorite history curriculum for homeschooling. So much history is packed into these episodes that can be watched again and again. They are incredibly entertaining with lots of action and even humor sprinkled throughout. This video series is definitely my kids' top pick!
Dave Stotts, the driver and host of the show, explores the rich history of
in a fast and fun style all of his own. America
I really like how this series shows a Biblical side that many other video series will leave out. We watch these together as a family.
Discover the fascinating truth of
's past by exploring the Bible's influence on American culture
from government to education. Become an eyewitness to the nation's Christian heritage
with an exclusive tour of the America capitol, and enjoy the
rich history of faith in the founding era. U.S.
TIPS: There are many other excellent programs on PBS and The History Channel. Check your TV guide. Also, several of the programs listed above have study guides included on the DVDs or on their websites. Make sure to check those out, too.
There are countless picture and chapter books that I use with my children. For the sake of not having a blog post that would continue infinitely, I listed my favorite series and a few of my top picks.
History of US by Joy Hakim
A great read for older children. Colonial George Washington's perilous experiences in the French and Indian War are chronicled in this riveting account of God's providence and protection. There is something intriguing when learning about miracles, which also leads me to the next book.
Discover desperate circumstances in
past and how men and women rose up with faith and courage and how situations miraculously turned around. I used this book as a read-aloud with my older children.
This book takes the reader on a detailed exposition through the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. My homeschool group used this book as a study guide as they dove into learning together about our nation's founding documents. The older students really enjoyed this study group.
I recently purchased this book at a homeschool convention and I can't wait to start using it! It is written by a teenager who breaks up the constitution and explains it on a level that middle school to high school students will be able to understand it. It is written for a new generation and is a great reminder of what it is to have a voice and live free.
How can you unfold FUN? Every child should have a timeline while learning history and why not give them one like no other- a 15 foot fold-out timeline! I saw this at a homeschool convention and knew right away that I had to purchase it. This is a unique tool to engage your child in an adventurous trip through time - from the first day of creation to present day.
Feel free to share your favorite American history resources in the comments below.