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Old April 29th, 2015, 06:45 AM   #1
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Homeschool History Suggestions


I'm looking for history curriculum for my homeschooled son (age 7) and though I've asked on homeschool forums already, I'd like some opinions from some history lovers and figured this would be the place. I LOVE history but have barely tip-toed into teaching it because, frankly, I tend to be too verbose and my son needs bite size. I'm leaning towards a Chronological approach. I'm totally up for teaching through puppets or pretend play. Would LOVE to find a curriculum that incorporated that.

A bit about my 7 year old and history...

1. He has trouble paying attention to long sections of text with no pictures.
2. He's more interested in the people in a story than the story itself (always wants to talk to the people or animals in any book I read him).
3. Doesn't care for coloring too much.
4. Does not write very much...getting a little better, but really, really have to struggle to get him to write anything on his own. (He'll dictate complex stories though).
5. Likes projects (painting/crafting).
6. Likes to draw.
7. Likes to pretend.
8. Has a longer attention span for videos.

Last edited by ecarian; April 29th, 2015 at 06:47 AM.
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Old April 29th, 2015, 09:20 AM   #2
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First off, if you haven't already, I would find out what the state expects you to teach.

Second, as I'm sure you are fully aware, you have great flexibility to visit historic places and museums since you homeschool.

Rather than finding a set curriculum, I would probably take the state's expectations and utilize picture books, historical fiction books, and visits to historic places to cover the bulk of the subject, then fill in the gaps that aren't covered by those.

As a kid, I always really enjoyed doing things that people did way back when. A few of the things I remember most from field and family trips include: dipping candles, being put in stocks, dressing up in "period" clothing, etc. etc. My kids really enjoy visiting reenactments and such.

All my kids have enjoyed creating stories with me as well. Sometimes we'll pick two or three items/people and build a story around them. You could certainly do that with history.

Is there a particular area of history he is supposed to learn at this age? I might have some more specific ideas based off your answer.

And I recommended some specific books/series on one of your other threads.
Your Favorite Historical Picture Books For Children
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Old April 29th, 2015, 11:24 AM   #3

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Maybe he could make a timeline with images depicting various events and people. I know I would remember better if I had made it myself.
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Old April 30th, 2015, 08:16 AM   #4
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Thanks for all your great suggestions. Our state (Texas) has very loose guidelines. In fact history is not even listed as one of the subjects we have to teach (though citizenship is, which I assume would include some history). There is no specifics for homeschoolers (though there are plenty of specifics for public school teachers).

I wanted to teach him history because I love it, and because I think it's important. I do hope to incorporate a lot of hands on. I'd love to do some historical sight seeing too.

It's just that history is so big so I thought having a curriculum to help guide me might help. I think having a framework to put those things we explore more deeply into would be helpful and am not sure how to build that myself.

And while I what to tackle history somewhat chonologically...I'm not sure how to do that. Cover all the ancient world, then move onto more modern? Cover by place or country (ie...tackle all of Europeon history, all of American history, all of Asian history separately). If I had some sort of a guideline I'd have no trouble finding interesting hands on projects and such.

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First off, if you haven't already, I would find out what the state expects you to teach.

Last edited by ecarian; April 30th, 2015 at 08:20 AM.
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Old April 30th, 2015, 08:22 AM   #5

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Old April 30th, 2015, 08:31 AM   #6
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My earliest recollection on history and what got me started was when in 2nd grade I made a model of the Jamestown fort out of toothpicks. If I recall, it did not include the inside buildings but the basic triangles with the bulwarks. In third grade, we made a field trip and I was hooked. Perhaps something similar using the Alamo?

http://www.virtualjamestown.org/map5.html

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/23010648071895025/ made with popsicle sticks

Last edited by newhandle; April 30th, 2015 at 08:37 AM.
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Old April 30th, 2015, 06:33 PM   #7
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[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Third-Grader-Needs-Revised-Edition/dp/0385336268"]What Your Third Grader Needs to Know (Revised Edition): Fundamentals of a Good Third-Grade Education (Core Knowledge Series): E.D. Hirsch Jr.: 9780385336260: Amazon.com: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CyAb1zhPL.@@AMEPARAM@@51CyAb1zhPL[/ame]

Some people seem to really like this series. You might check it out. It's not a true "curriculum" though, IIRC.
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Old May 4th, 2015, 07:52 AM   #8

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I loved the Usborne books as a small child.
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Old May 5th, 2015, 06:26 AM   #9

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I homeschool too. We just started this year so are still figuring out what works best for us and I know that NYS (were we live) has many more regulations than TX so I'll keep that in mind. For history we use Story of the World as a spine, my daughter just turned 8 and is in second grade. She really took to the story format of the books and so far has enjoyed reading through them. We started with volume one at the start of this school year which is ancient history and moved recently into volume two for the middle ages. I will say that they work great as spine but definitely look into more resources to back them up. I used some of the books I had at home to flesh out the topics, especially mythology of various cultures, the internet was a great resource too. The first book definitely does have a bit of a Christian focus in some areas (biblical stories mixed in) but it's not overt and I found it easy to skip the Christian/Judaic history parts if necessary or discuss them as a myth in the context of cultural history so I wouldn't let that sway me from recommending the series.

We found the Kid's Animated History Series with Pipo to be a good resource for a general overview of some topics. It can be watched for free on Hulu:

Watch Kid's Animated History With Pipo Online - at Hulu

And the Usborne books are good too, we checked them out of the library for reference.

Of course local museums and field trips have been great to check out too.

We purchased this book to go along with our history lessons on Ancient history and my daughter liked doing the crafts and activities in it:

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Classical-Kids-Activity-Ancient-Hands-On/dp/1556522908/ref=tmm_pap_title_0"]Classical Kids: An Activity Guide to Life in Ancient Greece and Rome (Hands-On History): Laurie Carlson: 9781556522901: Amazon.com: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61IJiKMOwGL.@@AMEPARAM@@61IJiKMOwGL[/ame]

Next school year I plan on trying the Build Your Library curriculum and that uses Story of the World, Usborne and literature as a spine for history.

As far as writing: My daughter struggles with writing. I give her writing assignments every day and try to make them related to something she likes a lot. I found her a pen pal to write to through a facebook group which is really motivating for her and she loves receiving letters from another girl her age. And the Star Wars writing workbook has been a godsend, she loves anything Star Wars and it's one of the only pain free ways to get her to write lately. I figure that if I let her write about things that she loves eventually she will get better with it and will grow to at least not mind the task. For now for most subjects we do things orally when we can.

Last edited by Amarna; May 5th, 2015 at 06:33 AM.
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Old May 10th, 2015, 10:20 AM   #10
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Thanks so much. These are really great resources/suggestions!

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I homeschool too......
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