Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: History

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Homeschooling your young children through history is so much fun! Little kids love to be told stories and taught about new and unique ways of life and peoples. History provides all these lovely opportunities.

Teaching about the pilgrims at Thanksgiving and dressing as they might have at Plymouth. Cooking up a meal that you might get in northern Africa by asking a missionary who lives there. Don’t get me started on the number of field trips right in your own backyard!

Holidays provide great history lesson days!

As you can see I get super excited and start thinking of topics here and there that I can’t wait to share with my children. However, I want to be very sure that I cover not just my interests but the whole of American, World, Geography, Social Studies etc for my child. That is why I always use a structured curriculum as our ‘backbone’ for the year.

When you have a guide like a curriculum we cover a broad, in-depth  learning for that year. Because of the nature of homeschooling I do get to toss in unit studies or topical interests as well. The fun will continue and the learning will be plentiful.

We asked our fellow homeschooling Teach Them Diligently families what do you recommend as an Elementary History, Geography, and Social Studies curriculum choice? We compiled their choices about this and 39 other levels and subjects of curriculum in our FREE Homeschool Family Favorite Guide .

TOP 10 choices for Homeschooling Elementary History, Geography, and Social Studies Curriculum

  1. Story of the World (By The Well Trained Mind)  from the website- The Story of the World is an award-winning resource for families looking for a history curriculum they can fall in love with. Told in the straightforward, engaging style that has become Susan Wise Bauer’s trademark, this four-volume set covers the sweep of human history from ancient times until the present. Africa, China, Europe, the Americas — find out what happened all around the world in long-ago times. This read-aloud series is designed for parents and teachers to share with elementary school children. Enjoy it together and introduce your child to the marvelous story of the world’s civilizations.
  2. Notgrass History from the website- Textbooks generally provide context and comprehensiveness. Unit studies generally provide depth and richness. In our courses, we attempt to bridge the gap between these two approaches by giving you tools that help you teach the heart, soul, and mind of your student. Our curriculum is easy for parents, requiring little planning or preparation. Our curriculum is rewarding for students, helping them learn to analyze the present by understanding the past.
  3. Masterbooks From the website, “Master Books® is the world’s largest publisher of creation-based material for all ages including apologetics, homeschool resources, reference titles, and quality children’s literature.”

Add Enriching Studies and Trips

As you are choosing your history curriculum check and see if your preferred option has enrichment activities. Some have whole enrichment options that go with the books giving you lots of ideas on historical reenactments, cooking, maps (old and new) and more. This will bring your history class to a whole new level and give you lots of neat things to take over and show grandma.

4. The Mystery of History

5. Beautiful Feet Books

6. Sonlight

7. Abeka History

History isn’t always beloved

I have shared why I love history. Now let me share why one of my kids hated it. Even with all my enthusiasm brimming she just snarled up her lip at the history book every time it came out. When we met the author to that history book at a Teach Them Diligently convention I noticed my daughter loved the conversation and loved to chat about history.

WAH? Is this the same child that can’t find her book? What is going on? Am I that bad a history teacher?

Nope. My daughter has dyslexia and history is a very reading heavy subject. Over the year I had started to rely more and more on her reading a section of the book and less on hands on kinetic learning. When I adjust back to more kinetic learning, getting an audio of the textbook, and allowing my daughter to help me plan a field trip a week she perked up. Stress gone and history back in the good books.

8. Simply Charlotte Mason

9. Heart of Dakota

10. Draw and Write through History

Your child will be soaking up the stories of their nation as you teach. This well-rounded Top 10 list of curriculum options will allow you to find a history book that aligns with your high standards and beliefs. Teaching your elementary children history, geography, and social studies will be a great time.

Homeschool Family Favorite Guide Free downloadable

This is just the beginning of many home education curriculum recommendations. Here is our FREE downloadable Homeschool Family Favorite Guide with many other top 10 recommendation by fellow homeschooling families.

If you would like to read more about learning to read Click below:

3 Ways to Make History and Geography Delicious

Top 10 Homeschooling Middle School History, Geography, and Social Studies Curriculum Choices

 

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Help! My preteen thinks history is boring. I need help finding a homeschool history curriculum my middle schooler will enjoy and engage. The families of Teach Them Diligently have been there and thankfully they are sharing their middle school curriculum favorites with us! This list is all about middle school level history, social studies, and geography.

These curriculum options cover the range of homeschooling styles. Beginning with a traditional detailed textbook based style that many of us parents learned from ourselves. To our #1 pick Notgrass History more unit based with a strong dash of textbook style. Then we have a chronological world history option that has lots of opportunities to add hands on projects for your kinetic learner or even add in the younger ones with their big siblings lesson.

History doesn’t have to be boring!

We asked our fellow homeschooling Teach Them Diligently families what do you recommend as a Middle School History/ Social Studies/ Geography curriculum choice? We compiled their choices about this and 39 other levels and subjects of curriculum in our FREE Homeschool Family Favorite Guide .

TOP 10 choices for Middle School History, Social Studies, Geography Curriculum

  1. Notgrass History  from the website- Textbooks generally provide context and comprehensiveness. Unit studies generally provide depth and richness. In our courses, we attempt to bridge the gap between these two approaches by giving you tools that help you teach the heart, soul, and mind of your student. Our curriculum is easy for parents, requiring little planning or preparation. Our curriculum is rewarding for students, helping them learn to analyze the present by understanding the past.
  2. The Mystery of History  from the website- The Mystery of History is chronological, Christian, and complete world history curriculum that is easy-to-use, historically accurate, Christ-centered series
  3. Story of the World  (by Well-Trained Mind) from the website- The Story of the World is an award-winning resource for families looking for a history curriculum they can fall in love with. Told in the straightforward, engaging style that has become Susan Wise Bauer’s trademark, this four-volume set covers the sweep of human history from ancient times until the present. Africa, China, Europe, the Americas — find out what happened all around the world in long-ago times. This read-aloud series is designed for parents and teachers to share with elementary school children. Enjoy it together and introduce your child to the marvelous story of the world’s civilizations.

Ever wonder how these curricula want us to teach our children? Here is a video about our #2 The Mystery of History and how you could use their history program in your home.

  1. Masterbooks History
  2. Beautiful Feet Books
  3. Exploring the World through Cartography ( by Classical Conversations)

History is not all that is in this lovely list. There is Social Studies that your middle schooler can understand and discuss at a much higher level of critical thinking. This can be folded into field trips and even current events finding similarities to the past. The compare and contrast of what has happened and what might happen now is often very intriguing and engaging for preteens.

  1. Abeka History
  2. Heart of Dakota
  3. Simply Charlotte Mason History
  4. Veritas Press History

Before we leave this great list lets talk about why would a child well versed for years in geography need to continue in middle school? If your preteen knows their world geography then move on to Biblical geography and historical geography. Now that your preteen is old enough to understand the maps of WW2 Europe it can compliment history and deepen their understanding. Add maps to your Biblical learning so your preteen knows how God used the land itself to help Gideon.

Weave these subjects into your day to day learning to make for a more balanced, better educated preteen. Look through these top 10 curriculum choices to find which ones best match your families home educating style. Try free lessons that many of these companies have available. Watch videos by the creators and see what they have to offer. These top 10 curriculum choices in Middle School history, social studies, and geography will help your Middle School preteen.

Homeschool Family Favorite Guide Free downloadable

This is just the beginning of many home education curriculum recommendations. Here is our FREE downloadable Homeschool Family Favorite Guide with many other top 10 recommendation by fellow homeschooling families.

If you would like to read more about Middle School Click below:

Top 10 Homeschool Middle School Math Curriculum Choices

Homeschool Resources for Middle & High School  ‎

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History is a subject students either love or hate. Long lists of dates, names, and events to memorize are dry and uninspiring. If we approach history through the power of story, however, it comes alive, jumps off the page, and is about more than rote memory.

Unless we live through an event, we must to trust the words of historians who write about historical events. Most historians do the best research they can, but they were not eye witnesses to history either. Sometimes, their research is flawed or their conclusions biased.

So how do we know what is true?

Some people, like Abraham Lincoln, and events, like the Civil War, are well-documented. If we want to study Lincoln’s life and impact on the world, we can easily find primary documents to inform us.

What are primary documents?

These documents are papers, journals, letters, and photos created by an individual living in the time period about the events they experienced. One of the arguments people have against historians is a tendency toward bias or a personal agenda.

When we go to original documents, eye witness testimonies bring the details of the times and events to life. We aren’t relying on a historian’s interpretation or worrying about their bias.

There are many primary documents created during Abraham Lincoln’s life. Some allow him to speak directly to us about the situations he experienced as President of the  United States. Others give us background about the events occurring during his day.

abraham lincoln

Documents about Abraham Lincoln’s early life:

Abraham’s Lincoln’s Youth (See words that Lincoln wrote in one of his school books.)
Lincoln’s Sense of Humor (See a business card designed as a joke.)
Virtual Library (Includes links to photographs and learning pages.)
Interactive Presentations (Uses newspaper clipping and photos to teach Lincoln’s days before being President.)
Video of the Kentucky Years from Lincoln’s Birthplace
Under Lincoln’s Hat (Primary Resources)

Documents about Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency:

Sheet Music and Songs Written About Lincoln
Telegram (Telling Lincoln of the surrender of Fort Sumter)
Civil War Maps
Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft (Tells what Washington was like during the Civil War)
Lincoln and General Grant
The Gettysburg Address
Pictures and Lithographs
Lincoln’s Resolution on Slavery

The Emancipation Proclamation:

Drafts of the Emancipation Proclamation
Petition Supporting the Emancipation Proclamation
Petition Requesting Exemption from the Emancipation Proclamation

Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination:

Lincoln’s Pockets (What were in his pocket’s when he was killed?)
Drawings of the Event and Funeral, including the Reward Poster for Lincoln’s Killer
Anonymous Letter Warning of Lincoln’s Assassination
R. A. Hunt to Abraham Lincoln, Friday, January 18, 1861 (Warning Lincoln of assassination attempt)
James S. Knox, Saturday, April 15, 1865 (Eyewitness account of Lincoln’s assassination)

Other Primary Resources for Abraham Lincoln:

Civil War Trust
Teaching Lincoln with Primary Sources
Documents from TeachingAmericanHistory
2nd and 3rd Grade Lesson Plans Using Primary Documents for Abraham Lincoln

Using primary documents can be fun and challenging. Finding out what really happened during historical events makes dates and names come to life. You may find the more documents you read, the more questions you have. Using original documents to unlock history can transform a dry process of fact memorization into a fact-finding treasure hunt.

Happy history hunting!

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

For more on teaching history check out this video on Teach Them Diligently 365.

Teaching History Using Source Documents – Interview with Ben Kunkel

Watch “Teaching History Using Source Documents – Interview with Ben Kunkel”

There is great value in approaching the way we teach history by using source documents and real experiences to do so. Join Leslie and Ben Kunkel of the Ashbrook Center as they talk about teaching history to your high school students using source documents– and even throw in some great ideas for making history come alive for your younger students!

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hand holding a ball of the world

Middle school students are mature enough to begin thinking more deeply about Thanksgiving. They are able to complete more complex assignments about the related history. Thanksgiving unit studies for middle school students create hands-on learning opportunities when holiday excitement makes it hard to concentrate on text books.

Children who enjoy role playing may enjoy creating costumes and writing plays for friends and family to participate in. Costume making combines history and home economics subjects. Who doesn’t like getting two for one? Perhaps your reluctant writer will forget to be reluctant when carried away by writing the play?

Ways to Teach the History of Thanksgiving

Unit studies allow elementary and older children to work on the same historical time period together. Expand the requirements for an elementary unit study to make it middle school appropriate.

1)  Research Pilgrim-era games and teach them to younger friends and family during the holidays.

2) Create a timeline of Pilgrim leaders and other historical figures who lived at the same time, etc.

3) Identify the character traits, good and bad, of the major figures in the Pilgrim story. Did those traits help or hurt the person? Which of those traits to you see in yourself?

4) Computer savvy youngsters may want to create a power point presentation of their findings on a Thanksgiving related topic.

Nothing like knocking out two subjects with one assignment!

Resources

Visit the Thanksgiving unit study at 123 Homeschool 4 Me. Ideas include: costumes, quills, DIY marbles, Johnny Cakes, and book printables. I love the hands on activites included in this engaging unit study. Especially for a youngster who learns by doing more than reading, hands on activities make learning easier.

Want to teach your middle school student more about Plymouth Rock? Take the ideas from Fall Into First and create more challenging tasks for middle schoolers while working with younger ones on the same topics.

Love Pinterest? Amanda Bennett has a wonderful board of unit study ideas.

The website In All You Do offers a free printable Thanksgiving unit study for pre-K through 5th grade.

Field of Daisies has listings of poems, audiobooks, a play, science activities, and loads of cooking fun tucked inside the Old Fashioned Thanksgiving unit study. Math, music, Bible studies and  printables round out this wonderful resource.

Unit studies may seem challenging for moms who are more comfortable with text book based learning. The holiday season is a good time to try one on for size. Offer your middle schoolers the opportunity to use unit studies and broaden their understanding of colonial history while celebrating Thanksgiving.

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.

 

 

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Do you want more fun articles on a wide range of topics like discipleship, academics, family, encouragement and general homeschooling?  Just click here to search the vast blog library!

 

Free Resource – The 14 Day Starter Bible Devotional for Homeschool Moms!

Bible Devotional for Homeschool Moms

Focusing on the foundation of your homeschool provides a powerful anchor to direct your day and your school teaching to the Gospel. A short focus on the foundation at the beginning of your day will bear massive results.

  • MINUTES A DAY. 
    Each entry can be read in minutes each day.
  • FOCUS ON THE WORD. 
    It is amazing how other priorities fall in line when we get the foundation right each day. Starting with the correct priority will minimize distraction.
  • KNOWN FOR THE HEART. 
    Teach Them Diligently is known for addressing the heart of discipleship in homeschooling. Let us help!

 

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Let’s Go BEHIND-THE-SCENES to get to know Ray and Charlene Notgrass

After 22 years in church ministry, Ray and Charlene Notgrass decided to serve God in a different way by writing Bible curriculum for homeschoolers. At their first convention, a mother told us that she wished someone would write a Tennessee history, so they decided to write one and call it Exploring Tennessee. They included Bible study in it. Two years later Ray wrote Exploring America for high school. This time they included Bible and added literature. They kept listening to homeschooling parents and writing what they told us they wanted, first for high school and then for middle school and junior high. Now they are writing for grades 1-4 as well. Ray and Charlene believe that God has been preparing them since childhood to do what they are doing now. Their goal of writing Bible curriculum has grown into history curriculum that includes Bible and literature. Thus they are able to share God’s Word with many more homeschooling families. Charlene says, “It was His plan, not ours, and we love what we do.”

Did you know…
Ray and Charlene are personally connected to history stories they tell. Their ancestors include a French-Canadian fur trader who fought with the Continental Army during the American Revolution; pioneers who traveled through Cumberland Gap and on the Tennessee, Ohio, and Cumberland Rivers to found Nashville, Tennessee; and veterans who served during the Civil War, World War II, and the Korean War. They stand on the shoulders of Ray’s dad, who encouraged him to read great literature, and Charlene’s dad, who took her family to historic sites. Those formed the basis for how they taught their own children, what they like to do for fun (read great books and travel to historic sites), and how they write for other homeschooling families.

We think you’ll love them, too! :) Make your plans to stop by the Notgrass booth in Nashville, Atlanta and Myrtle Beach to say hi!

 

Special Offers for Teach Them Diligently families from Ray and Charlene Notgass.

The Notgrasses love to help families enjoy history. Download their free field trip guide to sites across the country where you and your children can learn about the Presidents and First Ladies:  https://history.notgrass.com/free-history-resources/

Behind-The-Scenes With Author Cassandra Driver

Cassandra Driver was homeschooled all the way through school and self-published her first book at age eighteen. As she developed a love for reading while growing up, she rapidly realized there wasn’t an overabundance of clean books out there! This spurred her to try her hand at writing in order to put more wholesome and exciting stories on the shelves, particularly for young people, and the Lauren Series was born. Cassandra now has published 3 books in the Lauren Series with a 4th due out soon. Make sure you stop by and meet Cassandra at #TTDNashville!

Click Here To Check out our other TTD Behind-The-Scenes articles and learn more about Teach Them Diligently 2018 speakers.
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Homeschooling Parents

About David and Leslie Nunnery

Leslie Nunnery and her husband David founded Teach Them Diligently, the nation’s premier source for gospel-centered homeschool events. With seven years of homeschooling experience from preschool-high school and a passion to encourage and equip homeschool families, this mom of 4 shares her know-how and insights weekly through Teach Them Diligently media and on TeachThemDiligently365.com.

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