Homeschool History: Our Plan for 2012/2013

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We are taking a little side trip for history this year.  I love the chronological order of classical history and we thoroughly enjoyed studying ancient history for the past year.  However, one question continued to crop up from Firefly, now age 8.  “But, Mom,” he asked, “what was happening here?  In the United States?”

Well, I couldn’t really answer him, beyond the fact that there were Native Americans here when Columbus arrived, but what about before that?  A few vague facts swam around in my head about Ponce de Leon, but that was it. That is either a reflection of a poor memory on my part or evidence that our educational system missed the boat, so to speak, when I was in school.  Either way, I was curious, too. What did happen, in ancient times, in what we now call The United States?

So, we are taking a step in the child-led direction and we are going to learn all about very early American history, starting with pre-historic times.

We are going to use Joy Hakim’s books, A History of US, to begin our journey.  What I love about Hakim’s books, is that they read like a story. And that is just what we will do. We’ll read the stories. And we will add in a craft or activity here and there, a field trip or two or more.

And, even more of a change, the Creekside Dad is going to step into the role of teacher for Firefly. He loves U.S. history and volunteered for this assignment.  I can use all the help I can get around here, with a third grader, a first grader and preschooler this year.  And besides, I am really thrilled that he will be taking more of a role in our homeschooling journey.

Creekside Dad and Firefly will start with Volume 1 of Hakim’s 11 book series:  The First Americans: Prehistory-1600 A History of US Book 1.  I love the quote on the cover:

This book begins in the Ice Age with some people who hiked and canoed from Asia to a New Land and, thousands of years later, got called Indians by Christopher Columbus, who didn’t know where he was.

The plan is to cover this text in 20 weeks, from August to December.  Then we hope to start the next volume, Making Thirteen Colonies: 1600-1740 A History of US Book 2
so that by Spring we can take advantage of the wonderful historical places our state (Virginia) has to offer (Williamsburg, Jamestown, etc.).

What about The Queen Bee, my first grader, you ask? She’ll be doing some of this along with us, but probably not so in-depth as her older brother. We’ll use more storybooks from the library and do some more crafts with her.  She will love the field trips, too.

Do you have any resources for early American history that you could share? An activity, a great go-along book, a Pinterest board? Please leave me a comment. I’d love to hear what made this part of history exciting for your family.