Homeschool History

Social studies and history are often considered not as important as math and language arts.  Yet, in my eyes – they are just as important.  I enjoy history, I have ever since I had a wonderful eighth grade teacher who LOVED history. Somehow in the midst of all the crazy eighth grade “junk” that teacher was able to pass on her love of history to me. What made the difference between her class and all of the others that I have had through the years?  I believe it was her passion about the subject. 

So, when I look for history texts for my homeschool history curriculum, I look for ones that present the topic in a exciting or passionate manner.  If history is presented as a bunch of dry dusty facts – then that is all the kids will get out of it!  But if it is presented as a wonderful journey through time and the ages… wow… just think what they would take with them!

A few of my favorite history resources for homeschooling are listed here.

Abeka history used in conjunction with the DVD seems to be pretty interesting – most of the teachers really know their stuff. This is part of a complete set homeschool curriculum.

The Mystery of History – brings together world history and biblical history  – with a family time line project. Also available is vol. 2 and 3 as well as resource materials that accompany each volume.

The Drive Thru History brings history alive through a DVD.  Interesting for all ages…

Time 4 Learning social studies keeps my 3rd graders attention!!

If your little people like to draw – Draw and Write through history  – may be what they need!!

The Story of the World is an activity book,  but brings an interesting flair to workbook learning!

Hands on Geography gives you plenty of ideas for projects that incorporate teaching geography into your homeschool.

History.com’s site has a lot of interactive material that you can use in your homeschool.

History for Kids gives is a great free resource to adapt to your homeschooling needs.

History detectives kids is a great place to get some “facts” while having fun!

Here is a collection of great kids history sites – topical titles let you choose what you need for the subject you are on.

Well, going through all of these great sites – makes me want to dig in to history again…

Some other articles that you may be interested in:

Foreign Languages

Homeschool Science

Free Homeschool Resources and Tools

I know that I have been posting lots of lists of homeschool resources.  I have found so many that are very beneficial and are FREE – I just have to share them with you!  The various resources that I will mention today cross subjects and so can be integrated throughout a homeschool curriculum.

Do your kids have trouble remembering the various vocabulary words – such as homophones, antonyms, synonyms, prefixes, suffixes, and root words?  Try this Free Vocabulary site that has all levels from Kindergarten through Twelfth grade. This is fun and educational – your children will love it!!

Lesson Pathways also offers free lesson plans that are cross curriculum and organized by grade.

Education bug is a great site to begin when looking for anything homeschool. They are a forum based site with information on almost everything that has to do with homeschooling.  If you need it – this site will help you find it!

If you are a homeschooling parent who like to be organized you can find all kinds of great organization tools here.  Check out the planner …. I love it!

Are you needing a report card to be able to “show off” your child’s progress this year?  Here is one that may help…  remember there are lots of places that will give your children free things in return for a good report card.

Do you want legal help in protecting your right to homeschool your children? Check out the Homeschool Legal Defense Association – this is also a great place for other homeschool resources – and to find out what is going on in your state.

Are you looking for a place to connect with other homeschooling parents?  Try a parent forum or a Homeschool forum.  You will enjoy the camraderie and encouragement.

Are you into notebooking or lapbooking?  We do it with science and history, and love it! It really connects the material for the student.  Try these free notebooking pages in your next project!

I am sure I will stumble across more wonderful resources…. don’t worry I will make sure I share them with you!!

Until next time…

Related posts

Homeschool Science

Homeschool Language Arts

Have you visited your home planet lately?

Super Kids…

Have you ever noticed how amazing our children are?  They can learn so much – so fast!  Sometimes what they learn – is not exactly what we want them to learn…  like all of the dialogue in certain movies!  This past week – I convinced myself that if they could memorize all of the dialogue in their favority movies – they could be memorizing and doing so much more in school.  It is funny but the easiest way to get your children to learn – is by getting them to learn via a fun method!   So, among many other things that I incorporated this week- I also purchased the full 46 song version of schoolhouse rock – every song they ever made.  I think my kids will be learning alot of things in the next month! Maybe the presidents – or how about the parts of speech – remember “Conjunction  – junction – what’s your function…”  I think almost every child in America remembers that one!

We also decided that we would spend more time doing educational games instead of playing meaningless computer games or watching crazy cartoons.  We have seen one of our children get a better understanding of a certain subject matter in just this short space of time – because of an online game that he was using!

And oh… if you are worried that your child couln’t possibly use the computer – HA!  Just try them…  think they won’t be able to manipulate it – or use the keyboard… they will – and FAST!  Especially if you use a online keyboarding game.

Yes, we must admit – though parenting and homeschooling is not easy – are kids are amazing!

Web Winks…

I thought that I would take a moment to post a few of our favorite homeschooling web sites.  We use many and hope that some of these may become your favorites as well.

Today we are participating in a online math contest with others from all over the world at www.worldmathsday.com.

We like to use this site for online learning games.

I enjoy this web site for articles and encouragement in homeschooling along the way.

For the big people at our house we use Academic Earth to take FREE courses on things we are interested in.

We like to use Librivox for online classics – you can listen while you work.

See stars with this great astronomy resource.

Use Whyville to play games and earn “clams” to purchase online incentives.

Great for beginner preschool phonics and letter recognition is Starfall and we also use Time4Learning Preschool.

For your teens that need writing and grammar helps Grammar Girl and Time4Writing are great tools!

For great spelling word help… try Spelling City.

Of course, these aren’t the only ones we use – maybe I will post more later –

Do you have a favorite homeschooling website?  Please share!!!

When is Wear Brown Shoes Day?…

As a homeschool mother, I am constantly on the lookout for online teaching resources. I love teaching my children using the good old paper and pencil method, but technology is amazing and to get rave reviews from the kids… gotta have it. They would much rather have me incorporate some unbelievable websites into their daily lessons than to write a paper or do a worksheet. So, to keep the natives happy, I frequently try to find websites that correspond to our recent studies. In my search for “awesome” resources I often come across information that really stands out, and others that are interesting… but only ocassionally useful. On my most recent search, I found many websites that were definitely “keepers” and more than a few that ranked in the “interesting… but only ocasionally useful” zone. One of these was a website that told you all of the holdiays for each current date. For example, I learned that December 4th was Wear Brown Shoes Day. Interesting, but not highly useful. Yet, if I was searching for a really odd holiday (for some unknown reason) that sure would be the place to go.
My biggest question is how do we locate and find the really great websites that are truly useful? It is at times a difficult quest to complete. There are several websites that list good websites for educational purposes. This is a great place to start – someone else has already done some of the footwork for you. A few that I like to use are Homeschool.com’s top 100, Good Sites for Kids, Homeschool Top Sites, and even some blogs that review and suggest websites that are useful for homeschoolers. I hope this helps you add “awesome” technology to your homeschool day. Your kids will love you for it!

Where in the world is Tonga?

Did you know that this week is Geography Awareness Week?

Well, I sure didn’t – at least not until I had to search for some geography facts for my children. This prompted me to think about how much (or how little) focus I put on geography education for my children.  In my search I saw that there are many statistics out there underlining America’s apparent neglect of geography, which obviously supports the need for a Geography Awareness Week.

Some of the blame for America’s shortcomings in this area is due to the fact that most people think geography consists of naming the continents, countries, oceans, rivers, capitals, etc. But that is just the “tip of theiceberg.” Here is a quote that I love from iGeo:

“Geography turns out to be much more significant than many of us realize. It is much more than knowing facts and figures. Geography is about spatial patterns and processes. It is about frontiers, centers and peripheries, about tourists, terrorists and refugees, about trade of food, clothes, drugs and digital data, about population growth, El Nino, tsunamis and earthquakes. It is the fascinating story of an ever-changing world. Without geography you get lost.”

Wow! from that description it makes me feel like I am not even scratching the surface with geography. Ok – this really got my attention.  So, I began to look for some online resources that might help us put some oomph back into our geography time.

First of all, online education literally puts the world at your fingertips. (I know – corny joke…:)) What more could you want when your subject is geography? Here’s a small sample of some of the “treasures” that I found:

  1. Use Google Earth to visit any place you are currently studying.
  2. Check out Geography Awareness Week at MyWonderfulWorld.
  3. Test geography knowledge here.
  4. Check out this really cool clearinghouse for all things geography.
  5.  Play geography games at Sheppard Software.
  6. How about an online textbook written just for kids about geography!
  7.  Check out the really cool Rader’s Geography4kids.

We had such a good time looking and “playing” with each of these sites… so take a minute or two or an hour and participate in Geography Awareness Week by spending some time learning about our wonderful world!

Oh, and by the way… in case you were really wondering where Tonga is – Tonga is located east of the Fiji Islands in the South Pacific. (I just learned that in my online travels!)