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In discussing state requirements or homeschooling subject plans, I have seen state history mentioned several times. I took state history for where I lived in 8th grade (required), but never, not even in college, took a world history class. If you are studying world history on a 4 year or similar cycle, do you really need state history? What if you take a year for US history? Is state history needed? Why? For the sake of discussion, let's assume it's not a requirement.

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We did a little bit of "we wish we were a state" history alongside American the year we did that. I did feel it was important, though partly for political reasons that don't apply to most people. I wanted my kids to understand the meaning of disenfranchisement.

 

I don't think it should be some huge component, but rather should be interwoven with American history or done as a special unit study on the side at some point.

 

But I think it's worth it for several potential reasons. For one thing, American history is a survey. It's nice to have something to have an example of that history. Not just, this is the history of the nation, but this is the history of one particular part of the nation, like an example. It also helps contextualize local places and affords more chances for field trips. I think if you tie these into the great story of American history, that makes it all come together better. So it's not just, this is the historical site of such-and-such who founded such-and-such here, but here's an example of that particular trend we were learning about. I also think it can bring things home for the student and let them see how history connects with their community and their lives.

 

I also, perhaps bizarrely in this age of movement, feel like it's nice to have state pride. I did a lot of state history in school and even though I no longer live in that state, I feel happy to know those facts and trivia and include it as part of my identity.

 

Finally, especially for high schoolers, I think it's worth looking at your state as an example of the political process and structure on the state level. Local government and politics are important and if it's a goal to build responsible citizens and voters, then having that context for history and politics can be a must.

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I think it is wonderful to know about where you are from and the culture that defines your immediate area. Also, on a natural history level, my sons can more readily see the geology, fossil record and natural wonders that are in a day's driving distance. There are also plenty of local or quaint museums to visit for free or low cost.

 

In my city, hills they can see today were reshaped. The oldest portion of the city burnt to the ground and was built over, leaving us an underground city. The city name is taken from a very interesting and influential native american. The city/area has birthed many significant industries. Japanese families were interned quite close and the resulting transfer of property and land changed the face of several city neighborhoods. In the state, we have some very old fossil finds, the rise and collapse of various industries, environmental concerns and debates and the impact of various settlements and immigration cycles.

 

I guess my question is why NOT study state history? It's not like it takes forever or comes at the cost of other subjects and it is perhaps easier to bring local history to life for those without big travel budgets.

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We did a little bit of "we wish we were a state" history alongside American the year we did that. I did feel it was important, though partly for political reasons that don't apply to most people. I wanted my kids to understand the meaning of disenfranchisement.

 

I don't think it should be some huge component, but rather should be interwoven with American history or done as a special unit study on the side at some point.

 

But I think it's worth it for several potential reasons. For one thing, American history is a survey. It's nice to have something to have an example of that history. Not just, this is the history of the nation, but this is the history of one particular part of the nation, like an example. It also helps contextualize local places and affords more chances for field trips. I think if you tie these into the great story of American history, that makes it all come together better. So it's not just, this is the historical site of such-and-such who founded such-and-such here, but here's an example of that particular trend we were learning about. I also think it can bring things home for the student and let them see how history connects with their community and their lives.

 

I also, perhaps bizarrely in this age of movement, feel like it's nice to have state pride. I did a lot of state history in school and even though I no longer live in that state, I feel happy to know those facts and trivia and include it as part of my identity.

 

Finally, especially for high schoolers, I think it's worth looking at your state as an example of the political process and structure on the state level. Local government and politics are important and if it's a goal to build responsible citizens and voters, then having that context for history and politics can be a must.

 

This DC native "likes" your post!

 

We didn't have a separate DC history class when I was going through but it was integrated one year. I found it fascinating and I remember a lot from it. As Farrar said,it enriches identity. We did oral histories, as well. DC gained Home Rule during my (early) lifetime but, until the oral history I took, I really didn't understand what that "meant." We are in NY now and, at first, I was just going to count the normal way American history and historical novels "hit" NY history. I ended up with an old NY history book and added it. I was glad I did bc it really "fleshes" things out. Also, 3 of my kids are Canadian/ American citizens and I am adding a lot of Canadian history for the same reasons.

 

That said, I *was* a history major in college. So I am sure that colors my view. I certainly do not think anyone who doesn't have to should add State history in a way that causes stress. I do think it's a nice addition. (And, if we moved my kids who have had NY history/Canadian history added will probably NOT study that new State's history!)

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I think state history is very important! But then again, I am a Texan. :D

 

Seriously though, geography matters. What happened throughout history where you live affects local attitudes, frame of reference, and many current events. Plus, it's just plain fascinating! Texas is unlike Washington is unlike Hawaii is unlike Maine... Learning why is worth some time. We cover Texas history during our American history cycles.

 

Also, I agree that it is a travesty to have a year of state history but no world history. That is just crazy. But it doesn't make state history unimportant. It just means the people making the scope and sequence are dopes. :tongue_smilie:

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Back when I was in public school, in 5th grade, everyone focused on their state for Social Studies. We learned about the state government; the counties and county seats; the cultures, histories and key peoples of the several Native American peoples of our state; "white settler" history; key people and events from the state's history; important historical and geographic sites; plants, animals and climate unique to areas of our state; etc.

 

So, it wasn't just about the history of the place in which we lived, but also the geography, culture, and form of local government -- even a little natural science -- which does affect us everyday.

 

It's about the one thing I look back on in my public school education and really felt they got it right, and so I imitated that to some extent in our own homeschooling during the late elementary grade years. :)

 

 

I do think it is much harder for people who move frequently to have a sense of place/history and to want to know about the "roots" and natural wonders of the place in which you live if you'll just be packing up and moving in 6 months...

 

 

PS -- ETA:

We did NOT spend a whole year on state history -- about a 9-12 week unit and as a break in the midst of the regular history cycle...

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This DC native "likes" your post!

 

We didn't have a separate DC history class when I was going through but it was integrated one year. I found it fascinating and I remember a lot from it. As Farrar said,it enriches identity. We did oral histories, as well. DC gained Home Rule during my (early) lifetime but, until the oral history I took, I really didn't understand what that "meant."

 

Oh, that's cool. DC history is literally the only thing I've ever looked up in the public school standards here to see what was taught. I was curious to know, though I was also hoping there was a text and it didn't seem to be the case. Oh well. Home rule. Oh, it's good to be reminded that no matter how unjust it is now, it used to be worse.

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Thank you for the replies. Do you think it is possible to sufficiently cover state history mixed in with world or US history? We currently live in VA. In 4 years of SOTW, we have talked about Native Americans, Jamestown, the Civil War, etc, that all took place in (at least partially) or affected VA. We have visited the state capital, Manasses (Bull Run) battlefield and Appomattox Courthouse over the last few years. Would you consider that sufficient for state history, or would you say we needed to do at least a specific unit study?

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I do think it is much harder for people who move frequently to have a sense of place/history and to want to know about the "roots" and natural wonders of the place in which you live if you'll just be packing up and moving in 6 months...

 

Agreed. We've done a fair amount of local and state history all along, but much of it has been through field trips and family history. My family has lived within 50 miles of this spot for over 250 years, which I'll admit does bias me :001_smile: . I tend to favor local history over state as well, and I favor the stories over the politics. It's something that can even be hard for my husband to understand fully, since he's only been here a little over 30 years. ;)

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Thank you for the replies. Do you think it is possible to sufficiently cover state history mixed in with world or US history? We currently live in VA. In 4 years of SOTW, we have talked about Native Americans, Jamestown, the Civil War, etc, that all took place in (at least partially) or affected VA. We have visited the state capital, Manasses (Bull Run) battlefield and Appomattox Courthouse over the last few years. Would you consider that sufficient for state history, or would you say we needed to do at least a specific unit study?

 

Absolutely. I am writing our 4th quarter for history and it's Early American history with a focus on our own home State, and general information about each region of the country, and the states and capitals.

 

I would probably add a little more concentrated study, but that's just me. I think state history is very important and knowing all about our country. Since we travel so much, I think it's important to understand the regions.

 

Here comes my bias here...I think from what you've shared, your child/ren have a lot more than most PS school kids get by this age.

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I think state history is very important! But then again, I am a Texan. :D

 

Seriously though, geography matters. What happened throughout history where you live affects local attitudes, frame of reference, and many current events. Plus, it's just plain fascinating!

 

Hear hear! Fellow Texan (transplant, not native). I grew up in Illinois and Minnesota, and spent 13 years in Colorado. I learned some Illinois history when I was a kid, learned Minnesota history (and South Dakota history) through family history, and worked for a Forest Service archaeologist one summer in Colorado (ask me about the tie hack industry!). Texas history I've been learning through my kids' classes at school, and school field trips, our own field trips, and James Michener. Each time I learn about the place I live in I feel more like I belong, instead of being an extraneous person who happened to be there.

 

And there's some really interesting stories! As we start home school we will continue to dig up stories about the places we visit on our trips, both local and farther.

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My husband is a military brat, I am from another country, our children are military brats and have no association with any one state. My current 8th grader managed to have three years of state history in different states and is tired of it, the other two are not interested at all to begin with. When we will move to Virginia in the summer we will definitely do a lot of field trips but it will be tied into American history rather than state history.

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If it wasn't a requirement, we wouldn't do it at all.

 

I went to school in California and Georgia growing up. They each required state history in different years, so I ended up taking both. Not once has my knowledge of either state been relevant to my adult life, and since we now live in New York, it is even less relevant.

 

To meet our state's requirement, I simply had my son make a state notebook and research the state symbols, history, and important cities. Anything else about the state important enough to be relevant to his life will be relevant enough to make it into the U.S. history curriculum.

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I think it's good to know how local gov't works, and how states function politically, and it can be interesting from a geographical point of view. I would never do it alone like the ps does it--only alongside.

My olders had TX state history--that was REALLY interesting. My youngest had some VA history, but was home for 4th gr, when they study VA in the ps here. Like a pp said, the history of VA is really the history of early America, so it was easy to do for us--combined with the fact that we have Geo Wash out the wazoo here, being members of his church, and 6 mi from Mt. Vernon.

 

I agree that it's a place for examples of all the big concepts. Ds23 worked as a VA Assembly Senate Page as an 8th grader--it was a fab experience, and a wonderful, hands-on way to learn about st gov't.

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I don't even know how to answer that question. Why wouldn't you want to know the history of the state you're living in? :confused1:

 

 

I can't answer for the OP, but I can say that just because I don't think state history is important as a school subject doesn't mean I don't find learning about our state interesting. What I mean is I wouldn't devote a year of social studies and geography study to a single state that my children may or may not choose to live in when they reach adulthood. What I'd rather do is interest them in local culture and historical landmarks when they are young and emphasize our state's place in U.S. history as it comes up. I will also educate them about the local and state government and constitution when they study participation in government, since that will be relevant to them when they reach voting age. State history just isn't important to me as a stand-alone subject, as I feel I was denied two years of relevant history study in public school by having to take two states' required state history courses. If an adult is interested in the history of their state, they will learn what they want to know, they don't need to be taught a year's worth of it in school.

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Thank you for the replies. Do you think it is possible to sufficiently cover state history mixed in with world or US history? We currently live in VA. In 4 years of SOTW, we have talked about Native Americans, Jamestown, the Civil War, etc, that all took place in (at least partially) or affected VA. We have visited the state capital, Manasses (Bull Run) battlefield and Appomattox Courthouse over the last few years. Would you consider that sufficient for state history, or would you say we needed to do at least a specific unit study?

 

 

Here comes my bias here...I think from what you've shared, your child/ren have a lot more than most PS school kids get by this age.

 

I’m also in Virginia. My initial response to your question was that in Virginia it’s important. :) Then I saw you were also in Virginia.

 

I’m sort of at the same place. My son is 4th grade, when they do a year of VA history in public school. I’m not at all trying to replicate public school but I also grew up in Virginia so I know kids here get a lot of VA history. However, I remember knowing very little about the rest of the US until maybe high school. I had a vague idea that it was cold in New England and they were Yankees anyway so it didn’t matter. :) All I knew about Texas was the Alamo and it turns out I really didn’t know much about that.

 

Virginia history really is early American history so in many ways it’s easier for us, I think. We’re spending a year this year on US geography and learning more about the rest of the US. I’ve been wondering if I should do anything more for VA than what we’ve done in SOTW. I’ve pretty much decided that we’ll end the year with a slightly longer study of VA than the other states we’ve done.

 

I also figure that we can really spread VA history out over 12 years. We don’t have to cover it all in a year or even a unit.

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I don't think it's "necessary" but I sure think it's going to be a fun and welcome break from wars, wars, and slavery. lol I am planning state history next year and It actually covers a lot of regular history too(Lewis and Clark, local figures) and economics, government structure, geography and landforms as well as the usual flag, bird and flower. I have a state history textbook but I also ordered Studies Weekly state history and plan on lots of field trips.

 

I think you could just use the Studies Weekly (28-30 weekly - newspaper format) as a supplement or side reading for fun while you do your regular history studies. And you can't beat the price.. less than $9 for the year and you get teacher supplements to go with them. http://www.studiesweekly.com/results.php?state=FL&grade=4

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What I mean is I wouldn't devote a year of social studies and geography study to a single state that my children may or may not choose to live in when they reach adulthood.

 

Oh, I totally agree with you on this point. In our curriculum, it's only a 9 week period (one quarter) that we do state studies with an emphasis on our home state. I would never take a whole year for this and I don't really know anyone who does.

 

ETA I just saw that a previous poster noted that in VA they take a whole year. WOW.

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I can't answer for the OP, but I can say that just because I don't think state history is important as a school subject doesn't mean I don't find learning about our state interesting. What I mean is I wouldn't devote a year of social studies and geography study to a single state that my children may or may not choose to live in when they reach adulthood. What I'd rather do is interest them in local culture and historical landmarks when they are young and emphasize our state's place in U.S. history as it comes up. I will also educate them about the local and state government and constitution when they study participation in government, since that will be relevant to them when they reach voting age. State history just isn't important to me as a stand-alone subject, as I feel I was denied two years of relevant history study in public school by having to take two states' required state history courses. If an adult is interested in the history of their state, they will learn what they want to know, they don't need to be taught a year's worth of it in school.

 

 

 

I think the increases mobility, particulalry with respect to employment, of the US has called into question the relative importance of state history. HOWEVER, I tend to think it is still very important to ensure that we, as a country, do not forget all of the local history, culture and achivements. The same mobility and technological savy has potential to result in a homogenous society where we spend more time in a virtual existance than in the real world that surrounds us..

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I think history may be the least important part of what is usually lumped into "state history"; understanding the current state of the state--the government, the economic structure, the major issues faced in the future--may be the most important thing of all. Because our news is largely national, people think of our governments as largely national, as well, but the local mayoral race may well have a greater impact on your life than the presidential election (or not, depending on a city's structure--there's something to learn!). Kids don't understand that societies and social institutions don't just happen: if there's a sports league, it's because people organize it. If the medians in your town have attractive rosebushes on them, it's because someone planted them--and found the funds to buy them, and worries about watering them now. Libraries, parks, fire departments--all the things that actually impact our kids' lives, all the government they see, is local or state, but so little time is spent on it.

 

Even in a highly mobile society, a kid that understands how one state works--how decisions get made, who has what authority and where it comes from, the basic tax structure, the basic economic situation, the on-going policy debates--a kid who gets that about one state and local area will be able to quickly learn how a new place works. The most important thing is that they learn that there is something there at all.

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Thank you for the replies. Do you think it is possible to sufficiently cover state history mixed in with world or US history? We currently live in VA. In 4 years of SOTW, we have talked about Native Americans, Jamestown, the Civil War, etc, that all took place in (at least partially) or affected VA. We have visited the state capital, Manasses (Bull Run) battlefield and Appomattox Courthouse over the last few years. Would you consider that sufficient for state history, or would you say we needed to do at least a specific unit study?

 

Yes, absolutely. I grew up in Massachusetts, and never did a separate state history class. It was just incorporated as we went along in U.S. history.

 

I am not having my kids do a separate California history but just made sure to incorporate readings from Our Golden California into our study of American history.

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Oh, I totally agree with you on this point. In our curriculum, it's only a 9 week period (one quarter) that we do state studies with an emphasis on our home state. I would never take a whole year for this and I don't really know anyone who does.

 

ETA I just saw that a previous poster noted that in VA they take a whole year. WOW.

 

In the CA public schools all of 4th grade Social Studies is state history. There is enough material to cover a full year if you do it the way they do (with a lot of time spent on all the different Native American tribes who live throughout the state) but I personally chose to just incorporate the most important parts into our study of U.S. history.

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My husband is very interested in local history. When he first moved here from Germany he bought all sorts of books about the local history. Then when we moved to another state he dove into learning about the local history. It's something he finds very interesting. And oddly it's the few times I've seen him read books that weren't related to his work. He doesn't tend to read for pleasure.

 

But my feelings? I knew the local history when I lived in CT. I visited the history museums many times, learned about it in school, etc. But now living in a new state it's like I don't feel like it's "my" state. I still feel like I'm just visiting or something.

 

I wonder how a person feels about their state of residence when they have lived in several states.

 

My point being I think some people don't feel that where they live is their home state. So maybe it doesn't occur to them to spend time specifically learning about the state.

 

But I'd want to know something about each state I lived in. :-)

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In the CA public schools all of 4th grade Social Studies is state history. There is enough material to cover a full year if you do it the way they do (with a lot of time spent on all the different Native American tribes who live throughout the state) but I personally chose to just incorporate the most important parts into our study of U.S. history.

 

 

Interestingly, the Education Code says that state history should be covered some time between first and sixth, and again somewhere between eighth and twelfth. To my knowledge (and I have no doubt that there are great gaping holes in my knowledge!) most schools only do fourth grade CA history.

 

I think most states do the same thing, although I also had Texas history in seventh.

 

Lesha Myers wrote a wonderful California history called "His California Story." I don't know if it's still in print since her death. :-(

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In the CA public schools all of 4th grade Social Studies is state history. There is enough material to cover a full year if you do it the way they do (with a lot of time spent on all the different Native American tribes who live throughout the state) but I personally chose to just incorporate the most important parts into our study of U.S. history.

 

No, what I mean is studying ONE STATE all year. I used to live in California and I have friends who's kids are still in them. They did state history all year, but it was also EVERY state, learning every capitol and the regions of the US. It wasn't JUST California all year long. That's what I meant.

 

Now if it's changed in the last two years, then I capitulate that I'm wrong. LOL

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Honestly? I do not consider state history terribly important.

I am an immigrant, and the state in which I live does not define me culturally at all; the heritage of my country of origin does.

I consider US history very important, because I have chosen to live here - but the state? No. It is a complete accident that we ended up here, none of the kids will remain here, and we likely will move away, too. Isolated state history simply is not significant to me. I know basics of the state's history within the larger framework of the country's history, but do not consider it worth the time to spend an entire year studying the state if I only have a few years to study all the world. Seems a bit out of proportion.

 

ETA: What I do find important is to get to know the state as it currently is. Become familiar with the geology and natural history. See the state parks and major cities. (And that works in some history knowledge all by itself - having tours of state historic sites, etc.).

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Thank you for the replies. Do you think it is possible to sufficiently cover state history mixed in with world or US history? We currently live in VA. In 4 years of SOTW, we have talked about Native Americans, Jamestown, the Civil War, etc, that all took place in (at least partially) or affected VA. We have visited the state capital, Manasses (Bull Run) battlefield and Appomattox Courthouse over the last few years. Would you consider that sufficient for state history, or would you say we needed to do at least a specific unit study?

 

 

That's sufficient. Can they state how VA was important both in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War? Can they explain how the state is and has been affected by the military more than most states (Norfolk Naval Base, Portsmouth Shipyard, Pentagon, Langley, etc.)? And how we are nearby Washington, D.C. and how Northern Virginia supplies some of the workforce for the nation's capital?

 

State history is just a fourth/fifth grade class in the public schools, so that's about as deep as it gets. You've hit the highlights through the fieldtrips (Williamsburg and Yorktown are the only ones you've possibly left off).

 

My suggestion now would actually be to visit or study Boston, because that fills out the other half of the American Revolution. For every Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson and Battle of Yorktown familiar to Virginians, there's a John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Battle of Lexington awaiting in Boston.

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Well with NY that's easy. NY gets talked about in US history a lot.

 

It's "easy" with all states. :-) Every state is part of American history. It's part of who we are, even states like Nevada, lol. I would *always* want to learn about where I lived. Being ignorant of local history would be just, well, ignorant. I might not spend a whole year on it, or check out a boatload of books from the library or anything, but you bet I'd visit as many local things as possible, and take as many road trips as possible, and drop in on living history days, and so on.

 

For us, California history was an on-going process. We focused a little more on missions one year, when I thought my dds were old enough to get something out of visiting all 21 missions (!), but in general, I wanted them to be familiar with California from Mexico to Oregon, even if they learned about it on road trips. :-)

 

We are always horrified when we hear of college graduates who cannot fin [insert state name here] on a map. I would never dream of *not* exposing my children to as much history and geography as possible, whether it fit into a four-year cycle or not. I would NOT want them to be at any disadvantage, in any situation, if it was within my power to help them learn something. State history and geography is easy peasy. :-)

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No, what I mean is studying ONE STATE all year. I used to live in California and I have friends who's kids are still in them. They did state history all year, but it was also EVERY state, learning every capitol and the regions of the US. It wasn't JUST California all year long. That's what I meant.

 

Now if it's changed in the last two years, then I capitulate that I'm wrong. LOL

 

Memorizing the 50 state capitols is on the 5th grade CA Social Studies standard. The focus of that year is U.S. history through 1850 and U.S. geography. I had to toss in the 50 state capitols to this year to make our virtual charter happy (we are studying world geography so it sort of fits in with that). The entire 4th grade year is only California history.

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. I would *always* want to learn about where I lived. Being ignorant of local history would be just, well, ignorant. I might not spend a whole year on it, or check out a boatload of books from the library or anything, but you bet I'd visit as many local things as possible, and take as many road trips as possible, and drop in on living history days, and so on.

 

Oh, we do this, absolutely. But to us, that's more part of "living". I still would not want to spend lots of time on formal book studies, but participating in local life and the local's celebration of their heritage, absolutely. I consider touring forts, battlefields, reenactments, historic grist mills, old ironworks, olden day celebrations, historic towns just plain fun ;-)

 

We are always horrified when we hear of college graduates who cannot fin [insert state name here] on a map. I would never dream of *not* exposing my children to as much history and geography as possible, whether it fit into a four-year cycle or not. I would NOT want them to be at any disadvantage, in any situation, if it was within my power to help them learn something. State history and geography is easy peasy. :-)

 

Amen.

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Memorizing the 50 state capitols is on the 5th grade CA Social Studies standard. The focus of that year is U.S. history through 1850 and U.S. geography. I had to toss in the 50 state capitols to this year to make our virtual charter happy (we are studying world geography so it sort of fits in with that). The entire 4th grade year is only California history.

 

Hmm. I guess my friend's schools doesn't follow the standards in this respect. I will capitulate since it sounds like you know the standards. My experience with CA schools was not the same as yours. :)

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Oh, that's cool. DC history is literally the only thing I've ever looked up in the public school standards here to see what was taught. I was curious to know, though I was also hoping there was a text and it didn't seem to be the case. Oh well. Home rule. Oh, it's good to be reminded that no matter how unjust it is now, it used to be worse.

When I was teaching in DC we had curriculum guides that were created "in house". I've never seen a DC history textbook. I would recommend having your boys interview some older neighbors (maybe in when they are a bit older) and asking about the struggle for home rule (yes, it was much, much worse and SO mired in racism), MLKs rallies, other protests during the 70s (including the one in 79 when thousands of farmers rode their tractors into town), etc.

 

Sorry, OP, for going off-topic! I just miss my city!

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When I was teaching in DC we had curriculum guides that were created "in house". I've never seen a DC history textbook. I would recommend having your boys interview some older neighbors (maybe in when they are a bit older) and asking about the struggle for home rule (yes, it was much, much worse and SO mired in racism), MLKs rallies, other protests during the 70s (including the one in 79 when thousands of farmers rode their tractors into town), etc.

 

Sorry, OP, for going off-topic! I just miss my city!

 

I recently had my daughter read "A Cartoon History of DC" by Patrick Reynolds as part of our US history studies. It was published in 1988, so not the most up-to-date, but interesting. http://www.redrosestudio.com/Flashbacks%201.html

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Oh, we do this, absolutely. But to us, that's more part of "living". I still would not want to spend lots of time on formal book studies, but participating in local life and the local's celebration of their heritage, absolutely. I consider touring forts, battlefields, reenactments, historic grist mills, old ironworks, olden day celebrations, historic towns just plain fun ;-)

 

Indeed. That's the best way to do history. :-) History should be part of life, not something you do because it's a "subject" or because it's "required."

 

That some states specify that their history should be taught is irrelevant to me. I'm gonna do it anyway. :-)

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I wonder how a person feels about their state of residence when they have lived in several states.

 

 

Well with NY that's easy. NY gets talked about in US history a lot.

 

I'm originally from NY, and I've lived in several states. Still interested. :) We aren't doing a separate year just on state history, but we spend ample time on local and state details.

 

If you're in NY and you're not going to do state history, at least sing the Low Bridge, Everybody Down song!

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Well in Oregon PS State history is taught in 4th grade. We have not done a specific state study but my dc have learned more state history then is taught in the public schools just from visiting many historical and educational places around our state and county. The best part is all of that so far has been done on vacations and they didn't even know it was school. ;)

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I don't think it's unimportant, but we're a military family who've lived in 5 states in 8 years, so it's hard for me to want to give it much attention, knowing that we'll move again soon, And there are just so many other things I want to cover with them that state history is way down the list. I also took a full year of state history in ps myself, and I didn't grow up in an interesting state, lol.

 

My plan is to spend a little extra time studying the state we live in when we do American history.

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I think state history is very important! But then again, I am a Texan. :D

 

Seriously though, geography matters. What happened throughout history where you live affects local attitudes, frame of reference, and many current events. Plus, it's just plain fascinating! Texas is unlike Washington is unlike Hawaii is unlike Maine... Learning why is worth some time. We cover Texas history during our American history cycles.

 

Also, I agree that it is a travesty to have a year of state history but no world history. That is just crazy. But it doesn't make state history unimportant. It just means the people making the scope and sequence are dopes. :tongue_smilie:

 

I agree. I got interested in learning state history because Texas has SUCH A rich one (we spent ALL of 7th grade on it -- and it stuck out such that I remember more about history from that year than any other! Luckily, Texas history is so wide that it overlaps with a lot of American history as well.

 

When I moved to Washington, I tried to learn ITS history -- only to find there just wasn't as much. I found a little about Seattle (Sons of the Profits) and bits and pieces elsewhere. But not near enough to get a whole year of history out of!

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We actually took an entire year to study FL state history. At the time, I was wanting to fill in a "gap year" between two Sonlight Cores to allow my younger child to mature a bit, but it turned out to be a fabulous year!

 

Florida gets left out of much of traditional American history curricula. It was fascinating to learn about the Spanish Colonial life in St. Augustine, which parallels the British Colonial period, and about the Seminole Indian Wars, which were being fought as the nation was being formed. There is such a contrast between the pre-1900 swampland and the booming tourist mecca of today. Not only did we learn about history, we also learned about industry, ecology, government, tourism, and immigration.

 

Looking back, I am very glad we took the year to study Florida in depth. Even if my kids don't live here as adults, this is where their roots are (which is rare - they are 5th generation Floridians) and I want them to understand those roots, especially since 2/3 of the people who live here transplanted from somewhere else.

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We actually took an entire year to study FL state history. At the time, I was wanting to fill in a "gap year" between two Sonlight Cores to allow my younger child to mature a bit, but it turned out to be a fabulous year!

 

Florida gets left out of much of traditional American history curricula. It was fascinating to learn about the Spanish Colonial life in St. Augustine, which parallels the British Colonial period, and about the Seminole Indian Wars, which were being fought as the nation was being formed. There is such a contrast between the pre-1900 swampland and the booming tourist mecca of today. Not only did we learn about history, we also learned about industry, ecology, government, tourism, and immigration.

 

Looking back, I am very glad we took the year to study Florida in depth. Even if my kids don't live here as adults, this is where their roots are (which is rare - they are 5th generation Floridians) and I want them to understand those roots, especially since 2/3 of the people who live here transplanted from somewhere else.

 

I learned more about Florida and it's history through Seton's American History books than I did in any others. They do spend more time than others on it - especially St. Augustine.

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I think it depends on the state. Some states are just more ... worth studying then others. Not that their history is less interesting, just that people don't really identify with their state. For example, where I live now, asking the question "Which is more important to you, your status as a Texan or as an American?" Is not a silly question. Where I spent my early years, it would be. Although, I guess even in that case, a short course based on local history be interesting.

 

I wouldn't do Texas History the way I was taught in the B&M school. Three months on the Spanish explorers, 3 weeks on the Alamo (including the movie), and 3 days on the Civil War.

 

But, there is no choice between World History or State History. World History wins.

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I think it's a nice way to see historical sites. Not everyone in the South and West might get to see Bunker Hill, but they can see some relevant local site, and fit it in to the big picture of the country's history, for example, a pioneer log cabin or an Underground Railroad station or gold mines.

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It's not required here for homeschoolers.

 

I don't think taking AZ History is important even though I was required to take it in high school in order to graduate. I can't imagine it was useful to kids who were from somewhere else and then moved elsewhere. Even those who never had it and moved here as adults are not handicapped by not having taken it. I don't think it's had any meaningful effect on my life as I've lived here and I did well in the class and enjoyed it. Few people stay here their whole lives. The vast majority of people here are from somewhere else.

 

I'm 40 and have lived in AZ my whole life. People my age and older think I'm a novelty because I'm a native Arizonan. Identifying strongly with being Arizonan even if you're a native like me isn't part of the culture here. We just don't get why people from a few other states do. It's a non-issue here. I only use it in my username because I got tired of explaining, "That's how it is here in AZ."

 

So, the culture here is influenced heavily by other people coming from other states and a significant percentage from other countries. Native Americans here don't mix with the Caucasian population at all. I live on the border of Pima tribal land in the greater PHX area. (I could walk there in less than 5 minutes and I live in the suburbs.) English speaking Mexican Americans are common and mix here with the general population, but their immigrant Spanish only speaking parents don't mix much outside of their ethnic groups and neighborhoods. Yet another reason Spanish is useless here unless your business or social life (like the medical field or your church wants to start a Spanish speaking mission) caters to Spanish only speakers.

 

When we were waiting for our youngest to arrive (she's an international adoptee) we took our older two (7 and 9 at the time) on a tour of some of the best features in AZ for 10 days. We toured Canyon De Chelley in an open air jeep with a Native American guide, Lake Powell on a boat to see the tapestry canyons with a Native American guide, Antelope Canyon on foot with a Native American guide, we stopped at a Code Talker Museum on the Navajo Nation, and we took a small 7 man plane around the Grand Canyon. The Native American guides were all Navajo. It covered some AZ history and the kids said it's one of their all time favorite vacations.

 

It's pretty much cowboys and Indians here when it comes to historical sites. You can see old west and mining sites. There just isn't enough to fill a whole year's worth of study and little of it is particularly influential in the flow of American history. Not a whole lot directly influences current issues and those that do are funny. I love it when La Raza goes on about how this was land that belonged to Mexico originally...my Native American friends would disagree.

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