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Just curious: Does your state 'require' a year (or two) of state history?


JessReplanted
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We live in Texas where there are virtually no requirements for homeschooling. But, in the public school system they actually spend 2 years (4th and 7th grade, from what I understand) covering TX history! Where I grew up in MA, we didn't do this. And, in PA (the land of high regulations), I was told to incorporate PA history into our social studies program, but I never heard anything about teaching it for an entire year.

 

How does your state handle state history?

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Well, since we moved between when oldest was supposed to study state history (California) to where younger was getting ready to study state history (NC), I thought the entire thing was a bit crazy.  In this day and age, with so much mobility, an overview of where you are living is sufficient IMO and then study the bigger picture of our Nation's History.

 

However, in our schools in CA and in NC, there was a full year devoted to studying state history.  Usually it was accompanied by a 4 day weekend overnight field trip.  In CA it was to various missions.  In NC it is to the Outer Banks (I think anyway.)

 

The above is for schools though, it isn't required for homeschooling.

 

Dawn

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None of the states I've homeschooled in (Washington, Utah, Idaho, and Virginia) have required homeschoolers to teach state history which is nice since I'm not invested in any state.  When I was growing up in Utah the public schools taught Utah state history three different years (4th, 7th, and 10th IIRC) and it seems vaguely that my niece and nephews who live there still do that.

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I'm in PA. The law officially says we have to cover it, though it says nothing about a whole year. It also doesn't specifically state that it needs to be covered every year, just sometime before 7th grade and sometime between 7th and 12th. But since sometimes the district will argue with you and say that it needs to be covered every year, it's just easier to do something, anything, for PA history each year; it's not generally a problem to visit any one of our gazillion historic sites and to take some photos/get a brochure/have the kids write a short paragraph.

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Yep.  In school I did 4th and 8th grade.  I do think it's imortant.  We are spending a year on it, and I talk to my kids about our family's history here as well. We have been here for centuries and chances are at least some of my descendants will be here for many to come, so they need to know and love this place and take care of it, so they can take care of the people. 

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As homeschoolers, it's not required. But, SC does state history for two years, once in elementary and once in middle school. I think it's still the same as when I grew up: third and eighth. My mom spent her elementary years in Maine in the 1950s and had a year of state history there.

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We live in Texas where there are virtually no requirements for homeschooling. But, in the public school system they actually spend 2 years (4th and 7th grade, from what I understand) covering TX history! Where I grew up in MA, we didn't do this. And, in PA (the land of high regulations), I was told to incorporate PA history into our social studies program, but I never heard anything about teaching it for an entire year.

 

How does your state handle state history?

 

I did Virginia history in the fourth grade when I lived there, and Texas history in the seventh grade when I lived there.

 

The California Education code says California history some time between first and sixth, and again somewhere between seventh and twelfth. It's pretty common to do California history in fourth grade; I haven't heard of public schools doing it a second time, but then I don't keep up on what the public schools do. :-)

 

It is hard for me to imagine a public (or private school, for that matter) not spending at least one year on state history.

 

As a homeschooler, it's hard for me to separate history out into years or grades or whatnot. We did state history all the time, all year round, because there are so many historical sites and activities and whatnot, but we did focus on California history a little more one year when we visited all 21 California missions, 18 of them in a week. o_0

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NEW York:

(iii) The following courses shall be taught at least once during the first eight grades: United States history, New York State history, and the Constitutions of the United States and New York State.

 

But as with so much of NY state hs regs, I am not sure the vast majority of districts enforce it. I have always done SOTW for years 1-4 and then repeated the 4 year history cycle in years 5-8 and have never specifically mentioned addressing NY history or the constitution of the US or NY state. No one has said a word about it. Of course I have also written the same sentence in the 'health' section of every single IHIP and quarterly report and it has been fine. And I leave the art section blank and it has never been mentioned.

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We're in Florida. I don't know about elementary school (K-5th) because I home schooled those, but there is no state history taught above that. Both dds are in middle school right now and that course of study is Ancients, Civics, US History. I do know my oldest will be taking AP European History in 9th and I see no state history for her high school years.

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It was 8th grade in WV. Hunter safety was taught the same year :-) I'm not sure how they handle it in MD. Here homeschoolers are directed to teach 'comparable' subjects, so the specifics are up to you.

 

Way back (in a previous century), this hive member took MD history in the 8th grade................ I can still remember memorizing the location of the counties and the county seats!

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The graduation requirement for State history in Washington is that a student must complete one semester of Washington State history in high school for credit, OR  they can get a non-credit 'requirement met' by completing it in 8th grade.

 

The student will still need to take a half credit of history to replace it (as part of the required 3 credits of social studies), but it can be an elective history or government course if they have the 'requirement met' on their diploma.

 

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I only remember taking one year to cover CA history and that was covering the missions. Now, I know locally it tends to be CA Indians for a portion of 3rd grade with Missions/ CA History in fourth. Most of the history in 4th is just an overview. How much kids remember...?

I found the standard for history in CA: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/histsocscistnd.pdf

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We're in Florida. I don't know about elementary school (K-5th) because I home schooled those, but there is no state history taught above that. Both dds are in middle school right now and that course of study is Ancients, Civics, US History. I do know my oldest will be taking AP European History in 9th and I see no state history for her high school years.


I grew up in FL. We did state history and government in 4th grade. At the end of the year, we took a field trip to Tallahassee and toured the Capitol building and a few museums. This was in the early 90s.
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Virginia doesn't have any specific requirements for homeschoolers as far as what we have to cover. But kids spend 4th grade in public school doing VA history, I still remember it from my own 4th grade year. I didn't intentionally do state history but early Virginia history overlaps with a lot of early American history so we covered most of it. 

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Here it is a fourth grade topic - I did it as a summer project for two kids (one as going into 4th grade, other had just finished fourth).  I forget the name, but there was a company that sold 40-lesson workbooks tailored to whatever state you needed.  We did two easy lessons per day (so 20 days spread out over the summer) and ended with a trip to our state capital.  

 

I remember growing up in California our class visited a Mission.  But I do not recall ANY California history, so it it was taught it did not stick ;-)

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Here in Virginia, I find it sort of silly, since Virginia history pretty much IS American history.  By covering American history, you're getting the history of Virginia, as well. 

 

Texas is a different story.  I've lived in many, many places, but nowhere with as much state orientation/ pride as Texas.  It truly sees itself almost as its own entity.  Plus, Texas history is interesting, as opposed to say, Tennessee history, which just doesn't have the same cache. 

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My state actually requires some sort of "state studies" ALL 12 YEARS for homeschoolers!  

 

 

 

And none at all for the public school.

 

This is us too - we have to study Vermont every year. And there are no requirements for world history which is silly.

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In TN, it's usually 4th grade, plus bits and pieces in each elementary grade. My DD actually asked if she could do it because her friends all were complaining about it, so I bought her the workbook the state schools use, told her she could do it over the summer, and to pick out a few places she wants to visit as part of our state history study at the end of the summer, since we'll be driving across most of the state anyway for her herpetology conference. I have little doubt that she can work through the stuff that's considered important over the summer.  We homeschool through a cover school, and it doesn't require state history.

 

There was once a US history thing on FB going around. My friends and I who grew up in VA seemed to regularly score higher than people in other parts of the US, and I think it's because we effectively got US history for all but 6th grade and 9th grade (the two years we actually did World history)-just that some years it was labeled "State history" and some years it was labeled US history.

 

I had to take an exam on TX history to get certified to teach in TX since I hadn't graduated from a TX high school. It was actually really neat stuff.

 

 

 

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One year, just because I get bored trying to make sure we have something, we did a collection of "Famous People from PA" for PA history, and that was a fun addition. Much cooler this year when we actually got to tour Daniel Boone's family homestead, but focusing on the famous people was interesting. This year, my daughter's co-op class talked about gristmills for PA history, and again, it was neat for the kids to discuss something a little different from the usual. We drive, literally, through the Gettysburg Battlefields frequently, so it's fun to look at something that's not one of the big, main attractions.

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NJ has no homeschool regulations but does require state history be covered in public school.  But it's not handled as a separate course, it's covered along with US History.  In elementary school, when they barely seem to get past the mid-1800's, there's a lot of overlap between US and NJ history.

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We're in Florida. I don't know about elementary school (K-5th) because I home schooled those, 

 

 

I grew up in FL. We did state history and government in 4th grade. At the end of the year, we took a field trip to Tallahassee and toured the Capitol building and a few museums. This was in the early 90s.

 

 

I think they still teach it in fourth grade. Even though it's not required I taught it to ds, but I waited until he was older (8th grade I think). That was also the year he read A Land Remembered

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Way back (in a previous century), this hive member took MD history in the 8th grade................ I can still remember memorizing the location of the counties and the county seats!


It was also in fourth. I had mono in fourth grade and missed over a month of school. I totally missed the MD history unit.

I remember memorizing the MD map, too. Mrs. Gregus was my teacher and next door neighbor. It was part of a year on government. We did local, state and federal government, which was what the Maryland Functional Citizenship test was on that we had to pass to graduate.
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My state actually requires some sort of "state studies" ALL 12 YEARS for homeschoolers!  

 

 

 

And none at all for the public school.

 

Ridiculous.  I would be tempted to count our day to day living in that state as "state studies."  For example: "Hey kids look its our state bird.  Did you know it was chosen because X."  Bam, state study done. 

 

 

In OK we have no hs requirements.  Our public school graduation requirements do include a semester of state history and I remember doing it when I was a child.  Our family does cover it informally.

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We live in Texas where there are virtually no requirements for homeschooling. But, in the public school system they actually spend 2 years (4th and 7th grade, from what I understand) covering TX history! Where I grew up in MA, we didn't do this. And, in PA (the land of high regulations), I was told to incorporate PA history into our social studies program, but I never heard anything about teaching it for an entire year.

 

How does your state handle state history?

 

I grew up in Texas. I don't remember 4th grade state history, but 7th grade state history was a BLAST.  It is one of the reasons that, when (as an adult) I moved to Washington (State, not DC) the first thing I did was look up their history. I was disappointed there wasn't really a good history of the state but I found some good resources for the city of Seattle! (Sons of the Profits). Texas history is just as interesting as USA history and its a nice break from learning the same stuff over and over again.

 

I absolutely would want my kids to learn about the history of Texas state. I can not imagine taking that experience away from them.  We have already been to the Alamo (two or three times) and Washington-on-the-Brazos.

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Texas history is incredibly rich and varied, and honestly interesting, so I don't mind teaching it (and note it is not required for home school, just public school). 

 

What's more interesting to me, and a little odd, is that Texas also has a state law that college students must take both US and Texas government (or rather, those courses are required for degree-seeking students). I'm looking for the link about this now....I didn't bookmark it, and I'm having trouble finding it, but I read it recently while looking at degree requirements for several of the public universities in Texas, and they cited the bill from TX Senate that required this. 

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I did MD state history in public school 3rd grade.  Homeschooling in MD, VA, *or* TX doesn't require state history.  I'll still teach TX history just because it's fascinating.  MD and VA state history are both very much attached to US history.  Plus since my ancestors were in MD for ages, MD history ties into my own family history quite a bit.

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Maine requires it once in middle school. Of course we already enjoy so much history here on a regular basis, but I'm still super excited to create a more formal (and very fun) study around this awesome state. Basically I'm using it as an excuse to travel around more and dig deeper. Everything related that we do all summer long will count (my school year runs June-May)--forts, parks, nature studies, local skills classes, etc--plus museums, mapping skills, learning about local government, reading books by local authors...it's going to be fun! :)

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Some states have more history to study than other states.  Texas history is as vast, and complicated, as American History.  You can't really understand it all by lumping it in w/ U.S. History. There's a reason we Texans have a justified pride in our state, and you won't understand it if you don't study it.  Our ancestors fought for our independence just like the colonists fought for theirs. 

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I'm in PA. The law officially says we have to cover it, though it says nothing about a whole year. It also doesn't specifically state that it needs to be covered every year, just sometime before 7th grade and sometime between 7th and 12th. But since sometimes the district will argue with you and say that it needs to be covered every year, it's just easier to do something, anything, for PA history each year; it's not generally a problem to visit any one of our gazillion historic sites and to take some photos/get a brochure/have the kids write a short paragraph.

 

I'm also in PA.

 

Doesn't matter what the school district wants to see... they cannot add to the law.

 

PA Law just says it has to be taught at the elementary (through grade 6) and secondary (7th-12th grade) level.  NOTHING In the law dictates how, how much, or how often. So technically, a 1-minute lesson in 3rd grade and another 1-minute lesson in 7th grade fullfills the requirement just as much as a full-year 1-credit course done every single year. Not that I advocate either option...

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It was also in fourth. I had mono in fourth grade and missed over a month of school. I totally missed the MD history unit.

I remember memorizing the MD map, too. Mrs. Gregus was my teacher and next door neighbor. It was part of a year on government. We did local, state and federal government, which was what the Maryland Functional Citizenship test was on that we had to pass to graduate.

 

They must have started the MD Functional Citizenship test in the 4ish years in between my graduating and you graduating. I didn't take it. I'll have to ask my sister if she did. She's 3 years behind me. I don't remember it in 4th grade but that merely means that I don't remember, not that I didn't do it.

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I don't know if it is a state requirement as I was new to Michigan when we tackled state history.   They do cover it in elementary in my district.  We did a coop study one summer with 4-5 other families who wanted to cover it as well.  Kids had fun even tho it was summer school.

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They must have started the MD Functional Citizenship test in the 4ish years in between my graduating and you graduating. I didn't take it. I'll have to ask my sister if she did. She's 3 years behind me. I don't remember it in 4th grade but that merely means that I don't remember, not that I didn't do it.


I think I was the second year to take it. I remember studying with Ed Norton at dress rehearsals for Joseph. He had taken it the year before he would quiz me on and off stage that week.
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I did MD state history in public school 3rd grade.  Homeschooling in MD, VA, *or* TX doesn't require state history.  I'll still teach TX history just because it's fascinating.  MD and VA state history are both very much attached to US history.  Plus since my ancestors were in MD for ages, MD history ties into my own family history quite a bit.

 

Texas requires "good citizenship." I don't know how you could teach that without also teaching state history...not that there's a definition of what "good citizenship" is, or that anyone will ever check up on you, but still...

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Texas requires "good citizenship." I don't know how you could teach that without also teaching state history...not that there's a definition of what "good citizenship" is, or that anyone will ever check up on you, but still...

 

Good citizenship doesn't have to be state history at all.  Many people teach good citizenship as voting in elections and helping to make the world a better place (cleaning up litter, etc.).

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Good citizenship doesn't have to be state history at all.  Many people teach good citizenship as voting in elections and helping to make the world a better place (cleaning up litter, etc.).

 

Well, I suppose you could do that. It would seem to me to be a pretty weak course of study if state history is not included, but that's just me.

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Maybe it is a Texan thing.  Not everyone identifies themselves ultimately by their state of residence.  So to single out one state to discuss history seems odd.  Granted, I happen to like history and local history so I read about it for fun, but I don't think it makes me a better citizen of my state.  I have no emotional attachment to the state in which I reside whatsoever.

 

I think it's useful to learn about local issues and news including who is running the state/city. 

 

That's pretty much how I feel.  I'm a Texan now.  I love Texas.  We chose Texas as the place we wanted to be/settle.  But I don't feel like Texas history is the be all end all of good citizenship.  Perhaps it's because I'm from the mid-Atlantic where changing states is no big deal.  We lived in one state and my husband worked in another.  I learned MD history in elementary school.  Memorized the 23 counties and the one city.  I knew where they were on a map (and can still fill in the map reasonably well almost three decades later).  But I don't think that made me a better citizen of my country (or state).  Most of the people in MD have lived in other states (we lived in VA for a while ourselves).  I'm not even sure MD does MD history in public school anymore.  (I also see citizenship on a broader level than just state - it includes country and the world in general.)

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Whoa 23 counties.  That's the benefit of living in a tiny state.  Not so many counties!

 

You made me curious about this.  Texas has 254, so I'm betting memorizing counties isn't part of being a good citizen.  We had 29 growing up.  My 7th-grade teacher had a wooden map of the state where the pieces were counties.  We'd compete to see who could put it together fastest.  It helped that Utah has nice straight borders.

 

And I'm wondering at what point you don't memorize counties.  Does South Carolina make their students memorize all 46 counties? Or Oregon at 36? Or New York at 62?

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Some states have more history to study than other states.  Texas history is as vast, and complicated, as American History.  You can't really understand it all by lumping it in w/ U.S. History. There's a reason we Texans have a justified pride in our state, and you won't understand it if you don't study it.  Our ancestors fought for our independence just like the colonists fought for theirs. 

 

Spoken like a true Texan. ;)  I've never met people who love their state more than Texans. (It was just one of the many culture shocks we experienced when we moved here.)

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