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American History suggestions

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Need suggestions please.  My kids are 6, 7 and 9.  I tried Adventures in America, but it's not beefy enough.  I would love something like SOTW.  I know it does American history later on, but I would like something now, and we are only on SOTW1 for now.

 

Does that makes sense?

 

Also, need a secular one.

 

Thank you so so much!!!

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Following.  We came up short when I looked for an elementary program for next year.  I'm weaving a two year study into SOTW 3 & 4 but I think I'll be building it myself.

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Adding - one of the resources I have in consideration is this.  I don't know if you can make it work with really young kids, but I thought of using the weekly units as jumping off points and adding literature, activities, and visual/audio aids. http://www.ourlandpublications.com/catalog/index.php/our-land-liberty-c-21?osCsid=ba5494f9343f70cce83ef19c9bcc2ea4

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I would suggest that you choose books to cater to your 9YO. The younger kids, at that age, will just need the basics at this point.  They can absorb a lot just by listening in or by doing coloring pages as you read. At this point, you want your kids to enjoy history without bogging them down in either too much information or too much work. In this way, they will learn to love history as they grow.  You cold also choose unit studies within American History, such as the Colonial Era; Native Americans; Revolution; Civil War, etc.  A great method would be to go to your library and pick out several books about American History, cuddle on the couch and read them together.  Afterwards you could choose an corresponding activity from one of the Draw, Write, Now books or History Pockets.  There are also many history coloring books available for the little ones.

 

Here are some ideas:

This is just my two cents advice.  I went too deep, too fast while too young with my DD. As a result, she hated history for a long time.  Last year she decided she really loved history and is now thinking about a History/Theology major in college.  So, I advise to keep it simple and fun during these early years.

 

HTH!

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We are using Joy Hakim's History of US this year for both my 13yo and my 9yo. My 9yo loves it. She studies and memorizes less of it and doesn't do as much writing, but it works well as a story. It's a lot to read aloud so we have the audiobooks from audible as well. In the audiobooks the sidebars are not read so I do that part and discuss maps and other images.

 

There's also a free PDF teaching guide for it here.

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We are using Joy Hakim's History of US this year for both my 13yo and my 9yo. My 9yo loves it. She studies and memorizes less of it and doesn't do as much writing, but it works well as a story. It's a lot to read aloud so we have the audiobooks from audible as well. In the audiobooks the sidebars are not read so I do that part and discuss maps and other images.

 

There's also a free PDF teaching guide for it here.

 

I finally was able to take a look at a sample.  How do you handle all those "team" projects?  Do you just skip it or discuss it with your kids all together?

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The Complete Book of US History (gr. 3-6) is surprising very nice. NOT complete, but what I love is some of the very different topics it focuses on in the 20th century part of US History.

 

You might try coupling that with American Story: 100 True Tales from American History, which is written in the story-like way that SOTW is.

 

Not complete (1500s explorers through new nation 1815), but Betsy Maestro's series of The American Story is at a grade 2-6 level (your DC's ages):

- The Discovery of the Americas (pre-history)

- Exploration and Conquest: The Americas After Columbus (1500-1620)

- The New Americans: Colonial Times (1620-1689)

- Struggle for a Continent: The French & Indian Wars (1689-1763)

- Liberty or Death: The American Revolution (1763-1783)

- A New Nation: The United States (1783-1815)

 

And similar to The American Story series (i.e., not complete history, and not in one volume), the Cornerstones of Freedom series are at a gr. 3-5 level and cover specific events.

 

Or the Brown Paper School: U.S. Kids History series of books (not complete, just on specific topics):

- American Indians

- American Colonies

- American Revolution

- Civil War

 

More Ideas:

A Child's First Book of American History (from a strongly Christian perspective) is probably too young.

DK Children's Encyclopedia of American History is a grade 3-7 level, BUT, it is snippets of text like all of the Eyewitness style books, rather than story-like text.

Edited by Lori D.
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Just as add-ons: Liberty Kids and Meg Macintosh Solves 7 American History Mysteries.

 

Do you live in the DC metro area? There's plenty of fodder for American history field trips!

 

 

 

I am also peeking in for ideas on our home study of history!

Edited by Earthmerlin
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If you wanted a 1-volume non-textbook, you could try Davidson's A Little History of the United States: https://www.amazon.com/Little-History-United-States-Histories/dp/030022348X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518435968&sr=8-1&keywords=a+little+history+of+the+united+states It's a well-written book published by the same folks who published A Little History of the World.  You may need to beef it up with some additional picture books on certain topics.  We use it as a family read aloud at night and continue using SOTW for our main history spine during "school" time.  

Edited by mohop
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Not sure if it's what you're looking for, or could be a component of what you use, but my kids who love SOTW also really enjoy the CKLA units. I've found they work well for family read-alouds with combined ages, and the book lists can be good both to go further and offer my kids for further investigation. They are essentially unit studies, though, rather than a single resource, and in that regard involve more parental planning ahead than SOTW. If you wanted to use them for a year of American history, you might look at:

 

Native Americans - Regions and Cultures

 

European Exploration of North America

 

Colonial America

 

American Revolution

 

Frontier Explorers

 

War of 1812

 

Westward Expansion

 

Civil War

 

Immigration

 

Fighting for a Cause

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I ended up pulling the American-specific parts of SOTW out and using them plus supplemental books along the way. It’s working well to give my 9yo a picture of what the US looked like at any given time. My 4 and 6yo listen along when they feel like it, and I supplement it all with some literature and Liberty’s Kids and Schoolhouse Rock videos from YouTube.

 

(My seventh grader is using Notgrass, which I like because he already knew the basics, and Notgrass adds in biographies, stuff about national parks, etc., plus it has a companion volume of primary sources. But it’s not secular.)

Edited by happypamama
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The Betsy Maestro America series  +  Liberty's Kids  +  This Is America, Charlie Brown. 

 

We did these, plus the USKids History Series from Brown Paper Schoolbag. OOP, but easy to find. And tons of individual books.

 

I wish there was something more like SOTW for US history. Unfortunately, everything I looked at in that vein was vintage and really, really problematic - the racist, sexism, and anti-Catholic sentiments were all really strong. As was misinformation that was in the myth building vein - stuff like Columbus thought he might fall off the edge of the world.

 

I like the Joy Hakim series, but my kids were not ready for long stretches of it at age 8. I think it's really an age 10 and up thing in terms of detail.

 

There really are SO many individual books for US history though. You know how you go to the library while you're doing SOTW and they have like two measly books about the topic one week and nothing at all the next? Well, that is not the case for US history. If you have a decent library, you can come home with stacks of stuff every week.

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Coming back with a few more possibilities:

 

Book Shark is secular, covers all of U.S. History in 2 years, and is geared for gr. 3-4:

- Intro to American History, year 1 of 2

- Intro to American History, year 2 or 2

 

Kind of dry and more school/workbookish, but the 4 books of the (now out of print) Story of the U.S.A. are geared for grades 3-4, secular, written in short 1-2 page segments with follow-up comprehension questions:

vol. 1 = Explorers and Settlers

vol. 2 = A Young Nation Solves Its Problems

vol. 3 = America Becomes a Giant

vol. 4 = Modern America

 

Traditional textbook ideas -- not story-like, but 1-volume/complete, and secular:

United States History -- gr. 3-5, Common Core Curriculum (Alexandria Plan)

United States History -- gr. 6-8, Holt McDougal

United States History -- 7th grade, AGS Publishing

Reflections: The United States: Making a New Nation -- 5th grade, Harcourt's California series of social studies texts

 

And, these are not complete, they make a terrific supplement -- interesting short segments on Americans and events that don't typically get covered. Secular. We really enjoyed these American Adventures: True Tales from America's Past:

vol. 1 = 1770-1870

vol. 2 = 1870-1999

 

 

Just including these Christian options for others who may be reading this thread:

 

Beautiful Feet (gr. K-3) or (gr. 4-6) -- Early American History -- not complete, some books are more story-like, Christian

 

Learning Adventures (gr. 4-6) is a unit study (and not 1-volume), and it is not complete:

World of Adventure (vol. 2) -- colonial through revolution

- Westward and Onward (vol. 3) -- westward expansion

 

United States History (gr. 4) -- BJUP, 1 volume textbook, complete, Christian

History of Our Unites States (gr. 4) -- Abeka, 1-volume textbook, complete, Christian

 
Edited by Lori D.
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If you are thinking about History of US by Joy Hakim, the concise edition published by K12 (you can easily get these used for a good price). There are four volumes versus the 11 volume one which is targeted to middle schoolers. It would work for your 9 year old and possibly as a read aloud for the youngers. It's what I am using right now with my 9 year old.

Edited by calbear
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Oh my goodness, just seeing all this now - THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH EVERYONE!!

 

I completely forgot that I actually have Liberty kids and Betsy Maestro's books. 

And I live in New England and we go to MD/DC area often, so I should have a pretty good start.

 

Again, thank you ladies!!

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We're doing Build Your Library year 5, which is the first half of US History. It uses Hakim's books and is secular. My 8 and 11 year olds are enjoying it.

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