Before I give you some new free downloads [big smile!], I would like to share a bit of my current History homeschooling journey with you:
I am re-using my Sonlight American History curriculum for my younger children, and so much has changed since I last used the curriculum over 6 years ago …
- The bought schedule is now my guideline rather than my task master. I no longer stress about ticking all the boxes and keeping up with all the reading schedules. I follow the themes rather than the schedule.
- My attitude about teaching has matured since my early first years of homeschooling. I do NOT focus on teaching information. I now focus more on character training and skills development. It does NOT matter if I don’t cover everything. It will NOT matter if I leave things out. My children can ALWAYS learn this information and any other time and this is not a once-off study on these themes.
- I want them to gain an overview. I hope that they will link classic literature and films and famous people to periods and times during American history. Just as American families study World or Eastern Hemisphere history, we, in South Africa, need to cover American history for our world perspective.
- In the previous year I created my own eclectic curriculum and it has given me confidence to linger where there is a spark of interest and move on when the topic does not ignite our minds or thoughts.
- I use methods my children love – notebook pages and minibooks as well as occasional hands-on activities.
- I have changed my core books. My original Sonlight core book, The Landmark History of the American People by Boorstin, was just too long and wordy and unsuitable for my children’s’ maturity and interest. I also laid aside the textbook-type series The Story of the USA by Franklin Escher Jr. I now use A Child’s Story of America by Christian Liberty Press. It has a warm and conversational tone and, although rather subjective, presents most of the history and information as an overview.
So, based on our new core book, A Child’s Story of America, I have made these notebook pages:
- a basic blank 3-block and lined page notebooking page
- a page with 3 blank minibooks that fit inside the blocks of the notebook page
- clip art or illustrations and headings for each theme
It is an easy for me to prepare specific notebook pages for each chapter. The children cut out the clip art and illustrations and cut and paste these on the minibooks or the notebook page while I read the chapter aloud. The pictures give clues and the cutting and pasting keeps their hands busy while I read.
It takes just a few minutes for my youngest to dictate her narrations while I write them for her, or about 20 minutes for her and her older sister to write their narrations.
Quick, simple and really pleasing results!
Here are the downloads ~
- 3 Square Notebook Page with Minibooks ~ An excellent, versatile blank notebook template! Use it for any subject. Go ahead and print out a whole bundle! :)
- Old Times in the Colonies – with a spinning wheel minibook and steps how to spin flax, and pictures of life on the frontier and the First Thanksgiving.
- Royal Governors & Loyal Captains – pictures of Sir Edmund Andros, The Charter Tree and Nathaniel Boone and his forces burning Jamestown.