American History Notebook Pages ~ From Independence till Early 1800s

"The First Cotton Gin" conjectural i...

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I love homeschooling when we find our groove!

You know ~ when the kids know what to do, happily go about it and write or narrate, and the work is completed without moaning or complaining?  (If only every day was like this?)

Our History Notebook pages have become a wonderful method for our daily narrations for our History CoreA Child’s Story of America.

We use basic lined pages with boxes in  different layouts.  All I do is prepare some pictures or artwork, maps, portraits, or clipart and some headings for each theme and we have the most versatile notebook pages.

While I read, the children cut out the minibooks and paste them on the lined notebook page.  This keeps their hands busy while they listen and these visual clues reinforces the topics that I am reading.

I have become strict about not re-reading passages or giving clues and tips.  Following Miss Mason’s suggestion, I try not “get in the way” and encourage the children to make their own connections with the book.

I recently chatted to a good homeschooling friend, a veteran homeschool mom of 5, and she and I find this approach very difficult.  We both love to explain, find more books and references.  We both love to teach. So, to read aloud, then facilitate the narrations without adding our own questions, suggestions and extra info is a real discipline!

How do you approach your History cores?

Anyway, back to today’s post – I have uploaded our latest files for you on my Free History Pages.

Here are the main topics:

  • Francis Marion,  General Nathanael Greene
  • The Grand Republic covering the Constitution, Congress, The Great Seal,  and the 3 Branches of Government
  • Alexander Hamilton
  • The First American – President George Washington
  • Thomas Jefferson with a timeline
  • The New Spiritual Revival and the Haystack Prayer Meeting
  • Inventions covering Fulton’s Folly and The Cotton Gin
  • The War of 1812
  • The Lone Star Republic
  • The Mexican War

You are welcome to pop over and download these for your personal use.


Pilgrims, Puritans, Quakers & Early American History Notebook Pages

Richard Warren, among 10 passengers in the lan...

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This title is a mouthful,

but here is a lovely BIG 13-page notebooking and minibook combination download

for Early American History with these pages:

  • Puritans ~ half page blank & lined
  • Puritan Church ~half page blank & lined
  • Quakers – blank page
  • Quakers ~ half page blank & lined
  • Mayflower ~ half page blank & lined
  • New England ~ blank
  • Indians Help the Settlers ~ blank
  • Minibook pages for Puritans and Indians Help Settlers pages
  • Tabbed minibook for New England or Puritan pages
  • British Laws made smugglers & pirates ~ half page blank & lined
  • Minibook page for Smugglers & Pirates page & Virginia page
  • Virginia ~ half page blank & lined

My kids love to draw while I read.  Our Sonlight “The Landmark History of the American People from Plymouth to the Moon” by Daniel J. Boorstin’s chapters are quite detailed and lengthy.  They draw in the half page space or on the blank pages and then write their narrations below their pictures.

They also prefer to write their narrations in our little cut-and-folded minibooks. Somehow, these dinky, small booklets fools them to believe that they don’t have to write much!  But they write just as many facts here as they would on the lined notebook pages! (Shh … don’t tell them!)

Here is a peek at these pages:

And here’s your free download:

Pilgrims and Early American History


Music Appreciation Log Sheet

Portrait Ludwig van Beethoven when composing t...

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As Charlotte Mason advises, we study a Famous Musician for several weeks.

I usually read them a short biography and they write their biography narrations on our Famous Musicians Biography notebook pages.

We’ll paste the picture of our famous musician on our Famous Musician Wall Chart.

Then we  jot in his name on our timeline.

We listen to the composers’ most famous or important pieces several times during the following weeks.

Mostly we just listen while we do our art.  Sometimes we discuss the mood, tempo or instruments of the piece.

I aim to create an awareness and a love and appreciation for classical music.

My children love the Classical Kids CDs.  These narrative stories weave sample pieces of the musician’s music pieces throughout the story.

For Beethoven, I introduced our Music Appreciation Log Sheet.

I first saw this idea at Harmony Art Mom and thought it would be a really good addition to our music study.

Just a quick personal note ~

I take things really slowly and build up our written and formal study as my children gain confidence.   I did too much, too quickly with my eldest daughter in my early (and over-zealous) days of homeschooling and she “burnt out”.  I want my children to enjoy music and not dread our appreciation times. 🙂

Our first attempt was really interesting and successful.  They jotted some basic biographical details in the top information box after a quick biography review, then we looked up the music piece’s information off our cd cover, and we listened quietly.

I provided some writing prompts ~

Discuss what …

  • musical instruments you hear (not too technical)
  • images or colours or patterns you see
  • you feel when you listen to this piece
  • movie does this bring to mind (so many movies use classical pieces in their sound tracks!)
  • Young Children ~
    • is it loud or soft?
    • is it fast or slow?
    • what animal movement does this sound like?
  • For older listeners ~
    • Draw patterns of the piece on a large paper
    • If you were a movie director what scene would play during this piece?
    • What  story title and opening paragraph would suit this piece?
    • Describe this music in a nature scene

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And there is a box for drawing images that come to mind as they listen to the piece.

My kids immediately got involved.  They jotted down thoughts and ideas and then sketched and coloured.  As they worked, the piece played several times over.

Beethoven’s ” Piano Sonata No.14 “Moonlight” ” has a place in our hearts and minds.

I think we will enjoy this new addition to our music appreciation times.

Have you tried this?

Click here for your free download ~ Music Appreciation Log Sheet