Homeschool Series: History & Geography



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History and Geography are two of my least favorite subjects to teach. It’s probably because they were my least favorite subjects in school, so therefore I do not feel very well prepared. In fact, my 11-year old knows more about history than I do. He loves it. So, we skated by in the elementary years, but now that we’re in middle school I see we need to buckle down. 

If you're looking for some great History and Geography curriculum, check out some of our favorites! :: www.homeschoolgiveaways.com
We tried a few different curriculums during our elementary years that we really enjoyed. And now I have found one that we love for middle school. But, I realize there are different learning styles and convictions, so here are some history and geography curriculums that might work for your family.

History Curriculum

The Mystery of History – We used this curriculum early on in our homeschool journey and it worked well for a while. Written from a Christian perspective, I love that it starts at the creation of Adam and Eve and works its way chronologically through history. However, it is very reading intensive and the hands-on activities proved a little more than we could handle with infants and toddlers running around at the time. But, now that my 3 middle ones are all in “school,” we are going to start it up again, but taking our time.

Notgrass – My oldest is using the Uncle Sam and You set this year and so far, we love it. I thought this set was perfect as we enter full-swing in to election season. Their middle school sets have 150 lessons, giving you room for days off and extended studies as you feel led. They have several titles for grades 5-8 as well as high school. I love the shorter lessons and reviews they offer, as well as the extra reading assignments they suggest bringing in a little literature.

Biblioplan – This is a four-year classical history curriculum for home schoolers, home school cooperatives and Christian schools, grades K – 12. BP covers World History, Biblical History, U.S. History, Church History, Geography and more, starting at Creation and continuing through modern times.

History & Geography LIFEPAC – LIFEPAC History & Geography is a biblically integrated approach to teaching your child about history, geography, and living in the world. Each grade has ten engaging worktexts that are mostly independent and may not be recommended for younger students. Each complete set also includes a teacher’s guide with answer key and teacher helps.

TruthQuest History – This is  is a deep and rich literature-based history study…but with a difference. You will not learn the story of mankind; you will learn the lovestory of mankind. You will not focus on the rise and fall of human civilizations; you will focus on the arrow-straight line of God’s unchanging existence, power, love, truth, and plan for civilization. You will not simply ‘meet the culture’ or ‘get the facts;’ you will probe the truths of history so deeply that your students will be equipped to change their world!

Trail Guide to Learning – Trail Guide to Learning is a combination of both Ruth Beechick’s and Charlotte Mason’s ideas, which overlap and complement each other very well. It uses a unit study approach built around geography in the context of historical events. Science, art, and language arts are also covered. Each course is divided into six units, with each unit focused on a single theme that reflects a tight integration of geography and history.

U.S. History Detective – These colorful books bring U.S. history to life!  They are full of fascinating facts, pictures, and maps. These books can be used as stand-alone textbooks, supplements to your textbooks, or as review courses for older students. The vocabulary and content skills are based on common state social studies standards. What makes U.S. History Detective® different from other American history books is the integration of critical thinking into the content lessons.

 

DVD and Online History

Learn Our History (DVD) –  This is not a complete curriculum, but rather a supplemental or additional resource. We have several of these DVD’s and my children seem to enjoy them. Each exciting animated history film features a group of time-traveling history students who go back in time to see US history in the making. Young viewers come along for the ride and enjoy a front-row seat to all the exciting action.  Along the way, kids learn about the most important people and influential events throughout American history.

Liberty Kids (DVD) – My younger kids absolutely love this video series. This is a fun, animated television series that is now available on DVD. We use these as a way to introduce them to history in a fun, interactive way. The half-hour shows are the perfect length to keep their attention, without overwhelming them with information.

Federalist Papers (online) – This site gives free online access to the Federalist Papers and other primary source documents from the founding of the U.S.

Looking for more History resources? Check out my Homeschool: History Pinterest board!

 

Geography Curriculum

A Child’s Geography – Written from a Christian perspective, these books take Geography to a new level by bringing the reader in to the “exploration” of where you are studying. Each book includes a companion CD-ROM that has copywork passages and templates for students to use, tests, and other printable pages that vary by volume

Knowledge Quest Maps and Timelines – Map Trek is an atlas plus historical outline maps that allow you to teach geography alongside history. This is a resource that any homeschool parent can use with brilliant success, even if you don’t remember a thing from your history or geography classes in public school.

Drawing Around the World – Drawing Around the World: USA outlines a simple, fast, and easy program to teach students to memorize the United States of America. With Drawing Around the World: USA, students, in only minutes per day, engage in fun geography lessons that teach them to draw the 50 states plus Washington D. C. Additionally, students learn the state capitals and interesting facts about each state as they complete the state fact table.

Eat Your Way Around the World – Get out the sombrero for your Mexican fiesta! Chinese egg rolls! Corn pancakes from Venezuela! Fried plantains form Nigeria! All this and more is yours when you take your family on a whirlwind tour of over thirty countries in this unique international cookbook. Jam-packed with delicious dinners, divine drinks, and delectable desserts, this book is sure to please. The entire family will be fascinated with tidbits of culture provided for each country.

States & Capitals (CD) – The States & Capitals CD/Book Set includes Music CD and 24-page Activity Book with lyrics, poetry and creative writing activities, capital word searches, states and capitals study guides, and melody line with chords for Singing Our States and Learning Our Capitals. If you have auditory learners, this is a fun way to make the states and capitals stick!

Trail Guide to Learning – Trail Guide to Learning is a combination of both Ruth Beechick’s and Charlotte Mason’s ideas, which overlap and complement each other very well. It uses a unit study approach built around geography in the context of historical events. Science, art, and language arts are also covered. Each course is divided into six units, with each unit focused on a single theme that reflects a tight integration of geography and history.

World Geography (A Beka) – Written from a Christian perspective, this course is intended for just a semester of study. Since it is just a single semester course, the countries of the world are covered only briefly. For this reason, I believe this to be a great supplement to a more thorough World Geography curriculum. This geography workbook includes built-in atlases, study questions and map work for the eastern and western hemispheres. Can be used as a stand alone course or in conjunction with other history or geography studies.

Evan-Moor Daily Geography – We loved using these daily exercises as a way to teach my oldest how to read maps. We used these for four years with my oldest and then moved on to a more advanced geography course. These take just minutes a day and a great way to introduce map reading and geography. Each grade level focuses on a specific area of map reading. Daily students will work on a map reading skill and answer questions about the map. Answers are included in the back of the book. I also love that these books are reproducible, so I can use them with multiple children.

 

Online Geography

Globalmania – This digital curriculum is designed to be completed in 7-months time. It is a free digital course that helps children learn the locations of continents, countries, capitals, major cities, mountains, rivers, and bodies of water for world and U.S. geography. Students will study Asia, Africa, Europe, the United States, North America, South America, and Australasia/Antarctica for one month each. The course requires only a half hour to an hour per week for four weeks for each of these seven sections. The course is dependent upon the student having a computer and an internet connection because a major portion of the learning happens through interactive games and activities that are found at various online sites.

Coolmath-Games.com – This site has fun, interactive FREE Map-Snap games for kids.

Jimspages.com/States.htm – This site allows kids to practice identifying states and their location in a fun, puzzle format.

National Geographic Map Creation Tool – Customize your own 1-page maps, then download, email, print or share! You can create completed maps or outline maps for studying and tests.

Seterra Geography Games – Seterra is a challenging educational geography game with more than 100 different exercises. Learn about the countries, capitals, oceans, flags and cities of Africa, Europe, South America, North America, Asia and Australia, using outline map exercises!

Sheppard Software Geography Games – Sheppard Software is a free site that offers some great geography games for both the U.S. and the world. They are also quick to access and good for practice identifying states and capitals as well as countries and their capitals.

Looking for more Geography resources? Check out my Homeschool: Geography Pinterest board!

Written by Annette Breedlove

Annette Breedlove

Annette has been married to her husband and best friend for 11 years. Together they are raising their four children to follow the Lord’s will, no matter what. Annette longs for the day when she will meet her 5 angel babies who have entered heaven before her. She enjoys creating UNIT STUDIES with FREE PRINTABLES (more coming soon) for homeschool families and she gets her scrapbooking fix in by making Subway Art for herself and her readers. You can follow her crazy life at In All You Do where she blogs about homeschooling, gluten- and grain-free recipes, homemaking, the occasional DIY projects and maintaining her sanity. You can also keep up with her via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

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