Homeschool Discoveries

Sharing a few things I've discovered along the way…

United States History Year 1 July 10, 2012

Welcome to “United States History Year 1” at Homeschool Discoveries!

This is a plan/outline I am putting together for my family to study American History from the earliest years to approximately 1850.  If all goes well I will put together a “Year 2” plan to study US history from 1850 to the present for the following school year (2013-2014).

The primary audience for my US History curriculum is Miss M, who will be in third grade this year (2012-2013).  The secondary audience will be Mr. E, who will be a Kindergartener this year.  He has a definite interest in history, so I expect that he will participate regularly.

We’ll divide our year into five units or time periods:

  • Native Americans/Explorers (8 weeks, plus 2 vacation weeks when we may still do some read alouds)
  • Early Settlers/Colonies (9 weeks)
  • The American Revolution (8 weeks)
  • A New Nation/Constitution (4 Weeks)
  • War, Westward Expansion and Pioneers (8 Weeks)

For each time period we’ll have one or more key non-fiction texts that I will select to read to Miss M and Mr. E together.  I don’t have one spine text to use throughout our studies, but I plan on the Maestros’ American Story series to be a key text for the earliest years through 1812.   I will read historical fiction to Miss M (and sometimes to all the kids…or at least Mr E…as well when appropriate).  I’ll also be assigning Miss M independent fiction reading related to each time period.  We’ll also have a “book basket” of mainly non-fiction library books related to each topic.  The kids may freely choose books from the basket to read.  Some days I may ask them to select a book to read, while at other times it will be totally optional.  Finally, I will be using lapbooking, papercraft, activity, timeline and notebooking resources to help Miss M (and Mr E if he chooses) have a written or visual record of what we are learning.

I’ll be blogging regularly about the books we read and activities we do as we study American History this year.  Stop by often (or subscribe via email or RSS) if you want regular updates on our study.

Or if you want a preview of our book choices (or are looking to make your own American History reading list), check out this spreadsheet in Google docs (updated file as of 10-16-12).

A few notes about this document:

  • It is tentative, especially for any units beyond #3
  • We almost certainly won’t read all the books listed, even in the literature categories.  We also won’t do activities from all the books listed — I’m just getting prepared with lots of potential resources.
  • Many books are linked to their amazon listings.  As I update the file, more books will be linked.
  • Additionally, some books may have affiliate links, but they aren’t my affiliate links if they have them (they would be links from the sites where I found some of the book suggestions).
  • I’ll be updating and changes the file as the year progresses
  • I have not planned out each week of our studies — only beginning and end dates for each unit, and even those might change.  But in retrospect I’ll be making a record of what I do so that could be sort of a “schedule” once it is done.

Much credit goes to A Book in Time, the Sonlight website, Guest Hollow American History, and All Through the Ages for many of the books suggestions.

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7 Responses to “United States History Year 1”

  1. […] more details on what we are doing? Be sure to visit my “United States History Year 1″ page, which has more info and a link to my spreadsheet of books.   And be sure to stop back often this […]

  2. Amy @ Hope Is the Word Says:

    If you can get it, Holling C. Holling’s The Book of Indians is a gem. Here’s my review:
    http://www.hopeisthewordblog.com/2012/01/12/read-aloud-thursday-the-book-of-indians-by-holling-c-holling/

    • Thanks for the reminder about that book! I love Hollings’ books and I saw a listing for it in All Through the Ages, but I didn’t put it on my list after seeing that my library didn’t have a copy and there wasn’t one for a reasonable price on Amazon (at least when I checked). Maybe I’ll go do an ILL search.

      I am wishing our Library had more of the “If you Lived with…” series. Miss M read one of those this week and really liked it.

  3. […] We kicked off “summer school” on Tuesday by beginning our American History journey for the year.   We also dusted off our Logic of English materials and reviewed the lesson we stopped on (and […]

  4. […] of books to choose from.  I came home with a number of titles from our general literature list and history read-aloud list for the upcoming school year, as well as some science titles for subjects our home library is […]

  5. Sahamamama Says:

    We are doing American History Part 1 this year, too, with a 2nd grader and twin K’ers. The original plan was to work from the Beginnings to 1850 this year, then finish up next year (3rd/1st). However, we discovered Native American History Pockets and spent longer on this than we thought we would. No regrets, though. The History Pockets have been well-worth the time invested. They may seem like simple paper crafts (mostly), but I’m impressed with how much we have internalized about various tribes and how much my students respect their traditions. So worth slowing down.

    We have much the same list of books! I posted our outlines on WTM boards here:

    http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/444225-us-history-for-3rd-and-1st-grader-ideas-and-resources/#entry4535336

    Hope that helps someone out there looking for American History ideas for primary grades.

  6. […] past year we studied the “first half” of United States History using my own literature-and-library-book based plans.  We started at the beginning with Native Americans, and I originally thought we would only study […]


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