Raising kids. Keeping House. Choosing joy, every day.

Our Favorite Homeschool Tools: {Pt. 2. History}

This is part two of our Favorite Curriculum series and today I am sharing what worked for us for History.

If you missed part one, read here for our favorite Homeschool picks for Math and Language Arts.

When our children were young, we used several resources:

Your Story Hour Audio Tapes were staples in our family. They are dramatized stories about a specific person in history. My kids listened to these on car trips and during rest time after lunch. If you follow this link you can get them free with a trial audible.com membership. :)

We also loved reading the Childhood of Famous American’s series. These are engaging books (written at about a third grade reading level) that we always enjoyed. We loved reading about the childish antics and mishaps of Thomas Alva Edsion, the strict family rules of Benjamin Franklin’s mother, the love of animals and the almost crippling shyness of Clara Barton, and the crazy inventions of the Wright brothers as children.

One of our favorite things to do is to visit a visiting living history museum. We are fortunate to live in a part of the country that is rich in American History and take advantage of trips to local museums. Plimouth Plantation, Sturbridge Village, Strawberry Banke, York Historical Society and other hands on museums are a great places to let kids see what life would have been like during Colonial Times. You can tour homes of famous people like Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House,  John Quincy Adam’s home or Thoreau’s cottage on Walden Pond. If you can’t visit in person, many of these sites have interactive activities for kids on their sites.

Hope using tools at OSV.
Holly trying out the washing machine at Old Sturbridge Village.

We also used The Story of the World series by Susan Wise Bauer of the Well Trained Mind.  As the kids got older they used BJUPress textbooks as jumping boards for independent study. Also, we also felt that our kids would benefit by reading the History of England via AmblesideOnline’s resources which are free and in the public domain, because of course, English history was our history before we were “America.” :)  We also benefitted from Susan’s Bauer’s complete history books for adults. (caveat: it is written for adults, and does not sugar coat the depravity of man when unhampered by rules. Matthew’s summary: “Boy, Mom. The kings were pretty dysfunctional. They killed their own families whenever they felt like it.” Yup. They also include homosexuality and other topics that you might want to edit before letting your kids loose on these books– depending on the maturity of the child.)

I know this list is incomplete. What have you loved for history? Do tell. :)