Saturday, August 22, 2009

Reading through History

I've scheduled time on Mondays and Wednesdays for history and geography, but it's really a focused story time. I've divided American history into some "eras," one for each month. Most of our books will be fiction, folklore and myths, though I might select a non-fiction book if it seemed particularly fascinating. I'd like to start developing a sense of what life was like for children who have lived in different times. I intend (though I haven't done it yet) to begin a family Book of Centuries, but I will not be "teaching" about any time period, just reading engaging and beautiful books and then moving on the next month.

I'm very excited about this plan. I've already picked quite a few wonderful books and am pleased to have a plan for including them. I know, of course, that there are some fabulous books I haven't discovered yet that would be perfect. I'll be working on building our plan over time, but our first cohort might not be as strong as our later ones. Please feel free to make suggestions!

We're starting our first six weeks with books set through the early 1600s. I'm hoping to include Pocahontas if we can get it from the library in time.

We'll also be reading The Legend of the Bluebonnet (one of my favorites), Mystic Horse, The Huron Carol, The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, and Tattered Sails.

One of my hopes is that each month we'll have at least one book that is set in Kansas or the Great Plains. To the end, I've been doing a little research on Kansas books for our homeschooling next year. I'd rather pick something wonderful from another location than settle for something mediocre, however.

So far I've found a few resources on Kansas books and wanted to document them for future reference (for myself). I'm not sure how many of my regular readers are here in Kansas or other Plains states, but please let me know if you've found any others. Ravenstone Press has a list of children's books about or set in Kansas. The Kansas Center for the Book has a number of resources, in particular the Kansas Notable Books.


  1. Sounds great! Please continue to post your selections!
    I think perhaps it's set a little later in colonial times, but we enjoyed The Courage of Sarah Noble as a chapter book to read.
    I seem to remember that Books to Build On by Hirsch has some good history suggestions. (Amanda's school mostly follows his Core Knowledge curriculum; he also wrote the What Your Kindergartner (etc.) Needs to Know series.)

  2. Yes, The Courage of Sarah Noble is in our October list, I think. Thanks for suggesting Hirsch's book. Our library has it. I'm sure it'll have some great suggestions for us!

  3. A good game book if you "branch out" into other country's is "The multicultural game book: more than 70 traditional games from 30 countries". DD8 is reading Mulan this week in school so I got this along with "The Legend of the Panda" to follow-up at home. Simple games from all over the world although we're focusing on China.

    Another GREAT place to shop for books here in KS is the thrift store "Savers". I must've bought 20 books my last visit. 69cent children's & $2.99 adult books. Lots of great finds & a portion of their sales go to support Big Brothers/Big Sisters.


Comments make me happy; thanks for speaking up!