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History/Geography

Engaging Summer Olympics Activities & Resources

Engaging Summer Olympics Activities & Resources

While the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo were postponed due to Covid, they are now set to begin on Friday, July 23rd, 2021 and end on Sunday, August 8th.

I have found many great Summer Olympics Activities and Resources that could be used not only for this year, but for any year of the Summer Olympic Games.

Engaging Summer Olympics Activities includes art projects, printables, books, online resources and more for learning about and engaging with the Summer Olympics. From Starts At Eight

Even though we are off from official school during the summer, events like the Summer Olympics are something we try to engage with and learn about as they are happening as that is when they are most interesting and exciting.

There are resources here for students of all ages with many adaptable to use with multiple ages!

Summer Olympics Activities

Here are some of the Summer Olympics activities and resources we are using to help us learn about the games and to keep us more actively involved in this major event in history.

1. You Are An Artist

Summer Games

My daughter has loved using chalk pastels from the moment we first picked up one of the You Are An Artist books. {Note: You will often see us use oil pastels with these as well.}

We have started diving in to the Summer Games  book as we watch the Olympic Trials and follow along on the road to the 2016 Summer Games.

Summer Olympics Chalk Pastel Collage

2. Online Resources

1. Summer Games Online Unit Study

This course has five modules:

  • History of the Olympics
  • Traditions of the Olympics
  • Becoming an Olympian
  • 2021 Summer Games
  • Project: Olympics Puzzle Collection

2. The home of the Olympic Games

This is the official Olympic site with links to the past and future games as well everything you want and need to know to keep up with the action! This is a GO TO RESOURCE!

3. All About the Olympics Power Point

Perfect for whole-class teaching, this colorful Olympics PowerPoint Presentation is packed with illustrations and interesting information to help support your teaching and engage children in the Olympic Games.

By downloading this Olympics PowerPoint Presentation, you will receive informative slides to introduce your students to the history of the Olympics. This includes when the Olympics began, and all about the fascinating Ancient Greek Games. 

Students will then be presented with real-life action shots of various Olympic sports, including long jump, running, shot-put, gymnastics, shooting, and judo. This aims to increase students’ knowledge about the Olympics, as well as inspire children to get involved with new sports and activities.   

Students will also be introduced to Olympics medals, the Olympic torch, and Olympic rings. These are all key elements of the Olympic Games and helps student’s to understand their use, symbolism, and importance. 

This Olympics PowerPoint Presentation also covers the Paralympic games, helping students to gain a wider understanding of the development of sport and inclusivity. 

Finally, alongside recent hosts of the Olympic Games, students will be also introduced to the 2020 Olympic Games, which will be held in Tokyo, Japan, in 2021. 

4. Mathematics and the Summer Olympics

In this Webquest you will explore basic facts about the Summer Olympics and math connections to this international event. You will also engage in several related activities. These tasks will require a computer, access to the web, paper and pencil.

Here are some of the activities:

  • Choose your favorite countries and make a graph of their medal counts for past Olympics. How do you think they will fare this summer in London?
  • Keep track of your favorite athletes. For example, compare your favorite athlete’s performance during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing to his/her performance in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Does the athlete’s performance improve or decline? By how many points? meters? seconds?
  • Keep track of the numbers and types of medals earned by certain countries participating in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. They can then compare this medal count to those earned in 2008.

5. Olympic Fun Facts

Check out this collection of facts about the Olympics including things like:

  • What do the 5 rings represent?
  • What country has won the most medals?
  • When was the Olympics first televised?
  • And More!

3. Printables

FREE Summer Olympics Lapbook

This lapbook includes:

  • Geography: Mapping the route of the Olympic torch; Flags;
  • Math: Graphing medals;
  • History: Traditions & Symbols of the Olympic games; Olympic Timeline; Ancient Olympic History; Modern Olympics
  • Science: Health & Nutrition;
  • Language Arts: Write an athlete’s biography; other writing exercises
  • Art: Design an Olympic Logo

FREE Summer Olympics Printable Pack

Summer Olympics Pack contains over 100 pages:

  • (Part 1) 3 Part Cards, Which one is Different, What Comes Next?, Prewriting Practice, Pattern Cards, Matching Cards, 4 Piece Puzzles, 10 Piece Puzzles, Clip & Count to 15
  • (Part 2) Beginning Sound, Find the Same, Cutting Practice, Size Sequencing, Sorting, Sorting by Size, Wall Cards, Trace Beginning Sound, Trace the Word, Write the Word, Medal Math Hands on Page (Addition, subtraction, Greater Than/Less Than, Counting)
  • (Part 3) Color the Pattern, Color by Size, Fill in the Missing Pattern, Read Write and Count the Room, 8 page Small Books, Ring Color By Number, Dot Marker Olympic Rings, Stamp Beginning Sound
  • (Tot Pack) Solid Line Prewriting, Counting, Cutting Practice, 2 Piece Puzzle, Color the Ring Book, Matching Cards, 9 Piece Puzzles

The Summer Olympic Games – Tokyo 2020 (2021)

In this FREE Summer Olympics unit study, you and your children will work through an 9-day guide with reading passages (included), printable maps, and notebooking pages.

This free download contains everything you need for a thorough overview of Japan—perfect for the history and geography components of your Summer Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 homeschool unit study.

  • Discover Japan’s active volcano—Mount Fuji, or Fujiyama
  • learn how Japan has become one of the world’s top economic powers
  • meet the people of Japan and explore Japanese culture
  • sketch a simple timeline of major events in Japan’s history
  • create a calendar marking various Japanese holidays
  • create a Japanese-English dictionary
  • participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony
  • and more!

Gold Silver and Bronze Medals

4. Book Resources

What are the Summer Olympics?

Learn all about the history of the summer games by reading this Who Was Book… What are the Summer Olympics?

Use these FREE Printable Who Was Notebooking Pages for kids to write what they learned!


Engaging Summer Olympics Activities & Resources from Starts At Eight

~ Originally Published July 2016 for the Rio Games

The Juice: Current Events for Kids

The Juice: Current Events for Kids

In an ever changing and politically charged world keeping up with events has become more and more important. But how do we present current events for kids?

The Juice is an online learning platform providing daily current events for kids in grades 5th-12th, delivered through your choice of multiple reading levels. A Review from Starts At Eight

Current Events for Kids

Tackling the subject of current events for kids can be tricky because:

  • we may not want them exposed to certain things
  • news programs are not typically geared toward kids
  • written news is often above their reading and comprehension level
  • we may be concerned about bias not only within a news piece but the overall content of the news being delivered

So Why Teach Current Events for Kids?

  • teaching current events to kids can help develop informed citizens and lifelong news followers
  • doing so can foster an interest in political issues and social issues, stimulating a child to explore and learn more
  • encourages and awareness of local and global issues
  • reading the news can help build language vocabulary, reading comprehension, critical thinking, problem solving, and listening skills

The Juice: Current Events for Kids

Now that we know how important it is to include kids in the study of current events, the next question is how.

How do we incorporate the study of current event for kids?

The Juice Learning Company has created a product called The Juice. The Juice is a learning tool providing current events for kids in grades 5th – 12th.

{Disclaimer: I received free access to The Juice and was compensated for my time in writing this review.  All views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

” In 10-20 minutes, students read news stories, interact with informational text, practice digital media literacy skills, and answer standards-based questions as they sharpen their critical thinking skills and become smarter about our world. “

The Juice is an online learning platform providing daily current events for kids in grades 5th-12th, delivered through your choice of multiple reading levels
New stories from The Juice

Features of The Juice

1. Multiple Reading Levels

The Juice is offered in 4 different reading levels:

  • Grades 5-6
  • Grades 7-8
  • Grades 9-10
  • Grades 11-12

What’s to love about multiple reading levels?

Multiple reading levels (plus the fact that one subscription gets you access for up to 5 kids) means you can cover the same content with all of your children, without having to find a way to modify for younger and older kids! This means easier accessibility to current events for kids in a wide range of ages!

–>> To see Article Samples of each level Click Here!! <<–

2. Daily News Delivered Right to Your Inbox

The Juice comes daily to the inbox(es) you specify!

What to love about daily news in your inbox?

Of course you can still log in directly each day to see the news but getting an e-mail is a great reminder to take a look at what’s new for the day!

3. Education on the Go

Since The Juice can be used on any device you can easily use it on the go! It’s a great way to offer some educational content to your children while not at home.

The Juice is an online learning platform providing daily current events for kids in grades 5th-12th, delivered through your choice of multiple reading levels
The Juice is perfect to use on the go!

My daughter and I are on the go a lot! We have been using The Juice during our car rides. She pulls up stories and reads them, then we often discuss and even do more research if we want to dig even deeper.

What’s to love about taking The Juice on the go?

Being able to use The Juice on the go is a big bonus. We often have “free time” in the car, so why not spend some of it engaging in meaningful conversations with your kids about current events!

4. Interactive Quizzes

The Juice is an online learning platform providing daily current events for kids in grades 5th-12th, delivered through your choice of multiple reading levels
Each article includes a quiz question to help keep students engaged and offers a trackable component.

The Juice has a quiz section in every story of every issue and is written to the reading level you have chosen. These questions challenge kids to remember, understand, apply, analyze, and evaluate.

What’s to love about interactive quizzes?

These are NOT 25 question quizzes or anything which is nice because it doesn’t feel daunting. With just one question per article the quizzes are a great way to track that your kids are reading..

5. Custom Infographics

The Juice creates their own infographics that are geared towards the kids who are reading them. They create custom, interactive infographics each day along with their articles. This may be in the form of a chart, diagram, or visual aid to help kids understand one of articles or topics that day.

The Juice is an online learning platform providing daily current events for kids in grades 5th-12th, delivered through your choice of multiple reading levels.

What’s to love about custom infographics?

What’ so great about these is that The Juice takes care to think about the audience they are presenting to (kids) and creates infographics that help them to make sense of the information they are sharing.

“The Juice makes current events accessible for kids. Their unbiased and engaging content has opened up so many conversations in our home!”

Heidi ~ Starts At Eight

Purchase The Juice

The Juice is an online learning platform providing daily current events for kids in grades 5th-12th, delivered through your choice of multiple reading levels

Ready to get started? Head over to The Juice Subscription Page to pick a plan. One price = access for up to 5 kids! To save 25% use this Discount Code provided for my readers: JuiceSAET

Connect with The Juice Learning: Like The Juice on Facebook â€“ Read the Blog â€“ Subscribe

Homeschool Lessons on the Hiking Trail

Homeschool Lessons on the Hiking Trail

Including Homeschool Lessons on the Hiking Trail is a great way to not only get up and out in the fresh air, but to include both exercise and learning along the way!

If there’s one thing homeschooling parents know, it’s that diverse learning strategies can mix up their time spent studying and be some of the most memorable and effective ways for kids to learn. Hands-on experiments, learning about life skills, and stepping out into the world to see biology firsthand are all great ways to teach new information and concepts.

National Hiking Day

Time spent on the hiking trail is a great place for learning, which is a wonderful reason to celebrate National Hiking Day. It’s a celebration of America’s amazing hiking trail system, which spans more than 66,000 miles throughout our 50 states, and the many ways that hiking can contribute to our mental and physical well-being.

Homeschool Lessons on the Hiking Trail

Hiking and homeschooling are a natural pair. Here are some of the subjects you can touch on through hiking:

Math

A math or science lesson can easily take place on the trail, whether they’re counting rocks, identifying animal tracks, drawing leaves and flowers in their notebook to research, or even preparing for the journey by planning the volume of their water and food supply, and determining your hike times.

To calculate your hike time follow these steps:

  1. Determine your distance and walking speed.
  2. Add 30 minutes for every 1,000 feet gained in elevation.
  3. Make an estimated addition of time due to sightseeing.
  4. Add the numeric totals in Steps 1 through 3 to come up with an estimated hiking time.

Science

Getting outdoors offers tons of opportunities for science homeschool lessons on the hiking trail.

Click on the image below for tons of FREE Nature Study Resources to help you gather information on your hikes.

Free Nature Study Resources from StartsAtEight

Include Nature Study Options including:

Art

Draw a Bird's Nest ~ Spring Nature Study

Two ways you can include art in your hike are

  1. nature journal along the way on your hike. Here are some more nature journal ideas.
  2. plan to stop and create a painting along the way

Writing

1.Writing can be accomplished with fun nature prompts:

  1. If you were a part of nature, what element would you be?  Why?
  2. Spend 15 minutes outside observing the world around you.  Write about what you notice most.
  3. What is your favorite season?  Why?
  4. When you go outside, which of your senses are you most thankful to have?
  5. Do you consider yourself a nature-lover?  Why or why not?
  6. Would you rather have your favorite season all year long or experience different seasons throughout the year?  Why?
  7. What element of nature speaks to you the most?  Why?
  8. What is your favorite place outside to explore?
  9. How does the weather impact the way you are able to enjoy nature?
  10. Write about your favorite thing that lives outside.  It can be a flower, an animal, a vegetable, etc.
  11. What part of nature are you most thankful for?  Why?
  12. Write a story from the perspective of a bird that can see the entire world from above.
  13. Write a short story about a leaf falling from a tree.
  14. Write a poem about your favorite season.

2. Writing can also be via a nature journal:

Robins - Outdoor Nature Challenge #2 from Starts At Eight

3. Also Check out this FREE Printable Hiking Journal

4. How about creating an acrostic poem for the park or area you are exploring? Fill in the letters of the name with things you see, explore, experience while on your hike.


History/Geography

History…

Many areas have a history all their own. You might find information about Native Americans or early settlers. Or maybe there is a historic battlefield or homestead nearby. Be sure to check online as well as the park information to see what you can find. This is information that can be added to your nature journal!

Geography…

Beyond the basic map skills you will use to find and navigate your hike, you could also experience elevation changes.  If there is a visitor center where you are hiking, see if they have a topographic map you can look at and how elevation changes are noted on the map.  No visitor center? Take a look online and see if there is a topical map you can reference.

Also, be on the look out for geographic features such as ponds and lakes, streams and rivers, hills and mountains.  Are there any plateaus?  Or are you near the water and notice any bays or peninsulas?

Photography

Taking photos is a wonderful way to document your hikes. You can take pictures of signs you see, as well as all the beauty to be found in nature.

Using a camera on your hike also allows you to explore the world of photography with your kids. Everything from framing shots and lighting, to artistic choices and photo editing apps!

Health/Physical Education

There are both cognitive and psychological benefits to hiking. So be sure to count your hikes as PE too!

Physical Health…

Like brisk walking, hiking is a good way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, particularly if your route includes some hills, which will force your heart to work harder. Taking a hike on the slightly uneven surface of a trail also provides a natural way to engage the core muscles in your torso and to hone your balance skills.

Mental Health…

Not only are there cognitive benefits of hiking, but both kids and adults can benefit psychologically and socially from hiking as well.

One of the most impressive ways hikers benefit from their treks is a reduction in the brain function associated with depression. Time spent in nature has been linked by scientific study to reduced subgenual prefrontal cortex activity — this is the area of the brain where depression happens. For children, this outdoor time has the potential to improve their mental health well into adulthood.

Social Benefits…

When families socialize with each other on the trail, a lot of good things happen:

  • There are opportunities for quality time with parents
  • forming closer bonds with peers and siblings
  • chances for kids to practice cooperating with a group to reach a mutual goal

Hiking is also associated with an increase in the frequency and duration of both social and physical engagement, so it’s a great exercise choice for both mind and the body.

Whether close to home or on trails unknown, a family hike is a wonderful way to learn and celebrate National Hiking Day.

To learn about trails in your area, visit All Trails.

Homeschool Thanksgiving Resources for the Elementary Years

Homeschool Thanksgiving Resources for the Elementary Years

Holidays are a great time of year to think outside the box with your homeschool learning. They offer themes and activities to add some fun in your homeschool. Homeschool Thanksgiving is no exception. From turkeys to pumpkins, pilgrims to Indians, this is a collection of fun crafts, books, poetry, education printables and more!

Homeschool Thanksgiving – Resources for the Elementary Years

Ava and I have been enjoying doing some fun activities pertaining to Thanksgiving and learning about the first Thanksgiving.  I have compiled some of the resources that we have used for Homeschool Thanksgiving as well as some we just didn’t get to for you to enjoy!

Thanksgiving Printable Activities

1. Keepsake Thanksgiving Copywork

Keepsake Thanksgiving copywork activity from The Simple Homeschool includes multiple copywork options with both print and cursive to choose from.

By doing 2 pages a day we finished the keepsake during the month of November and she is excited to have it ready to show off to our family for Thanksgiving!  It was nice to go over the story of the first Thanksgiving as well as for her to have a chance to work on her handwriting skills.

The Simple Homeschool also has a fun Turkey Activity Pack as well!

2. Printable Colorable First Thanksgiving Book

This FREE Printable First Thanksgiving coloring book is nice for children who love to color and/or children who are not writing yet.  The story is printed out coloring book style so that they can color the corresponding pictures to the story and includes facts about the first Thanksgiving.

3. Thanksgiving Pack Tot-1st Grade

A FREE Printable pack with over 120 pages of coloring, matching, writing, fill in the blank and more!

4. Thanksgiving Activity Mini-Lapbook

This FREE Printable Thanksgiving Activity Mini-Lapbook includes all instructions and printables to make a full color Thanksgiving Lapbook.

5. Thanksgiving Acrostic Poems

Two years ago we did these fun Thanksgiving Acrostic Poems that all the kids really enjoyed. They each got to choose their character (male pilgrim, female pilgrim, turkey) and then write their own poem.

6. Thanksgiving Lapbook Resources

This is a great resource for  Thanksgiving Lapbook components and resources found on Squidoo. 

History, culture, and food all come together in this holiday topic. Create a Thanksgiving lapbook to record what you learn. This page will direct you to great books to read and free resources for making a Thanksgiving lapbook or notebook project.

7. FREE Thanksgiving Worksheets and Ideas

 Thanksgiving Resources for Thanksgiving Stories

1. A Turkey for Thanksgiving

We enjoyed reading the book A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting.  A cute twist on, “having a turkey for Thanksgiving”, this holiday book is sure to delight.

With this we used a FREE activity pack to go along with the book that was done by ABCTeach. The activities include a word search, crossword, sequencing activity, comprehension questions and more!

2. ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

A Thanksgiving favorite in our house is Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilke. Obviously adapted from a Christmas favorite, “Twas the Night Before Christmas, this tale takes a class to a turkey farm where something funny happens to the children before they leave.

To go along with this story we used a Lines of Time activity from Fortunately For You Books to recall the sequence of the story.  Ava likes cut and paste activities like this where she can have a small project to review what she has learned.

3. Thanksgiving Day & The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving

These Thanksgiving Story Bracelets are a way for kids to make a fun craft and show off their knowledge in the process.

I already had Thanksgiving Day by Anne Rockwell on our bookshelf and I quickly put The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern on hold at the library so that I could do this activity with Ava. You can download the printable for The Thanksgiving Story Bracelet here.

More Thanksgiving Resources

10 Silly Thanksgiving Books from Starts At Eight
Thanksgiving Poetry - Memorize - Create - Print from Starts At Eight
Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message from Starts At Eight

Homeschool Kindergarten American History

Homeschool Kindergarten American History

Kindergarten is a wonderful time of questioning and exploring with our little ones. They are years of hands on fun, reading tons of lovely books together and learning so many new things. While this can be a fun and free time, it can also cause concern for some homeschoolers who question what to teach and how to teach it.

While we like to keep things more free flowing in the early years, I do love to check a good box! Finding Kindergarten curriculum that is both engaging and free flowing can make all the difference!

History can be one of those subjects that can easily get overlooked in the early years as we focus more on reading, writing, and math. I have recently found a homeschool kindergarten American History curriculum that incorporates wonderful literature to explore, along with Bible work, comprehension and more!

 

Homeschool Kindergarten American History

Sonlight’s Exploring American History: History / Bible / Literature K is a literature based American History Curriculum for kids in Kindergarten.

{Disclosure: I received Instructor’s Guide and the 2-volume history spine from this complete Sonlight curriculum for free and was compensated for my time in writing this review. However these are my honest opinions and I was not required to post a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.} 

Bible

The Bible portion of the program includes:

  1. Sing the Word! Teach Me Your Paths – Which is an album of memory songs. A great mnemonic aid which includes the entire set of 28 Scripture verses in the Bible K Memory program (plus a bonus track!) set to diverse musical styles.
  2. The One Year Bible for Children

American History

Volume One and Two of Heroes and Happenings the spines of this program. They are beautifully done with lovely colorful illustrations and vocabulary pointed out in the margins. Your child will begin learning about important historical figures via interesting stories and pertinent facts.

Besides the two Heroes and Happenings books, the 4-Day History program includes timeline figures and seven additional books (and the 5-Day program adds three more!). Enjoy a deeper dive into the Revolutionary War, Westward Expansion, the time of the Pilgrims, and more.

Literature

Read-Alouds are the third component to this wonderful curriculum.

Included in Exploring American History: History / Bible / Literature K are seventeen marvelous books in the 4-Day program, plus four additional titles in 5-Day!

A Look Inside Sonlight’s Kindergarten Exploring American History Curriculum

What’s To Love About this Kindergarten American History?

Ease of Use

The Instructor’s Guide has everything you need all in one place! Just open and go! 

It includes a day by day, week by week schedule including discussion questions, map and timeline points, and vocabulary.

Flexible Schedule

Right off the bat when you are purchasing Sonlight’s Exploring American History: History / Bible / Literature K you get a choice of a 4 or 5 day schedule. We chose the 4 day because it fits with our 4 day homeschool schedule, allowing us a free day or catch up day each week!

Whichever schedule you choose, it comes broken down by week and day, including a blank space for dates, allowing you the flexibility to start on any month and day you choose!

 The Literature!

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE teaching through literature! History becomes so much more engaging with stories and faces! Not only are there amazing history literature in this program but fun and engaging Read-Alouds too!

The Read-Alouds that go along with this program are wonderful and enriching books your children will ask to read again and again!

Try Sonlight Curriculum for FREE!

Have you ever used Sonlight? Wondering how it all works? Sonlight offers you the chance to try Sonlight curriculum for FREE!

Want to browse more Sonlight curriculum options?  Click HERE to request a catalog.

Other Sonlight Curriculum Reviews

Be sure to check out my Sonlight Science Discover & Do review!

Searchable Homeschool History Database

Searchable Homeschool History Database

Have you ever wanted more resources to share with your children on a history topic? Do you put together unit studies and spend countless hours searching for resources like I do? Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a Searchable Homeschool History Database to make finding resources quick and easy?

Searchable Homeschool History Database from Starts At Eight

Searchable Homeschool History Database

Homeschool History, which is created by the team at Notgrass history, is a searchable homeschool history database! Since Homeschool History is a web-based app you can access it from any device!

{I received a Homeschool History membership as part of this review and I was compensated for my time in writing it. All views are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.}

Homeschool History is a membership site for parents who are looking for books, videos, audio resources, and field trip ideas that will enhance their homeschool experience, regardless of the curriculum they are using.

How This Homeschool History Database Works:

This searchable homeschool history database can be searched by topic, time period, country or region, and type of resource.

With Homeschool History you can:

  • Find books to check out at your local library.  
  • Find videos available to watch for free.
  • See related movies available on streaming services.
  • You can also find field trips across the world!
  • Connect with other parents to share ideas and identify the best resources for your family.

Regardless of what curriculum you use, a Homeschool History membership is an amazing resource for finding supplemental history resources!

My Personal Experience:

I have been homeschooling since 2006. I have used more curriculum than I can count. I’ve made both custom curriculum as well as unit studies. We have studied the same topics multiple times and with various resources. Oh how I could have saved so much time if I had Homeschool History all those years!

Let me give you an example of how I have used this searchable Homeschool History database this year….

My middle school age daughter is using a wonderful Ancient History curriculum this year. Ancient History is something we haven’t really covered much yet so she is discovering all kinds of new things to learn about and love. One of those things being Egypt.

Homeschool History Egypt Search

Upon doing a search for Egypt in the searchable homeschool history database she found some Nat Geo Kids Videos pertaining to things like mummies, pyramids, hieroglyphics, and more! She was able to watch them right in the Homeschool History app on her phone!

Using the Homeschool History Database

Suggest or Request Resources

So as I was using the searchable homeschool history database I began to wonder if there was a way for me to submit resources I have found and loved.

Homeschool History Suggest/Request

Turns out, if you go to the Homeschool History Contact Page you will find a form you can submit to both suggest and/or request resources.

“If you have found a great resource that we should include in our database, please let us know! Or if you have trouble finding resources about a certain person, place, event, or time period, let us know that, too.”

Try Homeschool History Yourself!

Homeschool History Free Trial

Homeschool History offers a NO CREDIT CARD NEEDED 30 day FREE Trial!

 Also be sure to check out their  Facebook Group : Facebook Page : Instagram

FREE Presidents Day Activities for Homeschool

FREE Presidents Day Activities for Homeschool

Celebrate Presidents Day with these FREE Presidents Day Activities!

FREE Presidents Day Activities for your Homeschool from Starts At Eight

As homeschoolers we often ask ourselves questions that others may not, dig deeper into things that interest us, or even go off on tangents!

Before I get to the FREE Presidents Day Activities I’d like to talk about the spelling of this holiday.

Happy Presidents’ Day! Or is it President’s Day? Or Presidents Day?

What you call the national holiday depends on where you are, who you’re honoring, and how you think we’re celebrating.

Saying “President’s Day” implies that the day belongs to a singular president, such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays are the basis for the holiday. On the other hand, referring to it as “Presidents’ Day” means that the day belongs to all of the presidents—that it’s their day collectively. Finally, calling the day “Presidents Day”—plural with no apostrophe—would indicate that we’re honoring all POTUSes past and present, but that no one president actually owns the day.

You would think that in the 140 years since “Washington’s Birthday” was declared a holiday in 1879, someone would have officially declared a way to spell the day. But in fact, even the White House itself hasn’t chosen a single variation for its style guide. – excerpt from Stacy Conradt at Mental Floss

FREE Presidents Day Activities for Homeschool

Looking for some activities to do with the kids for Presidents Day? You can use the opportunity to learn about some of our country’s greatest leaders and their history with these free printable activities from Coupon Chief.

The printable activities include:

  • A patriotic scavenger hunt, perfect for young children
  • An imaginative journal prompt to get kids thinking creatively
  • A money matching game to help elementary-aged children practice their coin-counting and history skills

Patriotic Scavenger Hunt

Have a little one who loves to play I-spy? This printable is just for them!

Scavenger hunts are great for young minds –– they help develop observation skills while learning about colors and their surroundings.

Use this simple scavenger hunt for a fun dose of red, white, and blue patriotism with your little ones! Be sure to help younger children read and find the items on the list. They’ll have so much fun searching for each thing to cross off! Bonus points for using a red or blue marker to mark things off as you spot them.

If I Were President Journal Prompt

The perfect combination of pretend-play and creative writing, this activity will give kids the chance to imagine themselves as the president of the United States.

While working on this printable, be sure to talk about the qualities a good president should have –– leadership, communication, responsibility, and a strong sense of right and wrong.

Ask your little one to describe what they think is important for a president. Be sure to add in a bit of light-hearted silliness too! For example, as president, your little one might decide to make everyone dress like a cowboy on Mondays!

Name That Coin! Matching Game

Older elementary-aged children will love this one! This activity combines important money-counting skills with fun trivia facts for a dose of American history.

Here’s how to play:

  • Collect two or three coins of each value (pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters).
  • Using the printable, help your child match each coin to the right circle on the page.
  • For example, you should place a penny on the circle that says “1 cent.”
    As you play, be sure to talk about the president you see on each coin.
  • Use the trivia facts on the next page to supplement your discussion of each president.
  • Want to make the game more challenging for older kids, or even yourself? Put the coins away – no peeking allowed! Using only the printable, name the president that goes with each circle’s value. For example, the 25-cent circle should make you think of George Washington!

If your children were loving working with coins, here are some FREE Printable Coin Counting Worksheets (That digging deeper and going off on tangents I referred to earlier!)

Hands On Teaching: Coin Counting from Starts At Eight

Whether you use these printables as part of your normal homeschool curriculum or as a fun way to spend the long weekend, they’ll be sure to keep your kids happy and busy!

More Fun With The Presidents

Fun Resources To Learn About American Presidents from Starts At Eight. Learn about our U.S Presidents through engaging books, hands-on fun, printables, and games!Hands On Fun With American Presidents & The White House from Starts At Eight

Book Review: National Geographic History At A Glance

Book Review: National Geographic History At A Glance

We often say that history repeats itself. Which is something we try to avoid by learning from those who came before us. Some ways we can do this are by learning about the people, places, and movements in history through reading, discussions, videos, and museums.

National Geographic History at a Glance

National Geographic History at a Glance: Illustrated time lines from Prehistory to the Present Day {Disclaimer: I want to thank TLC Book Tours for supplying me with a copy of this book for me to review. While I received this free of charge in exchange for my review, my opinions are my own, and have not been influenced in any way.}

At 416 pages with 300 color illustrations, including more than three dozen maps, this book is packed with information on everything from politics to religion, geography, technology, and more!

What’s Inside?

  1. Multi-tiered time lines, organized by topic and region.
  2. National Geographic at a Glance is divided into nine eras.
  3. It includes essays highlighting the major events and trends of each time period.
  4. As well as discussions on how certain empires, trade routes, wars and religions changes the world.

The Topics

  1. Politics & Power
  2. Geography & Environment
  3. Culture & Religion
  4. Science & Technology
  5. People & Society

The Regions

  1. The Americas
  2. Europe
  3. Middle East & Africa
  4. Asia & Oceania

The Eras

  1. The First Societies: Prehistory – 500 B.C.E.
  2. The Classical Age: 500 B.C.E. – 500 C.E
  3. Faith and Power: 500 – 1000
  4. Invasions and Advances: 1000 – 1500
  5. Converging Worlds: 1500 – 1750
  6. Empires and Revolutions: 1750 – 1900
  7. Global Conflict: 1900 – 1950
  8. Toward A New World Order: 1950 – 2000
  9. Globalization and Disruption: 2000 – Present

Thoughts on Using History at a Glance

The first thing that drew me to National Geographic History at a Glance is that it’s done chronologically. Over the past few years I have found that using timelines with my kids really helps us to better grasp the scope of things happening, how one thing leads to another, and where things fall in relation to each other.

The second thing I really like is all the regions are together on one page, in one timeline. This definitely helps to make connections between things going on across the globe during a specific time period.

The third big thing I love about this book is the categories each timeline is broken down into. This allows students to get a quick overview of the who, what, where, when, and sometimes even the why of a specific time period.

More History Resources

Timeline Based Middle School History {A Two Year American History Plan} from Starts At Eight is a two year plan (including resources) for teaching middle school history with a timeline as the spine.Simple to Implement US Geography from Starts At Eight. Geography doesn't have to be complicated or boring. Here are some tips to make it Simple to Implement US Geography in your homeschool. Using just a few resources you can make it fun and easy to learn US Geography.Teaching History Through Movies from Starts At Eight. Teaching History Through Movies is a great way to make history come alive. This landing page tells how we do this, where to get & what movies we are viewing. As we watch and find resources for movies I will add them here. American History, World History, Biographies and more!Fun With Geography: FREE World Geography Printables from Starts At Eight

 

Learning About Johnny Appleseed and Apples Unit Study

Learning About Johnny Appleseed and Apples Unit Study

We took advantage of the fall this year by learning about Johnny Appleseed and apples.  I found many free resources online, as well as taking books out of the library to supplement our studies.  We started by picking apples, learning about the life cycle of apples, and making applesauce.

Ava loved picking the apples directly from the tree.  One tree gave us two large bins full of apples, all of which we planned on using for applesauce and pies.  (Not just for us though, both my mother and mother-in-law were taking apples to cook with.)  Chloe just wanted to be up on top of the ladder!  Ava even stopped to eat a small apple or two!

Picking Apples Collage

Learning About Johnny Appleseed and Apples

Learning About Johnny Appleseed and Apples seem to go hand in hand. Fall is a great time to do this because you can go apple picking! {This unit has been updated from its original in 2012}

While Learning about Johnny Appleseed and Apples you can include many different hands on, reading, and printable experiences.

This unit includes things like:

  • How to Make Applesauce
  • Life Cycle of an Apple Tree
  • Apple Fractions
  • Who Was Johnny Appleseed
  • And More!

How to Make Applesauce

I am not sure I have ever made applesauce on my own.  I may have helped my mother here or there but this was my first time doing it with my children.  (Notice I had help from both my mother and mother-in-law!)

Much to our surprise Ava was a trooper when it came to apple peeling!  Not only did she stick with it the whole time, but she was having better luck with it that both Jayden and Chloe!

We basically peeled, cored, and cut apples to fill the pot we were using about 3/4 of the way.  The apples cook down a ton so we could fill it pretty full and not have to worry.  To make it the consistency we wanted we added apple cider (you could use water but the cider gives it a richer apple flavor).

Then of course we added cinnamon and sugar to sweeten it up!  The applesauce freezes really well so we filled many containers to freeze and have throughout the winter.

Making Applesauce Collage

Apple Resources

Apple Tree Life Cycle

1. Apple Pie Tree Book & Lapbook

In The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall,  two young sisters follow the progress of their apple tree through the seasons, from a bare tree in the winter, through the pink blossoms of the spring, to the apple picking in the autumn.

==>> Download FREE Apple Pie Tree Lapbook <<==

2. Life Cycle of an Apple Tree Activity

Using the Life Cycle of an Apple Tree Activity, Ava and I went through the life cycle of an apple tree and made this great paper plate representation of the cycle.

Life Cycle of Apples from Starts At Eight

Johnny Appleseed Resources

After completing our apple study we rolled right in to Johnny Appleseed.  I really love it when we can read books, view videos and do some hands on activities for a unit, and we were able to do that here.

Johnny Appleseed and Apples Lapbook

Since Learning About Johnny Appleseed and Apples go hand in hand so we chose to make a lapbook that included both things.

I compiled various pieces from the resources above as well as these FREE Johnny Appleseed Lapbook Components to complete our lapbook.

Ava loves having these as a representation of what she has accomplished. She keeps them on the bookshelf in her room and often reads through them again and again.

Johnny Appleseed / Apple Unit from Starts At Eight

Using Uncle Eric Books for High School Economics and Participation in Government {Includes FREE Lesson Plans}

Using Uncle Eric Books for High School Economics and Participation in Government {Includes FREE Lesson Plans}

Using Uncle Eric Books is a simple and engaging way to fulfill High School Economics and Participation in Government credits.

New York State Homeschool Regulations state that in high school our students have to complete .05 credits of Economic study, and .05 credits of Participation in Government studies.

We have done our Homeschool High School Economics and Participation in Government using Uncle Eric Books from Bluestocking Press. Here I will outline the books to use, the order to use them in and offer up FREE Printable Lesson Plan Schedules to complete these courses.

Homeschooling in New York State from Starts At Eight

Homeschool High School Economics and Participation in Government with Uncle Eric Books

The Uncle Eric books, written by Richard J. Maybury, are designed for young and old alike. Using the epistolary style of writing (using letters to tell a story), Mr. Maybury plays the part of an economist writing a series of letters to his niece or nephew. With stories and examples, he gives interesting and clear explanations of topics that are generally thought to be too difficult for anyone but experts.

Bluestocking Guides are designed to reinforce and enhance a student’s understanding of the subject matter presented in the primer.  Comprehension Questions are given for each chapter – these include:

  • Definition
  • True/False
  • Short Answer/Fill-in questions

Answers are located in the back of the study guide. Application Exercises are also given – generally, these ask the student to apply the knowledge he/she learned from a given chapter to “real world” situations so that the student may personalize the information and better retain and apply the knowledge gained from the primer. Application Exercises are provided for several chapters and include:

  • Discussion
  • Essay
  • Research assignments

Suggestions for further study (books, movies, etc.) are included in many of the guides.

Economics with Uncle Eric Books

In addition to assisting the student in the retention of the subject matter, the study guides will serve as documentation of course completion.

While I didn’t do this the first time around, this time I am adding in the Crash Course Economics Series to our study. While this isn’t necessary, I added it because my kids love the Crash Course videos, and they make a nice overview of economics topics.

There are also corresponding Crash Course Economics Student Worksheets that make a great review and record of your student’s learning.

Participation in Government with Uncle Eric Books

Below is a whole U.S Government & Politics course using Crash Course {Click on the image}. While we will not be using all the extra worksheets and resources because it would be too much content, we will most likely view all of the videos as we work our way through our Uncle Eric Books.

Crash Course U.S. Government & Politics for High School from Starts At Eight

Uncle Eric Books FREE Printable Lesson Plans

Since I decided to use the Uncle Eric Books as well as some added videos with my son, I created a checklist style lesson plan to help keep him on track.

There are no dates on it which makes it flexible and easy to use. I often use this style of lesson plans so that I can simply take the number of bulleted lessons there are and divide by the number of days I have to complete them in.

My son likes to block schedule his work so he likes a more general format where he can sit down once a week or so and do a whole bunch of lessons in a row. This helps to keep his focus on one task instead of having to jump from subject to subject. I have him take a pencil and mark goal dates along the way so he knows how far he needs to be throughout the year.

===>> Download Uncle Eric Books FREE Lesson Plans<<===

Middle School History Through Literature with Beautiful Feet Ancient History

Middle School History Through Literature with Beautiful Feet Ancient History

As you know historical fiction is not only one of my favorite genres to read myself, but one of my favorite methods of teaching history in our homeschool. Teaching History Through Literature is a fun and engaging way to help your kids  feel and understand the plights of the people and times throughout history. Instead of just facts, they are engaging in stories, rooting for their favorites, and better understanding the hardships of the times.

Middle School History Through Literature - A Beautiful Feet Ancient History Review from Starts At Eight. Beautiful Feet Literature guides offer an easy way for you to use great literature in your homeschool. Buy the guide and required literature and go! Check out this review for all the details.

Throughout our homeschooling years we have read many historical fiction books (way more than I have covered here on the blog). I find that having a story-line, a person to follow, something to engage in, increases their depth of knowledge and willingness to continue learning more.

Historical Fiction Learning History Through Literature from Starts At EightTeaching History Through Movies from Starts At Eight. Teaching History Through Movies is a great way to make history come alive. This landing page tells how we do this, where to get & what movies we are viewing. As we watch and find resources for movies I will add them here. American History, World History, Biographies and more!

In recent years I have also started to add movies into the mix to enhance our history studies. With each historical topic, person, or time period we are covering I try to find a movie (not a documentary, although we are using some) that features what we are covering. I am so pleased with how much more conversation, recollection, and more research has come from watching a movie as part of our history studies!

Middle School History Through Literature

After spending an enormous amount of time creating a Timeline Based Middle School American History plan for my youngest (which I loved, but it was SO time consuming – lucky for all of you I laid it all out here) I was thrilled to switch gears and dive into Ancient History Through Literature using the NEW Beautiful Feet Books Ancient History for Intermediate. {Disclosure: I received a copy Beautiful Feet Ancient History for Intermediate and a few of the required reading books for free. I am being compensated for my time to write this review. I was not required to post a positive review. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for more details.} 

Beautiful Feet Ancient History Cover

“This study will take you and your 5th-8th grader from the beginnings of civilization in Mesopotamia and Sumer, on to ancient Egypt, through the wanderings of the Jews and the splitting of the Israelites into the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, to the cradle of democracy, ancient Greece, and into the rising Roman Empire and the birth of Christianity.

Hands-on activities add depth to the history while vocabulary lists, comprehension questions, research topics, and website links make this both an academically strong study and one that will engage your entire family in stimulating discussions. Our teacher guide provides the structure you want and the flexibility you need to successfully teach this complex time period.”

Using Beautiful Feet Ancient History Through Literature Guide

The Beautiful Feet Literature Teacher Guides are your “how to”. They are organized into easy to follow lessons, incorporating hands-on activities, vocabulary, notebooking, geography, and so much more. These guides, along with the required reading selections, are designed to be a complete history course.

I love the extra little things they include, like the Pronunciation Guide pictured below that was with the section on Ancient Greece to go along with D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths. Also included in the back of the guide is an Answer Key and Glossary of Vocabulary Words with definitions.

The Ancient History Intermediate study is divided into 5 units:

  • Ancient Sumer and Mesopotamia
  • Ancient Egypt
  • Ancient Israel and Judah
  • Ancient Greece
  • Ancient Rome

Besides reading, there are tons of other learning activities included in this literature guide. While each section begins with a list of supplemental books (ones I usually pick up at the library right before we start the section), they also begin with a list of hands-on activities you can include with your children. There are tons of various art project ideas, hands on crafting ideas, cooking, and more that go along with each section.

Independence Driven! Each section is broken down into Lessons where you will find reading assignments, mapping, vocabulary, comprehension questions, websites to visit and even report ideas! It is simply laid out making it easy for your middle schooler to follow the plan all on their own.

Flexible! These are guides, meaning you shouldn’t feel bound to them. You may want to skip the suggested Bible verses, making it less religion focused. Or maybe you want to add a movie, or not do all the reading!

Recommended Course of Study for Beautiful Feet Books History Through Literature

Beautiful Feet Books, “believes great literature has the power to unlock history and make it come alive.” They help families do this by choosing the best literature available and making their Teacher Guides easy to use. They offer resources for Teaching History Through Literature across all grade levels. Click Here to find their recommended study sequence.

Beautiful Feet Books History Through Literature Study Sequence

K-3rd – Early American History, Around the World with Picture Books Part I and Part II, Teaching Character Through Literature

4th-6th – Early American History, History of Science, History of the Horse, Geography Through Literature, Teaching Character Through Literature, History of California, History of Westward Expansion

7th & 8th – Modern American and World History, Ancient History Intermediate, Medieval History Intermediate, History of Classical Music

9th-12th – Early American and World History, Ancient History Sr., Medieval History Sr., Modern U.S. and World History, Government and Economics

Want to see for yourself if Beautiful Feet Books might be a good fit for you? Check out these FREE Downloads

Connect with Beautiful Feet Books: Facebook : Pinterest : Instagram 

Another Beautiful Feet Review

Teaching Middle School History Through Literature from Starts At Eight. Literature is a great way to bring history alive! Beautiful Books offers History Curriculum using literature to make it fun and engaging!

US History Using The Century: America’s Time

US History Using The Century: America’s Time

As homeschoolers we are almost always on the hunt for curriculum in some fashion. Maybe our kids are getting older and need something suited to their age. Maybe what we have been using isn’t working. Whatever your reason for looking, here is US History Using The Century: American’s Time. Haven’t heard of it? Read on to find out more!

Homeschool Middle or High School US History Using the Century: American's Time. This is a US History course using inexpensive resources that includes free printables and ideas for adding in geography and a timeline. - from Starts At Eight

I recently stumbled upon this book in a discussion about US History and teaching US History. I can’t recall if it was high school specific or cost specific or what. What I do recall is that I hadn’t seen this one before and decided to check it out!

US History Using The Century: America’s Time

This series takes a look at events and experiences that happened in America during the twentieth century. At the beginning host Peter Jennings explains that this series will look at recent history not as historians usually do–in terms of rulers and political leaders–but rather as the common man experienced the century.

I love that the resources I have found for this make it a cost effective option for homeschool middle school or high school US History studies! (Commonsense Media gives the video series an ages 10+ rating.) Plus, read and watched together, this series offers a lot of family discussion and talking points for more in-depth study. As with any history curriculum (or book, movie, curriculum in general) you must take a closer look and decide if it is the right fit for your family.

The Century:America’s Time – The book itself

The Century:America’s Time is the independent companion volume to the landmark ABC News and The History Channel television series The Century.  Co-written by ABC News Anchor Peter Jennings and Senior Editorial Producer Todd Brewster, The Century features a narrative of extraordinary quality that tracks major themes–the impact of technology, the soaring of the imagination, the ghastly violence, the joy of entertainment–through chronological chapters recounting the signal moments of each era in the century.

From “Seeds of Change: 1901-1914” to “Machine Dreams: 1990-1999,” each chapter is threaded through with fascinating first-person accounts of the great events of the twentieth  century, and illustrated with over five hundred color and black-and-white photographs (many never published before) reproduced in exquisite depth and clarity.

The Century presents history as it was lived, and as it will be remembered for the next hundred years.

Another Book Option: The Century for Young People – this is an adapted version for kids ages 8-12! This is The Century, for a younger audience. It offers young Americans a unique look at the past 100 years, via not only archival material but through the eyes of the people who lived through it. This book combines the authors’ affecting storytelling style with an exceedingly appealing design to draw readers into the major events that have shaped our nation (and often the world) in the 20th century.

A clear chronology emerges in 12 concise chapters that explore events from the Wright Brothers’ early flights to the world’s devastating wars, to racial strife and the AIDS epidemic. Each chapter contains illuminating accounts in the words of ordinary people living in extraordinary times.

The Century: America’s Time – The videos

Episode 1: The Beginning: Seeds of Change

This episode introduces both the series and the twentieth century and documents some of the major themes of the turn-of-the-century. Events such as immigration, the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison’s inventions, the advent of the automobile, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, suffrage, segregation, the silver screen, American imperialism and the Titanic are examined and survivors give first-hand accounts of life in the early years of the century.

Episode 2: Shell Shock (1914-1919)

From the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarejevo in June of 1914 to Armistice Day in November of 1918, the world was embroiled in the First World War. World War I not only shaped much of the events of the twentieth century but also was truly unique since it was the first “mechanized” war. This episode documents the development of the war and American foreign policy regarding both war and peace.

Episode 3: Boom to Bust (1920-1929)

The 1920s ushered in an era of great social change, general prosperity, Prohibition and what historians refer to as “modernity.” This episode examines these great cultural changes and their affects on the nation. The 1920s, in stark contrast to the Victorian era, “roared,” as bathtub gin flowed and more and more Americans moved to urban areas.  But the decade also saw limited prosperity for many, especially farmers, and the unrest and discord between the values of small town America and the rapid pace of science and technology. The optimism of the decade would end in the most severe economic depression in American history. Episode 3 presents some of the major events that shaped the decade including The Scopes Monkey Trial, Prohibition, the rise of leisure pastimes, and the impact of inventions such as the automobile, radio, movies and electricity.

Episode 4: Stormy Weather (1929-1936)

The stock market crash of 1929 ushered in the greatest period of economic malaise in America’s history. The Great Depression shaped the atmosphere for a decade; the most prosperous country on earth could not feed its own citizens. But even as Americans were trying to cope with poverty and hunger, the rumblings of a demagogue across the water became louder and louder. This episode examines the Great Depression and the decade of the 1930s, covering events such as the Bonus Army March, movies and radio, the Dust Bowl, FDR and the New Deal and the rise of Hitler in Germany.

Episode 5: Over the Edge (1936-1941)

This episode documents the years that led up to the beginning of World War II. From burning books to Kristallnacht, this episode examines the anti-Semitism that eventually dominated German thinking. It also analyses the new ways in which leaders were able to use the technology of the twentieth century, such as the media for propaganda purposes and offers a domestic view to the European conflict, and how and where Americans received their information.

Episode 6: Civilians at War (1941-1945)

World War II was a total global conflict that affected and changed not only the lives of soldiers fighting the war but also those of non-combatants living in war zones. The scale of the war encompassed three continents and millions of people. This episode analyzes the human costs of total warfare from the barbarity of Hitler’s “Final Solution,” to the atrocities committed by the Japanese against the Chinese people, to the devastation wreaked by the atomic bomb. At the end of the war, for the first time in history, the Axis leaders were held accountable for their “crimes against humanity,” but the allied leaders were hailed as heroes whose atrocities were viewed as unfortunate but necessary.

Episode 7: Homefront (1941-1945)

When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, America was a country steeped in isolationist policies and ill prepared for war. Within a matter of weeks, the country made an amazing turnover from a peacetime nation suffering the final throes of a depression to the most efficient and productive “arsenal for democracy” that the world had ever seen. This was accomplished by the unity and sheer willpower of the American people, who backed the war effort almost unanimously. This episode examines the American homefront during World War II, how it came together in a unified effort, and the ways in which the war changed the lives of those left behind, especially the women whose contributions to the war effort helped to win the war.

Episode 8: Best Years (1946-1952)

After the initial jubilation at the end of World War II, America faced severe domestic demographic problems and the international specter of communism and the Cold War. In response to the serious housing shortages exacerbated by the high marriage rates and subsequent baby boom of returning soldiers and the girls they left behind, the Truman administration created the GI Bill, which enabled veterans to secure low interest mortgages and college educations. But the domestic bliss of new homes and growing families could not alleviate the growing fears and hysteria of the new atomic age, and a demagogue from Wisconsin, Senator Joseph McCarthy, harnessed this hysteria for his personal political success. This episode covers some of the major events of the immediate post-war years such as the Korean War, McCarthyism, the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift and the adjustment of returning soldiers.

Episode 9: Happy Daze (1953-1960)

The election of Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 ushered in one of the most prosperous eras in American history. The shortages of the war were a distant memory as consumers rushed to spend their wartime savings on the new homes, cars and appliances that were now abundant. The nuclear family as the haven from political and atomic anxiety depended on rigid gender roles and consumption, and television provided the images of themselves that Americans wanted to see. But beneath the complacency of the era lurked the indicators of a society waiting to rebel, and the realities of a nation divided by racial and class conflicts. This episode examines the “Happy Days”of the 1950s and the major events of those years such as the Baby Boom, suburbanization, the advent of television, Civil Rights, Brown v. Board of Education, youth rebellions and the fears of a society enmeshed in a cold war.

Episode 10: Poisoned Dreams (1960-1964)

The first few years of the 1960s promised a greater, stronger and more unified America than ever. America, as the undisputed leader of the free world, straddled the globe like Colossus. But within a few years the optimism of the first years of the decade would vanish, only to be replaced by the uncertainty of a new and unfamiliar world, and the national mourning of a fallen leader. This episode covers the years 1960-1963, and examines the events of the era such as the lunch counter sit-ins at Greensboro, North Carolina, the Kennedy years, the Cuban Missile Crisis and America’s increasing involvement in Vietnam. The episode ends with the assassination of Kennedy and the loss of American innocence.

Episode 11: Unpinned (1965-1970)

After the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November of 1963, America stood on the brink of domestic conflict and entrenched in the quagmire of the Vietnam War. The years 1963 through 1968 remain some of the most violent and destructive years of American history. This episode examines some of the major events of those turbulent years, including the murder of three civil rights workers in 1964, Freedom Summer, student protest and the Students for a Democratic Society, Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Great Society, the counterculture, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, and the 1968 Democratic convention.

Episode 12: Approaching the Apocalypse (1971-1975)

The turbulence of the 1960s paved the way for the election of Richard Nixon. Distraught at the violence and unrest of the nation, Nixon’s “Silent Majority” voted loudly. But the turmoil of the decade continued with riots and generational conflicts, and, despite the success of Apollo 11 and Nixon’s historic trip to China, the era ended in the disgrace of Watergate and the fall of Saigon.

Episode 13: Starting Over (1976-1980)

In the aftermath of the turmoil of the 1960s and the disillusionment of Watergate, Americans turned to Jimmy Carter in an attempt to return to small-town values. But Carter’s inability to deal with the overwhelming social, economic and political problems paved the way for a new conservatism led by Ronald Reagan, and the jubilation of the 1976 Bicentennial Celebration gave way to the despair and embarrassment of the Iranian Hostage Crisis. This episode examines the mid and late 1970s and some of the major events of the era such as the energy crisis, racial unrest, the rise of the “Me Generation,” unemployment and inflation, and the problems with Iran.

Episode 14: A New World (1981-1989)

As the 1970s gave way to the 1980s, Americans were ready for a more conservative leader and they found the answer to their quest in Ronald Reagan. Reagan’s folksy ways and familiar face created an aura of trust and he became one of America’s most popular presidents. But Reagan’s homespun ways could not forestall the economic crises of the 1980s and the widening economic divide between the haves and the have-nots. This episode examines some of the major events of the 1980s including the recession, Aids, Wall Street, MTV, terrorism, televangelism and the fall of communism.

Episode 15: Then and Now (The 90’s and Beyond)

This last episode of the series examines several major events of the 1990s and places them in a context that amplifies their thematic relevance. Included in this episode are the proliferation of computers, the Internet, communications revolutions and the technology of today poised to enter the world of tomorrow. Some of the highs and lows of the decade such as the Oklahoma City Bombing and The Million Man March are also examined, as is the contrast between military technology from World War I and the Gulf War.

If you want the entire group together, here is a link to the videos in a playlist on YouTube: The Century:America’s Time Playlist

How to Put it All Together

US History Using The Century: America’s Time is easy to do with the resources I have found for you!

Watch the videos, read the corresponding chapters (although I might do that the other way around is I typically like to have my kids read before watch!). You might also considering reading, watching, then reading again!

Then use these FREE Printable Study Guides to help reinforce the material:

Additional Learning

In addition to the printable questions you can add in geography by printing out black line maps and having kids find and label corresponding locations to events they hear about in each episode.

Another way to help kids make sense of history is by creating a timeline for them to add to as you work your way through US History Using The Century: America’s Time.

More History Options

Simple to Implement US Geography from Starts At Eight. Geography doesn't have to be complicated or boring. Here are some tips to make it Simple to Implement US Geography in your homeschool. Using just a few resources you can make it fun and easy to learn US Geography.American History Timeline Resources: American Revolution from Starts At Eight is a homeschool American history plan based on a timeline of events and people from Revolutionary America.Teaching History Through Movies from Starts At Eight. Teaching History Through Movies is a great way to make history come alive. This landing page tells how we do this, where to get & what movies we are viewing. As we watch and find resources for movies I will add them here. American History, World History, Biographies and more!It Helps to Memorize History - Lists & Resources for History Memorization from Starts At Eight. It helps to memorize history as it creates "pegs" to hang information on. This is a list of important history things to memorize and help for doing it.

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