We have started another wonderful year of learning and this year we are doing Early American History. We have used various curriculum in the past but this year we are staying on a budget with homeschool materials and just studying a different event in American History each month without purchasing a curriculum. We will then celebrate with a monthly project day with a few of our friends.
Although we don't have a formal curriculum this year, I own a few high school textbooks and student readers which I can use as resources for the younger children, as well as a wonderful set of timeline figures and blank maps which will be resources that I pull from.Our first month was the study of Native Americans, and we found some interesting books to read about a few different tribes. Because the content of some of these books may be a bit dark, I will edit as needed while I read, but they were all fascinating.
If You Lived With The Hopi-Kamma
The Serpent Never Sleeps- Scott O'Dell
The Trail Of Tears- Joseph Bruchac
Another fun activity was to label a United States map with geographical features as well as the territory that each tribe was living in.
The big finale was our project day. The children dressed up in costumes that I had made for some of their older siblings. We mixed up corn cakes in honor of the Pueblo people that we had been reading about and cooked them over an open fire. We used long branches that we had pruned off our apple tree to build a teepee which we covered with an old sheet.
The children also made beaded jewelry, bow and arrows and ground acorns in a grinding stone. They ate snacks from the time period such as dried cranberries, popcorn and beef jerky.
They also presented reports, my youngest students had a report on the Pueblo people complete with a rigatoni noodle pueblo village and my 11 year old son presented his Pueblo report while donning an elaborately painted mask which he had copied from a book.
Although our project day incorporated elements from many different tribes, it was a fun filled time to experience some of what the early Americans had experienced.
After we had finished up with our project day, I handed out blank books. I purchased these in the dollar aisle at Target and we will use them as a scrapbook of our year. The children will fill in one or two pages each month with some of the information that they have learned.
We are having so much fun incorporating many elements of learning into our history studies this year! Reading interesting books to my children and exploring other cultures and time periods are just a few of many wonderful aspects of homeschooling.
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