Wednesday, June 29, 2016

BFB: Early American History - Gathering Resources

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In my effort to be transparent about our upcoming studies, I'm sharing our new journey with Beautiful Feet Books-Early American History.  I already shared The Planning Stages and how/why I chose this specific curriculum.  Now I'm sharing the supplemental resources I plan to use alongside it to round out our study.  Also, having them all here will make them easier for me to remember.  I'm not always the most organized person, in case you haven't noticed.

The guide is no-frills, no fuss.  I like that.  It's not full of worksheets that quiz pointless things and crafts that will just stress us out.  It's rooted in good books, discussion and simple notebooking activities.  However, I still don't believe you can truly bring history to life without making it interactive.  I don't intend to add stereotypical paper crafts because that's just not our style, but I'd like to add some handicrafts, cooking and art to flesh it out and help us understand how people lived.

I like to have a variety of resources available, should we wish to further explore a topic and so that we can view and analyze history from multiple perspectives.

General Resources
Merriam Webster Children's Dictionary
Picturepedia {a fun visual}
Famous Figures of the American Revolution {This is about as crafty as we get--my review}{review coming soon}

I'm hoping to find at least one handicraft to do for each major era/event that we cover, but so far I'm only finding a lot of that stereotypical craft stuff that we're not interested in.  So this summer I'm going to go through each book side by side with the study guide and see what stands out to me, and I guess I'll share about them individually as we do them.

Cooking up Some American History
I've had this book for ages, and have yet to use it.  This would be the perfect year.  I would like to include a recipe from each major time period that we study.

Fine Arts
I came across some CM style lessons and found Patriotic Songs among the hymns/folk song information.  I thought the study of Patriotic Songs would be fun to do this year.  

Since we study West with the book Benjamin West and his Cat Grimalkin, I thought we might do a short artist study on him.  Not sure what direction that will take, but I found that resource and wanted to save it here for reference.

I found this website, created by a teacher in Native American schools, full of art projects, as well as some games.  It is offered for free, so that teachers and homeschoolers can provide multicultural lessons and dispel stereotypes.  I look forward to really going through it this summer to choose a few activities.

I own these books already and I thought they'd be an easy resource for art appreciation.

Supplemental Literature
I think we all know there are two sides to every story, so I use books in our curricula as a starting point.  I want to teach my children to read these books with a critical and objective mind, and an understanding that just because a book (or textbook, website, etc) is assigned for study, doesn't mean we will have a clear and accurate picture.  Usually, we're only reading one perspective, and it's rarely that of the oppressed.  Also, the books used in the curriculum are somewhat older, and we're likely to encounter stereotypes.  I want to include a more thorough look at some areas I think could use some more attention, particularly Native Americans and African Americans.  Perhaps they are represented more honestly and in-depth in the Intermediate level, but we're in Primary and it's unlikely I'll repeat the time period again so soon, so I've spent a lot of time researching living books for children that will help give an authentic voice to everyone.  I'll be sharing more about supplemental literature as we progress through the curriculum!

If you have any American history resources that you think would supplement a living books curriculum, what would you recommend?  I'm also open to handicraft suggestions!

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1 comment:

  1. This curriculum looks fabulous, ans you've pulled together some amazing and fun books. I can't wait to read once you get started!!