Homeschool Happenings: {History/Geography Term 1}

I am really hoping to print our blog soon into a book. I would like to continue blogging about some of our homeschool happenings.

I really love our history curriculum we are using this year. We are in Module 5 this year. We used Module 4 last year.

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I can’t imagine teaching history and geography any other way than family style. I am so proud of all of the reading our children have done for history already just in Term 1, so I wanted to highlight that here.

While some of them have read more books, others are reading more difficult selections. I selected based on maturity and reading level.

I also wanted to mention I have linked all of the books on Amazon, but the vast majority we have purchased used from half.com, for free to read from our Kindle, at local used books sales/stores, or borrowed from our library. I spent less than $100 total on all of our history-based individual reading selections for the ENTIRE year, which is not bad for 5 students!

I also will be sharing below the Term Exam questions I gave each of the three older boys. I gave them a written exam, while I plan to have Li’l Bro and Li’l Miss do an oral exam with Daddy to show him how much they’ve learned too. Here are two of our older boys working on their Term 1 History Exams.

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Finally, in addition to our readings, narrations, and exams, we have been hard at work on our History Fair project for this year, which we are titling “Life in Early America.” We are so blessed we were able to visit some of the very places that the first settlers saw when they arrived in America. Our History Fair project focuses on several groups of settlers and their daily life as well as the voyage here and the Native Americans they encountered. Here is a sneak peek of what has kept us busy the last couple of weeks.

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And while I could take credit for all of these reading suggestions and exam questions, I won’t do that because I couldn’t have put all of this together myself! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND anyone who homeschools to consider the Simply Charlotte Mason History Modules and the accompanying books they have published for use with these texts. This is how I am able to provide such high-quality living books for our children to read and all about the same time period, so we can study TOGETHER at their individual reading and maturity levels. I buy the old-fashioned books for the modules and the main SCM spine books, but you can also purchase many of them in e-book formats if that works better for you. And you will not find a more customer-oriented, family-friendly curriculum out there in my opinion!

FAMILY READ-A-LOUDS:

Stories of the Nations Vol. I (in progress)

Stories of America Vol. I (in progress)

Sailing Alone Around the World (read through Chapter 8)

Master Skylark

CURLY

Famous Men of Modern Times (read through Chapter 20) {SO MUCH BETTER than the Greenleaf Press books of similar name; just being honest; highly recommend as a substitute for anyone reading from SCM forum or any other SCM module users}

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (this is actually a 10th-12th grade suggested reading book, but he is working his way through it; also his volume is unabridged and more than 300 pages 😉 )

In addition to the above, he has read the following books to completion in free reading time: Triumph and Tragedy by Winston Churchhill; Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley; Hitler’s First War by Thomas Weber.

LARRY

The Pilgrims of Plimoth

 Samuel Eaton’s Day (he actually read this aloud to Jameson after reading it himself)

• Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare

• Galileo’s Leaning Tower Experiment

• A Lion to Guard Us

Tapenum’s Day (picking up at library today!)

• Toliver’s Secret (in progress)

In addition to the above, he is reading a series of history books written in Mandarin characters that we bought in China. I know only that interestingly the first volume shared in detail that “many people believe the world began when God created men.” I wish I could find a link online but so far I haven’t been able to find it.

MO

• The Landing of the Pilgrims

• Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare

• Galileo’s Leaning Tower Experiment

• The Sign of the Beaver

• Strangers in the Land

• Along Came Galileo (in progress)

• Toliver’s Secret (in progress)

In addition to the above, he has read Young Nathan by Marion M Brown and The Swamp Fox by Marion M Brown. I know there are others from the library such as quite a few of these books from the You Wouldn’t Want to Be … series, but these are the biggest ones he has read in free reading.

* * *

Now for the History Module 5 Term I Exams, I will list below their exam questions. I gave them an hour to complete these term exams. As I type, the Prez is reading them and has given two of our three older boys A-level grades. One of them has been asked to fill out some of his questions again. It is not about gaining an A grade, but it is about doing your best. I’ll leave it at that, but as I type he is redoing part of the exam orally with Daddy. 🙂

CURLY

1. Describe fully how the east coast of America was settled. Include the groups of people who came, their leaders, and their dealings with the
Native Americans.

2. Tell the stories of two of these Englishmen: Sir Walter Raleigh, James I, John Smith, Oliver Cromwell or William III. {He chose John Smith and William III.}

3. Describe at least three of Benjamin Franklin’s inventions and ideas for the public good.

4. Tell the story of one of these Frenchmen: Henry of Navarre, Richelieu or Blaise Pascal. {He chose Blaise Pascal.}

In addition to the above questions, he was given blank maps of the 13 Colonies and the continent of South America to label. He not only labeled the Colonies and Countries, but also labeled capitals, bodies of water and gave some other pertinent information. He might whip me up on a Geography Bee. {I’m just sayin’}

LARRY

1. Tell about a group of people who came to settle in America.

2. Tell what daily life was like for the Pilgrims as they lived in America.

3. Tell all you can remember about England during Shakespeare’s life.

4. Tell all you can remember about Galileo.

In addition to the above questions, he was given blank maps of the 13 Colonies and the continent of South America to label. He labeled all of the Colonies and more than half of the South American countries. Considering he couldn’t even pinpoint the location of Asia much less China on a globe when he came home 2 years ago, I am very encouraged by his willingness to continue learning geography (though it is not a subject he enjoys).

MO

1. Select ONE of the following groups and tell all you can remember about them from your readings our our read-alouds: Puritans,
Quakers, or Native Americans. {He chose the Native Americans.}

2. Tell all you can remember about the Pilgrims.

3. Tell all you can remember about England during Shakespeare’s life.

4. Tell all you know about Galileo.

In addition to the above questions, he was given blank maps of the 13 Colonies and the continent of South America to label. He labeled all of the Colonies and two-thirds of the South American countries.

* * *

Not to leave our our two first graders, I wanted to share a list of books we’ve read together out loud. Not only do they listen intently, but they also help me to read them and they narrate orally to me after each reading. They will as I said above be doing an oral exam with Daddy sometime today hopefully. Li’l Bit listens in sometimes. Here is their reading list

LI’L BRO and LI’L MISS:

• The Pilgrims of Plimoth

• If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620

• Samuel Eaton’s Day (Li’l Bro)

• Sarah Morton’s Day (Li’l Miss)

• Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare

• A Lion to Guard Us

• Galileo’s Leaning Tower Experiment

Tapenum’s Day (picking up at library today!)

• The Courage of Sarah Noble (in progress)

• Toliver’s Secret (in progress)

In addition to the above history readings, we have read many books from the library for free reading as well as the following books: Winne the Pooh by A.A. Milne; Danny the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff; Katy No Pocket by H.A. Rey; and Do Fish Drink? First Questions and Answers about Water by Jacqueline A. Ball.

Overall, the Prez and I are very pleased with everyone’s efforts. We will continue studying Early America and the rest of the world during that same time period: late 1600s to mid-1800s. By the end of this year, we will be studying a famous historical battle that took place at The Alamo in Texas, which we’ll hopefully be visiting sometime after Christmas (the Prez’s work conferences have really worked out well for our history studies this year!).

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One thought on “Homeschool Happenings: {History/Geography Term 1}

  1. Those are great exam questions. Thanks for posting them. May I ask why you like the Memoria Press book better? Is it different wording, layout, all of the above? Have you found the same for the other books (Greece, Rome, etc)?

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