Do you desire to teach your children through living books, especially if you are using the Charlotte Mason way to educate your family? If so, you may not know where to look or what options are available for you, so I decided to create a list of American history learning resources for families with all ages.
The Ultimate List of American History Learning Resources
We started our homeschool journey in 1999, and in all of those years, we have used either living books or resources that have the living book feel. Our children have all grown loving history and learning about people and events in different eras in our American history and world history.
As with any of my book list, age and grade levels should be determined by each family.
Here are DVD resources for the founding of American history:
This post was sponsored by American Heritage® Chocolate.
We all love chocolate, right? Once you learn about the history of chocolate, you may love it even more. Learning about the history of chocolate as currency, medicine, drinks and indulgences in the book, Great Moments in Chocolate History has been a lot of fun and insightful that it would be a perfect way to do a unit study in your homeschool or even a wonderful gift idea for a chocolate lover.
The History of Chocolate
Do you know where chocolate comes from? Most people may think it is the cocoa bean, but it is actually the cacao bean. It is only through a roasting and processing that the cacao bean name is changed to cocoa. I have taken chocolate for granted, and just ‘assumed' that it has always been a part of history, but haven't considered the path it has traveled to become the most loved dessert today. That was until I enjoyed reading the book Great Moments in Chocolate History and learned about its historical start as currency, and how valuable it was as medicine to many cultures (I would LOVE a cupboard full of this medicinal drink) and how it has found its place in the hearts of Americans, and making its place in WWII in the form of M&M's.
Imagine getting your children excited about learning about history though chocolate!
From the Aztec Empire, explores like Christopher Columbus and Cortes, King Philip II, Louis XIV, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Marie Antoinette, Amelia Earhart and many others who are mentioned in this beautifully illustrated book about the history of chocolate could serve as a fun and exciting way to learn about world history with your family in a way that children of all ages could relate with and find interesting from the beginning.
Great Moments in Chocolate History
Mars Chocolate North America, along with partner National Geographic Society, has just released the first of two books Great Moments in Chocolate History, which is full of fun facts that will bring chocolate into names and events like never before. To complete this book, they have added 20 classic recipes from around the world that will be a perfect way to bring math learning, and cooking skills into a true unit study for world history through chocolate and its available for sale anywhere in the world.
American Heritage® Historical Chocolate Drink
Did you know that the chocolate drink was the first way that chocolate was consumed, and not only was it used to better the performance of warriors, but was a popular beverage during the colonial days and even out at sea? American Heritage® Chocolate is an authentic historical line of product, developed from chocolate recipes in the 1750's, it is made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives. With 63% cacao, it is rich, and delicious, with amazing flavors blended together that include cinnamon, nutmeg, chili pepper, orange, anise and vanilla that will delight your palate.
Your whole family will love this historical drink, while learning about its history as it provides a perfect way to add some hands-on learning to your history of chocolate, and enjoy the flavor and the health benefits that have been recognized for over 500 years.
American Heritage® Historical Chocolate Block
We all use baking chocolate, or powdered chocolate in our recipes, but the American Heritage Historical Chocolate Block is not only easy to use in grating, chunking, shaving or baking but with 63% cacao, it gives such cocoa flavor that your recipes will taste amazing.
You can use this in any of the 20 recipes that are provided in the Great Moments in Chocolate History.
Once a reader found out that I focus on American History from early elementary through high school, usually ending around 9th or 10th grade, before turning our full focus on World History, they wanted to know my reason behind it. I know this is something completely different than how the majority of homeschoolers study history, but has really worked for us and it may be what you are looking for in your homeschooling journey.
Why I Teach American History From Early Elementary Through High School
When our older children were younger, and I started to implement the Charlotte Mason way into how we did homeschooling, I learned that American history books were being rewritten, to take our Christian founding out of it. As I researched this myself, I began to see clearly that newer books, written after 1965 were in fact focusing on more of an economical purpose to the founding of our government and thus the Christian faith started to disappear from these books.
Interestingly enough, as I did my research, I was finding that the bibliographies (a list of sources quotes or information are taken from) in the books written after 1965 were only quoting books written about history from that point on and some were even without any bibliographies.
History of any kind, should always contain sources from original documents or books that used the original documents as their source.
Once we were seeing this for ourselves, we decided that we wanted to make a focus on teaching our children a solid history of their nation and the founding of its principles, laws and statues.
Our purpose in teaching American History was to not just teach names, dates and events, but allow them to get a full picture of what the people were standing up for, what was going on in their lives and why these events happened, while understanding what made them important to our American History.
In order for us to implement our purpose with our family, we needed to take steps in building their knowledge in history and it literally took us this long to do it where our children were interested in learning and able to retain important information, thus becoming true patriots to the founding of this great nation and what all these principles stand for and still stand for today.
We have found our children able to grasp different things about American History at different ages, but it wasn't until they were in middle school and high school before the principles that formed this nation made sense to them, and all the foundational work we did to teach them the ‘facts' and ‘events' all started to make sense at this age and gave us the ability to educate our children in what we believe is a very important of their education… their duty to their nation, founding in their faith in God.
With all this being said, I want to also be sure to state that although our history curriculum was focused on America, we never left out learning about Bible History or even World History. In fact, it amazed me how we taught American History because a genuine interest in other history for each of our children and they were grasping so much through life that was didn't plan or structure for these studies.
Often times, we used our sick days or summer months to learn about different parts of history, which first started by our sons love of learning about weapons and the history of weapons. The naturally lead us to wars, and world wars that gave them interest in learning more about why they happened and who the historical people of those times were and what they stood for because this is how they were trained to learn through our American History.
I remember one summer, our oldest son spent a lot of his free time learning about World War II because of his interest of the weapons that were used and the hours he would spend watching the History channel with his dad, having long discussions about the holocaust and the persecution of the Jews during that time.
Although we were only focusing on American History, my children were thrilled to learn about many who lived during that time.
Our approach in teaching history may not be popular, but the fruit of our approach has been beautiful to see and we have absolutely no regrets, as we know our children love history of all kinds, and have a solid education about their own country's history and are proud to be Americans who know the founding, the principles and what sacrifices have been made by so many to get our freedom and to keep it.
If you desire to dig into the American Revolution in your homeschool with living books, as the Charlotte Mason way recommends, this booklist is the perfect place to start. This book list ranges from early readers to higher elementary and will be a list that you don't want to lose, so be sure to book mark it or pin it to your Pinterest board for safe keeping.
The Ultimate Book List for the American Revolution (Pre-war to 1783)
This book list will be divided up into themes to help you better navigate to find the books that fit your needs best. Please note that not all books are easily available, others are available at your library or even at used book sales and maybe good finds at the Good Will.
Draw and Write Through History is an interactive learning curriculum that your children will absolutely love. Each of the books in the series gives step by step drawing instruction, plus a selection of history copywork in cursive. You children will love drawing the historical subjects, while learning more about the history surrounding their drawings in these copywork sections.
This series consist of SIX books, each highlighting a different era in history and filled with inspiring step by step drawing that you children will enjoy perfecting their drawing skills with, while learning about the history each subject represents in that era. These books are recommended for ages 8 and up.
Creation through Jonah – Learn how to draw a dinosaur, Noah's Ark, a giraffe, the tower of Babel, a pyramid, mummy, sphinx, silk worm moth, giant panda, Bible characters, the Trojan horse, a phoenician ship, and more.
Greece and Rome – Learn how to draw a Greek soldier, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, The Great Wall of China, Hannibal's war elephants, the Colosseum, a gladiator, and more.
The 20th Century – Learn how to draw a Model T, the Titanic, penguins, seals, a World War I soldier, The Red Barron's plane, Amelia Earhart, a Sherman Tank, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr., the space shuttle, and more.
Here are a few samples of what the books look like…
As a Charlotte Mason educator, the study of people and places are important to a child’s education. Using living books to study people and places are what brings history alive to those reading and learning.
Many readers have been enjoying my 10 People series and this one has been done because of a request.
Here is my list of 10 People from BC Times worth studying:
Alexander the Great – Living from 356 to 323, Alexander was a king of a region in Greece known as Macedon. Although he inherited a large kingdom from his assassinated father, his quest for expanding was always there. He tactics in war and conquest have become examples for those who came after him, which is what has given him his name… ‘the Great'.
Socrates – Considered the founder of western philosophy, he lived from 469 to 399 BC in Athens, Greece.
Plato – A student of Socrates, Plato lived in the late 420's to 340's BCs. He is most known as a philosopher in Classical Greece. He was the founder of the Academy of Athens, which was the first institution of higher learner.
Julius Caesar – He lived 100 to 44 BC, who played a role in social and government reformed and is known for creating the Julian calendar. He was assassinated by a Roman senator, Brutus.
Octavius – He was the founder of the Roman Empire and is better knowns as Augustus. He worked to defeat the assassins of Julius Caesar, along with Mark Anthony.
Mark Anthony – A cousin of Julius Caesar, he was a general who joined forces with Octavius after the death of Caesar. However, later he and Octavius started a Civil War against each other. His life end, along with Cleopatra, in 30 BC is what his is most known for and not his part in taking Roman from a Republic to an Empire.
Cicero – He was a Roman philosopher, who lived from 106 to 43 BC that greatly influenced the Latin language.
Virgil – He was a Roman poet who lived from 70 to 19 BC.
Chihoang-Ti – The Chinese ruler who had the Great Wall of China built from 263 to 236 BC.
Hipparchus of Nice – He was responsible for the beginning of geographical and astromical science during 160 to 125 BC.
Are you looking for some more people from BC times to study? Take a look at these resources!