Do you want your children to really love history? You should try introducing them to living books, with the Charlotte Mason way to open the minds to the world around them.
I have been sharing post with 10 people to study for themed studies, which includes 10 Revolutionary War Men and now, I'm excited to share about 10 Revolutionary War Women who have done their part in securing our freedom and even forming our nation.
Abigail Adams – During her husband's participation in the Continential Congress, Abigail wrote many letters that would help form his opinion and that of the other founding fathers. When her husband, John Adams, became the 2nd President of the our United States, she was foundly called “Mrs. President” for her part in forming our nation.
Betsy Ross – We owe our American flag to Betsy Ross, although her first flag isn't what we have today, much of it still remains the same. She received the commission to make this flag from friend, George Washington.
Molly McCauley – When seeing her husband wounded in the war, Molly ran to his side and served him from a pitcher. After tending to him, she took his place at the cannon and aided in pushing the British into retreat. Impressed by her service to her husband and her country, George Washington warmly called her “Molly Pitcher”. Consider introducing your children to one of my children's favorite animated history DVDs!
Sybil Ludington – If you have introduced your children to Paul Revere, you MUST introduce them to another midnight rider of that famous night, Sybil Ludington. Her ride, although not famous, was twice as long as that of Paul's but just as important as she was spreading the important news of the night to all that she came across.
Deborah Sampson – Disguised as Robert Shirtliffe, Deborah enlisted in the patriot's forces fighting for freedom. Although she was wounded in the war, her secret was kept by the doctor who cared for her and allowed her to continue to fight for freedom's cause. At the end of the war, she was honorably discharged.
Penelope Barker – Without violence and waste, Penelope was able to show Britain that she and the women in her Edenton Tea Party group who boycotted British goods that the women stood behind their men in the fight for freedom.
Prudence Wright – If you have ever learned about the minute men, you will be intrigued to know that there were minute women on one night in Massachusetts. Having their men gone to looking for the British in another area, the women of the town of Groton dressed in their husband's clothes, grabbing anything that would work as a weapon and guarded the bridge into town.
Margaret Corbin – Following her husband in the war, she took his spot at the cannon when he was killed. She too, was wounded and being left for dead was found and nurtured by a passing doctor. With her wounds being permanently disabling she became a part of the ‘Invalid Regiment' and was the first woman to receive a lifetime pension for her service in the war.
Martha Bratton – Her and her husband were the care taker of the gun powder. During one of the attacks from the British, she was captured by later released. The same British captain that released her was later captured and she returned the favor. Shortly after that, she opened a hospital, where she nursed wounded both American and British soldiers.
Emily Geiger – As a message for the patriots, she was captured and while she was waiting to be searched by a loyalist woman, she ate the paper that contained the important message but not before she memorized it. Not finding any message, she was released and was able to get the message to General Sumter, who was able to arrive on time and assist the patriots who beckoned his help.Here are a few of my favorite history teaching aids: American Heritage Series from David Barton, Homeschool in the Woods Revolutionary Lapbook and Homeschool in the Woods Timeline Figures.
The American Revolution is one of our favorite times in history. We love to use living books, and study a person for a period of time, like Charlotte Mason recommended, so we can really get to know the era in which they lived.
George Washington – Truly one of my family's favorite people to study during this time period of America's earliest founding. As a young man, George was brave and showed many abilities to strategize and make clear decisions that proved necessary. Prior to becoming our first President, George grew his skills in the the French and Indian War, earning him the reputation that provided him the honor to lead us into the Revolutionary War to fight for our freedom from Britain. He demonstrated amazing characteristics and many young men would enjoy learning some of his favorite tips in behavior.
Benjamin Franklin – One of the most intriguing men of this era, Benjamin Franklin was for sure one of curious nature. Many people know that Benjamin was a printer, using his trade to further the call of freedom leading up to the revolt of the Revolutionary War, however many do not know of his many inventions and inspirations that came from his brilliant mind. Although many would like us to believe that Franklin was not a man of faith, his own writing would prove them wrong, as he often times would be the voice to putting prayer as the first action before decisions that were made. He is also known for his quick sayings of wisdom that would be perfect for any copywork assignment.
Samuel Adams – Known as the Father of the American Revolution, Samuel Adams is credited with starting the call to freedom and a member of a group of men, patriots, who called themselves The Sons of Liberty. Samuel was an intricate part of the uprise against the Stamp Act and the Tea Act, which resulted in the Boston Tea Party.
John Adams – The cousin of Samuel Adams, John is mostly known as the 2nd President of the United States but like his cousins, he was instrumental in the freedoms we gained during the Revolutionary Wars. During the infamous battles of the Revolutionary War, John was serving as a diplomate to France and Holland, negotiating the treaty of peace that would end this war and win our freedom from Britain.
Paul Revere – A Bostonian patriot, Paul Revere was a skilled silversmith who is well known for his part in alarming those who were sleeping that ‘the British are coming' after being signaled that with the ‘one if by land, two if by sea' lanterns. He wasn't alone in this endeavor to awake the patriots who were ready to fight for their freedoms, but we focus on him because of the path that his journey lead and who he was alerting on that much remembered night, as he rode into Lexington to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock, who were wanted for their involvement in signing the Declaration of Independence.
John Hancock – One of the most recognized names of the Declaration of Independence and where we get the phrase ‘can I have your John Hancock‘ when asking for a signature, due to the size of his signature that he affixed to that historical document. Some speculate that he signed his signature so large because he was the President of the Continental Congress. I find it humorous to know that after signing it, he stated “Old George won't need his spectacles to see that” – referring to King George of Great Britain.
Ethan Allen – A founder of the State of Vermont, Ethan Allen lead the Green Mountain Boys in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga in Lake Champlain. The capture of this Fort is rather delightful to learn about. He was once captured by the British, but later released in a prisoner exchange. He returned to the cause of freedom from Britain and was recognized by Congress for his acts during the Revolutionary War.
Francis Marion – Also known as the ‘Swamp Fox', Francis Marion lead a militia attack on the British army in the swamps of South Carolina. He was clever in his attacks and used tactics that were not familiar to others, giving them the upper hand in their battles. It is said that the United States Army Rangers was credited to him as they have adapted many of these useful tactics of war.
John Paul Jones – John Paul Jones entered the Revolutionary War as an adopted solider from Scotland. Entering the newly formed Navy, he took the battle to the shores of England. He is remembered for his bravery and never giving up hope, as his ship was taking on water, the other attacking captain asked him to surrender, to which he replied, “I have not yet begun to fight!” In that battle, it was Jones who won and the other captain that surrender.
Nathan Hale – A patriot spy that volunteered to go into British camps to gather their intel, knowing that such acts were punishable by death, risked his own life for the cause of freedom. Upon being captured and accused of spying, he was sentenced to death. Before being hanged, he stated “I regret that I only have but one life to lose for my country.”
Are you ready to jump into learning the Charlotte Mason way with your family? These explorers will make it easy for you to really learn how to do it with living books.
If you haven't seen the list of 10 Composers and 10 Artist that I have created for those working to implement the Charlotte Mason method and needing ideas of where to start.
Here are 10 Explorers that Charlotte Mason would want your kids to know:
Leif Eriksson – Leif was born in Ireland at the beginning of AD and was a Viking. I have great memories of studying this explorer with my older children, using the book Leif the Lucky. He is known for settling Newfoundland and spreading Christianity.
Christopher Columbus – Probably one of the most well known explorers, Christopher was a devoted Christian and motivated to carried his faith to other lands. When he landed in the ‘new world', he named this land ‘San Salavador' meaning Saint Savior. An interesting thing to study with older children is his experience in the Bermuda Triangle.
Lewis & Clark – I have wonderful memories of studying this part of the United States expansion with my older children and look forward to doing this again, this coming year. If you don't know, Lewis and Clark were hired by President Jefferson to explore the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. I love their map work and nature journaling of the things that they were seeing for the first time.
Ronald Amundsen – Amundsen was the first explorer to the South Pole and the first one to fly over the Arctic. Reaching the South Pole in December of 1911 (their summer) was his second choice of exploration, as he first had wanted to be the first to reach the North Pole, but failed. He was a well accomplished explorer in many other areas as well and one that your kids would love to learn more about.
John Cabot – Cabot lived a little before Columbus and like him, he wanted to sail east to find other lands. For Cabot, he was searching for Asia but found Newfoundland that Eriksson had settled. There is a mystery around his last exploration that caused his return to England, where he shortly died after his return.
Samuel de Champlain – A French explorer that is known as the Father of New France (the French part of Canada), Champlain spent a lot of his time traveling back and forth from France and Canada with two purposes: to share his Christian faith and find a faster route from Canada. He mapped much of Canada and desired to map much more.
Henry Hudson – Leaving England the same year that Jamestown was settled, Hudson was heading in a more northern direction toward Canada. Hudson River and Hudson Bay are named for him. He is well known for his Arctic and North American explorations.
James Cook – Cook is one of the most exciting explorers to study because he lead a sailing expedition around the world. His use of science and mathematics were one of his factors of success. He is credited for exploring Australia and the South Pacific.
Ferdinand Magellan – Inspired by the maps of Columbus, Magellan studies navigation and astronomy for years before leading the first sailing expedition around the world. It may be fun for children to learn that today there is a GPS device called the Magellan, named for this explorer.
Music appreciation was an important part of Charlotte Mason's method of educating. Her recommendations are still top favorites in our day, proving that good things last a long time and can be cherished by many different generations.
Just like her method in teaching art, Charlotte Mason believed in introducing something to the child and then allowing the relationship to form between the child and subject, resulting in a true education.
Here is the list of 10 Composers Charlotte Mason Would Want Your Kids to Know:
Ludwig van Beethoven – He was a German composer, as well, that lived until the early 1800's. One of my favorite pieces to introduce to my children is his Ninth Symphony, not because of the popularity of the music but because of the story behind its first being played in public. I won't share the story, because it is worth you digging in and find this inspirational and touching story of one of the most popular pieces in classical history.
Johannes Brahms – Another one of Germany's great composers, Johannes lived until the late 1800's. I would recommend introducing Symphony No 1 (4th Movement) as a great piece of his.
Frederic Chopin – A Polish composer living until the mid-1800's, when he died at just 39. A good piece to introduce to children is his Opus 7 No 2.
Edvard Grieg – A Norwegian composer who died in the early 1900's was instrumental (yes, I love to play on words) in bringing his country international recognition through is music. You may enjoy listening to In Der Halle Des Bergkonigs.
George Frideric Handel – Another German born composer, who lived until the 1700's, is most famous for his beautiful work of the Messiah. It is truly a must listen to piece!
Wolfgang Mozart – One of the most popular composers who also was born in Germany and lived to the late 1700's. His pieces have been shown to be great to listen to while children do quiet play or work, like math, as it engages the side of the brain best for these things. Here is a selection for Tuning Up the Mind and on for Relaxing, Daydream and Draw that I would highly recommend.
Peter Tchaikovsky – A Russian composer who lived until the late 1800's is one of the composers that is widely recognized for his works: The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.
Vivaldi – You must introduce your children to the Four Seasons, which is one of my favorite pieces of classical music. The tempo of each piece can almost be felt, as you listen to the seasons being played within your ears.
Here are some good selections of these composers who Charlotte Mason would want your kids to know:
In our culture, animation captures a child's imagination. Tapping into this powerful aspect of a child's mind and bringing it into the way you teach history, can open up a world of wonder into the history of our world. I know because that is what happened to my older two children and now both of my younger children is walking in the same exciting journey through history.
Why You Should Use Animated DVDs to Teach History
If the DVDs that you are using are both accurate and capturing animation, you will be able to introduce your children to amazing men and women of the past in a way that they find entertaining. Using these tools to enhance the living books that you use in your homeschooling will only deepen their knowledge and excitement for those of the past. These tools will also introduce the time period, clothing, culture and architecture that surrounded the men and women you use to teach history.
How to Use Animated DVDs to Teach History
To teach history in a way that animated DVDs will enhance their learning is to be sure to implement them properly. Here are the ways that I have used them successfully:
Introduce the men or women through living books first – You can use picture books, Bible stories, short or longer biographies and even your own narrations of these people. The idea is to first ‘introduce' them with out the animation being the first introduction to a new person.
Introduce the location and time period of the men or women second – Giving them an idea of where and when this person is placed in history is the second important part of successfully enhancing the way you teach history with animated DVDs.
Evaluate what your child knows before introducing the visual aid of a DVD – Having an idea of what your child knows already will give a good gage of how effective the animated DVDs are in how you teach history. You can evaluate them by simple oral narration or a small written narration of what they remember.
Introduce the animated DVD – Toward the end of a study on a man or woman, you will introduce the DVD and just simply watch it. At the end of the viewing, re-evaluate the child and see what more information has been gathered and retained.
What are the Best Animated DVDs to Teach History
I have my top favorite DVDs that all of my children have and will use in their enhanced history education. These were the best money we have spent and invested in our children's ‘extra resources' and I'm excited to share them with you:
Nest Animated DVD – These DVDs are amazing and completely accurate in details. They have 56 DVDs that includes Old Testament, New Testament and History heroes that will engage them and give them amazing understanding of the men and women you would love to introduce them to.
Liberty's Kids: Complete Series – If you want your children to know the founding of our nation and the sacrifices that were made, you will LOVE to introduce them to Liberty's Kids. These are amazing history of the time before the Revolutionary War and to the start of the United States of America. Each episode is 30 minutes long and full of great historical events that you will be learning along side them. At least I did!
I hope you find these tips in how to utilize DVDs to teach history and would love to hear if you use other DVDs in your teaching history.
When the high school years were approaching for my children, I sensed a lot of concerns about what was expected of me by my state. What I chose to do is something that I recommend all home schoolers, who plan on educating their high schoolers at home, look into the state requirements for two things:
What a credit hour equals – for our state it is approximately 120 hours or the completion of the course curriculum
What credits are required – for our state, some of the main credits are that a graduate need 3 credits of math, 3 credits of history, 3 credits of science and others
What I found to be really helpful, once I knew what was expected, was putting a course plan together for all four years. This may sound overwhelming and challenging, but it was very easy and only took about 15 minutes, once I knew what requirements I needed to fulfill for my child's education.
Here is what I did:
Earth Science – 9th
Biology – 10th
Chemistry – 11th
Physics – if desired – 12th
American – 9th
World History – 10th
Government – 11th
I throw Geography into both our American and World History years
Algebra I – 9th
Algebra II – 10th
Geometry – 11th
Trig, Calculus or also other options – if desired, – 12th
Consumer Math – this is so overlooked today and very important to ensure your children have money smarts – 11th or 12th
I then continued to look a the child to determine what other courses were necessary for that child, like foreign language (one of my children took two years of Latin, where the other is not taking any foreign language), electives (Bible, typing, photography, mechanics, etc.) based off the individual child.
After I had that planned for the four years of high school, I then began to divide down the amount of hours a week to complete the assignments. When talking to my high schoolers, they said they would prefer to work for longer periods of time on the core subjects, rather than put things away and get out other stuff. It has proven to be a big time saving factor for getting more done in less time.
Here is how I'm able to homeschool in 32 week, even in high school:
I plan for 30, with two floating weeks for catching up on any projects that are behind. For a high school student that means a total of 4 hours a week for each subject to arrive at the 120 hours of work or for the assignments to be completed. If you do a 36 week schedule, you would need to schedule each credited subject for 3 hours and 20 minutes each week.
Bible – 45-60 minutes a day of Christian living – prayer, Bible, journaling and a missionary biography
Math – I would require 1 hour a day for 4 days
Literature – 30 minutes Monday-Thursday, with 2 hours on Friday
History – 2 hours on Monday and Tuesday
Science – 2 hours on Wednesday and Friday
Electives – 1 hour 4 days a week – I attempted to keep Friday as a 2 hour elective, since Monday-Thursday each week is a big work load.
I hope with these tips and encouraging you to get to know each individual child, their skills and their ambitions, it will help you to articulate your own successful high school plan.
Here are some of my most popular High School post that may help you in preparing for your high school journey (with giveaways):