Friday Faves: U.S. History, Geography & Art Enrichment Resources

Are you looking for homeschool resources or ideas to enrich your study of American History & Geography this school year? How about adding a little bit of Art to enhance the studying of these subjects?

We like to enrich the spine of our curriculum with a looping schedule of Fine Arts, History, Geography, and Science. These are some of our favorite ways to add in that dash of fun to our afternoons!

Now, you already know we love our Science with Friends Bundles! Therefore, we wanted to share some resources we have been loving as our families are studying U.S. History and U.S. Geography this year. Also, we are most excited about finding some super fun Fine Art resources that actually correlate with our American History & Geography studies!

*If you are a Classical Conversations family, you will just love this list we compiled that pairs with Cycle 3!
Here’s this week’s #FRIDAYFAVES:

ENRICHMENT PACKETS & PROGRAMS:

Homeschool in the Woods
Nicole has used nearly all of Homeschool in the Woods’ Project Passport Bundles, and she keeps going back for more! “The read-aloud text is well-written, accurate, and broken into manageable daily (or twice weekly, as we use it) pieces. And each lesson comes with a fun, imaginative hands-on craft component, which both of my kids enjoy. And, even more importantly, I’ve never had to go out and purchase any special supplies! Each bundle includes more crafts than you can reasonably accomplish, so you feel as if you have options each week without being overwhelmed.
Especially pertinent this year, is the Elections lap book, which takes students through the process of American elections from a historical, nonpartisan perspective.” – Nicole

BOOKS: Read Aloud, Independent Reads & Reference Books

The U.S. History Cookbook – Reference Book & hands-on cook book.
What I’m loving about this book is that it has some great historical facts about how Americans lived and dined over the centuries. This book is more for the history learning aspect and for some hands on learning as you can try cooking/baking simple recipes with your young chefs. No gourmet recipes here though, so if that’s what you’re looking for, this might not be the book for you. We have been enjoying it! – Aracelly

Desk Atlas of the Unites States and National Geographic’s Atlas of the United States (kids) – Reference Books.
Our family has been thoroughly enjoying both books, full of great and fun facts of each state. Reading about a state each day and learning many facts about our wonderful country only is fueling our desire to visit every state, one day!

If you Lived… Book Series – Read aloud
These books are so fun! They have fantastic colorful pictures and they go in depth into the different historical periods of the U.S. What I enjoy about these books is that they are full of questions that make your audience to think about: What would life be like? What would you wear? How would you play?, etc. – Aracelly

Who Was? American History Book Series – Reference Books / Read Aloud / Independent Reads
These books can be good for read alouds of for independent reading if your student is of mid-elementary age or older. You can buy each book separately or the whole American History Series in amazon. My 8 and 10 year olds read some of them independently and if there’s a topic I really want to address, we’ll read them together. – Aracelly
This is a matchup list for cycle 3, weeks 1 through 24: Columbus, First Thanksgiving, Boston Tea Party, Declaration of Independence, George Washington, Lewis and Clark Expedition, Davy Crockett, Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman, Wild West, Abraham Lincoln, Robert E Lee, Martin Luther King Jr, Thomas Alva Edison, Ellis Island, Woodrow Wilson, Susan B Anthony, Pearl Harbor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Neil Armstrong, Twin Towers, US Constitution, Ulysses S Grant.

Thomas Jefferson Grows a Nation – Read Aloud / Picture book for all ages. After finishing this book, both children commented on the beauty of the language. Fun alliterations, dazzling similes, and rich metaphors are woven throughout this book that tells the story of Thomas Jefferson as a cultivator of both agriculture and a new nation. It’s great two-for-one moment, making connections between the masterful writing skill and the history itself. The pleasing illustrations enhance the beauty of the story being told. – Nicole

The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Holland’s Good Fortune – Read Aloud / Picture Book for all ages
Beautifully illustrated and told, this peek into the Pilgrims voyage brings life and vivid imagery to an age-old historical tale. Although technically a picture book, the writing and content is rich enough for all ages to enjoy. – Nicole

Ben and Me: “An Astonishing Life of Ben Franklin by His Good Mouse Amos”. Read aloud / Independent Read
We’re about to start this one and we can’t wait. I hear wonderful things about it. I think we’ll use it as a read aloud, mainly because I don’t want to miss out on it! 🙂 -Aracelly

Sign of the Beaver – Read Aloud / Independent Read for middle schoolers
An adventurous tale with beautiful themes of cross-cultural friendship follows the story of 12-year old Matt and his attempt to survive on his own in the unsettled woods of Maine. – Nicole

A Lion to Guard Us – Read Aloud / Independent read for 7-11 yr olds
“Featuring a heroine with faith, courage, and a great deal of grit, this acclaimed historical fiction novel portrays the realities faced by three children hoping to find a new home in an unknown land.” This book is perfect for ages 7-11 as an independent chapter book, but we read it together. My 8 yr old son called this book the “anti-gravity book”, because we couldn’t put it down! Be warned, there’s a lot of drama and sad tones, but there’s great lessons about courage and hope! – Aracelly

The Declaration of Independence in Translation: What It Really Means – Reference Book
“What are unalienable rights? Who are the 13 original colonies? What makes the Declaration of Independence so important? Find out in simple language what this historical document rally means to you and America.”
This book is giving us a clear understanding of this beautiful Freedom Document. – Aracelly

VIDEOS:

Liberty Kids. A full American Revolution series – I love collection! My 3rd & 5th grader fully enjoy them. We have watched them in youtube for FREE, but I would totally consider purchasing them from amazon for road trips and/or because when you purchase the dvd’s you receive a link for a study guide that I hear many children enjoy. They’re also fun for the whole family to watch! – Aracelly

Little House on The Prairie DVD Series – You can watch these in Prime video or buy the whole collection like I did! I’m a huge fan, though. I have been loving the Ingalls family for a long time! haha. This is our family show at the moment and ALL of US are practically obsessed, haha! You’ll find comedy, drama, some action and tension at times and that warm cozy feeling! There’s wonderful snippets of historical events happening throughout the show and the lifestyle of the early settlers. There’s so many wonderful lessons in every episode. Just like the books, you will hear about God, faith, courage, family values, perseverance, loss, trauma, hope and joy and how the Ingalls’ family and friends navigate through it all.
* Warning, there’s few episodes that I still won’t let my boys watch, because of certain “topics or intensity”, but you know your family best, watch at your discretion. I could write pages about this incredibly filmed and re-creation of Laura Ingalls’ books.

ART: As a medium to enrich our study of U.S. History & Geography

Yellow Spot Sun Art – This is one area that I feel good about going online. The Yellow Spot Sun art lessons are broken down into manageable step-by-step videos, where kids learn how to imitate the masters. Each of the lessons are punctuated with art history, exposure to great artists and an integration of historical or literary context. This year, I am particularly excited about the Trailblazing Transit course, which makes connections between American history and the fine arts. – Nicole

The Draw Write Now Books – These Workbooks are excellent to introduce elementary age students to drawing and a bit of writing. I feel like they get a bit more complex with every book moving up. The US series include books 2, 3 & 5. My 8 year old totally enjoys them still. I would say these are good for up to age 10ish max. You could start these books with very early elementary age students. – Aracelly

Draw Write Now Book 2: Christopher Columbus, Autumn, Harvest.

Draw Write Now Book 3: Native Americans and Pilgrims.

Draw Write Now Book 5: United States from Sea to Sea and Moving Forward.

Draw Write Through History: The 20th Century. Includes 20th century history like drawing a Model T, the Titantic and a WWI soldier. Also includes Amelia Earhart, Martin Luther King Jr and others. – This workbook would serve best mid/late elementary children. 8 and up.

Draw the USA – An easy step by step approach – A non intimidating approach for our children to learn all the states placements and to draw them by memory. We are loving this book so far! It gives the children a great sense of accomplishment when they realize how easy and simple can be to draw a full map of the USA. – Aracelly

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