American History, for now

For a long time, all of my homeschool-oriented posts went to The Life Without School blog but now that blog has become a static site and all of us have moved on. Time to move back home and blog about it right here.

This year Tea is working on American History. This kid is a whole new box of chocolates for me and I have to be somewhat creative in how I present material to him. He reads fine but it is not the best way for him to learn material. His brains goes into a holding mode when presented with dry reading…so, he gets video and audio resources, in addition to a middle school text with lots of flash cards and short paragraphs of pertinent content. When he is learning about a certain historical character, I often have him find a story about that person and read it. That’s it.
What are we using?
Veritas Press, Explorers to 1815 book, cd and flash cards.
The Teaching Company, History of the United States dvd set
The Veritas Press book, flash cards and cd are nice. They are perfect for the age group intended but a little remedial for a high school student, a choice I made intentionally. Given my son’s interesting learning style, they work well for us. It’s a guide book in our homeschool, more than a stand-alone curriculum. The cd is fun and my 7 yo especially enjoys listening to it.
The Teaching Company is fantastic. I wish we had enough money to buy their products more often. As of now, I cannot decide if the dvds are worth the extra money and think that I will probably next order cds instead. The first professor in the US History course is a bit dry and we often fall asleep while watching but it gets better and better from there. The content is fabulous. I’m hooked and have a long list of wants from their catalogue.
We have long been fans of Joy Hakim’s books on US History. We love the little boxes and pictures and the organized clutter the pages in her books present. There is nothing boring there. I just downloaded the audio book last night and thus cannot offer any review at this time. I’m looking forward to listening, though, and have high hopes.
This method of offering various media types and simply keeping them all running concurrently works for Tea. History is one of his favorite subjects and going about it in a way that doesn’t cost us a fortune and keeps the subject from being a dry bone, keeps him interested and learning.

About Bettina Colonna Essert

Illuminated Magdalene High Priestess and facilitator of empowerment and healing circles for girls and women, including a monthly Red Tent Temple. BA in English, minor in anthropology. Waldorf homeschool mom. Reiki master, cranial sacral therapist, herbalist, menstruvist, feminist, epicurian.
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