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We the People

Raise your hand if you can still recite the Preamble to the United States Constitution.  My arm is waving around madly.  At this point it’s for party entertainment.  Why it still fills up valuable brain real estate I have no idea.  I can also sing all of the theme songs from nearly every 1960’s television comedy.  It is no wonder I cannot put a coherent thought together.


This homeschooling year, we have emersed ourselves in the My Father’s World “Exploring Countries and Cultures”, studying a different country every two weeks or so.  We have really enjoyed using this curriculum to cover our Bible, History, and Geography needs.

However, before we move on to My Father’s World’s “Creation to the Greeks”, I am considering taking a year to get in a study of American History.  We missed “Adventures in My Fathers World” which focuses on U.S. history, because my girls were older when we began using MFW.

I know that MFW covers U.S. History 4 years down the road in “Exploration to 1850”, but I really would like to have that foundation already laid.

I have a number of wonderful books which cover the Columbus on, including Peter Marshall and David Manuel’s Light and the Glory and From Sea to Shining Sea.  But I would love to have a time line type guide to follow as we study.

So.  Do any of my fellow homeschooling com padres have a unit study type curriculum they would recommend for the study of American history?

Also, I’m looking into doing something different with regard to Science next year.  I’ve heard that Apologia Science is a terrific curriculum.  But I’m open to suggestions!

Thank you for any help you can throw at me!

25 Responses to We the People

  • The only reason I can recite the Preamble of the Constitution is “School House Rock”! 🙂

  • I’m not completely sure if this would fit your needs, but have you seen the “Drive Thru History” series? http://dthamerica.com/curriculum/standards-and-objectives/

    We currently use the character curriculum based on the Founding Fathers. It’s great. 😉 I also have several of the other DVD sets, and it’s wonderful how he ties world history back to the Bible. They have one for American History as well. And the host, Dave Stotts, is great. 🙂

    I have several friends who use Apologia, and they are very pleased with it. My nephew did a unit study with a group of boys one year and the leader used Apologia. He loved it.

    I used “Considering God’s Creation” for two years, which is wonderful for a hands on approach, and teaches Science in the order of creation. There is a Bible Study at the end of each lesson which ties everything back to the Bible. I currently use Abeka, but I’ve been considering switching next year. I have considered Apologia and this curriculum by Answers in Genesis http://www.answersingenesis.org/PublicStore/product/Gods-Design-for-Science-Complete-Curriculum-Set,6506,153.aspx

    Hope this helps. 🙂

  • I forgot to include the link to Considering God’s Creation. Sorry. It’s really early here. LOL…. 😉


  • We have really enjoyed using Sonlight”s reading list for American History. Also the markable maps and timeline stickers/book that go along with it. They have a condensed one year option, a two year option, or like our family, you can spread the two year option out to say three years…and counting…(:

  • You know me, I’m a solid MFW fan!! Take a year and use “Adventures”. We loved learning about the states in the order they became states and getting an overview of America. I think it’s helpful to know about yourself before you learn about others so they can see how it all fits together. 🙂

    How many days till homeschool convention???? 😉

  • Love love LOVE the Schoolhouse Rock videos. I have them on VHS and they are so old and worn and scratchy, but I just won’t give them up. I’d love to buy them on DVD. Maybe I’ll put that on this year’s list. 🙂

    We use Apologia for science. My boys really enjoy it. It’s their favorite subject and they would happily do it every single day!

  • I agree with Brooke. I’m doing Adventures with my second grader this year and next (new baby coming makes it hard to do school so we are splitting it between two!). I LOVE MFW and appreciate your recommendation. I love how the subjects are all linked together. This is just a great program.

  • Don’t homeschool but the only way I can recite the Preamble is to sing it a la Schoolhouse Rock! That and some of the lesser known ones from the DVD set got me through Con Law in college. I have since introduce my son to the joys of SHR. Wish they’d put them back on regular programming.

  • Back in the dark ages when I was homeschooled, I used the Apologia science books in high school. I was never a fan of science, but the curriculum was really good.

  • We’ve been doing US history this year after spending 87 years on world history, and it is so. much. fun. And so much easier!

    I follow Sonlight’s plan (with history), but what I’d recommend is using the four “Story of the USA” books, which give a good (easy-listening) overview, and then supplement with story books and picture books from there.

    Here are the four ISBNs for the books:

    Explorers and Settlers 9780838816318
    A Young Nation Solves Its Problems 9780838816332
    America Becomes a Giant 9780838816356
    Modern America 9780838816370

  • thought-provoking. due to some extenuating circumstances, we may skip over “Adventures in My Fathers World” (we’re currently in “My Father’s World First Grade”), even though that would be our next curriculum in a normal course of study. it’s all in God’s hands…and i’ll trust Him with whatever He allows, but i’m reminded today how much i hope to keep things going as they currently are so that we can enjoy all that “Adventures” offers…
    (just for what it was worth…)

  • So glad you asked about science. That is my current question mark, so I’m on the hunt for other opinions. And I’d be perfectly okay if someone would tell me that I don’t have to bother for another year. Or that they quit teaching science in public school altogether, so we can stop, too. 🙂

    We’re Tapestry of Grace fans around here and we will begin American history this year. (TOG mixes Amer. and World history). I’m excited, but since I was a history major, am going to have to rein myself in from wanting to teach my 2nd graders EVERYTHING MOMMY EVER LEARNED IN COLLEGE. I mean, why else did i save my college notes if not to torture my 7 year olds with random tidbits of American history?

  • I remember having to memorize it in 4th grade. My 5th grader had to memorize it this year and I was proud that when he recited it to me I really didn’t need the cheat sheet paper he gave me to make sure he was saying it correctly. We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish… yeah OK I’m just a geek.

  • Do your girls like the American Girl books? I haven’t used this unit study guide, but I have heard great things about it: http://www.christianbook.com/portraits-american-girlhood-popular-historical-fiction/cindy-sotelo/9780972697705/pd/697705

  • We used MFW and really enjoyed it, but just couldn’t afford it this year. Instead I just kinda made my own curriculum based on the MFW format, and I referred HEAVILY to The Well-Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer. We have enjoyed Susan Wise Bauer’s “Story of the World” this year as we’ve studied the medieval through early Renaissance ages. That being said, I would think you could skip around however you wanted, either in MFW or coming up with your own plan. I understand their concept of doing things completely chronologically, but it’s not chiseled in stone that you have to do it that way! 🙂

    Another idea – we did the KONOS curriculum (unit studies) a few years ago and did the whole foundations of America time period, and it was awesome! I would recommend that, or seeing if Amanda Bennett offers anything in her unit study curriculum, which I’m sure she does. I haven’t used any of Amanda Bennett’s stuff, but I have heard it is wonderful!

    Hope this helps! 🙂

  • I’ve been wondering how you liked MFW with Jensen. I was going through your old curriculum post the other day and saw you were trying it out this year. I’m considering using it for my daughter who will be in kindergarten in the fall. This will be my first year of homeschooling and I’m so overwhelmed with choices.

  • I don’t know that I cold say the words to the Preamble, but I can sure as heck sing them, thanks to School House Rock.

    I’m no help with the homeschooling thing since I teach in the public schools, but good luck with finding something you like. Goodness knows I wish I could find something I like when it comes to teaching science… haha

  • I love Apologia science (all levels). (After this year I can tell you I’m not fond of Real Science 4 Kids, which we did in our co-op; thus, I’m going back to Apologia in the coming year.)

    Regarding American history. . .I haven’t found anything I liked so I am creating my own. (http://ourquiltednation.wordpress.com/) My biggest problem with most American histories available for elementary children was the fact that so many simply ended around the Civil War. Could never make sense of that. . .

    The preamble, I had to learn in 9th grade. . .and I did not learn it from SHR, but I love the lyrical quality of the words themselves.

  • LOVE, love, love unit studies!! I grew up on KONOS, we did the States and Regions one year – which could be a good way to break up the history a little bit and cement what happened where. That was almost 20 years ago though, I’m not sure how they are sold now.

  • Have you looked at Winter Promise for American History? It is similar to Sonlight, but with hands-on activities. http://www.winterpromise.com