Squee! I’m so excited because I just finished our plans for early American history for next fall. I came up with a plan that uses living books as the centerpiece of the year but went in a slightly different direction than I expected for Makayla.
Family Read Alouds for Term 1 and half of Term 2
American History Stories by Mara Pratt – We will read Volume 1, Volume 2, and the first 31 chapters of Volume 3. These are short chapters that will give us the spine of our time period. Volume 1 covers explorers, how each colony began, and the French and Indian War. Volume 2 focuses on the causes and events of the American Revolution. What we read in Volume 3 will take us through the beginnings of a new nation, several presidencies, and the War of 1812.
During this term and a half my 7th grader Makayla will read the following books independently:
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond – This explores Puritan times and the mass hysteria surrounding the time of the Salem Witch Trials.
- Amos Fortune: Free Man – Set in 1725 and telling the story of a 15 year old African prince stolen into slavery and what happens in his life to overcome it.
- Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison – This is set in the French and Indian War. Teen Mary is captured by Seneca Indians, adopted, and adjusts to her new life. Then she has to deal with the possibility of rescue and return to the white man’s world.
- Johnny Tremain – Detailed look at the American Revolution in a thrilling story. This is THE book recommended on every list I found for the Revolutionary War.
- Toliver’s Secret – Also set in the Revolutionary War, this tells of a 10 year old girl who has to deliver a message to patriots when her grandfather cannot. Disguised as a boy she steps up to the challenge.
- Ben and Me – A funny book about Benjamin Franklin told from the point of view of a mouse friend.
- Sacagawea: The Girl of the Shining Mountains – Takes the reader on the adventures of Lewis and Clark through the eyes of Sacagawea, detailed descriptions bring the trail to life.
During the same term and a half I will be reading aloud the following books to my 3rd, 2nd, K, and younger children:
- Meet Kaya – The first book about a Native American from a series of 6, set in 1764. The other 5 will go into a book basket for free reading.
- The Sign of the Beaver – 12 year old Matt tries to survive and guard the family homestead in colonial Maine while his father fetches his family. He runs into trouble and befriends the local indian tribe. (Makayla has already read this book, so she may actually do the reading aloud to her siblings. She enjoyed this one.)
- The Matchlock Gun – Short chapter book set in the French and Indian War.
- Toliver’s Secret – Yes, this is on Makayla’s list as well. It should be a fun read aloud for my younger children and I to enjoy for the American Revolution.
- Meet Felicity – The first book in a series set just before and during the American Revolution. The other 5 books will be in our book basket for free reading.
- Dog of Discovery: A Newfoundland’s Adventures with Lewis and Clark – What better way to go on the trail with Lewis and Clark than from the point of view of their dog? This book uses journal entries, many original from their trail journal, with some canine fun to keep us going.
The other half of the year will be a bit different.
Instead of giving Makayla a list of books to read she will be free to explore the time period - any people or events of her choice. It is one of the perks to homeschooling – she can follow interests and dive deeper. I am working on a list of people and events to give her some ideas but really she can choose anything. The only requirement is that she is reading daily. I’m excited to see where her interests lead her!
My younger children will spend the second half of the year exploring pioneer times with Laura Ingalls. We have read Little House in the Big Woods and Farmer Boy before and will skip those. That leaves us with:
- Little House on the Prairie
- On the Banks of Plum Creek
- By the Shores of Silver Lake
- The Long Winter
- Little Town on the Prairie
- These Happy Golden Years.
A Book Crate
There are so many wonderful books that fit these time periods. I plan to put together a book crate full of these for free reading during quiet time. The books will rotate as we move through the year and will be a mix of picture books, chapter books, and non-fiction titles.