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Colonial Times and Revolution for Kids?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Okay. I'm finally doing this. I just can't read another chapter of Story of the World. No, really. I've tried. I can't do it right now.


My daughter (age 7) seems to enjoy listening, but we never do it because I don't know. I'm not into it right now.


I've decided to do something that I find totally exciting and that is colonial times and the American Revolution. I'm looking up books online, trying just to figure out which ones I want (accurate historical fiction) and then I'm going to go from there.


I'm also trying to find maps to color and also historical coloring books. We're really big on coloring here.


Does anyone know of good resources for teaching this time period to the younger K-3 years?? I'd appreciate it!


Thank you.

post #2 of 19
I believe there are virtual field trips you can do at Williamsburg, Va and Jamestown, Va. If you live close enough they also do homeschool days in September and February, but you should google for their websites. The American Girl Felicity is from that time period if that appeals to your dd.

You should look up info on Liberty's Kids- it is a great cartoon series about the American Revolution and I believe there are teacher's guides available on the web.

Sorry I don't have links. Have fun!
post #3 of 19

Seconding the recommendation for "Liberty's Kids" DVDs....they are terrific! My kids really enjoyed watching them and learned a lot from them. I found they understood more when we watched together and we could talk about what they saw.

post #4 of 19

Yes!  We are doing this.  I stumbled across Crossroads American History online, it is an older, free curriculum based around picture books for the younger kids, and gains complexity through the years--I believe it goes through college-level.  Not fancy--but has lots of book suggestions, and I have been very pleased with them.  I bought many of them used online through Abe Books or the like, and my daughter has been LOVING this.  I'll use the curriculum to teach it at out co-op this fall, also.  Just Google Crossroads American History.


post #5 of 19

We also watched Liberty's Kids on Netflix, and my DD could totally follow along.  Many of the same minor historical figures were featured as were in the books we had read, and that was really exciting for DD.

post #6 of 19



An overview, and then a link at the bottom to take you to the curriculum itself.  You need to google "Crossroads American History Curriculum" to have it pop up #1.

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

Great! Thanks...we saw one episode of Liberty's Kids via Netflix and my daughter said she loved it.But, this child is so in love with TV that she'd happily watch 2 hours of a SHAMWOW! commercial without complaining.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

The site doesn't seem to work!!!

post #9 of 19

While its not a complete curriculum, DS loved the books by Lynne Cheney.  I think there are five (5) of them that focus on American History.

post #10 of 19

Here is a link to one part of the Elementary section (part 2 of 3, I think)  http://www.eric.ed.gov:80/PDFS/ED430841.pdf  


I bet the other parts can still be hunted up there if it looks like something you'd like.



post #11 of 19

Though it's not particularly informative, we loved "George Washington's Teeth", a humorous look at the true story behind his teeth.  The book includes some good historical info at the back, including a picture of a set of hippo ivory dentures that belonged to him.

     Another book along the same lines (fun, somewhat informative and a good starting point for being curious) was "Can't You Make Them Behave, King George?"  I hope I remembered the title correctly.  Maybe, "Why Can't You Make Them Behave...."  The author wrote a series of books in a similar manner about Abe Lincoln, Lizzie Stanton, etc.  


     Remembering what I liked best about history, I gravitate towards stories about the people, famous or not.  While we read about them we can learn about the events swirling around them.  I can't help you with entire curriculums, I just look for interesting books from our library for now.  My girls are 6.5 and 4.5 and are surprisingly interested in George!

post #12 of 19
We did US History (paleoamericans through westward expansion) last year in first grade. I essentially just gathered what online resources I could, and then checked out nearly everything from our library. This is a period of time that really interests me, so I didn't feel I needed much in the way of curriculum to do a good job at it, but then we don't tend to really use curriculum for anything, so I'm accustomed to just making our own lessons. We watched videos at history.com, biography.com, etc. Got the Liberty's Kids DVDs from the library (and then discovered they also have some available on Hulu). Did map work, found really good kids biographies on many of the key players. This period of history we found had a LOT of good stuff at the library that was either geared towards that age level, or could easily be adapted for that age level. (As opposed to ancient Rome, we're finding really only stuff aimed at a much older audience.)

We enjoyed reading Sam the Minuteman. Big George: How a Shy Boy Became President Washington. Lizzie and the Redcoat. Samuel Eaton's Day, and the other two books in that series.

If it's helpful to you at all, this is the blog post where I list out the books we used for US History, John Cabot thru Pre-Revolution: http://thefamilyschool.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/america-john-cabot-until-pre-revolution/ Apparently, I didn't make a similar post for the Revolutionary period, but probably just mixed it in with my weekly updates, which you're welcome to read if you've got the stamina, lol.

I can't do just SOTW. I can't take that much world history and completely neglect US History for that long. I know their idea is to show how new and relatively unimportant the US is, but that's not how I personally feel about our country, and that's NOT what I want to teach my kids, either. I think knowing the history of our own country, and really understanding it, is KEY to understanding what's going on NOW, and will be key to their understanding of what's happening when they're adults. Plus, having the early American government stuff under his belt when we turned to Ancient Greece really helped him - the founders were influenced by some ancient Greek thinkers, our federal buildings are influenced by Greek and Roman architecture (mostly Greek with the Supreme Court building, etc.) and, at least for my son, having the American stuff FIRST and then seeing where it came from, as opposed to learning about the Greeks first and then later hooking that in with later history, helped him see how ancient history is relevant to us now.

I LOVE SOTW. I just don't follow their ideas entirely. (But I have yet to follow ANY book/curriculum as intended, lol.)
post #13 of 19

i just bought a bunch of history books from amazon.com - for example, colonial kids a-z and the american revolution for kids.  my son is almost 6, and for right now we are enjoying just reading a bunch of different books instead of an actual complete curriculum.

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

I ended up buying a bunch of books of Amazon, as well. (I decided to do this because if I always have to wait for our Library's wait list, then we'd never actually do things. I have to have things on hand NOW or otherwise its easy for me to brush off.)


Thanks for the links! Off to look...


If anyone's interested...we already had Sam the Minuteman and George the Drummer boy. Sarah Morton and Samuel Eaton? Check.


Here's the full list of what I ordered...my kids are 5 and 7. I ordered coloring books for them for Revolutionary/Colonial times as well.


*Story of the American Revolution

*Life on the Mayflower

*Sew What, Betsy Ross

*You Wouldn't Want to Sail With Christopher Columbus

*Christopher Columbus

*Life in Colonial America

*The Courage of Sarah Noble

*Will You Sign Here, John Hancock?

*You Wouldn't Want to be a Salem Witch (for October)

*Can't You Make Them Behave, King George?

*The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (For October...this was set during Revolutionary Times and we already had the Dover Coloring book)

*If You Lived in Colonial Times

*Revolutionary War on Wednesday

*Alice Ray and the Salem Witch.


I'm hoping to do Columbus and the first explorers during September and then onto the early colonial times. October will be Salem Witch (and Sleepy Hollow, we're Hallo-nuts here) and then go backwards again for Thanksgiving to Pilgrims/Natives/Mayflower. Then off to the Revolution!


I know several of these are historical fiction...but need things to keep them interested. We'll do maps (they love maps) as well....


Thanks again!

post #15 of 19

For fiction, possibly a tad older than 3rd grade, I loved The Witch of Blackbird Pond as a girl.  This is set is New England pre-Revolution.  It teaches just enough of the social history to spark curiosity--religious customs, relations with other religions, household work, etc.  A small, innocent love story is woven into the main plot line.  

post #16 of 19

We are planning a trip to Jamestown and Williamsburg this fall, so we've been informally learning about this topic all summer.  We have mostly done books from the library, many of which have already been mentioned.  There are many fun nonfiction books, but we've also learned a huge amount from historical fiction.  There are several American Girl books on the topic that all of my kids enjoyed, and I've also found a few "journal" style historical fiction books from the viewpoint of children.  We recently finished an audiobook called "Blood on the River" which was truly excellent and educational; the story is told from the perspective of a young boy, and it covers his journey to Jamestown up to roughly the death of John Smith. 

post #17 of 19
This may be too late but I'm doing US history with my boys. I made lessons using a lot of internet resources--they are very hands on. I put them here to share. I have one link for Colonies and another for Revolution among other US history topics.
post #18 of 19

Wow, thanks for sharing!  You are one organized mama!

post #19 of 19

I would recommend the Betsy Maestro books - we really like them. Each takes a bit to get through (I broke them up into 4-5 days per book), but the illustrations are wonderful and the text is nice and "meaty" without being overwhelming. Plus, it makes for good copywork and/or dictation, if you go that route. 

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