Thanks to the Internet and other resources, there are plenty of options for adding and expanding enriching content to your history studies. This is particularly true for homeschoolers. Almost every area of history has extra information available in different formats. Try to keep as close to primary sources as possible for the most accurate information. Check the website to find out if it is someone else’s interpretation of the information or if it is true primary material of actual texts and other information.
A huge web site called A to Z Home’s Cool Homeschooling http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/index.htm is a great starting place with easy to find categories and subcategories. Under their Social Studies area, you can find American history, ancient history, world culture & history and people. These areas contain links to web sites with that content and a brief description of it.
Another great resource is from the A&E channel. Along with the History and Biography channels, they have created the A&E classroom http://www.aetv.com/class/ . Signing up with them gets you a six-month schedule of upcoming educational shows. In the mornings, A&E network offers shows that are commercial free and educational. The shows and learning materials are designed for 4th grade and up. Along with show, they will email you a study guide with questions that can be given to students to help them understand what they saw. Some of the questions even have students comparing the video version with the book version.
If your research is leaning more towards documents and map, do not overlook the Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov . They have over 10 million primary source items that are digitized and free to use. Some of their information is arranged by collections. For example, the American Memory collection contains maps, Native American history, African American history, culture, American expansion and women’s history. A special area of the Library of Congress is The Learning Page Ã¢Â?Â¦ especially for teachers http://memory.loc.gov/learn/ . This one highlights lessons plans, along with other features and activities for the American Memory collection.
A web site with great links is from BestHomeschooling.org and is called ‘People, Cultures, and the Making of History’ at http://www.besthomeschooling.org/gateway/inted05.html . Their link collection covers not just American history, but ancient and world history. They have list of books appropriate for children, divided by age levels. Some of the links lead to sites with interactive games. These can be great and fun ways to learn history.
If you and your kids love to be outdoors and get involved with activities, there are plenty of choices for history. Search the Internet or check your state’s web site or travel guides for parks and other historical areas. Many of them are open for visitors year-round. Contact local re-enactment groups to find out when and where they perform. There is nothing like seeing history live and in action, with some even allowing participating depending on the group. Take an opportunity to learn how to churn butter, milk cows or weave on a loom. The American Civil war is a popular re-enactment as well as life during the time was being settled. If you are interested in pre-17th century Europe, look up the Society for Creative Anachronism or SCA at http://www.sca.org .