A Collection of Fun Ways to Explore U.S. History as a Family
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This year in our homeschool we are diving a bit deeper into U.S. History.
History is one of the subjects I often like to study together as a family. Learning together helps strengthen our family bonds and can also make the subject feel a little less like school. In addition to the activities we are doing together every child has a stash of history based literature in their school baskets, according to age and reading ability. Here is the list of the main resources we are using together this year with my kid’s ages 7 – 15.
Let’s start with the games. I have two games to complement our studies this year and we play each of them once a week. I schedule game time after lunch, on any day where we do not have outside afternoons activities.
The Constitution Quest is a trivia board game based on the workings of the U.S. Government and an understanding of the Constitution. The game is designed for teens and adults and is very well designed. We are playing with the kid’s ages 10+, the game has a built-in feature for younger kids. Some cards have a star and those are easier questions, you can sort the star cards out into a separate pile and let the younger ones use those questions.
You can also place all the star cards on the top of the deck for the first time you play the game to ease the kids into it. Many of the questions are not easy, but it is a very good study and after only 3 times of playing the game so far I can already see my kids are starting to understand the government and language of the constitution more thoroughly. The gameplay is engaging, the rules are well written, and unlike other trivia games, you get to move forward on the board whether or not you get the right answer. If you answer correctly you get points, and whoever has the most points when the first player makes it around the board wins.
Another game we are using is a bit more typical of a trivia game, your pawn moves forward only when you answer correctly. Honestly, we have not managed to play a game until someone won the game yet because with so many players and many missed questions the kids lose concentration before being close to the end.
We just play until I can tell they are done and then announce one more round and the pawn in front wins. There are two sides to the cards, one easy side and one more difficult. All of the kids play this game and we are only using the easy side right now since even the older kids are often stumped by the questions. All in all, I do like the game and feel it will be a great addition to their general level of knowledge about all things U.S.A.
Early in the morning, we put on a Drive Thru History Adventures. I can’t say enough good things about Drive Thru History, for more info check out my review here. However, I did not review the Amerian History series so for those reviews check out the Homeschool Review Crew anchor post here.
After this adventure, which is a fun and relaxing way to wake up, we do a bit of map work from The Trail Guide to US Geography series. Each morning they spend between 5 and 15 minutes doing their mapwork, with Friday’s either off or set aside for review. I try to go over all the state capitals of the states we have mapped for the year to reinforce and get those facts into long-term memory. This program is fun for family use because it comes with 3 different levels of mapping so it is suitable for all ages.
To tie everything together I put some pretty timelines up on the wall. This set is from Pandia Press. I put up all the timelines to give the kids a visual of the position in time that the American History we are studying about has taken place. As we cover events or people we add them to the timeline. I will also allow them to place other stickers up if they can tell me a bit about the event or person. We have studied a lot of world history in the past, so it is likely we will be putting up more than just the American History stickers.
We are enjoying our exploration and adventure as we dive into history as a family this year.
This post was originally published on the Homeschool Review Crew Blog.