Every year, we do well at getting the basic subjects covered in our school day – math, language arts, and reading. Weekly music and art lessons are in there too. The two subjects we’ve struggled with the most over the years, however, are science and history — the two that lend themselves best to interactive and hands-on learning. I’m not sure why it’s been difficult to fit them into our school day, since I loved science in school and was a history major in college. After talking with friends, though, I’ve found that many other homeschoolers struggle with teaching these subjects as well.
Over the past couple of years, however, I’ve been finding some great resources out there, one of them being the “For Kids” series by Chicago Review Press. You can find them in your local library or bookstore. Featuring science and history topics, these books combine information with hands-on activities for the upper elementary/lower middle school grades.
The “For Kids” books lend themselves especially well to unit studies. Simply choose your subject matter and work through the book. Each chapter has information to read; I read out load with all of my children, but older students could also read it alone. The corresponding craft, science, or math activities include supply lists and step by step instructions.
History topics range from American history (More Than Mocassins, George Washington for Kids, The Civil War for Kids, World War II for Kids) to art history (Monet and the Impressionists for Kids, The Salvador Dali and the Surrealists) to world history (Shakespeare for Kids, Polar Explorers for Kids, Women Invent!). Science titles include Weather Projects for Young Scientists, Watch Me Grow, The Science of Life, Rainforests, and many more.
If you’re working on adding more to your science or history curriculum, pick up one of these books and give it a try. I think you’ll enjoy them as much as I do.
By Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell