I love to teach history — probably because I love to learn about history. Since my kids were in elementary school, we’ve slowly worked our way through our state’s history, medieval and ancient history, and American history. This year we’re working on the Industrial Revolution and I found the perfect way to incorporate history lessons with creative writing lessons.
Each year I plan our homeschool with flowery thoughts and endless ambition. I schedule numerous subjects and activities and forget that we have a life outside of school. We absolutely never finish all my grand plans. So, this year I decided to get smart and combine some subjects that naturally go together.
American History and Writing seemed to fit perfectly with each other. And, I have Home School in the Woods Time Traveler series to thank for giving me the inspiration (and materials) to bring these two subjects together.
What is the Home School in the Woods Time Traveler Series?
The Time Traveler Series starts with the earliest explorers of America and travels through the end of the 20th century. There are 7 parts in the series that include:
- New World Explorers
- Colonial Life
- The American Revolution
- The Early 19th Century
- The Civil War
- The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression
- World War II
- The 20th Century in America
We are studying the Industrial Revolution, so we chose that study packet. I’m not exaggerating when I say that there is an enormous amount of materials in this series. Each study comes with 25 lessons, a schedule, teacher guides, and answer keys. Each lesson begins with a story about the time period and then several hands-on projects like lapbooks, mini-timelines, file folder games, recipes, and 3-D projects. But, the project that appealed to me the most was the Creative Writing Newspaper.
How We’re Combining American History and Writing
As Charlotte Mason homeschoolers, we use copywork, dictation, and narration daily. Taking those principles and translating them into a Creative Writing Newspaper was an easy and fun task. We were able to combine narration with a fun writing activity that inspired creativity and imagination.
I mentioned that there are a lot of great activities in this course. When I was a new homeschool mom, this would have overwhelmed me because I would have tried to do everything in the study. As an older (and hopefully wiser) homeschooler, I am able to look through all this wonderful material and pick the projects that appeal the most AND that we have time to fit into our schedule. We do a lot of projects around our house and writing is one of our favorites. So, it seemed natural to pull this project out of the stack and focus a lot of our efforts here.
So how does this work?
We start off by reading the lesson that is provided by Homeschool in the Woods. These are fairly short and should take no more than 5 -10 minutes of reading and initial discussions. As we’re reading we make notes of what we think is important. I have the kids highlight passages with colored pencils or highlighters.
Next, we start to work on our newspaper. The kids take different sections and work on them independently. One might choose to write an article. Another child might choose to create a cartoon or an advertisement. I let them choose because I understand that you simply can’t force an interesting piece of writing. You have to be inspired to write.
After everyone has had a chance to finish their particular part of the newspaper, we take a moment to share. Some of my kids love to share their writing or drawing, while others keep it to themselves. In this project we are learning to collaborate, so they will need to be able to share even if that means they don’t read it aloud to the others.
Once we have all the articles, advertisements and cartoons finished, we put them all together to create our newspaper. It’s a work in progress, but I love that it all adds up to one newspaper at the end of our study. And, the kids love seeing all their efforts in a finished project.
Take a Peek Inside Home School in the Woods
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Home School in the Woods Giveaway
One winner will receive the ENTIRE COLLECTION of both Project Passport (5) and Time Traveler (7) products—$311.90 VALUE! The winner can be anywhere in the world because this is a digital product.
Hi, I’m Dachelle. I’m a homeschooling mom of 3 in the South. I love chocolate and have been known to hide it from my children. I can often be found reading a good book (or even sometimes just an okay book) and enjoying a jar of Nutella — don’t judge. I blog, here, at HideTheChocolate.com when I’m not creating book clubs and making lists…lots and lots of lists (it’s an addiction). Learn more…