When I was in fourth grade, we learned about the Native Americans in my home state of California.
We read a standard text book. It briefly mentioned that a staple of their diet was acorns, ground into flour, and made into a paste for bread.
I remember being fascinated. We had acorns on a tree at my grandma’s house. I couldn’t wait to visit her, collect some, and try and make my own flour.
Thirty years later, I remember everything I learned about the daily life of early Californians.
I retained the information because of a simple hands-on activity.
I have chosen to partner with Bright Ideas Press this year, because I am sincerely impressed with their products. As a partner, I have been compensated for my time spent writing this review, but please know, all thoughts and comments are my own.
All American History and Hands-On Learning
As a homeschooling mom, I try to incorporate as many hands-on projects and activities as I possibly can into our learning. Partly because I know it works from my own school experience, and partly because my children’s learning differences essentially require it.
It can be overwhelming – the planning, the research, the Pinterest searches, the need for more creativity – it is not easy to come up with ideas for hands-on learning over and over again on my own.
My saving grace this year has been All American History, from Bright Ideas Press.
I had no idea when I first selected this product that the Family Activity Ideas portion of the program would be so comprehensive.
For every single history lesson in the program, there are two accompanying activities for out-of-the-box learning.
All of the work has been done for me. And the ideas are wonderful!
For instance, this month, we are studying Exploration.
The text itself shares information about what life was like for seaman in the 16th century and the very real threat of pirates (not just dates and events).
But the best part has been our learning, after reading through the text. Where a typical history curriculum ends, All American History is just getting started.
Family Activity Ideas For Hands-On History
In learning about exploration, we hunted for pirate treasure.
We tried living for an entire day as if we were on a ship, bound for the new world. (This did not last long, but made for some interesting conversation!)
The boys made hard tack, a sailor’s staple, and tried to eat it as a snack.
Then, we went outside at night and tried to find the North Star. We discussed the reality of explorers having to use the stars and planets to determine their location (vs. the GPS on my phone).
We are only one unit in, but I am very happy with this program.
It is my pleasure to share it with you!
(Next month, I will be sharing how this curriculum has been helpful for my oldest son as he continues to develop social skills. Because he is on the autism spectrum, how we incorporate other perspectives into our own understanding, is an essential part of his everyday learning and ongoing therapies. I have been pleased to see that All American History has helped him in this area. Stay tuned for more!)
All American History and Out-of-the-Box Learning
Right now, Bright Ideas Press is running a sale on All American History. The entire set is only $68.00. This includes the student reader, student activity book, and my favorite, the teacher guide complete with all the family activities.