Inspired initially by a post by Jessica on "Very Mom", I saw an idea for a history notebook, using a composition book. We ran with this and, using a combination of my daughter drawing pictures and writing summaries and gluing in printables I found online, a history notebook was born.
By the end of the school year, we had a great chronicle of what had been studied! But I realized we could do so much more if not constrained by the limited space in a composition book. So as I brainstormed over the summer, I decided to purchase a 3" binder. I found a picture collage of American History images which I saved here, copied it onto Word and added my own title below and slipped it into the notebook.
Then very recently, I saw KarlaCook's idea at her blog Roads To Everywhere, where she does something similar using a notebook. I will likely inlcude some of her ideas too. Haven't decided yet if I will have my daughter put the Sonlight timeline figures in her notebook or in the Sonlight timeline. If she does it in the notebook, then world history events studied later won't be with them, so I'm leaning toward maintaining the timeline.
Another touch I'm adding this year, with the freedom a 3-ring binder gives us, is for my daughter to create "Period Dividers". I saw these free printable ones offered at The Crafty Classroom, but they are for world history, not US history. After doing a little searching and finding nothing similar for our needs, I've decided I'll just have my daughter create her own. Here's what she did today.
Before reading our history and read aloud titles (Pedro's Journal and Walk the World's Rim), we spent a little time talking about how the first peoples arrived here. I showed her this video about the Bering Sea land bridge theory. We talked about other ways that historians are discovering people took thousands of years ago to reach North and South America.
Then I provided her with an activity from this book that I'm now using for the second time through,
Interactive 3-D Maps: American History: Easy-to-Assemble 3-D Maps That Students Make and Manipulate to Learn Key Facts and Concepts-in a Kinesthetic Way! .
I love resources like this that can be used for multiple children! I first purchased this for one of my older children and saved it, so now I am using it again. This book has 3-D interactive maps to color and use that will coordinate with both Cores D and E. In fact, I also used one of them last year for Core C (the one about the Vikings).
Here's the map my daughter did today, and her narration about what we talked about.
One other thing I added in today that I want to share is what I can best describe as a "Poetry Story". I found this book, The Desert People, at a thrift store several years ago. I found it fitting to add into our Core D studies this year for two reasons. First, I like to have poetry to read every day, and this year's poetry book provided by Sonlight is only read once or twice a week. So I've looked for things to read at other times. Second, while set in more modern times (it was written in the 1960s), it gives a taste of the life of the Hopi living in the desert. Since in Walk the World's Rim we're reading about native peoples in that region of the country, I felt it would be a nice tie-in.
We're spreading this one out over two or three days. As I was reading it aloud, my daughter made a point to say that she found it very interesting. That pleased me and helped me feel I'd made a good choice to include it.
I just realized this week that this beautifully illustrated book was written by the same author as a retired Sonlight book (which I plan to fit in anyway, since I own it from the past 3 times I did this Core), Secret of the Andes. Some have found it a difficult and slow moving read, but I remember enjoying it greatly and look forward to reading it again to my youngest. I happened to find this beautifully done video summary of the book that I'll share here in closing for today,.