Homeschool Hacks: History and Geography for Elementary Kids

It’s been awhile since I posted anything schoolish. I generally don’t write unless I feel really strongly about something, and lately I am just so in love with my history resources that I really had to share them.  Oh, and of course you don’t have to be a homeschooler to use these!  They’re great for the whole family, whatever kind of school you choose.

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World History:

Story of the World, all. the. way. The ancient history we’re learning is just so so rich. I learn something new with every single lesson.

How is this a hack, you ask? Well, get yourself the Jim Weiss recordings and listen to this lovely book on CD with your children.

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Note: I know some Catholics take issue with the representation of the Catholic Church in Volume 2, but I can’t speak to that. We’re only in Vol 1.

Jim Weiss also has a ton of stories on CD that can be used as companions for The Story of the World. Greek Myths, Egyptian Myths, etc. Really, if you’re looking for car listening material, he’s your man.  His website, Greathall Productions has a handy “Timeline of Recordings” so you can choose something that goes with your time period.

(If you’d like to take it a little deeper, you can get the Evan-Moore History Pockets: Ancient Civilizations. My friend and partner in our co-op began using these a couple months ago and they are phenomenal.  They add depth to the lessons, and the kids end up with a cool book about everything they’ve learned.)

U.S. History:

Liberty’s Kids, for the win! We bought the set of all 40 cartoons for a song. Not an actual song, mind you, but we got it reeeeeeally cheap. (I just did a quick search and found it on target for $9.99 for all 40 episodes!)  The animation isn’t exactly Pixar-quality (it originally aired on PBS), but it works. I find that if I watch it with my 2 school-aged kids (grades 1 and 2) and explain it a little, it is easier for them to understand.  We do it when the boys are napping about once a week and they have learned a lot so far. My kids don’t get to watch any TV during the week, so this is a real treat. It involves absolutely no prep for me and the kids love it! Sign me up!

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Geography:

This isn’t the first time I’ve hailed the benefits of Geography Songs, but it bears repeating. Seriously, you guys. Buy this. Buy it now. My two year old can sing all the countries in Asia. I know, I know, I knooooow that doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of knowledge, but it does show exactly how easy it is to learn geography through song.

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The CD comes with a wall map, and a reproducible workbook with lyrics and black line maps. I usually pick a region to work on based on whatever we’re learning that week/month and then copy the handout. We listen to the CD in the car and then the girls color their maps, find them on our big world wall map, and sing some more. Bada bing, bada boom.  Geography, done.

That’s it from me, folks!  What are your favorite history and gegraphy resources?  Do, tell.  I simply must know.  (Uuuuuuhhhh, so sorry.  Can you tell I just finished an episode of Downton?)

 

Is it cheating for me to link up with Jessica at Housewifespice for What We’re Reading Wednesday when we’re not actually reading these but listening?  Oh well.  Call me a cheater then.  I’ve been called worse things by my own offspring today.

 

P.S. None of the links above are to my Amazon Affiliates link, and I get no commission from any links in this post.  If you’d like to support this tiny little blog, however, do feel free to use the Amazon link over on the right sidebar.  

Comments

  1. I love your history recommendations. We watched Liberty’s Kids when it used to be on Netflix :0( and we’ve listened to all four volumes of Story of the World. Since we listen together in the car it was easy to discuss where the Protestant authors have gotten the wrong idea about the Catholic Church. I think it’s an excellent resource.
    Kendra recently posted…I Find a Momo a Righ Dare: Frankie’s favorite Look and Find booksMy Profile

  2. I’ve had the Geography Songs in my wish list forever. I’d really like to get it soon! And yes, the CDs of SOTW are awesome. My kids know way more about history than I do just from those CDs!
    Mary recently posted…And Just Like That He’s Seven {A Dwarven Birthday}My Profile

  3. We love geography songs!! My kids have done them in two different coops and they definitely learn their geography!

    I’m torn on Story of the World. We haven’t use it because I heard about anti-Catholic bias in later volumes and my kids are very independent when it comes to history and they love, so I know they would just read it on their own, But, I might try it I would just have to read it myself first and discuss it with them.
    Amelia @ One Catholic Mama recently posted…The Definitive Guide As to What to Keep and What to Give Away when it Comes to Baby/Kid ClothesMy Profile

  4. We loooove Liberty’s Kids! The intro song ran through my head for months though! 🙂
    Divina recently posted…easy reading for lent and easterMy Profile

  5. We own L’s K and just recently decided to watch the entire series again as a family.At night right before we turn in, we’re watching one ep….and my kids are 11 almost 14 —my oldest is a tough customer when it comes to educational AND entertainment resources and he LOVES it…AGAIN! We bought the whole series on amazon years. ago. One great thing too about living where lots of Rev War spy stuff as well as actual battles went on too, is that we see right where our town is on the maps they show in the “previously” and also throughout the episodes! Pretty cool stuff. The education my dh and I never had, actually. Now we know why streets, waterways and etc have the names they do!! Never knew this stuff.
    We use SOTW…I even still read it aloud as a means of discussion to my oldest in gr 8. We’re finishing WWII now in volume 4
    I’ve seen geo songs. Will check it out…thank you!!!
    Great rec!

    Have a super day,
    Chris recently posted…TOS Review of Egglo’s Glow in the Dark Eggs~ “And the light shines in darkness…”My Profile

  6. Three subjects I’m looking for materials for next year! Thanks! What science recommendations do you have? 🙂

  7. I have the audio for SOTW Vol 1, and we got the Greek myths from the lieberry. The History Pockets are good? Adding to my cart… and geography songs…great! Audio books ARE books, silly. They always count.
    Jessica @ housewifespice recently posted…7 Quickish Takes – Second Friday in LentMy Profile

  8. Shoot. Can’t click on the Amazon thingy in your sidebar. Lemme know if it’s just me or it gets fixed.
    Jessica @ housewifespice recently posted…7 Quickish Takes – Second Friday in LentMy Profile

  9. Liberty’s Kids is 7.99 on Amazon (I just ordered the complete set!). Thanks for the recommendation.

    We love SOTW and Geography Songs too!
    Catherine recently posted…Made It! and Lent IdeasMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] history, I heavily relied on Micaela’s history and geography post: History and Geography for Elementary Kids.  We listened to the audio version of The Story of the World – Volume 1, and did some Unit […]

  2. […] I’m not sure what we’re going to do this year.  I’ve bought a bunch of CDs via Micaela’s suggestions here, so I think we might do unit studies…..or she’ll just end up listening to them over and […]