“Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it,”Winston Churchill, 1948.
With our nation at a crossroads, understanding our history has never been more important. In order to understand how to move forward, we need to understand what got us here. American History could be the most important subject that you teach this year. So here is a collection of our favorite American History books, resources, and curriculum options for homeschoolers.
History is no longer valued as a core subject. Many schools, including homeschools, consider it something extra for after you have finished the “important” work. Reading, math, and writing are the core of all education. However, learning history is never superfluous. US History homeschool curriculum is vital for raising informed, well rounded, and engaged adults. An informed populace is paramount in a democratic republic. Make time for history with these American History for homeschoolers resources and help preserve America’s future.
Living Books for US Homeschool History
Who says learning about history has to be boring? If the traditional history textbook just isn’t working for you, or you want to jazz up your current history study, consider adding living books. Living books teach through stories that have significant value beyond the story itself. Historical fiction is an excellent way to get students, and adults, interested in history, again.
Choose historical fiction that is accurate and realistic. Some of the books listed below have fantastical characters, such as the mouse in Ben and Me, however the facts and scenarios presented are accurate and true. These books could be used as supplemental reading, read-alouds, or an entire course. We highly recommend high quality audiobooks for the whole family to enjoy.
- We the People: The Story of Our Constitution by Lynne Cheney
- A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women by Lynne Cheney
- The Children’s Book of America by William Bennett
- Dear America series by Scholastic
- My Name is America series by Scholastic
- Ben and Me: An Astonishing Life of Ben Franklin and His Mouse Amos by Robert Lawson
- Mr Revere and I by Robert Lawson
- The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
- Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla
- Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
- Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
- Minn of Mississippi by Hollings C Holling
- Seabird by Hollings C Holling
- Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates
- Landmark Books series
- Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brinkl
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
- Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith
- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
- Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
- For You They Signed by Marilyn Boyer
- The American Adventure Series by Colleen L Reece
- Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie by Peter and Connie Roop
- Life in a Colonial Town by Sally Senzell Isaacs
- Childhood of Famous Americans Series
- If You Lived in…series
- With Lee in Virginia by G. A. Henty
- In the Heart of the Rockies: A Story of Adventure in Colorado by G. A. Henty
- Old Sam: Dakota Trotter by Don Alonzo Taylor
- Missionaries on the Frontier series
- Founding Voices for Freedom in the U.S. series
Reference Books and Original Source Documents for American History Curriculum
The best way to learn about history is to experience it firsthand. Original source documents are crucial to history studies. We need to understand what our history makers really said and did. Studying letters, newspapers, speeches, and documents give us a better picture of our past. It also grounds students in truth. If you know exactly what Lincoln said at Gettysburg or what is written in the Constitution, it is harder to be misled by misrepresentations. Don’t just take someone else’s word for it, go back to the source.
- 50 Core Documents that Tell America’s Story by Christopher Burkett
- Great American Documents series by Ruth Ashby
- A Patriot’s Handbook: Songs, Poems, Stories, and Speeches Celebrating the Land We Love by Caroline Kennedy
- The Federalist Papers
- Our Country’s Founders by William Bennett
- Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
- Accessible Archives
- National Archives
US History Homeschool Curriculum Options:
Are you looking for something more structured? History does not require a textbook, but it does make homeschooling easier. So, if you want a complete, done-for-you curriculum option, check out the list below. Most of these options can be used with multiple ages at once, making it easier to fit history study into your already busy day. Also, these represent a variety of homeschooling styles.
There are so many curriculum options. It can be overwhelming to choose just one. So here are some tips for choosing a good history curriculum. First, how in-depth is the information? You want a curriculum or textbook that goes beyond the basic facts. This is important for understanding why and how certain events in history occurred. Second, does it fit your style? Do you want to read aloud a large stack of books or would you rather have a textbook laid out for you with questions at the end of each chapter? Some people like to have testing booklets and workbooks, some do not. Decide what will work best for your homeschool so that history will become an enjoyable subject, not something you have to survive.
- Land of Our Lady Series
- The Landmark History of the American People series by Daniel J Boorstin
- The Light and the Glory/ From Sea to Shining Sea/ Sounding Forth the Trumpet
- Memoria Press History
- A History of Us
- The History of the World Series by Susan Wise Bauer
- RC History
- The Story of Civilization: Volume 4
- Declaration Statesmanship: A Course in American Government
- Our Pioneers and Patriots by Philip J. Furlong
- Christ and the Americas by Ann Carroll
- America The Last Best Hope Series
American History Online Courses:
Homeschooling doesn’t mean that a parent has to teach every subject. Online courses are a perfect way to expand your horizons without leaving home. These are an excellent option for older students or busy, working parents. Also, if you don’t feel confident teaching a particular subject, online courses are a perfect solution.
Online classes fall into two categories, live and pre-recorded. Live classes are perfect for a student who wants to engage with the instructor and fellow students. Also, it is a scheduled course, making time management easier. Pre-recorded courses offer more flexibility, but less interaction. If you want to complete a course at your own pace or can’t commit to a set time each week, pre-recorded courses are a perfect option for you.
Here are some of the current courses from Judah Catholic Academy. Be sure to check back as courses are being added regularly: