I'm working on my daughter's social studies for this year. I've found several resources on the way. I often ask myself, "Why am I doing this? Why am I not buying a premade curriculum?" I've read several books about homeschooling on a shoestring and lots of blog posts about it and realize that the money you save by not buying books, you spend in time. So, there has to be some other reason...
I've come to the conclusion that I enjoy the search. I enjoy thinking through a topic and getting on top of it before my children study it. I enjoy developing a big picture of the topic.
Last year, Autumn studied the 1700s of American History. This year, my goal is to cover the 1800s and 1900s. So far, I have compiled up to 1850 and am working on the Civil War. Here's a list of free resources I've found that I've liked. I'm using a very brief book titled Kids' Guide to American History to give my daughter a brief (very brief) idea of the outline of American History and then we're going to dig into more specific events.
Oregon Trail Unit
Oregon Trail Game
Civil War Unit
I'm using pages from the middle school curriculum. I don't have Microsoft Office anymore so I can't view the powerpoint presentations, but I still found some great activities and worksheets to use.
These are the pages I printed from the middle school curriculum:
from the elementary curriculum: 22-23,96-98
Additional Civil War Resources I'm using:
Slang of the Civil War: http://www.citrus.k12.fl.us/staffdev/social%20studies/PDF/Slang%20of%20the%20American%20Civil%20War.pdf
For Reconstruction and Industrial Revolution, I'm using a book titled Everyday Life: Reconstruction to 1900 by Walter Hazen.
Bio of Jane Addams: http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=4948
I'm asking my daughter to write an outline and one paragraph summary including birthdate/death, significant life events and significant achievements of Jane Addams.
Women's Rights Unit:
I like this unit because it uses primary sources.
Printed Letter from Phyllis Shafly: http://www.eagleforum.org/era/pdf/ERA-Letter.pdf
To end this unit, I am going to ask my daughter to write her own persuasive paper either pro or con-the ERA.
World War I
http://www.easyfunschool.com has a list of activities for WWI.
The Great Depression
World War II
Great Readings on World War II!: http://www.ducksters.com/history/world_war_ii/
www.ducksters.com has some great readings.
Civil Rights Unit from the Homeschool Den. There are several different and great packets on this site for elementary age.
John F Kennedy
Types of Government: http://mms.springbranchisd.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=rVj9HkM6QjM=
Good selection of readings on www.ducksters.com
20th Century Summaries
http://www.eduplace.com/ss/socsci/md/books/bke2/ilessons/index.html I like these because they use key terms in short and easy to read summaries. They covered a lot of topics I wanted to address, but couldn't find printable readings on the web for.
Some Useful Maps
Great Timeline Worksheets
Scholastic has one online, but I like the ones on this page better: http://timvandevall.com/printable-history-timeline-worksheets-for-classrooms-social-studies/
Great Timeline Site
I printed pages 8 and 32 and some of the information from the first few pages to explain why we use stamps. Then, I looked up and printed page 1 from here: http://www.mrbrandl.com/downloads/stampsubjects.pdf
I am going to ask my daughter to circle which of the twelve guidelines she thinks she should follow in completing this assignment and then discuss it with me prior to designing a stamp for each decade from 1800-Present (the period she's going to be studying this year). There's a lot of information on the art of design in this packet and it would be a great cross-curriculum art lesson from the postal museum!
I used this worksheet: http://www.bellesprintables.com/FreeTemplates/PostageStampTemplate_Belle.jpg, cut out two of the strips, made a new copy of this page on my printer, and then wrote the number above for each decade from our history we're covering.
http://www.eduplace.com/activity/ In putting together my materials, I found myself at a loss for some fun assessments and activities. The lessons on this page gave me some great ideas that I could modify.