Today at the American Heritage Festival we witnessed a re-enactment of a Revolutionary War skirmish. 90% of the battles that took place in that war were small-scale skirmishes much like we witnessed.
As a mother, my perspective observing is much different than what I would have felt when I was younger. Seeing these young men fall on the battlefield brought tears to my eyes. I felt silly knowing that it was all pretend. Why do I get so emotional! I tried to subtlety wipe my eyes lest anyone see me tearing up over a fake battle.
But I’ll tell you what made me so emotional was the thought of how real it truly was. Our forefathers actually lived and many died for this cause. They made the ultimate sacrifice to secure our liberties. And we didn’t do anything to deserve it. It was freely given and freely received all because of our birth and the blessing it is to be born in this country.
And then I thought of how many people today reject these liberties. They line up with open arms to give them back to the government. They care nothing of the sacrifice that was made for them. Perhaps they do not even know.
This is why the left wants to erase American history from classrooms. This is why they want to tear down the statues. They want us to forget. They want to erase and start over, devoid of God and freedom. And this is why we must diligently teach our children. Teach them about the sacrifices that the great men and women of our country lived and died for. And teach them about the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus. Most of all teach them Jesus.
Our laws are modeled after the laws of the Bible. Or atleast they used to be until the revisionist judges and liberal legislators came in and created some terrible ones. But at the heart, America is a Christian nation, modeled after the truth in the Bible.
Learning the history of the Bible, and the martyrs that followed is so important. Learning the history of America, what the pilgrims endured. What the founders created and fought for. What Lincoln fought for to preserve the Union. It is worth fighting for. We honor their memory and their sacrifice when we go to the American Heritage Festival. It is not just a fun field trip outing. It is that, for sure. But it is so much more. We must never forget.
“Give me liberty, or give me death!”-Patrick Henry, 1775
“I only regret, that I have but one life to lose for my country.”–Nathan Hale, his dying words 1776
Curriculum for American History and Patriotism
For Kindergarten-2nd I recommend really great picture books to begin the spark of loving our country.
Kindergarten, First, and Second Grade American History Homeschool Curriculum
- Star Spangled Banner by Peter Spier
- D is for Democracy
- Abe’s Fish
- Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books
- The Very First Thanksgiving Day
- This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story
- The Thanksgiving Story
- Squanto & the Miracle of Thanksgiving
- Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans
3rd Grade American History Curriculum
Continue learning about American history from authors who are passionate about their subject matter. The books below are great read-a-louds.
- Leif the Lucky
- Meet Christopher Columbus
- The Cabin Faced West
- Meet George Washington
- Sarah, Plain and Tall
- Daniel Boone
- Meet Thomas Jefferson
- The Bears on Hemlock Mountain
- Benjamin Franklin
- Meet Abraham Lincoln
- Clara Barton
- Riding the Pony Express
- Helen Keller
- Laura Ingalls Wilder
- A Penny’s Worth of Character
3rd grade is a wonderful time to begin learning about the states and memorizing them. This States & Capitals Curriculum does exactly that in a two year span (or can be done in 1 year for older children at an accelerated pace).
4th Grade American History Homeschool Curriculum
Continue learning the States and Capitals and continue reading wonderful American history novels. By this age, most of the students can read these books independently, although many lend themselves as great read-a-louds as well.
- Ben and Me
- Mr. Revere and I
- Liberty: How the Revolutionary War Began
- Louisa May Alcott
- Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin
- The Sign of the Beaver
- Molly Pitcher
- The Wright Brothers
- Caddie Woodlawn
5th Grade American History Homeschool Curriculum
By now they will have completed the States & Capitals curriculum, this is a good time to go through the States & Capitals Review booklets. Designed to be much quicker than the original curriculum they went through in two years, this is completed in one year.
Additionally, some excellent chapter books they can read throughout the entire school year:
- The Landing of the Pilgrims
- Madeleine Takes Command
- The Witchcraft of Salem Village
- Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia
- The American Revolution
- Guns for General Washington
- Calico Bush
6th Grade American History Homeschool Curriculum
7th Grade American History Homeschool Curriculum
Middle School is a great year to begin a formal study of American History using a well written textbook. Textbooks can be rather dry, especially when written by a conglomerate of authors. This one is written from the perspective of one passionate author who tells the history of American history from a conservative, passionate voice, very much in the manner of a story.
The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic by H.A. Guerber
The guide books are also linked in the above and will take the students through reading some really important primary sources in addition to their history reading in the “enrichment” section for each chapter. Things that every American should read atleast once:
- The Mayflower Compact
- The Gettysburg Address
- The Constitution of the United States of America (including the Bill of Rights)
- and many more
Additionally, I highly recommend the 200 Questions about American History set that is designed to go with Guerber’s American History. It covers 200 of the most important facts to know about our American History as well as 50 quotes every American should know (such as the two I cited above), and also they create a time line.
Eighth Grade American Literature and Poetry
After taking a deep dive into American History last year, now is a great time to really revel in the authors that told the stories of America, and the poets who put America into verse.
- Wind in the Willows
- Tom Sawyer
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
- Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
- My Side of the Mountain
What better time than to learn the old-world elegance of Irving’s prose or the range of Poe’s Romanticism. To be warmed by the Fireside poets—Longfellow, Whittier, and Holmes. The rich and varied authenticity of American literature is covered thoroughly in this anthology and extensive study. Students not only read the poetry and short stories, but are guided step by step to come to the “central one idea” the meaning and intent the author is trying to convey.
Poetry & Short Stories: American Literature Set
- Washington Irving (“Rip Van Winkle”, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”)
- Edgar Allan Poe (“To Helen”, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, “The Raven”)
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (“A Psalm of Life”, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”, “Paul Revere’s Ride”)
- Oliver Wendell Holmes (“The Chambered Nautilus”)
- Sidney Lanier (“Song of the Chattahoochee”)
- James Russell Lowell (“The Heritage”)
- Richard Hovey (“The Sea Gypsy”)
- Ernest Lawrence Thayer (“Casey at the Bat”)
- John Greenleaf Whittier (“In School Days”)
- Emily Dickinson (“Because I Could Not Stop for Death”, “I’m Nobody! Who Are You?”, “The Pedigree of Honey”)
- Carl Sandburg (“Fog”, “Chicago”)
- O. Henry (“The Gift of the Magi”, “The Ransom of Red Chief”)
- Amy Lowell (“Sea Shell”)
- Robert Frost (“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, “The Road Not Taken”)
- and more
Ninth and Tenth Grade Bible and Church History Homeschool Curriculum
Patriotism is useless without the Bible. The Bible is the foundation for our country. Even some of the more “agnostic” founding fathers would confess that the Bible is the most moral book ever written and the bedrock of our society. Our democracy cannot function without Christianity. The atheists are in the dark, their hearts turned to wickedness. The cross is foolishness to them and foolishness is bound up in their hearts. They turn to the government to be their god. Our republic was not meant for the wicked and godless to be in leadership. Many states laws required that those in government must be Christian. How far we have strayed from that. Now you can even be sworn in by the Koran.
If you have not yet started your children on reading the entire Bible, with the goal of Biblical literacy, now is certainly the time. There are many 1, 2 or 3 year Bible reading plans you can begin with. Pick one and get started! Include Bible memorization as a goal.
I recommend a Church history course this year as well. This will take them through the foundations of Christianity, through the American “Great Awakening” of the 1700s, the Billy Graham crusades of the 20th century, and the modern evangelicals.
This book is written from a good conservative perspective (like most histories, the author can speak into the history their agenda):
I would also recommend interweaving Foxe’s Book of the Martyrs. It will coincide with the Church History. It is so important the children learn the sacrifices that were made so the gospel can be made known to all.
DC Talk made a modern version of Foxe’s book and contains modern martyrs. The stories will touch your very core. Grab a box of tissues.
Jesus Freaks: Martyrs: Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus: The Ultimate Jesus Freaks
11th Grade American History Homeschool Curriculum
Continue reading great American novels like Little Women, diving deep with corresponding literature guides to pull out the greater meanings.
Learn about the last 300 years of American Music.
Now is a great time to take another deep dive into American History–once and for all in their highschool career. This is often when many students will take the American History AP course with the goal of taking the AP test at the end of the year for AP credit.
This two-year course will prepare them for a thorough study of American History from a conservative perspective and/or prepare them if so desired to take the AP test (it can be condensed into one year, recommended for twelfth grade).
Begin Year 1:
A Concise History of the American Republic
or I also really, really like Larry Schweikert – his online course on American History (Part 1: Discovery Through Reconstruction) is great. And he has a similar history book that is very good: A Patriot’s History® of the Modern World, Vol. I: From America’s Exceptional Ascent to the Atomic Bomb: 1898-1945
12th Grade American History Homeschool Curriculum
Finish the second year of the Concise History:
A Concise History of the American Republic: Year Two, Since 1865 Set
I also really like Larry Schweikert’s Wild World of History: American History – Part 2 (Reconstruction Through Modern Era) online history course. And he has a similar history book: Patriot’s History® of the Modern World, Vol. II: From the Cold War to the Age of Entitlement, 1945-2012
Music History: Exploring America’s Musical Heritage