I can’t remember, way back when I decided to homeschool Jake for 4th grade, how I came up with my social studies curriculum. But it’s a simple one, and we don’t use a textbook.
The theme of the year is States and Presidents. Lorelei will learn all 50 states and their capitals. She’ll also learn their postal abbreviations and will be able to fill them in on a map of the United States. Copying the list of states will provide handwriting practice while also aiding learning. Of course it won’t be all rote memorization–we will discuss facts about each state as we go. And then she’ll get to pick one and do a report on it.
We will also memorize all the Presidents, in order. Again, as we do that, we’ll be learning a few important things about each one. And we will discuss the events in American History that were happening during each administration. We won’t be using a textbook because we have numerous books about the states and the presidents that Lorelei can read selections from. And again, she will pick her favorite President and write a report about him.
Every time I studied American History in school–which I think happened in 4th, 7th, and 11th grades (at least), we’d start off strong, with the discovery of America, maybe, or perhaps the 13 colonies. But we always ran out of time before we reached the present day. I think we might have made it to World War II one time! I used to page ahead in the book to pictures of Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter and the Vietnam War and the moon landing and wonder if we’d ever read those parts, but alas.
So our method probably lacks a little of the depth but at least we will cover it all!