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California History Homeschool Curriculum: History Through Literature

California History Homeschool Curriculum: History Through Literature

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If you are looking to add a rich and fascinating state study to your homeschool you may want to consider a California History Homeschool Curriculum.

Learn why and how we use children’s books to study the beautiful state of California.

Around California with Children's Books

*Continue to the end of this post and enter to win a Beautiful Feet Books $100 store credit. 10 winners will receive a $100 store credit to use at Beautiful Feet Books!

This post is sponsored by Beautiful Feet Books. I was sent this curriculum and was compensated for my time and work. As always, all opinions are my own. Read the full disclosure policy here.

Why Study California in Your Homeschool

Being from the south, California isn’t the most obvious choice of states to study in our homeschool. I have no personal connection to the state (that I can think of) and have never visited the west coast.

However, my lack of experience with the state is fuel for my interest in learning more about America’s most populous state.

Home to about one-eighth of the country’s population, The Golden State is rich in history, resources, and culture.

In the state of California alone, one can find sandy beaches, cliffs, mountains, valleys, forests dressed in redwood trees, farmlands, and deserts.

Just as varied as its physical features are the people groups living in the 31st state. This provides considerable learning opportunities about culture, history, and cuisine for children learning about the state.

Around California with Children’s Books Pack: A History of The Golden State

Around California with Children’s Books is a California History homeschool curriculum. The curriculum uses delightful children’s books to teach children about the history and features of California.

Like all the literature packs from Beautiful Feet Books, education is based on nurturing the child’s ability to learn through stories.

Because history itself is a collection of stories, I find this approach of having history come to life through well-written children’s books to be effective and preferable in our homeschool.

Designed for intermediate students (4th-6th grade), Beautiful Feet Books Around California with Children’s Books Pack takes the students through a study of art, poetry, geography, music, and the culinary history of California. Students will also learn about the animals and nature that are indigenous to the state.

For residents of the Golden State, this course fulfills the California History requirement for fourth or fifth grade.

The California study pack includes :

1 Teacher Guide, 22 beautiful children’s books related to and about California, and 1 Blank Composition Notebook.

Teacher Guide

California State Study

The teacher guide lays out a year-long literature-based study of California. It includes about 80 lessons. 2-3 lessons are to be completed each week for one year of study.

The guide includes chapter book notes, that feature questions to prompt discussion. Answers are found in the back of the guide.

The Teacher’s Guide is divided into the following seven sections:

  1. The Ice Age
  2. The California Indians
  3. Discovery and Explorations
  4. The Mission Era
  5. Pathfinders and Pioneers
  6. The Gold Rush and The Transcontinental Railroad
  7. The 20th Century to Contemporary

Each of the seven sections in the study features a selection of animals for the student to study. Beautiful drawings of the animals are included at the back of the guide. I print them onto quality card stock for my son to watercolor and add to his journal

Timeline Figures, The California Story Poem, and The California Map are included in the guide. The timeline figures and map are to be printed out onto heavy watercolor or card stock weight paper.

Beautiful Children’s Books about California

All of the books included in the California History Homeschool Curriculum are either classic works, award-winning books, or newer books with stories that are integral to California’s history.

The core of this study is made up of chapter books with the study being enhanced by picture books. Each book is intended to be read aloud.

California History Children's Books

The following are the 22 books included in the study:

  • Once Upon A Mastodon
  • The Discovery of the Americas
  • California Indians
  • Adopted by Indians
  • Inside the Blue Dolphins
  • The Story of California The Cruise of the Arctic Star
  • The Story of California
  • Song of the Swallows
  • Junipero Serra: Founder of California
  • Missions Patty Reed’s Doll
  • Jessie Benton Freemont California Pioneer
  • By the Great Horn Spoon
  • Rider’s of the Pony Express By Moody
  • John Muir: America’s First Environmentalist
  • Coolies
  • Locomotive
  • With Open Hands: A Story About Biddy Mason
  • Blue Willow
  • Who Was Walt Disney
  • The Forest in the Trees
  • Who Was Steve Jobs
  • Esperanza Rising

Journal for Charlotte Mason Style Notebooking

Around California with Children’s Books is accompanied by a lovely blank composition notebook. The notebook is the student’s journal where they record what they learn. Students will also paste artwork, maps, historical figures, nature drawings, and poetry.

Students should complete rough drafts beforehand and display only their best work in the notebook.

I love the quality of the journal and appreciate that it lays flat when opening. This makes it comfortable for my son to work with.

The journal is for the child’s enjoyment and it is encouraged that you relax expectations and allow the student to be creative with them.

At the end of the study, students will have a lovely memorable keepsake of their study of California.

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