Dave Raymond’s American History was a great fit for our multi-level homeschool. After using literature-based and classical curriculums for years, it was refreshing to take a break from prep and enjoy the benefits of digital curriculum.
I used Dave Raymond’s America History with a 10, 13, and 14-year-old, and we discovered a few things that helped us enjoy the curriculum and the subject. These things kept everyone engaged at their own level and made lots of wonderful homeschool memories.
Instead of having my kids work independently, I participated in all the lessons as a student. We always watched the video together and took turns reading the text aloud. We discussed many of the questions together, and I assigned specific questions as writing assignments once a week. Since I was actively participating in the class with my kids, I didn’t feel the need to use tests to evaluate their learning.
Mom, did you do your homework?
Portfolio activities were easy to adapt to each child. My kids used music, art, speeches, essays, and crafts to display their understanding of the lessons. Our portfolio project days turned into parties, and we looked forward to creating things together. It was also fun to use that time to listen to history dramatizations or stories.
Incorporating Living Books
I added biographies about key figures and historical fiction to our family reading list. We read the difficult books aloud, and I assigned easier books for independent reading. There are many great websites filled with grade-level reading lists on specific periods of history, and a quick chat with a children’s librarian is invaluable.
Field trips and other history-related events reinforced our lessons. We purchased a membership to The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village and made several visits. Watching reenactments of historical events helped us contextualize the history. It was also fun to purchase toys, costumes, and games that represented events in American History so my younger kids could play along.
A Much Needed Break for Mom
Multi-level teaching Dave Raymond’s American History gave me a break from presenting lessons. We have fond memories of piling on the couch each morning with our tea and notebooks to watch our history lesson. The topics and ideas we learned about gave us many interesting things to discuss and inspired us with a deep appreciation of our American heritage.
Author, Jessie Wiegand
Jessie is a mom of five who has been homeschooling since 2000. She loves serving the homeschool community and has been active as a support group leader and co-op teacher in southeast Michigan for over 15 years.