Sign up to receive 10 free downloadable workbooks! Sign Up

Social Studies Archives

Homeschooling the Presidency: Using Current Events as an Ongoing Unit Study

Homeschooling the U.S. Presidency

Are you homeschooling the presidency? No matter our political views, there are issues brought up by the 2016 U.S. election and current presidency that our children can learn from. As homeschoolers, we can help them learn about government through most of their homeschooling years, even without an official course. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: How to Host an International Student

How to Host an International Student

In an earlier post, I described how hosting an international exchange student can be a benefit to a homeschooling family. Today I’d like to tell you a little more about the nuts and bolts of hosting a student in the United States. These details can help you to know what to expect when hosting an exchange student and can ease the transition for the whole family. Continue reading »

Homeschool High School: Our 10th Grade Plan

Homeschool High School: Our 10th Grade Plan

From the feedback and questions that we get on our Facebook page, there is a great deal of interest in how to homeschool high school. This year my daughter is a sophomore in high school, and I thought it might be helpful to share our 10th grade plan with you. Contrary to popular belief, homeschooling high school is often easier than homeschooling younger grades. Students are older, more mature, and better able to manage their own academics. When they need assistance, the material is more difficult, but between teacher guides, online resources, and friends with a knowledge of the subject matter, we have not found this to be a problem. Continue reading »

PhoneSchooling: News Apps for Critical Thinking

More PhoneSchooling: News Apps for Critical Thinking

When I was in high school and college, my mom clipped newspaper and news magazine articles for me. She left them for me on the steps to my bedroom or put them in an envelope and mailed them to me at with a handwritten note in the margin — “Thought you’d be interested in this” or “What do you think about this news?” Today, I do something similar with my teen and twenty-something sons, only I do it electronically. Continue reading »

Contextual Learning: Homeschooling Through Fashion

Contextual Learning: Homeschooling Through Fashion

This year in my role as a homeschool evaluator, I met a number of tweens and teens who are interested in fashion. As we went through their portfolio of work and talked about their year, I was fascinated with the ways they had woven their interest in fashion with their academic studies. Two of the teens I met with had taken their interest in current fashion into the past — studying the typical dress and accessorizing of women and men in earlier periods of history. They also took their fashion interest international — studying the current typical dress of modern-day people in other parts of the world.

Both of these girls (who did not know each other — they had arrived at this independently) had done extensive research to be able to portray the styles of other times and other places, and they could explain how the fashion reflected the culture, religious beliefs, gender roles, classes and roles in society, and daily life. They were articulate about the historical times and geography of the world as they discussed the observations they had made about fashion in these distant centuries and far-off places. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom: Teaching Taxes to Kids

Homeschoolers and Tax Time

Tax time, in general, always provides a reminder to discuss how government works. Regular dinner table conversation at our house has always included tax issues. What is the world history of taxation? What is the U.S. history of taxation? How do governments justify their taxing authority? What services would our family miss if tax-funded agencies did not provide them? How would that differ from other families? Why is representation so important in a government that can tax its citizens? How was the American Revolution motivated by “taxation without representation?” How does “withholding” tax money from workers’ pay checks affect the impression tax payers have about their earnings and the amount of tax they pay? Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom: Alice Paul

Alice Paul and the Women’s Suffrage Movement

Election day is tomorrow and it got me thinking about how many people don’t bother to vote either because they don’t like the choices, they don’t think they can make a difference, or they simply don’t care. As a woman, I ponder the impact that Alice Paul and the women’s suffrage movement had on women’s rights. Women were jailed and beaten just up the road from me at what used to be the Occoquan Workhouse (later to be Lorton Federal Prison) in their fight for women to have the vote.
Continue reading »

Ancient Chinese Dynasties

China has been ruled by dynasties for thousands of years. A dynasty is a family in power that passes on control of the country from one generation to the next. Studying the dynasties of ancient and early imperial China is a great place to start to understand the history of this ancient civilization. Continue reading »

Choosing Your History Curriculum

For homeschool moms and other teachers who are able to choose their own history curriculum, selecting the book(s) that will keep you energized all year long is a crucial decision. Whether you call them spines, source books, core books, or textbooks, you can’t ignore the importance of having one all-encompassing history guide to keep you grounded and make sure you leave no obvious gaps. This book will reinforce the flow of events, even if your extended reading is chronologically a little before or behind it in time sequence. Continue reading »

How To Make a Timeline Easily

I receive many questions from new and veteran home educators over the course of a year.; In the past two months, however, there has been one question that has surfaced more than any other and that is… “How do we make a timeline?” This is a great question and armed with knowledge and the right tools, it is not as hard as it might seem. Continue reading »