Tuesday, July 8, 2008

History by the President

At Currclick, I found a booklet encouraging learning all the presidents in order. I couldn't see why that would matter all that much, the book is $5.99 which I think is too much. When I put that thought with another one I found (and can't remember where!), I think it's a great idea after all. The original idea I found was one about learning history according to what happened during each president's term in office. This is something I do think would work.

To make myself feel a little ridiculous, I just found a couple of nights ago in my books from storage, I already have a book that does exactly that! I would post the title but I seem to have misplaced it for the moment...found it, it's Mr. President - A Book Of U.S. Presidents by Scholastic Biography.

I have an e-book from Currclick right now that I've been using for D over the past week called An Overview of the 19th Century; I have the next one also - overview of the 20th. I'm using this to go back over and summarize the things he's learned so far during the school year and then as a guide for the next. If I can mix these two, I think it will work quite well.

I still want to keep having him read the American Adventure series - he doesn't like them but it adds atmosphere. I enjoy them personally. There are way too many typos and misspellings in some of the books depending on the author of that particular book, but I still consider them worth reading. These books take children of that time and put them in the situation of such things as dealing with losing many of their family and friends to epidemics; shortages and fear during the Revolutionary War; losing homes during the Depression; what happens to their Japanese friends during WWII; and many other realities of history. The children are frequently involved in efforts to help the homeless, help women get the vote, risking their lives to warn blacks about to be mobbed, etc. The books get more interesting to me the later in history they go. The early books are constrained by the simple lives lived then - how much can you write about a kid who does chores all day? They've managed pretty well but I'm waiting for D to get to some of the later books.