Inclusive History Curriculums
There are several reasons that we homeschool. One of them, for me, is the opportunity to teach, as best as I can, a more inclusive history of the U.S. This was a big task when we started since I was only at the beginning of my own education in this space. Thankfully, resources are available and finding an inclusive history curriculum was a priority.
Two history curriculums – geared toward upper elementary and middle school – have been helpful to me for incorporating an inclusive perspective on the narrative of the U.S.’s emergence and development as a country.
First, full disclosure: I’m not a curriculum teacher. That is, I don’t purchase a curriculum (math is the exception) with the intent of working through it step-by-step. For history and science I choose the topics that we discuss, and then I use curriculum, books, and hands-on activities to create unit studies. This is how I’ve used – and continue to use – the content from these curriculums.
But both of these curriculums do support a full year of history education with an eye towards a wider range of consideration on the people, issues, and dynamics in U.S. history.
A Blessed Heritage Curriculum
Our History, HIS-Story (Primary Level, Vol. 1) and This Far by Faith (Intermediate Level, Vol. 1) are part of a history curriculum developed by Belinda Bullard at Blessed Heritage. Her work emphasizes literature and faith. I bought both of these books because I knew I needed a range of materials and ideas to engage my girls.
Our History, HIS-Story
Our History, HIS-Story provides 32 weeks of content for primary-level instruction. The outline of the weeks is at the beginning of the book and then moves through each week in more detail. Bullard provides activities, questions, recipes, and reading guidelines for each week as she walks educators through the content.
This volume follows the path from the “discovery” of the Americas to emancipation. The second volume picks up where the first volume ends and continues to the present. I’ve not reached that point in our history lessons so we’ve not purchased it yet.
The curriculum is distinctly Christian-based. Several of the weeks have questions that call on Bible knowledge to understand and interpret our modern historical moments.
Finally, my unit-study-heart was thrilled to find a list of African-American inventors and a book recommendation for identifying others. This is a unit study idea that I’ve dabbled with but not pursued in-depth. Also, Bullard includes a list, by state, of homeschool trips that emphasize African-American contributions.
This Far by Faith
This Far by Faith is designed for the middle-school range and has a more flexible and intensely literature-based feel. Bullard organizes this book differently as well, and I like the outline overall. This Far by Faith covers 36 weeks of history study, but she breaks it down in to five chunks or “books.”
An overview of the content for the upcoming weeks introduces each “book.” Outlines for the reading, related activities, and faith-based questions to consider follow each introduction.
If you are a literature/reading-centric homeschool, this curriculum is a good fit. The activities are not overwhelming and could be adapted to your timeframe and interest-levels without missing out.
Oh Freedom! Curriculum
Delina Pryce McPhaull at wokehomeschooling.com wrote Oh Freedom! Curriculum. She created both a faith-based and a secular version of the curriculum. It is available for purchase and download at wokehomeschooling.com. Grades 3-7 are the target grade levels.
Read McPhaull’s introduction to hear her heart and her passion for this topic. The curriculum covers 38 weeks, including 6 weeks of no reading to rest, take a field trip, or reflect further. She also acknowledges that it’s a lot more than can be accomplished in one year. Pace yourself and your family to get the most out of it.
Students connect with the content from a variety of platforms (ideal for different learning styles). Oh Freedom! includes video recommendations, music playlist suggestions, and online learning sites. In addition, each week has the reading broken down and questions and conversation ideas to explore.
I love that each week is a one-page summary that can easily be referenced or printed. The content neatly divides into four learning approaches: discover, read & explore, experience, discuss & reflect. So easy!
The content in Oh Freedom! covers U.S. history from native nations to the present. Manageable parts in chronological order make this huge undertaking possible. A comprehensive, well-organized, thoughtful, and resource-rich curriculum.
Sign-up on the website to receive a sample 3-week selection.
Next Steps towards Inclusive History
These two curriculums are solid foundations from which to teach a broader understanding of U.S. history. Reading lists, recipes, documentary content, and field trip ideas provide a wide-range of ways to engage with the content. If it seems overwhelming, it should. There’s a lot that I never saw in my own education. I’m grateful for resources to make a small step to correct and inform myself and my children.
Check out their websites for more information. I’ll list them below for a quick reference if you don’t want to go back through the post.
Educate yourself. Model humility. Read the resources and books listed in either of these inclusive history curriculum. Seek out other reading lists. Follow social media accounts that bring awareness to history and/or homeschooling with an eye towards developing a broad perspective of history.