History

Eyewitness to History

Eyewitness to History is, as the site proclaims, “Your ringside seat to history – from the Ancient World to the present. History through the eyes of those who lived it.” This site contains a multitude of first-hand accounts of people and events throughout history, and could be a terrific resource to really make your specific historical studies come alive for your students.

Caveat: This is a general history site for readers of all ages, and is NOT specifically a homeschooling site. Some of the articles on the site would not be suitable for your students – such is the nature of history – so some parental supervision would be suggested. Also there are ads on the site you have to navigate around.

Here’s a sample from just one of the hundreds of articles, videos and audios on this great site, on what it was like when Teddy Roosevelt & his family moved into the White House in 1901. We loved this one:

Just shy of his forty-third birthday, Roosevelt was the youngest president to move into the White House. He, his wife and six children brought an energetic enthusiasm and vibrancy previously unknown in the presidential mansion. Along with the family came a virtual menagerie of pets – including dogs, birds and a pony. The Roosevelt’s soon completely occupied the place making it their home and stamping it with their own unique imprint. Leaving the White House in 1909, TR remarked: “I don’t think any family has enjoyed the White House more than we have.”

…One of the favorite stunts of the children was to crawl through the space between ceilings and floors where no living being but rats and ferrets had been for years. They took delight also in roller-skating and bicycle-riding all over the house, especially on the smooth hardwood floors. Practically every member of the family, with the exception of the President and Mrs. Roosevelt, had a pair of wooden stilts, and no stairs were too well carpeted or too steep for their climbing, no tree too high to scramble to the top, no fountain too deep to take a dip, no furniture too good or too high to use for leapfrog and horseplay, no bed was too expensive or chair too elegantly upholstered to be used as a resting place for the various pets in the household…

CLICK HERE to go to the site

Audio, History

The True Story of Typhoid Mary

Mary Mallon, a cook for several well-to-do families, seemed a healthy woman when a health inspector knocked on her door in 1907, yet she was in actuality the cause of several deadly typhoid outbreaks – and before long, she would become known as the infamous “Typhoid Mary”. (Did you notice the “eggs” she is cooking in this vintage illustration?)

Ready to listen to one of the most astounding stories in early 20th century American history? John Nesbitt, in these two episodes of his classic old time radio program, “The Passing Parade”, examines the amazing true story of Mary Mallon, aka “Typhoid Mary”. These two 10 minute mp3 audio programs are great (and somewhat scary) “living history” that your kids – especially older ones – will really enjoy.

To listen to Part One, click here.

To listen to Part Two, click here.

You can also read more about Typhoid Mary here.

Audio, History, Inventions

The Slate that Didn’t Break

Here’s an excellent audio story about an almost forgotten pioneer American Inventor, Thomas Blanchard, whose inventions revolutionized modern manufacturing. Blanchard was a real handful as a boy. He was thrown out of school for rowdiness, and burned down his family’s kitchen trying to “invent” his own blacksmith’s kiln. His punishment for these offenses… to be apprenticed to his brother, hammering out tacks twelve hours a day in his factory. But what Thomas did next changed the course of the industrial revolution forever, as you will hear in this great 15 minute audio dramatization!

To download this MP3 Audio program, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save link” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save the file to your mac.

Bonus Audio Resource: For more info on Blanchard, click here for another short audio program about his inventions.

History

The Underground History of American Education

Here’s a free edition of John Taylor Gotto’s classic book, The Underground History of American Education, as posted on the Lew Rockwell website. It is terrific.

History, Holidays, Living Books

The Christmas of 1776

The Christmas of 1776: A Young Maiden’s Story by Anne Hollingsworth Wharton (PDF ebook)

Today’s resource is this delightful short story of a young girl’s Christmas experiences during the tumultuous time of the American Revolution, taken from the book “A Last Century Maiden” by Anne Hollingsworth Wharton. Lots of fascinating history and details of old-time holiday celebrations make this story a great read-aloud for the whole family! Check it out!

To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save to your mac.

History, Nature Studies, Physics, Science

OLogy!

OLogy! is a science website for kids from the American Museum of Natural History. “OLogy” means “the study of”, and the site has a several extensive collections of resources, games, hands-on activites and videos covering Anthropology, Archaeology, Astronomy, Biodiversity, the Brain, Genetics, Marine Biology, Microbiology, Physics, Zoology and more.

The “OLogy! For Educators” section also provides teacher resources to help you build lesson plans and unit studies around various topics of interest.

CLICK HERE to go to the website!

History, Math

Free Subscription to American Heritage Magazine

One of our favorite history publications for the past 50+ years was American Heritage, “the distinguished magazine of history”. Their lavishly illustrated articles on all things American – history, values, ingenuity and culture – are just great.  After ceasing publication of the physical magazine in 2016, it has returned in an online format.  The magazine is currently offering free subscriptions to the new digital version of American Heritage. Subscribers receive free digital issues and newsletters as they are published, plus access to over 7,000 articles and essays in their archives.  The newsletters will be once-a-month emails with history news, reviews, and other items of interest.

CLICK HERE to go to the website!

History, Holidays

The Thanksgiving Story

The Thanksgiving Story by Teri Ann Berg Olsen

Knowledge House is offering this free PDF history of the  holiday which includes lots of original Thanksgiving-related documents & stories, including:

The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving, The Mayflower Compact, The First Ever National Thanksgiving Proclamation, Continental Congress Thanksgiving Proclamation, Washington‘s Thanksgiving Proclamation, Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, The First Thanksgiving (from “Stories of the Pilgrims”), Thanksgiving Picture Study, Pilgrim Timeline, Pilgrim Trivia, Thanksgiving Poems, Prayers, Quotations, Scriptures, Worksheets, Activities, and more. Whew!

Click here to go to their download page!

History

Adventures in Jamestown

Two fun interactive history sites for you today, about the settlement of Jamestown:

In 1606, some 105 adventurers set off from England to try and establish the first permanent English colony in the New World. They settled in what is now the state of Virginia and called their colony first James Fort, and then James Towne, in honor of James I, the King of England. The early years of the colony were nearly a total disaster. Almost half of the settlers died due to poor choices in settlement location, management of resources, and quarrels with the indigenous Powhatan Indians.

What if you were the Captain of the Jamestown Colony? In this simple interactive online game, you can make your own decisions and see where they lead you. Can you do any better than the real colonists? You will have a copy of the London Company’s Instructions to help guide you. Also, you can ask your fellow colonists and the Native Americans for advice. Be careful, though, because some advice is better than others!

CLICK HERE to go to the site

ON THE TRAIL OF CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH, from the National Geographic for Kids website, follows Captain Smith and the other settlers as they journey to the new world and found Jamestown. There’s several mini-games and videos about the challenges they faced in this fun interactive adventure.

CLICK HERE to go to the site