History, Holidays, Living Books

The First New England Christmas

“The First New England Christmas: A Story of Life in the Colonies” by Stone & Frickett (PDF ebook)

Today’s resource is this excellent short story of the first Christmas in New England, in the year 1620. If you’ve been curious as to how the early Pilgrims celebrated Christmas, read this – you may be surprised at what you discover!

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.


Children of Ancient Rome

Here’s a classic story/history book set in the early years of ancient Rome, providing a fascinating view of that civilization’s early history, through the eyes of children growing up in that historic era. A fascinating mix of Roman history, legends and lore… it really makes ancient Roman history come alive – especially from a young person’s perspective.

This PDF is a scanned copy of the original book, and so is best viewed on a computer.

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


The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere

Paul Revere, famous American revolution patriot, is most remembered today for his night-time ride before the battles of Lexington and Concord. His famous “Midnight ride” took place on the night of April 18, 1775 – exactly 244 years ago next Thursday. William Dawes and Revere were instructed by Dr. Joseph Warren to ride from Boston to Lexington to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams of the movements of the British Army. Today’s  resources celebrate both the man and the events of that night.

Listen My Children (MP3 audio) – FIRST UP up this a great half hour audio story about Revere’s life and influence,including the events of that fateful night, as originally dramatized on the radio program “Cavalcade of America”, in December, 1952.

CLICK HERE to listen to this MP3 audio program!

“Listen My Children” Listening Guide (PDF ebooklet) -NEXT you’ll want to use our PDF “Listening Guide” that accompanies the audio program.

CLICK HERE to read or download the PDF listening guide.

Paul Revere’s Ride (MP3 audio) – Finally, we have a SECOND classic audio for you… a great dramatic reading of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s classic poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride” as performed by Frederic March. This is an excellent dramatic reading of this classic American poem and runs about 10 minutes.

CLICK HERE to listen to “Paul Revere’s Ride”!

Arts & Crafts, History

History Crafts

FirstPalette.com is a free children’s craft site, with hundreds of colorful step-by-step craft projects for young students.

If you search a bit (mainly under the category “World and Culture” which we link to here), you’ll find a couple dozen neat history-oriented craft projects, including the Egyptian hieroglyphic stones, Roman helmets, Chinese art scrolls, Medieval Crowns, and many more. These would be great to do when studying different historic eras or other countries.

CLICK HERE to go to the site!


The Lessons & Legacy of World War II

“The Lessons and Legacy of World War II” is a collaboration between the Friends of the National WW II Memorial and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The primary source based lessons here explore five themes of World War II:

The Beginnings of World War II
The United States Home Front during WW II
Letters from American men and women on the battle front
Pivotal battles and the turning of the tide
Victory and the legacy of WW II

Each downloadable lesson includes important historical background and context for the teacher, cross reference to the National Standards of United States History, an essential question to be explored by students, objectives for student learning, related documents, learning activities for student engagement.

CLICK HERE to go to the site!


In the Days of the Guild

Today’s resource is this great historical storybook, set in 13th Century Europe, telling the stories of different boys and girls who came to learn and master different trades through apprenticeship to different craftsmen and merchant guilds. These stories run the gamut of many of the main crafts and industries of the Medieval period, including scribes, wool merchants, stained glass artisans, goldsmith, potter, goose girl, perfumer, musician, and many more.

The book includes lots of excellent illustrations with some color plates too. A wonderful “living history” book that really brings the times to life through the stories of these young people finding their “calling” in life, 13th Century style.

Note: This is a scanned PDF of the original printed book, so it may not be viewable on a phone or portable device. We suggest downloading to a computer.

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


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.


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.