I received these books free of charge, but all opinions are entirely my own and I was not required to post a positive review of these products.
If your child has an obsession, whether it be an animal, a hobby, a book, or a tv show, you should most certainly try to capitalize on that interest by incorporating it into your homeschool. One of the many beauties of the homeschooling lifestyle is the ability to go on rabbit trails, off the beaten path, by using anything and everything to make learning relevant and interesting.
Unit studies can easily be created from a simple collection of books. So, in the spirit of my son’s favorite show, Doctor Who, this collection of books that I’d like to introduce you to is a compilation that can take your child not only around the world, but through time as well.
History has always been one of my son’s favorite subjects, but I personally know several families who have children who hated studying history until they discovered Doctor Who. The Doctor and his friends showed these children how amazing the past really is.
Candlewick Press has always been one of my favorite publishers. Started by a Londoner in his spare bedroom in the 1970’s, Candlewick is not only one of those companies that you want to devour books from, but one of those companies that you truly feel good about supporting. They are independently owned by the employees, authors, and illustrators, and they have a staunch commitment to not publishing what we homeschoolers like to call twaddle.
Who Do You Think You Are? Be a Family Tree Detective fromDan Waddell
Genealogy is a very big part of my life and Who Do You Think You Are? is one of MY favorite shows. This book is an adorable introduction to the process of tracing your roots. Almost every page has some sort of hands on activity, like lifting the flap, envelopes to open, maps to pull out.
There are lots of tips that can teach families how, where, and why to investigate.There is even a specialmini keepsake treasure book in the back. It is like two books in one.
The History of Money: From Bartering to Banking by Martin Jenkins
This book will take you an adventure of the history of currency. From shellstoclay tokens (even IOUs written on clay tablets!), precious metals, coins, and modern paper money. You’ll learn abouttaxes, interest, credit cards, exchange rates, inflation and so much more.This is a great book for math, history, economics and even logic.
One of my favorite quotes from Doctor Who is when he said that every person is a story. Well, every building is a story as well. This book will take you back in time to explainwhy and how people start making buildings. You’ll learn the fascinatingstories of remarkable buildings and the amazing people who not only designed them, but built them as well. Each page shows of gorgeously detailed, double spreads with flaps.
Age of Exploration
It takes a very brave person to become an explorer. Whether exploring on camel-back, over the sea, up a mountain or even into space, these fearless men and women are heroes. This book covers adventuresfrom Marco Polo’s journey on the silk road,Neil Armstrong’s unbelievable trip to the moon,Leif Eriksson voyage to North America,Magellan’s circumnavigation of the globe, and so very much more. Visually, it is a stunning book with hundreds of maps and illustrations. There are also dozens of two-page spreads.
History News: Explorers News by Michael Johnstone
Another great book to incorporate into your history lessons when learning about individual explorers and their adventures. This book, which is about the size of a workbook or magazine, is part of Candlewick’saward-winning News series.The stories are written in news format,withbrief eyewitness accounts of the Polynesians, Leif Eriksson, Christopher Columbus, Magellan, Peary and others. It is a very unique book and takes the reader back in time like you are really there, witnessing the events for yourself.
Be wary of page 12, there are nekkid cartoon Finnish.
Maps by Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinski
I LOVE this book. It is the kind of book you’ll want to leave out on your coffee table or display on an open shelf. Candlewick’s description of this book is perfect …”a visual feast for readers of all ages, with lavishly drawn illustrations from the incomparable Mizielinskis. It features not only borders, cities, rivers, and peaks, but also places of historical and cultural interest, eminent personalities, iconic animals and plants, cultural events, and many more fascinating facts associated with every region of our planet.” A note for all parents though: be wary of page 12, there are nekkid cartoon Finnish people. I simply taped a piece of paper over the image in our book.
Dublin: Panorama Pops by Nina Cosford
I have a special place in my heart for Ireland and this little book just made me melt. The Panorama Pops are a series of foldout books that are so gorgeous you could leave them opened up to display as a decoration on a shelf or mantel.
The Story of Britain from the Norman Conquest to the European Union from Patrick Dillon
I have to admit that this book was more for me than for my son. I have an utter fascination with our cousins across the pond. If you think the cover is pretty, you won’t believe the inside. This book is absolutely gorgeous inside.
Since this book covers everything from William the Conqueror’s arrival in 1066 to modern times, you could easily use The Story of Britain as a complete history curriculum when you are learning about this time period. Candlewick Press said it perfectly on their product page: this book is easy to pick up and hard to put down.
The Age of Industrial Revolution
The Hero Schliemann by Laura Amy Schlitz
From the time Heinrich Schliemann was a boy — or so he said — he knew he was destined to dig for lost cities and find buried treasure. And if Schliemann had his way, history books would honor him to this day as one of the greatest archaeologists who ever lived. Following this larger-than-life character from his poor childhood in Germany to his achievement of wealth as a merchant in Russia, from his first haphazard dig for the city of Ilium to his final years living in a pseudo “Palace of Troy,” this engrossing tale paints a portrait of contradictions — a man at once stingy and lavishly generous, a scholar both shrewd and reckless, a speaker of twenty-two languages and a health fanatic addicted to cold sea baths. (Description taken from Candlewick’s product page.)
Iron Rails, Iron Men, and the Race to Link the Nation by Martin W. Sandler
In the 1850s, gold fever swept the West, but people had to walk, sail, or ride horses for months on end to seek their fortune. The question of faster, safer transportation was posed by national leaders. But with 1,800 miles of seemingly impenetrable mountains, searing deserts, and endless plains between the Missouri River and San Francisco, could a transcontinental railroad be built? It seemed impossible. Eventually, two railroad companies, the Central Pacific, which laid the tracks eastward, and the Union Pacific, which moved west, began the job. In one great race between iron men with iron wills, tens of thousands of workers blasted the longest tunnels that had ever been constructed, built the highest bridges that had ever been created, and finally linked the nation by two bands of steel, changing America forever. (Description taken from Candlewick’s product page.)
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