Nice quote

"The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can." Neil Gaimon


A Young People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn

Kenneth C. Davis books:
Don't Know Much About History, Don't Know Much About Geography, Don't Know Much About The Pilgrims, etc.  Some are books especially for children (like the one about the pilgrims).
Here's a link to his children's books
Here is one I hope to check out soon - "America's Hidden History."

One Hundred & Eleven Questions and Answers Concerning the Pilgrims 

James Loewen's website:
His books are worth reading!  Some titles are, "Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong" and "Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your High School History Textbook Got Wrong."

Peter Menzel has some excellent books to check out!  His work and life is so interesting!

1. "Material World A Global Family Portrait"
  • Absolutely recommend this book!  This is an excellent picture book and shows families from all over the world with their "stuff" outside their homes.  It really made an impact on me as to how much stuff we (and others) have and how little people in poor countries have.  Good sociology book (if you want/need to categorize some of the things you learn/study). 
2. "Hungry Planet" - A book about food around the world
3. "Women In The Material World" - This one is about women and what their life is like and what they long for in various parts of the world.  Fascinating...and sobering.  

4. "What I Eat" - 80 individuals in different parts of the world and what food they eat in a single day including health related information.

"Loaves of Fun" - Bake breads from around the world.  "The Homeschool Source Book" by Jean and Donn Reed states, "Exploring these recipes will keep you well fed in body and soul, and teach you history and geography as you travel the globe."

The History Kitchen

Oh my....another book with geography, history and food:
"Eat Your Way Through the USA" by Loree Pettit
We purchased this from The Heart of Home bookstore in Hope, ME a few years ago.

Childhood of Famous American series - Love these biographies! 
Each book is a biography of a famous person, what their childhood was like, and how they grew up.  Here's a link to some of the books so you can get an idea of what they look like and note the various title's and author's.  The Maine library lending system has many of them.

Mini biographies of some famous people who had minimal schooling. 

Horrible Histories:

Horrible History books by Terry Deary - Some of the Horrible History books are longer and geared toward those who enjoy more details.  Other books are geared toward younger people and have more pictures and aren't as gory (if I am remembering correctly).  Check them out and read whatever you like!  The Maine library lending system (minerva) has many of them so you may get them via interlibrary loan.  

Here is one of Terry Deary's books from the Maine library that is shorter called "The Actor, the Rebel, and the Wrinkled Queen."
Examples of some longer books by Terry Deary would be "The Awesome Egyptians" or "The cut-throat Celts" or "The Groovy Greeks."  Lots of off the wall facts and life of that particular time period.  My daughter Katie LOVED these books and still rereads them.  

Here is the "search" link for "Deary, Terry" on the Minerva library system so you can pick out whatever Terry Deary books you like and request them:

Minerva (Maine Library Lending System) has "The Awesome Egyptions" 

Here is one of the pages from the Horrible History website - this one on Jokes, but you can check out the others from here:  

To purchase Horrible History and other "Horrible" books:

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales - (Start with One Dead Spy. After that, you can read the rest in any order.) Thank you Michele Henson for telling me about this interesting book!

"America's Funny But True History 1560s - 1740's, Cranky Colonials" by Elizabeth Levy
She wrote other interesting and entertaining books similar to this (including a Horrible History book) that you can search for if you or your child like this style of writing.

Graphic Novel: 
"Cartoon History of the United States " by Larry Gonick.  He also has a few others available through the Maine library lending system (minerva).

Jean Fritz books: 
Jean Fritz biography books - Too many GREAT ones to name!!!  These are excellent!  The library has many of them via interlibrary loan.  Some of Jean's books are geared toward older readers, some are geared toward younger ones. 

"Victor Lopez at the Alamo" by James Rice (fiction)

White House Children - Interesting book by Miriam Anne Bourne - Our library didn't have this exact book, neither did Amazon, but Alibris did. Though it is not available through the Maine Library Lending System (MINERVA), other books by the author ARE available. I have only read White House Children so far, so I can not comment on the other books.

"What To Do About Alice?: How Alice Roosevelt Broke The Rules, Charmed The World, And Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!" by Barbara Kerley - Jim (who knows so much about history) even learned some new things in this children's book.  It is interesting that Alice was homeschooled too!  

Smart About History books such as The Wright Brothes Take Off by Jon Buller and Susan Schade (geared toward younger kids) 
Click on "our books" and then scroll down to non-fiction to see the other titles they wrote together.
Story of the World and Jim Weiss
The Story of The World by Susan Wise Bauer (4 books in series) - The library has some of these books, audios, and activity guides. (scroll down to bottom)

Jim Weiss (famous storyteller) narrates the Story of the World audios:

Here's a youtube clip of Jim Weiss reading a chapter about the Romans so you can see if it might be something you or someone in your family might like to hear:  

Link to a review of The Story of The World Books:

Check out Jim's site out for more excellent storytelling audios:

The library system has Jim Weiss' audio about Egyptians:


Other Books: 

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder and other books in the Little House series.  Netflix has many of the old tv episodes available on dvd and most libraries have many of her books.  If your child likes to do activities, here is a link to further ideas related to Little House on the Prairie:

American Girl Books - (books and movies) - Kristen was one of our favorites!   
You can search for them at your library or on various places online:
There are even movies about the American Girls:

“Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry

"The Captain's Dog: My Journey With The Lewis and Clark Tribe" by Roland Smith

"Lewis and Clark for Kids" by Janis Herbert (activities in the book too):

"Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time" by Dava Sobel

Maps on the web (Thank you Sarah Thompson for sharing this link!):

"Animal Farm" by George Orwell (communism)

"Red Scarf Girl" by Ji-Li Jiang  - communism - This is a true story to do with the Cultural Revolution under Mao Ze-dong, leader of China from 1949-1976.
The Cultural Revolution began in 1966.  There is some violence in the book.

"The Pirate Lafitte and The Battle of New Orlearns" by Robert Tallant - When my daughter Katie was little, she loved this book - we all did!!  She still rereads it as a teenager!
“Like the Willow Tree: The Diary of Lydia Amelia Pierce, Portland, Maine 1918” by Lois Lowry - Part of the Dear America series. Available on cd and/or book through the Minerva library lending system.
This was GREAT! (If you like it, you can visit the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Maine)

"The Courage of Sarah Noble" by Alice Dalgliesh

"My Brother Sam is Dead" by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

"The Secret Soldier: The Story of Deborah Sampson" by Ann McGovern

Prisoner 88 by Leah Pileggi

"Children Just Like Me" by Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley

Like lighthouses and history?  My husband is a very enthusiastic pharologist!  He has a friend (Seamond Roberts) whose book he purchased.  As he was reading it, he shared some of his favorite chapters aloud with some of our family.  Some of the chapters reminded me of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books - you felt like you were there and could see it happening.  You became endeared to the real life characters in the story. If you'd like to take a look at this book, it is called, "Everyday Heros: The True Story of a Lighthouse Family" by Seamond Ponsart Roberts with Jeremy D'Entremont.

"Lighthouses for Kids" by Katherine L. House (History, Science, and Lore with 21 Activities):

Interesting news clip (article and video) about Sequin Light in Maine:

If you'd like to learn more about lighthouses across the country, Jim's lighthouse site is
He publishes information each week about a new lighthouse on his facebook site and on his webpage.

Jim's enjoys corresponding with people about lighthouses, answering questions and playing "stump the lighthouse guy" (when people send him a photo of a lighthouse and he tries to guess which one it is).  He hasn't been stumped yet!  You can send him a question, comment or message via his facebook page.

"Poop Happened: A History of the World from the Bottom Up" by Sarah Albee  
Note: This is by the same author who wrote "Bugged: How Insects Changed History" which is also available through the Maine lending library system. Here is the link to Bugged if you'd like to check that out as well:

Magazines: - National Geographic publishes magazines for various ages (they even have one for very young children now).

Cobblestone magazines are wonderful - "ASK" is excellent and was my daughter's favorite! Appleseeds was another favorite. Any of the Cobblestone magazines are great! ( The library may have them for borrowing as well - or you could request them if your library doesn't carry the ones you would like.  The Cobblestone publications are some of my favorite magazines!!

Cobblestone Publishing has been producing high-quality social studies and science magazines for young readers since 1980. Our philosophy is that nonfiction, whether it deals with American or world history, world cultures, archaeology, or science, should be a combination of fascinating pleasure reading and factual resource material that educates and enlightens.
Two teachers who were looking for a way to promote reading and history to children developed the idea for COBBLESTONE magazine in 1979. Cobblestone Publishing's six theme-based nonfiction magazines let young people experience the pleasure of reading through an accurate, fascinating, and authoritative resource that is appropriate in the library, the classroom, and the home.
APPLESEEDS - social studies for ages 6 to 9 years
CALLIOPE - world history for ages 9 to 14 years
COBBLESTONE - American history for ages 9 to 14 years
DIG - archaeology for ages 9 to 14 years
FACES - world cultures and geography for ages 9 to 14 years
ODYSSEY - science for ages 9 to 14 years
All of the magazines strive to educate and entertain through a creative mix of articles, primary source documents, photographs, and illustrations, as well as fun activities, puzzles, and cartoons.

CRICKET began offering top-quality children's literature over 30 years ago, and since then we've created a line of beautifully illustrated literary publications for children of all ages:
BABYBUG - for ages 6 months to 3 years
LADYBUG - for ages 3 to 6 years
SPIDER - for ages 6 to 9 years
CICADA, a challenging and entertaining literary magazine for teens and young adults ages 14 and up was added in 1998.

MUSE magazine was launched in October 1996 to give readers interested in nonfiction topics an advertising-free magazine of the same high quality as CRICKET. Since then, the science and discovery line of magazines has grown to also include:
CLICK - for ages 3 to 6 years
ASK - for ages 6 to 9 years

Register as an educator with CSPAN  - sometimes they have nice products that they give away to new subscribers.  Ie. When we subscribed, we received a free "American Presidents" timeline, a DVD called " America : The Story of Us", and a magazine called "The Idea Book for Educators" which is a listing and description of upcoming programs on A&E, Lifetime, History and Bio.

Google Earth Historical Imagery (Sandra Dodd posted about this and I thought it might be of interest to some families):

Ideas of show's to do with history:

Colonial House

The 1800s House

The Frontier House

"Liberty's Kids" - This historical cartoon is available on Netflix (to watch instantly) and the Maine Library Lending System (minerva).  

American Girl movies: 

Teach With Movies - This site gives movie suggestions by time period.  You can click on the movie to read the movie description.

National Register of Historic Places site - This site has lesson plans, though many may simply enjoy the interesting information.


Timeline card game: 

Civilization The Board Game 
It is geared toward teens.  I have not played it myself yet, but have heard good things about it.    

Neat things to check out:
Watch the United States Grow Before Your Eyes:

Misc for unschooling families: 
Unschoolingaroundtheworld: (send/receive postcards from other countries):

Flat Stanley (closed) group on facebook - (host a Flat Stanley or send yours to another to have a grand adventure):

My son Li watched a youtube video called "Game Theory: Mario Is Communist?!?" and began to tell me about Stalin and communism and other things he picked up to do with history from the video.  It sparked his interest...and who knows what that will lead to? It is something to connect to and build upon.  

Shortly after he saw the video, I read a thread about communism on the "My Unschooler is Interested In" facebook page.  Many interesting links to explore were posted.  If you are a member of that group, you can click this link to view the thread: 

Update: We are almost done reading Animal Farm.  I borrowed Red Scarf Girl from the library, but so far I am the only one who read it - it was a good read!

Greek Mythology:

"Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths" by Bernard Evlin 
This is the first book that got Rick Riordan into mythology.

Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan (the library has them all)  
We read them aloud at night before bed. 

Rick Riordan's new book! (2014), "Percy Jackson's Greek Gods"
'A publisher in New York asked me to write down what I know about the Greek gods, and I was like, Can we do this anonymously? Because I don't need the Olympians mad at me again. But if it helps you to know your Greek gods, and survive an encounter with them if they ever show up in your face, then I guess writing all this down will be my good deed for the week.' So begins Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, in which the son of Poseidon adds his own magic--and sarcastic asides--to the classics. He explains how the world was created, then gives readers his personal take on a who's who of ancients, from Apollo to Zeus. Percy does not hold back. 'If you like horror shows, blood baths, lying, stealing, backstabbing, and cannibalism, then read on, because it definitely was a Golden Age for all that.' Dramatic full-color illustrations throughout by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco make this volume--a must for home, library, and classroom shelves--as stunning as it is entertaining.

Some mythology books that Rick Riordan recommends (in a biography that I read about him...I have not read these yet): 
The Pig Scrolls by Paul Shipton
The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu
The Sea or Trolls by Nancy Farmer

Greek Mythology written as Graphic Novels
George O’Connor has written four graphic novels; “Hera: The Goddess and her Glory, Hades: Lord of the dead, Zeus: King of the Gods and Athena: Grey-eyed Goddess.” We found them when my son was 10 years old - he loved them!  Especially the Hades one.  

Living History Programs in Maine: 
Washburn-Norlands Living History Museum: 
Last year it was open at these dates/times listed below.  However, please check with them directly before going as it might have changed. -
11-4 Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays thru August
They have an overnight program where you can live like it was in the old days of the 1870's...(Click on the "Events" tab and scroll down to Living History Experience fmi.)

Live-In 1870 History Experience: 24 Hours on the Farm 
Ages 9-adult
A private 24-Hour Live-In may be scheduled for your group. A minimum of 8 is required. Contact us for details.
Check our Event Page for scheduled public live-ins.
Imagine waking up and it is 1870. You are on the farm and the chores are waiting. The stove needs to be lit, water needs to be brought in, the cows need tending, and eggs need to be collected. All around you, there is a bustle of activity as your 19th Century family begins the day with you.
Washburn-Norlands Live-ins offer a hands-on experience of life in 19th century rural Maine. Over the weekend, guests are immersed in the daily routine of farm life. Each individual becomes a member of a 19th-century farm family in the Washburn family home and, as a member of the family, helps with farm chores, cooking and cleaning, plays games of the period and attends school.
As a participant, you have an opportunity to learn about the incredible Washburn family, discover the background of your character and tour the historic buildings containing authentic 19th-century artifacts. This program is structured and under the full-time supervision of our experienced staff.
Live-in participants should be open to trying all new experiences. While there was little leisure for a farm family, free time has been scheduled. Sleeping accommodations are in an old-fashioned farmer's cottage. Bathroom facilities consist of chamber pots and privies.
Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Cost: $125/adult and $95 for children under 12 yo for a 24 hour program. The fee includes three meals, snacks, accommodations, and materials. Limited Accommodations.

Maine Forest and Logging Museum at Leonard's Mills
Leonard's Mills Living History Days:
Link to their event's page so you can find out when they have these Living History Days and other events:

Families can participate in programs (some hands on) at Colonial Pemaquid - check out their events page:
For King and Country is one of the programs that we enjoyed and participated in  Pirates at Pemaquid was another event we went to that we enjoyed.

Other Museums To Visit in Maine: 
Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, New Gloucester, Maine
If you enjoy learning about the Shaker's, you may enjoy reading Lois Lowry's book, "Like The Willow Tree: Portland, Maine 1918: The Diary of Lydia Amelia Pierce."

Free admission for homeschoolers.

Family Quests in Mid-Coast Maine

This quest is at the Rockland harbor in Rockland, ME: 

Check out the Maine Studies page for many more museums and history related information! 

Some upcoming lighthouse events: 

Upcoming Lighthouse Trip by American Lighthouse Foundation Sept 13th 4pm out of Rockland, ME -

Maine Open Lighthouse Day: 
(link shows which lighthouses are open and what times and links to many of them)

Medieval Tournament at Fort Knox: 

September 7th , Saturday, The 11th Annual Medieval Tournament: Knights will have armored combat, medieval music played, arts and science displays will be on hand and an archery demonstration will take place. Regular Fort admission and a $5 event donation per vehicle requested.

Tentative Schedule
Day Schedule - On the Parade Ground

10:00-11:00 Rapier Duels & Fencing Melees
11:00-12:00 Live Music & Dance Presentation
12:00–1:00 Pas d’Armes Tournament of Knightly Combat, opened by our youth fighters
1:00-1:30 Fashion Show on the Parade Grounds
1:30:-2:15 Rapier Duels & Fencing Melees
2:15-3:00 Live Music & Dance Presentation
3:00-4:00 Pas d’Armes Tournament of Knightly Combat, opened by our youth fighters

Around the Fort
10:00-4:00 Arts & Science Exhibits in the Gun Bays (Casemates), Ballista Firing, Camping Pavilions (in front of fort)

Battery A - times will be listed on site
Thrown weapons demonstrations
Combat archery demonstrations

Mark these on your calendar for next year (living history events): 
Living History Program at Washburn Norlands farm for homeschooling families:
Contact Angie by phone if you are interested: 207-489-9011

Saturday, June 28th 2014 10am-4pm
$8 adults, $6 children age 12 and under, $25 family rate
Wagon rides, craft demonstrations, mansion tours, storytelling, one-room schoolhouse, old-fashion games, nature walk, music, and more! Strawberry shortcake! 
CALL FOR VENDORS: Applications are available for artists, crafters, and historical exhibitors to participate in Norlands’ Strawberry Festival to be held on Saturday, June 28, 2014. Applications are due by May 23rd.  The Norlands welcomes artists and crafters to exhibit, demonstrate, and/or sell their original artwork.  The Norlands also seeks qualified and experienced artisans, re-enactors, and scholars wishing to demonstrate a traditional craft using 19th-century materials or methods such as woodworking, fiber arts, or blacksmithing.  All applications are subject to approval. Guidelines and the application are available here.  FMI: email

Leonard's Mills Living History Days
They usually have programs each spring and fall
10:00 am to 4:00 pm Admission: Adults $10, Children $5
Step back in time to the 1790's as our colonial village comes alive. Colonial era spinning, wood working, trapping, blacksmithing, and many more traditional activities are demonstrated. Come try some bean-hole beans and take an old-fashioned horse drawn wagon ride and participate in hands-on activities.

Upcoming Events

Leonard's Mills Living History Days
This weekend!  Check their calendar for a date in early October
10:00 am to 4:00 pm Admission: Adults $10, Children $5
Step back in time to the 1790's as our colonial village comes alive. Colonial era spinning, wood working, trapping, blacksmithing, and many more traditional activities are demonstrated. Come try some bean-hole beans and take an old-fashioned horse drawn wagon ride and participate in hands-on activities.

Civil War encampment at Camden Public Library/Harbor Park
Friday August 19th through Sunday August 21, 2016 featuring Company B of the 20th Maine Infantry Volunteers and the 15th Alabama Infantry Regiment.

Free Walking History Tours of Camden, Maine - 4pm Friday's 
The Camden Public Library and the Camden Area Business Group will again host free walking tours of downtown Camden every Friday at 4:00 pm, June 24 through September 9. The tours begin on Atlantic Avenue at the Children’s Garden of the library and end at the Opera House. The tours are free and last approximately an hour; donations are appreciated, and reservations are encouraged; please call the library at 236-3440 or stop by the Circulation Desk.

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