· · ·


 Good Friday morning, friends. I really can’t believe it’s Friday already, but I guess time flies when life is crazy and always changing and never changing and busy and monotonous. We had a week of bad weather and a lot of time in the house, which is both good and bad. It forces us to get things done inside and also to relax.
Even though I feel like life for us is really upside down and we have so many unknowns and no plans, one thing that has been bringing me so much joy lately is school.  We are about to finish up our fifth year of school and I can’t believe it. I love this time of year when we’re in the last leg of our year and we’re tying everything together. There’s conferences on the calendar where I can go and get mega encouragement and look/see/smell/touch all the great curriculum that’s out there. I start making lists and planning for next year….I love this time of year.
Right now, homeschooling is giving me some sort of focus. Like it’s something that I do have control over and I can plan for it…unlike pretty much everything else in the future it seems. So I wanted to share what we’ve been doing for the last half of January and February because even though it might not look like a ton, we have been learning like crazy!
We started with a short week or two on the Industrial Revolution. I figured something out this year: that when I plan less, we actually get it done! Who knew!? So I chose just a few great books, found some good online resources, and we were good to go.

Early 20th Century History Unit Study

I found this series that airs on the History Channel that  you can view through Amazon.com. I do preview the episodes because they weren’t made particularly for children, but besides a few little things they’ve been great.  They fit in perfectly with what we studied; post Civil War, Westward Expansion, Industrial Revolution…and it is soooo interesting!
The kids especially love that Cornelius Vanderbilt is part of this show since we get to enjoy the fruits of his inginuity through his grandson’s grand house; the Biltmore Estate.  You might remember we spent Easter there last year and our fun photo shoot as well. We’ve spent many days exploring the Biltmore with our annual pass…that expires this month. (note to self: go to the Biltmore this month.)
 Next we moved on to World War I.  There are so many good books out there, but we focused on just a few of our reference books and a few novels. We read War Horse together, which is a wonderful book…yes, Sophie read it with us.  Then I let the boys watch the movie, which varies slightly from the book as most movies do.  There is a lot of war in the movie, but nothing graphic.  There’s no language either…it was a great visual for the boys.  Sophie watched her own horse movie: Black Beauty, so she didn’t feel left out.
We also did a lot of notebooking and lapbooking pages as well.


Then we moved on to the Great Depression. We read some great picture books like:

Kit’s World

There were several others and I can get you our complete list if you’d like to email me.
We love the American Girl series for history.  The boys say they don’t but they are always intrigued. We watched the Kit Kittredge movie and it portray the Great Depression for kids so well. Such good resources.
We also completed this Great Depression lapbook.
One of our favorite things we did was prepare a week’s worth of Great Depression recipes.
Every night for dinner for five days, we ate meals that were common to that time. We ate a lot of soup and a lot of simple meals. Meat was scarce then and everything was from scratch. We made biscuits from scratch several times and since sugar was actually something available to the people stuck in the Great Depression, we had dessert almost every night too.  The Rice Pudding is something that will stick around…we loved it!
Check out the recipe link above to see all the meals we had and their recipes. So fun!
We have now moved on to World War II. I’ll share our resources when we’re done. I’ve decided to stop there for the year. Covering the Civil War to World War II is a lot of coverage! For the remaining weeks of school, I’m having the kids do projects and reports on what we’ve already learned. I’m hoping to do some of the fun projects that have been in my “idea folder.”
Have a great Friday, folks. 🙂


Learning Well LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Affiliate links from Amazon or other programs are used on this website. For more info, please refer to our disclosure statement.

Get the 6 Secrets to a Simpler Mom Life


  1. Love it all!! Such good ideas! We're back in Ancient History right now, but I'm writing down all this stuff you did so we can use it eventually too! Miss having you around!

  2. You are such a wonderful teacher to your kids.
    Our first few years of homeschooling were very similar to yours…I reiterated what we were learning with movies, books, meals, art projects.

    I must say, this year has been difficult for me bc Luke went to school…I lost some mojo for all the "extra" stuff without him here. I had heard from many older moms that it is normal for that to happen when one leaves for school. I guess they were right.

    I'm not sure if I've mentioned it to you, but we're sending Seth and Lydia to his school next year. I can't believe this is my last year of schooling them at home, as far as I know it.

    I'm gonna be doing more of our sign business at home…15-20 hours per week. They're all excited to go to school, and I'm excited for them!

    Do you think you'll continue longterm?

  3. SO fun! I am abandoning world history next year, my kids have gotten nothing out of it, and we are doing American history through Paths of Exploration. for the first time, I feel like I've chosen a curriculum that will fit us! DY.ING. to get it in the mail. You are such a good mama:)

  4. that is brilliant! fixing those meals will make the great depression so much more tangible/memorable. you're such a great teacher.

    i'm so glad the sun is out today and the snow is almost gone. i've been cramped up too. i need a walk or something. love you…been thinking of you all day!

  5. Yay! Thank you so much!!!!! The Men Who Built America looks great and I love the idea for the Depression era recipes!!! We finished Book 3 of Story of the World and we will probably do Book 4, but right now I wanted to take a little different approach to history and this is perfection!

    Hope you are well!

  6. You are such a great teacher! Very inspiring my friend!!

    Sometimes I think my girls learn more history from the American Girl books than they do from our text book. 🙂 They LOVE those books!

    I have sweet memories of War Horse. 🙂 I had yummy popcorn and watched it with my bestie and her fun hubbie. 🙂

    Can I please go with you to the homeschool convention? Pretty please? I'll make us matching 'Homeschool Nerds Unite' sweatshirts.

    I love you friend! Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

  7. You have really chosen some great novels and videos to teach this history!

    If you ever need science advice, I have taught 6th grade science for 21 years….although I think you are an expert!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.