Yesterday, while G was coloring in the other room, I heard him say to his brother, “We should just really get rid of this college stuff.” A month ago I would have thought he was making a disparaging remark against higher education, but I knew better. You do, too, right? He was coloring a map of the United States, exclusively in red and blue. Don’t worry. This is not a political post; it’s an historical one. I’m not an overtly political person. This is a post about living in good history books, and choosing to concentrate on the positive.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.
This year G and I are delightfully making our way through all the D’Aulaire American history books beginning with Leif the Lucky. It just so happens we are now in the middle of George Washington. Because all of my guys and I have always loved history and geography, it wasn’t difficult to roam the house and compile a fun collection of supplemental reads and activities.
G was impressed to learn that George Washington spent time copying out texts as well. Somehow, I had kept this little used copy workbook from several years ago. Handwriting by George by Green Leaf Press may be a fun way to interest your young one in writing practice as it incorporates history and art. On one side your child can print or write the rules and manners of the day, while the other side of the page provides space for an appropriate illustration. G was diligent with his handwriting but got silly with the drawing. A perfect combination.
It was easy to print off this trivia sheet and George Washington coloring page, thanks to Zack Franzen, illustrator of The Green Ember. You can print one for yourself here. He has interesting tidbits on the type of soap G.W. may have used.
George Washington is the only United States President who was voted in unanimously, and both terms! Of course, he had no competition. But I like to think there was no competition, because American sentiment was unanimous in their approval of him.
George vs. George is another great read. Rosalyn Schanzer takes us through the strengths and weaknesses of both of these men of power. She does a good job of using humor, human interest and presenting opposing perspectives. I like both of these reads for young readers. Particularly, the D’Aulaires do not shy away from presenting uncomfortable material, but they treat it gently. Their quality writing and illustrations do not lean too heavily on the deconstructionist theories of history that many school textbooks seem to present today. Please check this website for more of the D’Aulaire’s works.
All three of my guys have spent hours reading The Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne. G has read several of Jack’s and Annie’s adventures already. Revolutionary War on Wednesday is a good book to include with our study. It even includes quotes from Thomas Paine’s Common Sense.
Here are some of G’s favorite tidbits he has learned so far about our nation’s first President.
- As a boy he wrote out copywork, too.
- His fake teeth were made from animal teeth, not wood.
- He was born in Virginia.
- We see his picture everyday on our money.
- He learned many things about hunting and the land from his friend “Halfking,” an Indian chief.