History Lessons on the Web
History is a subject that many homeschoolers choose to teach without a textbook. Instead, they use resources such as biographies, public television specials, DVDs and websites. Local libraries and book stores are a place to look for books, CDs and videos. But a great deal of learning is literally right at your fingertips, on your home computer through websites. Much of this information is completely free. Following is an alphabetical list of online sites where homeschoolers can discover history lessons, followed by a list of history programs on DVD.
A Book In Time
The site was created by a teacher for teachers, originally beginning as nothing more than a list of good history books. Over the years, other features have been added. The purpose remains in tact, “to help history teachers find all kinds of extracurricular resources to enrich their classes!" Make your own time line, or create your own curriculum. Enjoy notebooking, online games, maps, and crafts in the theme of history, on this site. There is also a list of links to kid-friendly, colorful “non-textbooks" on history.
The designer of Chester Comix knows that kids love comic books, so he uses this art medium to teach about historical events. A little blue crab, named Chester, shares his adventures through the ages. On his site, you can learn how to use Chester Comix with your children, watch a video, and view a free comic online of the geography of the United States.
Covering all subjects, this curriculum website offers many lapbooks and other lesson plans on history. Some of the lessons are offered for free or at a discounted sales price. Other curriculum is offered at a price per download. Keep this site bookmarked on your computer as they update and frequently change what is free or discounted. So, a lesson you want today may be even more affordable if you wait a month. They also host online Webinars.
An extension of The History Channel, this comprehensive site provides “This Day in History" features each day. It presents information in a video and online games format. You can also find a listing of the shows found on their television station, which can be watched or recorded for later viewing. It also has a shop where you can buy DVD's of specific historical topics. Within the shop, there is a section designed for education.
Concentrated on Colonial Williamsburg, this site offers a special section for teachers, where you can take an electronic field trip. Your kids can visit the “Kids" section where there are activities, online games, and resources to learn about Colonial times.
History learning Site
From ancient Rome to inventions of the twentieth century, this site provides brief explanations of historical events. It is based out of the UK and complete with colorful pictures.
A good resource for learning American history. The site provides help for the homeschool teacher to present history to her students. It is also a good place for students to turn when researching a project.
Homeschool In The Woods - Time Traveler
Take your child on a historical adventure through these CD's that include hands-on projects in every lesson, without text books or workbooks. Each lesson offers a brief lesson text followed by activities and project pages. Teacher helps are also included which provide a lesson plan schedule.
Kids Past - History for Kids
Designed for kids, your child may have so much fun on this site, that he won't even realize he's learning. From the KidsKnowIt Network, this site is filled with articles that cover a wide historical span. It is a totally free website where you can search for a number of historical topics. Your child can explore history, and discover information about his forefathers.
Kidipede - History for Kids
The site began in 1996 to provide an online encyclopedia for kids. Centered around 11 themes of 10 countries and locations (China, Central Asia, India, West Asia, Islam, Africa, Americas, West Asia, Greece and Rome), and one time frame (Middle Ages), Kidipede is designed specifically for middle school aged kids.
My Audio School
Perfect for the auditory learner, or for the visually impaired, this site is big on sound. You can hear everything from historical music, such as Stars and Stripes Forever by John Phillips Sousa to a sound recording of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s “I Have a Dream" speech. There is a substantial amount of learning you can enjoy at this site for free. Or, you can choose to pay a membership monthly fee to have complete access.
This site has an abundance of resources for a variety of topics, not just history. The best way to use the Scholastic website is to type in a topic in the search bar on the home page and then hit enter. If Scholastic has information about the topic, you will then see a list of available books to buy, online Resources & Activities, book descriptions and Printables (worksheets). The easiest, least expensive, way to get a lesson plan about the historical topic is to peruse the links under the “Resources & Activities" and the “Printables" sections, then select which ones are of interest for your particular study.
Visit the Smithsonian and the history learning it offers without leaving your home. The home page for the Smithsonian Museum includes resources and links for learning about history. There is a place for educators, kids, and researchers. Kids can discover Buffalo paint art and make their own painting, find out more about the Wright Brother's plane, and drive through time to match vehicles and destinations.
Teaching American History
Listen to audio lectures, and learn about American history by perusing original documents from the founding fathers to current times. Find lesson plans, and learn as much as you want to know about America.
This National History Education clearinghouse presents teaching materials, history content and best practices where you can analyze historical paintings, and discover examples of historical thinking.
In a “This day in history" style, this blog posts happenings for every day of the year. It offers trivia and nostalgia along with solid factual accounts of historical events, and has daily puzzles to solve.
Centered out of the Independence Hall Association in Philadelphia, this site presents information about the history of the United States of America. Your students can learn about flag rules and regulations, and then buy a flag right from the site. Learn about U.S. History with an online textbook, and take a virtual tour of Historic Philadelphia. Peruse the site's helpful links and discover even more.
Created, in part, by Larry Sanger, PhD, co-founder of Wikipedia, this site offers free learning videos. It currently offers over 26,000 of “the highest quality on the Web" learning videos categorized into over 3,000 topics. Each video is rated for specific grade levels, and the site is Kid Safe! You can choose to only watch without registering, or set up your own free account. As an instructor, you can request a confirmed account which will allow you to rate and add videos to the site.