Our History, Social Studies, and Geography materials vary quite a bit this year. I just couldn't find one publisher who could meet all of our needs here. I chose Spectrum Geography to help us with map skills; that choice was easy enough. The price is great and it covers all the map reading skills The Boy needs to learn this year. We'll also use this to explore different concepts of community, thus helping meet most of our Social Studies needs for the year. I also bought States and Capitals by Twin Sisters Productions to help us with US Geography, but I'm honestly not sure where it will fit. This book promotes memorization through music, which is really helpful for this sort of thing. Like I said, I'm not sure where this will fit in yet because our focus for the first half of the year is early world and American history -as in pre-revolution American history. With that said, I've looked ahead into 4th Grade and I'm sure we'll have a home for it there if we can't make it work this year.
History is going to take us to lots of times and places this year. There's so much we need to touch on this year, and even more that we need to study extensively. We've already started with a survey of pre-revolution Native American life and we're moving into early exploration this week. We'll also be covering these topics this year: European exploration (not in modern day North America), 13 Colonies, colonial life, the American Revolution, The Renaissance, The Age of Enlightenment, and the Industrial Revolution, to name a few. Because of the different time frames and locations, I didn't see anything with a reasonable cost that would work for us.
I ended up buying The Complete Book of United States History to use for the majority of the US-related topics. It's a little outdated, but that won't matter since we won't be covering anything in recent history this year or any time soon. I like the fact that the book is nicely illustrated and the information is digestible for children.
I also ordered The History of the United States Told in One Syllable Words accidentally from Amazon. I canceled the order, but they told me to keep it and that it was their treat. No complaints there! I don't love this book; it's very difficult to read because it was written in 1884. However, I do plan to use it from time to time, if for no other reason, to view the United States from the eyes of someone living in that point in history.
Lastly, I stumbled upon the Draw and Write through History series. The Boy loves to draw and finding a way to incorporate that into what we're studying is so cool to him. I bought two of the books for this year (and will probably buy more in the future). We have already jumped into The Vikings, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance and we'll be using Pilgrims, Pirates, and Patriots this year too.
We'll round all of this out with various other resources, such as items from Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, videos from The History Channel, and the Liberty's Kids series. I'm definitely looking forward to exploring these times with The Boy!