History Year in Review (Grades 8, 6, 3)

Last week, I managed to get our Science Year in Review  post done. I had hoped to get the history post done too, but life got away from me!  It’s ready for my this week, though! So, here’s our HISTORY year in review!  There are quite a number of freebies in addition to the more in-depth packets I made this year. 🙂

History Homeschool Year in Review

This year my kids were in Grades 8, 6, and 3. We do our history activities together. We read a wide range of books – from children’s historical fiction to longer novels. Plus, we read history from a lot of different sources.  We’ll get out non-fiction books from the library as well as using homeschool curriculum and selections from traditional history textbooks.

Over the course of this year, the kids did various hands-on history projects as well as writing projects: research papers, essays, one biography, and generic writing (answering questions).


Slavery and the Civil War

When we started back to school last August, we started a big unit on Slavery and the Civil War. We started with a study of the Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, Songhai in West Africa. I shared the books we used for this part of our unit and a free packet about West Africa here:

West-African-HistoryIn our unit, we went over three main topics:

  1. Slavery – a bit about the history of West Africa, the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the Middle Passage, and slavery in America
  2. Territorial Growth – As America acquired more territory, the issue of slavery became more divisive. We spent quite a bit of time looking as the slow growth of America — from  late 1700s with the Mason-Dixon Line and Northwest Ordinance which banned slavery north of the Ohio River… through the various compromises of the 1800s Missouri Compromise, Compromise of 1850 and the War with Mexico/Mexican Cession
  3. Civil War – We talked about the difference between the North and South, which states joined the Confederacy, the North and South’s plans for winning the war, some of the major military and political leaders, and learned some of the highlights of the major battles.

Slavery and the Civil War Packet

We also drove to Gettysburg spent a 3-day weekend there.  If you can manage a trip there, it is *definitely* worth it! It was a powerful weekend.

Highlights from our trip to Gettysburg:


This took us right up to November.  Instead of switching to studying European History (we had left off with the Renaissance from the previous spring), I had my older two do a research paper.

 Ancient History

story-of-the-worldI started to read the Story of the World, vol. 1 (affiliate link) with my youngest… but pretty soon, my older two would make their way to the couch (in front of our wood stove) and listen in as well!!

As we read through this curriculum, I made a few sets of notebook pages for her.  These are all free if you follow the links below:

Ancient Egypt

free-ancient-egypt-worksheetsHere was the Ancient Egyptian pyramid project that ED did. She used project blocks (affiliate link) for this and for the Great Wall of China project (below):


 Ancient World: Egypt, Mesopotamia, Sumer, Babylon



China Geography Packet

When we came to the first chapters on Ancient China, I wanted to go over some basic facts about China including the geography, government and some of the well known landmarks and features. This was the geography packet I made to cover some of these well-known sites:

The girls both did map projects on the Great Wall of China using project blocks (affiliate link)

Great Wall of China Map Project

You might want to check out our free Ancient China Packet which has notebook pages for studying the dynasties of China.

Ancient China Packet

Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome

We did not do big units on these cultures; we just read through the Story of the World, vol. 1 (affiliate link).  As we finished up that book, I wanted to make sure my daughter knew some basic differences between those two cultures (because we kind of rushed through the end of the book).  These were the notebook pages I made for her. They are also free over at this post: Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome Worksheets and Activities

Ancient Greece Worksheets Ancient Rome


The previous spring, we had studied the Renaissance and Reformation with Martin Luther.  We stopped there.  In January, we jumped back in to some studies about European History… picking up with some English history and the English Reformation under Henry VIII and his successors.  We watched a number of documentaries and movies… A lot has been created about the Tudors!

You can check out some of the resources we used as well as our notebook pages here:

English Reformation Henry VIII worksheets

You might want to check out the geography packet on famous British landmarks. It has some famous sites like the Tower of London and more! You’ll find the link to this packet here:

Britain geography landmarks packet

Age of Exploration

We spent quite a bit of time studying the Age of Exploration from the 14 and 1500s through the early 1600s.  We talked about the competition between Portugal and Spain as well as the growing role England had in the exploration and colonization of the New World.

Age of Exploration Worksheets Notebook PagesBiography Resource Packet:

If your kids do any Biography Writing Projects, you might want to check out this free resource:

Biography research projects

U.S. Presidents

In February around President’s Day, we usually take the opportunity to focus on our American Presidents.  Each year we have spent some time learning about an individual President.  Last year, for example we talked about Ronald Reagan.

These are some of the U.S. Presidents Resources I use with the kids. We’ve been singing the U.S. President song for quite a number of years now… and they know almost all of the Presidents in order now!

This year, we spent some time talking about Dwight Eisenhower. You can pick up those notebook pages here:  free notebook pages about President Dwight Eisenhower

US Presidents Worksheets

Civics & Government

Each year, I try to spend some time talking about how the U.S. government works.  We spent time reviewing that material again this year: Civics and Government – 3 Branches of Government. This was good review for my older two.  My youngest has a better grasp this year, but we’ll need to go over the material again at some point next year, though she has most of the civics cards down. 🙂
Civics and Government Unit and Worksheets

Types of World Governments and Societies:

This year, though we started talking about the various types of world governments.  This is the first time we’ve talked about many of these concepts: Anarchy, Dictatorship, Totalitarian, Junta, Single- Party Rule, Republic, Representative Democracy, Theocracy, Monarchy, Parliament, Republic, Federal Government, Capitalism, Communism, Socialism.  Types of Governments Worksheets – World Leaders (Currently Free)

We also talked about some of the current world leaders (and what type of government their country follows).

We’ll definitely need to continue going over this material in the coming years.  This is pretty tough stuff!

Types of Government Worksheets


What’s coming up next year for us in history?

These are my thoughts at this point…

Age of Absolutism
We had started talking about the Age of Absolutism and spent quite a bit of time talking about King Louis XIV of France.  We’ll probably pick up with that next year.  From there we’ll move into the

Age of Enlightenment

French Revolution

20th Century History
We will probably do a really big unit on the 20th century next year.  I’ve mentioned before that when we first started homeschooling I read the Well Trained Mind. (affiliate link) I liked the idea of moving along chronologically and touching on various points in history several times over their homeschooling experience. But as we moved forward in time, I found that there were some subjects I didn’t want to cover because we do history together.  I felt my youngest was just not ready for some topics.My oldest did some work on World War I and World War II on his own (like this WWII Portfolio Project (free printable) he did when he was about 10).

World War II Portfolio Project

I think we’re about ready to tackle some of this material in more depth. So, that’s what is on my mind at this point!

We will also touch on another U.S. President in February of next year. 🙂


You might want to visit last year’s History Units: Year in Review 2015-2016 (Grades 2, 5, 7) as well.

Homeschool History UnitsAnd again, here’s the link to our Science Year in Review  post:

Science Homeschool Year in Review

See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts.  You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group.  Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well. :) ~Liesl

P.S. Our store is getting a bit of a make-over. Hooray!  I can’t tell you how many people have asked me if there was a way to purchase more than one item at a time.  Since I run this blog on my own and always super busy juggling our homeschooling (and homeschool planning), outside activities, and work on the website/business… it has taken a long time to get to this! (Sheepish grin here!)

You can pop over to check out our store here:

Homeschool Den StoreOur packets are pdf downloads. :)

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