January - February - March
Age of Revolution
Europe and America
"Raining cats and dogs"
The War for Independence
This is a big chunk of history, and it took two months to cover. It began with 1775 and Paul Revere's famous Ride, leading to the "shot heard round the world." Then we went year by year and followed General George Washington.
One of the most amazing stories we read about was Henry Knox and his crazy idea to drag a load of cannons and other artillery from upstate New York (Ticonderoga) to Boston . . . in SNOW and across frozen lakes. Because where else was the Continental Army supposed to get weapons to fight the British?
Of course, in 1776, there was that scathing letter to King George, in which men pledged their precious lives and sacred honor to tear away from their royal government and begin a completely new government based on liberty and self-government. They surely understood the dangers of a government that believed it was the source of its citizen's rights; anyone who believes our rights come from government doesn't understand that they are granting that same government the right to revoke those liberties when given the opportunity. Our Founders acknowledged that our rights come from God. (Yes, a higher source than man.)
1777-1778: We read about Valley Forge during winter and how miserable the Continental Army was. But thank God for Prussian Baron Von Steuben, who joined Washington at Valley Forge and helped transform the Army, raising morale.
1779-1883: We finished up with a somewhat discouraging, though perseverant campaign in the South; but the French arrived just in time came, the British made some mistakes, and Washington won a decisive battle at Yorktown, Virginia, against Cornwallis, to end the Revolutionary War.
|Von Steuben at Valley Forge|
Important Figures in History
Next, we spent a separate month to focus on biographies of important figures in early American history.
John and Abigail Adams
Marquis de Lafayette
We took a couple of months to get through Johnny Tremain. The kids loved this story.
Johnny Tremain - Esther Forbes
American Folklore and Folksongs
We also spent a month reading early American folklore and songs, which the kids also loved. I often caughy them reading ahead, which I wish they would wait because then we may learn new ones together, at the same time.
And here are the poets, composers, and artists we studied during this period:
Charles Wilson Peale
Gilbert StuartJon Trumbull
(Sidebar: during our visit to the California State Capitol building, inside the Assembly chamber, there is a painting of Washington, which is a copy of Gilbert Stuart's Washington portrait, redone by his daughter, Jane Stuart. The kids recognized it right away.)
Charles Wilson Peale