We use Classical Conversations as a spine around which we build our entire school year. For those who are going through their first year, it can be overwhelming, so my word of advice is this:
If you don’t get around to supplementing CC with anything (aside from math and phonics/language arts), you and your child will STILL walk away knowing a whole bunch of wonderful stuff this year.
Now having said that, if you want to supplement Cycle 3 but are lacking funds to go hog-wild with buying boatloads of books, then here is a list of supplemental resources that you might want to check out. Most of them are in the form of pdf documents for those who have an e-reader or can read off of a computer.
American History Readings
- American History Stories Volume 1 by Mara Louise Pratt-Chadwick: pdf audio downloads
- American History Stories Volume 2 by Mara Louise Pratt-Chadwick: pdf audio downloads
- American History Stories Volume 3 by Mara Louise Pratt-Chadwick: pdf
- American History Stories Volume 4 by Mara Louise Pratt-Chadwick: pdf
- America’s Story for America’s Children Vol 1-5 by Mara Louise Pratt-Chadwick: pdf
American History Stories Vol 1-4 by Mara Louise Pratt-Chadwick provides a narrative account of various people and events throughout American History. Audio recordings only exist for Volumes 1 & 2 of this series. We plan to use these to supplement our study of Columbus, Pilgrims/Colonial Life and the American Revolution. The history contained in each volume is as follows:
Volume 1: Norsemen to the end of the French & Indian War pdf audio
Volume 2: American Revolution & Patriotic Songs pdf audio
Volume 3: The First President through the Fugitive Slave Law pdf
Volume 4: Abraham Lincoln through The War Between the States pdf
A Short History of the United States by Edward Channing is a fairly complete American history book from 1000 to 1900 . Download a free e-book or the audio recordings from Librivox. (NOTE: Though the audio recordings are listed as “Chapters” on Librivox, there are actually several chapters on each recording, so you will have recordings for the entire book if you download the 26 “Chapters” from Librivox. The recordings range from 7 minutes to 38 minutes in length.) As a family, if we listen to one “chapter” recording per week, we will have listened to a complete history of the United States up to 1900, filling in the gaps left in our Cycle 3 memory work. As a side note, Channing’s A History of the United States, is regarded as one of the most complete and accurate accounts of American history and received the 1926 Pulitzer Prize for History.
The above listed books were the history books we used during our first trip through American history, chosen primarily because they were appropriate for the elementary school level. In selecting these, we considered readability, vocabulary, and whether or not audio recordings were available (because we listen to or read-along with our history lessons), but many others are also available. Below are additional titles that are available for free:
- This Country of Ours by H.E. Marshall e-reader
- Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans by E. Eggleston
- The Beginner’s Guide to American History by D.H. Montgomery: pdf
- The Leading Facts of American History by D.H. Montgomery: pdf
- A First Book in American History by C.A. Beard and W. C. Bagley : pdf
- A Visual History of the United States by H. Faulkner: pdf
- Hero Tales from American History by Henry Cabot Lodge and Theodore Roosevelt: Audio
- A Short History of the United States by Edward Channing (American history from 1000 to 1900) Download a free e-book or the audio recordings from Librivox
- A more exhaustive list of free American history ebooks from Old-Fashioned Education (includes suggested reading levels)
- Visit Amazon for free United States history books and biographies by clicking here.
- Other audio and pdf downloads for use with American History can be found at Project Gutenberg, Free e-books on Amazon, Librivox, Google e-books, or Archive.org. For even more children’s literature, visit The Baldwin On-Line Children’s Literature Project.
Note: We now use Story of the World (SOTW) by Susan Wise-Bauer, which can be purchased through Amazon. SOTW is a world history book, so the American History is dispersed throughout Volumes 3 and 4. Because it is a world history book, it does not contain some of the history that we will be studying in Cycle 3. Correlation to SOTW is available on our Cycle 3 Reading Plans post.
An illustrated book encompassing several stories from American History:
- Purchase a used copy of William J. Bennett’s The Children’s Treasury of Virtues (I found mine on ebay for less than $10). The Treasury of Virtues contains The Children’s Book of Virtues, The Children’s Book of Heroes, and The Children’s Book of America. This book can also be used in conjunction with Bible lessons to reinforce character development (Book of Virtues). [UPDATE: The price of the Treasury of Virtues has gone up significantly! As of September 2014, the Book of America is a good alternative for a fraction of the cost!!] Visit Tina at Chasin Raisins for a suggested reading list, or refer to our Cycle 3 Just-the-Reading-Plans Planner. This is would provide several readings that correlate with Cycle 3.
U.S. PresidentsColoring Pages of U.S. Presidents
- Elementary Life Science Curriculum by Scott McQuerry: Parent and Student e-textbooks with science experiments, worksheets, everything you need to provide some extra science lessons for the human body. Be sure to download both the parent and student textbooks!
- Crayola.com human body coloring pages
- Enchanted Learning human body pages
- National Geographic’s Xpedition Atlas for maps. You can print out each individual state with or without details to study or test what you know.
- For online geography practice, try Sheppard Software or Seterra Software (free download or online version)
- Edu-Place U.S. Maps (Different Regions – Great site!)
- Individual State Maps – Outline, Physical, Human Geography, Comprehensive and Label-me
- Go to Crayola.com to print out a fact card and coloring sheet for each state.
- What to Draw and How to Draw It by E. G. Lutz
- Willie’s First Drawing Lessons by A Lady
- Art for Kids Drawing Tutorials
This is just a small sample of what you can find for free on-line! For a listing of free resources for all subjects, visit our Cycle 3 Resources page.
Just wanted to get this out there while I’m still compiling our lesson plans. There really is NO NEED to purchase tons of supplemental books and materials for Cycle 3 if you have a way to view or listen to on-line documents. And regardless of whether or not you use anything listed here, you will be amazed at how much you and your children have learned at the close of the school year!
Please click here for updated reading lists, schedules, plans and planners for the 2014-2015 school year!
List of updated Cycle 3 posts for 2014-2015:
Cycle 3 Weekly Planners
Cycle 3 Reading Plans
Cycle 3 Just-the-Reading Plans
Unofficial CC Cycle 3 Booklist
Affiliate links are included in this post.
Clipart courtesy of ClipArt ETC