10 Histocial Fiction Read Alouds for Early Modern History


Since I’m knee deep into planning next year’s school schedule, I thought I’d share some of our picks for historical fiction read alouds that fit the time period we’re studying, Early Modern history.  Of course, just because I schedule them, doesn’t mean we’ll read all of them.   Sometimes we end up reading other books instead and never make it to the one on the schedule.  Sometimes the kids just have trouble getting hooked into a particular book.  But I like having the rough guideline.

Some of these books are even from the Mensa reading list for K-3rd grade.  When you complete the list the kids can earn a free t-shirt.  And reading them aloud and audio books count!

(Note: Plain boring links, not affiliates.)


A Lion to Guard Us –  Set in the 1600’s. Their father has gone to Jamestown and Amanda barely remembers him.  After their mother passes, she decides to take her siblings to Jamestown to find their father and be a family again.

The Courage of Sarah Noble – This is one of the few we have read before, when Green Bubbles was doing an American History year for TK at four years old.  It’s a great story about a young girl traveling into the frontier with her father, and having to be left alone.  Set in 1707.

The Cabin Faced West – A little later but still in pioneering times (mid to late 1700’s), this is about a little girl and her family who move to western Pennsylvania.  She even gets to meet George Washington.   On the Mensa reading list!

Paul Revere’s Ride –  Famous poem by Longfellow, this is a shorter read but has so much history it really can’t be forgotten.  And who doesn’t know the simple rhyme. On the Mensa reading list.

Sam the Minuteman – A shorter book but an easy reader for kids that are ready for them, this is about a little boy who becomes a Minuteman when the British are coming. Mensa reading again.

Toliver’s Secret –  When her grandfather is injured, 10-year-old Ellen Toliver replaces him on a top-secret patriotic mission. Disguised as a boy, she manages to smuggle a message to General George Washington.

Ben and Me – This is a biography of Benjamin Franklin as told by Amos, a mouse.

The Boy in the Alamo –   This is a story about a boy who was in the Alamo (1836) during the Texas revolution.  Full of action and brave deeds.

Caddie Woodlawn – Set in the 1860’s, this is about a girl and her family who live out in the frontier.

Note: I did leave Little House on the Prairie off of this list, but only because we’ve already read it.  It may make it on the schedule, but it’s already one so many lists I didn’t think it would hurt to leave it off.

These books are in the modern history period for next year but I thought they were worth sharing, even if they don’t fit the time period!  And so I don’t forget about them by next year.

Sarah, Plain and Tall – Set in the 1900’s at the turn of the century, another great story about a little girl. Mensa reading list.

All-of-a-kind Family – 1900’s.  Mensa reading list.

The Saturday’s – Set in the 1940’s this book is about four siblings who decide to pool their allowance money to allow each of them to do one longed for thing each Saturday.




Story of the World History Co-Op: Ch 1, Roman Standard

2015-08-15 12.33.38Last week started our first official week of school, although I think the only thing that makes it official is it was the start of our co-op class!  Our full school load doesn’t start until after labor day when we add in science, grammar, and spelling.

I started my own history co-op at my friend’s house on Fridays.  We’re doing Story of the World Vol 2: Middle Ages.  While this is supposed to be for 2-4th grade, we started history in Kindergarten so it will be Green Bubbles 1st grade year.  I loved Story of the World last year but, at the end of the year, I kept thinking how many of the wonderful projects we kept skipping over.  He loves the hands on activities.  So, I started the co-op as a way to make sure we keep the fun in history and do the hands on that is so easy to skip.

Chapter 1 is a review of the Roman Empire.  Or the fall of it.  For our project this week we followed projects straight from the activity manual and colored flying carpets.

Roman Standard

SOTW Vol 2 Roman Standard Co-op Project

The highlight was the Roman standards though.  We have a full class at 6 students ranging from 4 to 9 years old and everyone really liked this.  Green Bubbles was very proud of his standard and I loved seeing how different all the kids made theirs.

I printed up some pictures of real, historical Roman standards for the kids to view so they would have a reference for what they were making.  One of the oldest kids in our class actually used my gold sharpie to make the little ‘medal’ disks look just like the ones in the photos!  Other supplies we used… Cardboard mailing tubes (I bought a huge box of them from a local shipping store since we have other projects coming up using these), cardboard box, cardstock, tin foil, and yarn that we never used!

Helpful advice, this project took a bit longer then I was expecting.  It probably could have easily taken up the full hour by itself and the kids were a little rushed through it.  Hot glue would work a LOT better then white glue on our cardboard tubes.  They were to thick and the glue was taking a long time to dry.  Even staples didn’t go through the tube. We didn’t even get to the yarn to decorate the standards, or write anything on the cross bar, but the kids still had a lot of fun and didn’t notice those details were missing.  Green Bubbles decided he didn’t want to do those anyway when we were at home.

I’m going to try and post our projects each week because I’ve noticed a lack of activities to draw inspiration from.  Hopefully my tips will be useful for someone else!

Natural History Museum Nature Study Day

I got a little behind!  It’s summer.

A few weeks ago we went to the last homeschool day of the school year to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.  This is always one of my favorite field trips we do every year.  Little Miss is still asking when we are going to the museum again.

2015-06-17 14.34.312015-06-17 10.00.53The kids always love to see the dinosaur fossils.  They even have a special lab you can walk through to watch the museum’s paleontologist actually cleaning off various fossils from recent digs.  For homeschool day they have a lot of touch tables set up and Green Bubbles and Little Miss were able to touch an actual dinosaur fossil! 2015-06-17 11.17.37       We also did a quick walk through of the mineral area of the museum.  We’ll be studying Earth Science next year so I thought Green Bubbles would found the different ‘rocks’ interesting.  I had no idea Little Miss would be so excited though!  She climbed up onto the larger rocks they had on display but was equally enthusiastic of the smaller specimens in the cases.  She was pretending to pick them up, you couldn’t actually touch them, and told me she was going to put them in her rock collection!2015-06-17 10.10.402015-06-17 10.04.39