Monday, June 5, 2023

Top Five Tips for Teaching History To Elementary-Aged Students

A Mom's Quest to Teach logo — Top Five Tips for Teaching History To Elementary-Aged Students

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How do you approach teaching history to your young children? From living history to playing games, there are so many wonderful options when we want to incorporate history into our daily homeschool lessons. 

Top five tips for teaching history to elementary-aged students

Books, Books, and More Books 

There are so many wonderful resources for teaching history. We enjoy both fiction and non-fiction history books in our homeschool. Books can help bring history to life for your children and there are many that I could recommend to homeschooling families. You can read books together as read-alouds, ask your children to read them as part of their curriculum, or just shelf good history-related books on your bookshelves. If you and your children enjoy reading, books are a great way to learn more about history. 

Some favorites include: 
  • The Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder 
  • If You Were Me and Lived In... Series by Carole P. Roman 
  • The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls by M. J. Thomas 
  • Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin by Marguerite Henry 
  • Toliver's Secret by Esther Wood Brady 
  • The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh
  • YWAM Publishing Heroes of History Series 

Historical Sites 

Getting out and actually seeing history provides so many wonderful opportunities. Some children learn better by seeing and doing and visiting historical sites can allow our elementary-aged children the opportunity to do both! 

Many historic sites give children the opportunity to try their hand at different crafts and skills. Or perhaps they have period clothing for your children to try on while visiting. And there may even be guides dressed in period clothing themselves who will give tours in character. 

photograph of wetlands in New Jersey


I am amazed by the number of games available for families who wish to include a new way to learn in their homeschool day. We have several that are perfect for reinforcing history facts and practicing geography in our homeschool. From board games to video games, there are options for every age! 

Some of our favorites: 
  • Professor Noggin's History of the United States Card game
  • Professor Noggin's American Revolution Card game 
  • Continent Race by Byron's Games 
  • Egyptians 
A Mom's Quest to Teach logo — Top Five Tips for Teaching History To Elementary-Aged Students with photograph of stovetop at Eckley Miner's Village

Movies, Documentaries, and Videos 

If you cannot visit a historic site in person, watching about it in a movie, documentary, or video is another good way to make that time period or location come to life. There are a great number of movies available so you will want to preview them before sharing them with your children. When pre-watching them, consider the following things: 
  • Is this movie appropriate for the age of my child? 
  • Is this movie historically accurate? How important is accuracy? Do I want my child to learn historical facts or get an idea of what life was like during that time period? 
  • Will I share the entire movie? 
  • Do we want to watch a fictional adaptation or a documentary? 
  • Who produced the movie? What were their motives?
Some favorite resources include: 
  • Drive Thru History (there are multiple series ranging from Bible history to American history) 
  • Gettysburg (1993) 
  • Robin Hood (1973 cartoon)
  • Cross Seven History Videos for Kids

Favorite Curriculum and Resources 

Sometimes you might just want a well-written full-year course, unit study, lap-book, or other curriculum resource to teach history to your elementary-aged student. Fortunately, there are a great number of options available to homeschoolers. From individual history classes that are available with a membership to to the textbook-based Our Star-Spangled Story from Notgrass History, you can pick and choose what works for your family. 

If you would prefer to not focus on a specific class but let your children's interest guide you, Home School in the Woods offers many different options. There are smaller lap-books that you can complete to larger unit studies focusing upon different time periods like the American Civil War or the Renaissance in Europe. 

Other favorites include: 
  • Drive Thru History 
  • YWAM Publishing Unit Studies
  • Memoria Press 

Final Thoughts 

As a former high school history teacher, I love all these ideas! We incorporate a variety of them into our homeschool day. While using Adventures in U.S. History from My Father's World, we also add in Drive Thru History America: Columbus to the Constitution during lunchtime on some days. When we want to take a break from formal studies, we have been learning about the Wonders of the World with Home School in the Woods. And the literature books from Our Star-Spangled Story by Notgrass History are very welcome additions to our read-aloud time. How do your elementary-aged students enjoy studying history? 

Monday, May 22, 2023

Book Club: Book Review of Israel: Beauty, Light, and Luxury

A Mom's Quest to Teach logo - Book Club: Book Review of Israel: Beauty, Light, and Luxury on blue background

I received a COMPLIMENTARY copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page for more information. Thank you.

When you read the Bible, do you ever wonder what the locations look like? And I don't necessarily mean what did the land look like when the people of the Bible walked the land. What about the look of Israel today? 

In Israel: Beauty, Light, and Luxury, the creator of The Bible Recap, Tara-Leigh Cobble and photographer Richard Van De Water share the land of Jesus in a beautiful, hardcover coffee-table book. A series of devotionals written by Cobble accompany photographs of Israel today. 

A Mom's Quest to Teach - Book Club: Book Review of Israel: Beauty, Light, and Luxury cover of book

About the Book 

The 255-page hardcover book contains 31 devotionals and a photo index which helps you identify each full-color photo. Some pages contain two to five photos, while other gorgeous photos fill the entire page. Each devotional focuses upon one area, references the Bible, and is a few paragraphs in length. 

Photographs include: 

  • Buried ruins of King Herod's palace
  • Enchanting doorways
  • Hotels
  • Mount Carmel 
  • Sunsets
  • Flowers and trees native to Israel
  • Citizens and tourists of Israel
  • Underwater photos
  • Rich meals
  • And more! 
Devotions include: 
  • Reflections on Peter's vision to share Jesus' message with Jews and Gentiles
  • A look at the splitting of Israel into two kingdoms 
  • A discussion of Jesus as the cornerstone
  • The Baptism of Jesus at the Jordan River
  • The miracles of Jesus in Capernaum 

two pages from Israel: Beauty, Light, and Luxury book and A Mom's Quest to Teach logo

My Thoughts 

The photography of Israel: Beauty, Light, and Luxury is so vivid and stunning. The photographs are grouped together thoughtfully to tell a visual story. The groupings are arranged by theme, color, and location. The ones on the pages with the devotion relate directly to Cobble's devotion. 

The devotions are as thoughtful and meaningful as the writing in Cobble's other works published by Bethany House Publishers. For example, in the Palm Sunday Prophecy devotion, Cobble writes: "What an incredible demonstration of love, that Jesus would die on a tree He made to save a people He made" (184). What a beautiful reminder! 

While I think this is a gorgeous book, I was expecting more photography of the land and locations of the Bible and not as many depicting Israel today. I was also disappointed that the majority of the photographs did not have captions describing them. I needed to look at the photo index to see what the photographs were of and then had to search the Internet to learn more about the locations that interested me the most. 

I would recommend Israel: Beauty, Light, and Luxury to those Christians interested in taking a glimpse into the country of Israel. This book would be a wonderful gift for those interested in photography of Israel. 

Read more reviews of the works of Tara-Leigh Cobble here: 

Book Club: Book Review of The Bible Recap

Book Club: Book Review of The Bible Recap Study Guide

Book Club: Book Review of The Bible Recap Journal

Book Club: Book Review of The God Shot by Tara-Leigh Cobble

Book Club: Book Review of The Bible Recap Discussion Guide

Friday, May 19, 2023

Book Club: Book Review of Authentic Worship

 A Mom's Quest to Teach logo; Book Club: Book Review of Authentic Worship – background graphic of paint matches

I received a COMPLIMENTARY copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page for more information. Thank you.

"What does it mean to truly worship the Lord?" In Authentic Worship: The Path to Greater Unity with God, the late A.W. Tozer sets out to answer this question. I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Authentic Worship, a compilation of Tozer's thoughts on worship, compiled and edited by James L. Snyder. I found this 154-page paperback book to be full of great insight and helpful observations.

About the Book 

Tozer sets out over the course of seventeen chapters to examine the definition and practice of authentic worship through scripture, reflections, prayer, and hymns. In the introduction, Snyder writes, "Tozer's passion concerning worship was that it always be pleasing to God, as authentic worship, not worship that pleased the carnal Christian or the world" (7). 

Throughout Authentic Worship, Tozer makes the point over and over that the church of today, the Christians of today, often fall into "Cain Worship." People are only interested in worshipping in ways that make them feel good or enable them to go back to their normal lives for the rest of the week. Tozer firmly states that this is not the way we should worship. There should be no doubt that when we die, we will hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant." If we allow our worship of God to be anything but authentic, we are in jeopardy after we die. 

Tozer reminds us of some important things necessary in our faith: 

  • We should praise God at all times. 
  • God made creation and loved what He did. 
  • God is the Most High above all earth. 
  • The things of this earth are fleeting, and we don't take those things with us. 
  • We must forgive and not hold grudges. 

A Mom's Quest to Teach: Book Club: Book Review of Authentic Worship; cover of the book

My Thoughts 

Authentic Worship was a joy to read. Tozer provides so much inspiration for those willing to move towards worshipping God authentically. It is a book on worship, "and yet learning how to worship doesn't come from a book" (151). So, while there aren't specific steps to take, Tozer did inspire me. There were more than a few moments where I felt the need to step back because I needed to question my own worship and beliefs. 

I really appreciated the inclusion of scripture at the beginning and throughout each chapter. Bringing everything back to the Bible and the Word of God is very important to me. The inclusion of a prayer and a hymn at the end of each chapter was also very nice. Being able to pray over the thoughts presented really helps bring them into my heart. 

Readers will walk away from Authentic Worship hoping to worship God with other believers and show the rest of the world the power of Christ. Tozer says we are "called to be a burning bush, a bush with fire in it" (145). We need to be separate from the world but also be welcoming to those who are not Christians. Jesus Himself said, "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). It is tragic that 60 years after Tozer's death, his words still ring true: Cain worship outweighs true worship in much of the church.

I would recommend Authentic Worship: The Path to Greater Unity with God to those seeking to worship God through all eternity. Pastors would find this a valuable resource, as would members of his congregation.

I have reviewed other books by A. W. Tozer. Please find these reviews here: 

Friday, May 12, 2023

Book Club: Book Review of In This Moment

 A Mom's Quest to Teach: Book Club: Book Review of In This Moment; background photo of Capitol building in Washington DC by rabbit75_ist from Canva

I received a COMPLIMENTARY copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page for more information. Thank you.

Another wonderful book from Gabrielle Meyer! I stayed up all night to finish In This Moment because I wanted to know which timeline the main character, Maggie, would choose before her twenty-first birthday. 

About the Book 

In This Moment is the second book in the Timeless series by Gabrielle Meyer. The premise of the Timeless series is that the main character travels back and forth in two or three specific time periods until their twenty-first birthday. A birthmark indicates they will live this life until they must choose which life they will continue to live the night of their twenty-first birthday. 

In the first book, When the Day Comes, the main character, Libby, chose the later time period of her time-crossing and gave birth to Maggie (her second daughter and the main character of this book). In the 1941 timeline, Maggie's time-crossing parents (both Libby and her husband) have raised three children – only one of which is like them – Maggie. In the timeline, Maggie and her sister Anna are both nurses in the Navy. 

In each timeline, Maggie is interested in healthcare. She meets Clara Barton in 1861 and is training to be a doctor in 2001. Her dream really is to help others no matter what her station is in life. And her position or station is varied. In 1861, she is the daughter of a senator living in Washington D.C. at the start of the Civil War. In 1941, she is a Navy nurse who was admitted due to the influence of her grandfather. And in 2001, her mother is the Social Secretary for President Bush, and her father works in the Pentagon. Each of the different paths allowed Maggie to be involved with key historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln and important events. 

A Mom's Quest to Teach: Book Club: Book Review of In This Moment - cover of In This Moment book

My Thoughts 

The time periods highlighted with In This Moment, are definitely one where where the reader will be eager to see what happens next. With the start of the war in 1861, we see Maggie meet the soldiers who are coming from Baltimore injured and then go with her, her father, and other characters to the First Battle of Bull Run. In 1941, Maggie and Anna join a hospital ship going to Pearl Harbor before December 7. And finally in 2001, readers will be eager to see if Maggie's life will be impacted by the attack of September 11. 

All of the plot points kept me reading through the night. Each chapter is devoted to one day in each time period. So, if you want to know what happens in 1941, you need to read through the chapters set in 2001 and 1861. 

Gabrielle Meyer does a wonderful job of bringing all her characters to life. As we walk alongside Maggie, we can feel her anguish as she thinks about which time period she will call home. She loves her Papa in 1861, her time-crossing parents in 1941, and her Mom and Dad in 2001. And little by little, Maggie finds love in each time period even though she had vowed to not fall in love until she made her final choice. 

Through it all, Maggie's time-crossing mom, Libby, tells her to trust God when making her decision. At times, Maggie rails against God and is angry about the choice she must make, but all works out in the end. Maggie makes the choice that will best suit her and eventually has her own time-crossing children. 

I recommend In This Moment to those who enjoy historical fiction, Christian romance, and good books. The novel is riveting and definitely a page-turner! 

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Gifts for the Homeschooling Mom

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This post contains affiliate links. Please see my Terms of Use and Disclosure Policy page for more information. Thank you.

What Items Would Be Perfect for the Homeschooling Mom?

Am I the only mom who uses gift cards to purchase items to use in the homeschool or items for her children or family? While I may purchase one item that I want, I often end up using most of the gift card – especially if it is a gift card for Amazon – to purchase items I want to use with our children or something I think my husband might like off his own wishlist. So how can you ensure you get a gift for the homeschooling mom herself? Well, you could buy her her preferred brand of tea, coffee, or wine. There might be a new book published by her favorite author, or perhaps you heard her gushing over a sweater or scarf while shopping with her, but she didn't pick it up. But what if you wish to help her school her children? Then there are so many options that I can share with you! 

Subscriptions to Curriculum Sites – This is one of our favorite sites as it offers access to over 400 courses for Preschool to Twelfth Grade for your entire family for one price. As a member of, you will also receive access to a variety of videos, holiday-themed activities and lessons, monthly menu ideas, and more! 

My Teaching Library – This is a wonderful resource for the homeschool mom. There is a Facebook group and a newsletter available for subscribers and non-subscribers. One year's subscription is $60 for a year as of 2023. This will give you access to hundreds of resources, from language arts unit studies to algebra. You can also see a sample of products when you visit the website

Super Teacher Worksheets – This is another resource perfect for the homeschool mom looking for ready-made worksheets on various subjects for her elementary-aged homeschool children. Thousands of worksheets are available for math, reading comprehension, spelling, social studies, history, science, and more! Plus, you can make your own worksheets for your homeschool lessons. If you want to learn more about Super Teacher Worksheets, please visit my review here: Printables for your Homeschool Classroom

A Mom's Quest to Teach: Gifts for the Homeschooling Mom on background with mom spelled out in blocks and hearts.

Reading Material 

Many homeschooling moms are always looking for reading material. They love reading alongside their children to model a love of reading. Depending upon their particular homeschooling style (DO I HAVE A WEBSITE ON THIS), you may find one of these books might suit them better than another. Or you could also subscribe your children to a favorite magazine.


Helping to Bring Learning to Life 

Homeschool families love going on field trips. While many libraries offer museum and zoo passes, there may still be locations that homeschool moms would like to visit that the library cannot provide. When gifting a membership to a local museum, historic site, or zoo, it would be best to ask which would the homeschool mom would prefer. 

Another way that you can help a homeschool mom bring learning to life is by gifting her family science kits, history kits, and (OTHER IDEA/IDEAS). While many curriculum packages offer hands-on learning opportunities, there may be something extra that might be fun to include. Perhaps she wants to raise butterflies with her children or have their family try their hand at a new handy-craft like glass blowing or soap carving. So, kits or classes would make for a wonderful gift for homeschool moms.


My Favorites 

There are so many great resources that I would love to add to our homeschool lessons. There probably isn't enough time in the day! Over the years, I've added art history lessons from ARTistic Pursuits, stargazing with a free astronomy app, and history-themed projects from Sonlight.  

I've been looking at the Greek language resources from Memoria Press for our daughter (although she wants to learn French), as well as their literature and poetry sets. And I have my eyes on several history curriculums from Notgrass History, including America the Beautiful and From Adam to Us. 

And, of course, as a homeschool mom, I love gel pens, notebooks, sticky notes, and notecards! These are all tools that help me homeschool and are also fun to use.