This Month's Featured Resources...

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Monday, September 17

History & Geography....Our Favorite Resources

This week, we’ll introduce you to our favorite history and geography resources.  

You guys know us...we are all about some history here at Gypsy Road, so paring it down is going to be difficult to do!  

In addition to our regular curricula (the A World of Adventure series), we supplement all over the place.  Audiobooks, read alouds, subscription boxes, costumes and's all about having fun!

  • Heirloom Audio Productions produces wonderful, professional audio dramas that bring history to life for the entire family. As a travelling family, we enjoy listening to audiobooks regularly, and the first time we heard one of their audiobooks, we were just BLOWN AWAY!  If you've never heard one, you should definitely learn more here.
  • When the kids were a bit younger, we listened to many Jim Weiss audiobooks while cruising the interstate!  Great Hall Productions has an entire line based on classic books.  Many are available at your local library.
Books & Read-Alouds
  • The Magic Tree House series has a book for almost any topic you dream up, and Mary Pope Osborne is still writing!  Each of the books has an accompanying research guide, and there are free teacher guides and art activities are online.
  • "We Were There books are easy to read and provide exciting, entertaining stories, based upon true historic events. Though written simply enough for young readers, they make interesting reading for boys and girls well into their teens." (description from Wikipedia)  I read these aloud to the kids, and they adore them!  There is a WWT book for almost every facet of American history up to the 1960's.
Subscription Boxes & Games
  • Both Carmen Sandiego and Little Passports help to reinforce world geography lessons.  Carmen Sandiego is the detective who fights crime around the world in thirty-minute segments.  
  • Little Passports covers either US or World geography (depending on your package), and includes activities, stickers, a toy / art project, and a letter each month from a different state / country.  The program is designed for children as young as three (up to about ten), and gets them excited about world geography.  You can read our review for it here
  • Adventurous Mailbox is most closely related to Little Passports, but is more like an extension of that program.  Once the boys had outgrown Little Passports, I floundered through several programs, trying to re-create the excitement that they had with that program.  FINALLY, I found it with Adventurous Mailbox.  We loved it so much that we're already on their waiting list for the next session!  See more info here.

Costumes & Dramatizations
Our children regularly come up with costumes to reenact the time periods we are studying.  This helps to bring history to life, and draws the arts into our curriculum.  A few times each year, they will get together with their friends and have a 'movie day,' where they put these costumes to use and make films.  They are learning how to write a script, use technology, and digitally manipulate that technology to create a final product.  AND they're having fun the whole time!

Another way that we reinforce history lessons is through field trips.  No matter where our truck lands, we can find something history, science, or geography-related in the area!  Here are some of our favorite stops, and the history lessons we've learned there.  We've created unit studies for you to use when you visit them, too!  (Bottom of each post.)
A short note.....if you've read all the way through, then you've seen the phrase 'see the full review' more than once.  We don't recommend products that we don't believe in.  I've written reviews for several different products - some in exchange for the product (and that's noted on the review), and some just because I really believe in it.  In this roundup of history resources, there isn't a single resource that we don't use daily and completely believe in.  Just wanted to get that out there...  😎
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