American History Club was this week. It was our third session on westward expansion, which means it’s time for the kids to choose their own topic. When we were discussing potential topics, I realized how much of westward expansion we didn’t cover. Perhaps we’ll have to cover the topic in another year.
Mr. Curiosity decided he wanted to write about the Transcontinental Railroad. There were several giant (500+ page) books of adult nonfiction available, but that was a bit overwhelming for my tween. Instead, we found The Transcontinental Railroad In American History by R. Conrad Stein to be very helpful. At 128 pages, it nicely straddled that line between “just a quick overview” and “way too much detail”. The book includes everything from why the railroad was built to the Union and Central Pacific Railroads, to some of its impact on the development of the U.S. There’s also quite a few historical photos and documents from that time period.
Miss Adventure decided she wanted to talk about the California Gold Rush. Again, it was tough to find books that enough depth, but weren’t overwhelming. The California Gold Rush by Jean F. Blashfield provided a quick overview to the events surrounding the gold rush. The Great American Gold Rush by Rhoda Blumberg had a lot more detail, especially about the different routes used to travel to the gold fields of California.
And finally, a fun book: Inkblot: Drip, Splat, and Squish Your Way to Creativity by Margaret Peot. Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, you’ll be able to make some interesting images using the techniques spelled out in this book. All you need is some ink (bonus if you have colors) and some paper (different types of paper provide different final products). The author walks you through several different processes to make inkblot images, and then, if you want to take it further, a couple of ways to modify your images. Looks like great fun, although perhaps a bit messy, for everyone to try out.
And those were the new books we used in homeschooling this week. Linking up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.