So much can be included under the umbrella of social studies. It includes anything that has to do with communities, cultures, and relationships among people. It includes history and government, and it certainly includes map skills general geography. Depending on your state requirements, you can include some or all of these social studies concepts in your homeschool. Some homeschool curricula make it very easy to add in learning these subjects, and others incorporate homeschool social studies learning into literature or even science learning. I love to teach social studies through great living books!
Social studies is a subject that is often portrayed with religious or political bias. Therefore, parents may want to keep a part of the student’s learning in order to open discussions. After all, the name of the subject is social studies. Understanding one’s role in society and history is kind of the point of growing up. As with my other guides to getting start homeschooling, I focus on secular curricula for this post. For some of these links, I am not positive the resource is 100% secular, but they appear to be; I have not personally used them all.
Of course, older children can also gain a better understanding of communities and cultures. A comparative religion course could meet social studies requirements. Studying cultures of the world studies that could likewise meet student learning needs. Or, older children may be interested in studying government, civics, and psychology.
Ideally, every child can travel and experience different cultures and countries. However, when that is not possible, you may want to check out some of the curricula I mention here.
- Around the World with Picture Books (K-3 curriculum). See my review of part 1 and part 2. Great picture books and an informational teacher’s guide provide a nice introduction to countries and cultures around the world.
- Visits To . . . Geography Series (1-12). This notebooking focused series provides book lists, map work, and more for the continents of the world. (Asia and Middle East have two separate books and Australia is combined wtih the Central and South America book).
- Daily Geography Lessons from Evan-Moor (k-6). Worksheet based learning provides opportunities for learning about the world.
- National Geographic Education (website).
- Eat Your Way through the USA and Eat Your Way Around the World.
- Mapping the World with Art by Ellen McHenry (ages 10-16). This creative approach helps teach geography by learning to draw the world map.
History is obviously told from a certain perspective, so for me it feels important to focus on learning details in different ways each time, so my children can get a broad view of history while I am in charge of their education! Here are som secular (or secular friendly) history and government homeschool curricula.
- History Odyssey (Grades 1-12).
- The Story of the World series by Susan Wise Bauer (Grades 1-6).
- Curiosity Chronicles (grades 1-6).
- Ben’s Guide to Government (website).
- Beautiful Feet Books literature packs (from k-12). History of Science, American History, World History, and many more programs with detailed teacher’s guides to help the parent teach with great books.
As I find more amazing curricula, I’ll add it to this list.
More in This Series
There are so many subjects to cover in a homeschool career, but the good news is we only need worry about one day, one week, and one year at a time. Take it easy and figure out what you’d like to do this year!
- Get Started Homeschooling: Keep it Legal
- Get Started Homeschooling: Plan Your Homeschool Year
- Get Started Homeschooling: Schedule Your Day
- Get Started Homeschooling: All-in-One Curriculum Options
- Get Started Homeschooling: Teach Language Arts
- Get Started Homeschooling: Teach Math
- Get Started Homeschooling: Science in Your Homeschool
- Get Started Homeschooling: Teach Social Studies in Your Homeschool
- Get Started Homeschooling: Add in Arts and Music
- Get Started Homeschooling: Teach Physical Development and Health
- Get Started Homeschooling: Including Foreign Languages and Life Skills in Your Homeschool