by Alexander, Piper & Sydney

Dad here.   During our trip, we visited some of the most important sites in US History, and as we went, we talked a lot about what happened at each and when.  It became a “homeschooling habit” for us to sit at dinner and go around-the-table with each kid describing one of the major events in American history, one at a time, trying to remember the order, key people, reasons, etc.

After we got home we decided we’d do one more round of this– in writing!  So, we assigned events round-robin-style from youngest to oldest and then the kids sat and wrote what they knew/remembered about each key event.  

Alexander played moderator helping the girls fix up their prose… and below is the result.  Here is “American History as told by the Belfiore Kids!!”

 

Sydney: The American Revolution

First some English people came to the 13 Colonies. They were ruled by the King of England. The 13 Colonies were not happy because of the stamp act. The stamp act was a thing where you had to have stamps on everything. You had to pay for the stamps so it is like paying extra money for nothing. If you didn’t have a stamp on something you would get arrested. The King made them pay taxes like crazy. The stamp act was the last straw.

In 1776 the 13 Colonies declared independence, we wrote the Declaration of independence. That says that we are our own country. We are free from England. Ben Franklin, John Hancock, and Thomas Jefferson were some of the people who signed it.

England said no so a war started. It was the USA against the Redcoats. George Washington was a General. If he was not in the war we could have lost the war. He was on the USA side. He became the first president later.

8 years 8 moths and 26 days later the war ended and the USA won the war. The USA is now their own country. About 6 years later they wrote the Constitution and started a new Government the three parts are Congress, President, and Supreme Court. The Constitution is a document that says the laws to the Government.

Piper: The Civil War

Before president Lincoln was elected, the north did not like slavery but the south was getting a lot of money for slaves so they liked slavery a lot. So when Lincoln was elected president of the United States, the south was not happy.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States and everybody knew that he did not like slavery. Lincoln was elected president in 1860.

South Carolina said that they were not part of the United States of America and called themselves the Confederacy.

The war started when the Confederate forces attacked the Union at Fort Sumter. The Confederates were against the Union because the Confederates wanted slavery and their own country. Robert E. Lee was the General for the Confederates. It began in 1861 and ended in 1866, lasting five years.

The Union won the last battle which means no more slavery. My favorite battle was the Battle of Gettysburg.

Alexander: Industrial Revolution and Great Depression

The Industrial Revolution and the Great Depression were some of the most important times in US history.  While the Industrial Revolution and the Great Depression were basically opposites, they were long periods of time that changed the country we live in today.

The Industrial Revolution was a time when we could start to manufacture machines that could change the world.  Starting in the 19th century, these new machines could do everything from making cars to making other better machines.  There was a huge growth in salary throughout the country, and the stock market exploded.  Much of the huge changes to the world didn’t actually come from the US as the revolution began in Britain.  Most of the important innovations actually came from Britain.

The Great Depression was just as big of a deal, though.  In October of 1929, the stock market crashed, and millions of investors lost all of their money.  The Depression peaked four years later, and as many as 15 million people were unemployed.  The situation was so bad that President Franklin D. Roosevelt put the crisis into his own hands and started “The New Deal” which would help Americans get jobs, especially with the upcoming World War II.  Many credit Roosevelt with ending the Great Depression and leading America into a new era.

Both the Industrial Revolution and the Great Depression were things that changed America, and with all the experience, we will never forget the best of the Industrial Revolution and the worst of the Great Depression.

Sydney: World Wars

World war I, also known as the first world war or the great war was a global war centered in Europe. it started in 1914 and lasted until 1918.

World war II started in 1939 and lasted until 1945. The Nazis started taking over the world.

Adolf Hitler was the leader for the Nazis. The Italians were helping the Nazis. The Japanese were also helping the Nazis but they were in Asia attacking and taking over.

Japan bombed Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941, and when that happened  the Americans entered the war. First we attacked the Nazis on a day called D-day.  D-day happened on Christmas Day. They chose that day because it was the day that the Nazis were most unprepared. They attacked Normandy.  As a result, the French got their country back. We ended the war by defeating the Japanese.

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor we said that we will put all the Japanese Americans in internment camp. It is a camp to make sure that none of the Japanese Americans would attack. At the end we dropped two atomic bombs and that is how we won the war.

Piper: Civil Rights Movement

The year is 1960. Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King are in action. Any thing can happen any time. Oh no! Rosa Parks is being arrested for not getting up and moving on a bus. Martin Luther King is making a new speech called I HAVE A DREAM. Yay! Martin Luther King is doing a another march.

I wonder what it would be like to be somebody discriminated back then? It would be scary. Just think about it, violence everywhere. I bet that would be different and difficult.

Did you know about segregation? For example a school for whites and a school for blacks or a drinking fountain for blacks and a drinking fountain for whites.

The Civil rights movement still goes on today.

Day 3: Birmingham, AL

Day 3: Birmingham, AL – Civil Rights Center

Alexander: How our Government Works

It’s September 3, 1783, just the day after the end of the Revolutionary War, the British are hurriedly getting their troops out of New York City, and many important Colonists are hard at work deciding how their government is going to work. Many people want to have a king, but some of the most important Americans of the time wanted to have a different government. A government with a president ruled by the people. What they came up with was a government with three parts with equal power, each making sure the others are in check.

The first branch is the Legislative branch. Congress makes up the Legislative branch. Congress is made up of two parts, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House has 435 members while the Senate has 100 totaling to 535 people. All of the Representatives represent a district in a state, so that they can make decisions that benefit their districts when Congress votes on new laws to be passed.  The senators, on the other hand, are like representatives, but they represent the whole state. This all happens in the Capitol building.

The second branch is the Executive branch. The President, the cabinet, and the military make up most of the Executive branch. The Executive branch enforces the laws that Congress makes. They make sure people are following these laws. The president lives in the White House, which is also where he does most of his work.

The third branch of government is the Judicial branch. There are nine court justices that make up the Judicial branch, three of which are women today. They work in the Supreme Court building just east of the Capitol building. Many famous cases have been brought to the Supreme Court. Brown v. Board of Education was one of the most famous court cases in US history about the rights of black kids and if they could go to the same school as white kids.

The US government was the first government to not put all of its power into one person and to limit how long they could be in power for with term limits, and success has followed in many different ways. Sure, there were a few bumps along the way, but we’ve popularized capitalism, and almost all of the countries in the world today have followed our path to success.

8 thoughts on “Homeschooling American History

  1. What a review of our country’s history, maybe one of you will become a history teacher, I would enjoy being in your class. Papa

    Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay. I’m going to break this up into pieces so you guys can figure out whose questions are for who and so on.
    American Revolution- Sidney: Wow, Sidney. This is really good. I want to ask so many questions, but I’m only going to ask one You said that, “We are free from England.” Now I know that as an American, you strongly side with the Americans. But if you did some more research, you might find some tidbits about why you might find some reasons of why the British did things like the Stamp Act. Tell me what you can find.

    World Wars- Sidney: I don’t know much about this subject, just a little. Thanks for informing me about all these things. The Nazis, were they everywhere or in a specific place? Also, do you know what the D in D-day means? I don’t have many other questions, as this is a very good article.

    The Civil War- Piper: I always thought that the Civil War was a very interesting war. I really am impressed at all the dates you included. When the Confederacy troops attacked the Union, was it only South Carolina, or were there more states with the confederacy? If so, how many and which states?

    Civil Right Movement- Piper: I love the way you organized the writing. It was like I was actually there at the start. I also really like the way you emphasized segregation, by including that picture. I can see that you realize how hard it is for those African Americans. But segregation is not only a word for African Americans. What other groups of people are segregated now, and how are they alike/different than the African Americans.

    Industrial Revolution (I.R) and Great Depression (G.D) – Alexander: I knew nothing about the subject before reading your article, so I have many questions. I’ll start with the I.R. I’m wondering, what kinds of things were actually made during this period of time. Also, we’re still making giant breakthroughs with technology today. Does that mean we’re still in the I.R.? Now for the G.D. When the G.D was at its peak, when Roosevelt started the “New Deal,” what did he actually do. Did he create new construction projects, so more people could work? If so, what are some examples of places? Would that be all he did? Good article.

    How our Government Works- Alexander: This article kind of went over my head, so I have some questions. In the Legislative Branch, do they both vote on the same subjects? If so, why are they split up? For the Executive branch, what’s the, “cabinet?” Finally, the Judicial branch. I knew a bit about this branch, so I only have on question that’s not really related. What was the outcome of, “Brown v. Board of Education”? And lastly, which branch do you think is most important.

    Great Articles. Keep up the good work.

    Like

    • You officially win the award for the longest comment.

      Sydney and Piper can reply to this comment on their WordPress thing so I’m only representing myself.

      Okay, I’m ready. 😐

      Q: What kinds of things were actually made in the I.R.?
      A: Cars, Assembly lines, much higher tech factories, that kind of thing.

      Q: Are we still in the I.R. because we are making technological breakthroughs today?
      A: You could definitely argue this but my answer is no. You said yourself that we are making technological breakthroughs… not industrial breakthroughs.

      Q: When Roosevelt created the new deal, what did he actually do?
      A: Everybody knew that there was an upcoming world war, so there were a lot of job openings making planes, boats, and guns. He was able to get people employed into these jobs.

      Q: Does the Legislative Branch vote on the same subjects?
      A: Most of the time, no. There are some important situations where they may, but usually the answer is no.

      Q: What is the cabinet?
      A: The cabinet is a group of people that run certain departments e.g. The secretary of the treasury, secretary of agriculture. These people are selected by the president.

      Q: What was the outcome of Brown v. Board of Education?
      A: The case went to the Supreme court and Brown won therefore wiping out racial segregation in schools.

      Q: Which branch do you think was the most important?
      A: The way the government works makes it so that all three branches are equal, so there is no most important branch.

      That was my longest blog comment ever… 😅

      Like

    • They did the stamp act so they would be a rich country and do not spell my name like Sidney spell it like Sydney and you can ask me all the questions you want.

      Like

  3. Great job all three of you! I enjoyed reading the review on our History and it even reminded me of some dates & people I had mixed up over the years. 😉 Sounds like you learned a lot on your trip up the coast to DC and I look forward to learning more on your journey around the world!!! Safe travels today and send some postcards to Auntie E! Cheers –

    Like

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