About American History in a Box

“American History in a Box” home courses provide students with a basic foundation for understanding the main concepts, people, and events in American history. The books, writing prompts, games, and activities are selected based upon the National Common Core Standards and the Virginia Standards of Learning.

The activity book promotes core learning by pulling together information gleaned from reading and research into fun and educational activities. We created the boxes with the intention that children will be able to read and complete most of the activities independently. (Children still learning to read will need extra help with the Level I program.) The writing prompts are pulled from Common Core Standards recommendations and the activities support SOL Standards learning. The concept list at the end is for parents to use during discussions about the time periods in American History.

Read more about American History in a Box for various grade levels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the content in the books and other materials appropriate for all ages?

History is messy and often violent. Parental discretion must be used in selecting books and activities. Before purchasing or sharing books, please review them for age appropriateness. Please also take into account the sensitivity of the child with which you are sharing history.

What training do parents need to complete the activities?

The activities are designed to be simple, easy, and require a minimal amount of materials. The parent can do the activity with the child or allow a motivated child to work independently.

Can I find additional materials not included in the box to share with my child?

Please email us at afterschoolplans@gmail.com for additional book lists.  In addition, there are so many wonderful books, websites, and resources for American history. This is only a starting point. Use the books in your box to identify interests and then search for additional books and resources on that particular topic.  You can also purchase a personalized supplemental plan for more recommendations and ideas (see below).

Do I need to start at the top and read the books chronologically?

While it can be helpful to follow a chronological pattern because children can build on prior knowledge and understand the progression of time in history, it is not necessary. If you are reading about the discovery of America but planning a trip to a World War II memorial, it would be well worth it to skip ahead.

What if my child doesn’t want to read any of the books?

You can motivate your child by reading the books aloud with them. You can also spark an interest in the topic by visiting a museum, watching a movie, or exploring history online.

My child read about World War I and loved it. Can we explore this topic more fully before moving on to the next topic?

Of course, we highly recommend that. If you want additional recommendations for books and activities, please write to us at afterschoolplans@gmail.com.

Are all the websites and links up to date?

While we try to ensure that all the links and web addresses are up to date, things can change day by day. If a link doesn’t work, please let us know. We will find another similar site for you.

I am interested in a personalized list of books and activities for my child. Is that possible?

Yes, we have several experienced teachers who are able to create a personalized plan for your child. This is a great option for talented learners, special learners, children with specific interests, and reluctant learners. Please email us at afterschoolplans@gmail.com for more information about personalized plans.

Is there a test for children if they read the books and complete the activities?

If children read and complete activities for each person and section, there is a basic written evaluation available. Please write to us at afterschoolplans@gmail.com and we will forward the evaluation to you. If you would like a verbal evaluation scored with a rubric, we can do that as well using Skype or email (depending on the age of the child). This evaluation would be for the sole purpose of determining if there are still holes in the knowledge gained to help guide future reading. We will evaluate learning and provide you with a one page sheet with suggestions for future books and activities to promote mastery learning and foster specific interests. (This is available only for the American History in a Box kits).

We do guarantee your satisfaction. If you have any questions or concerns please email us and we will do everything we can to solve the problem. We hope you love our boxes as much as we do!

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