American History for Expat Kids!

American History in a Box Level IIAmerican History in a Box is a standards-based elementary course on major American History themes and concepts. With four levels for different age groups, (grades K/1, 2/3, 4/5, and 6/7) the boxes include historical fiction, non-fiction, games, puzzles, supplies, and an activity book based on the Virginia Standards of Learning and the National Common Core Standards.

This overview provides a framework for future learning for Foreign Service/expatriate children who are not in standard courses offered to students living in the U.S. More information about the boxes here.

The course is intended to be fun, easy, and student-directed as many students will complete the box while attending school or during summer.

American History in a Box is reimbursable for some  families posted abroad with the U.S. government. Email us for more information and a reimbursement approval request form for your Financial Management Officer.

Advertisements

American History Box – Summer Edition

Screen Shot 2018-03-17 at 1.16.11 PM

Are you looking for activities for your children in elementary or middle school this summer? Our boxes provide books, games, and an activity book that can be done anywhere and at anytime.

You can also add on a tutoring package through Twiga Tutors to have a U.S. certified teacher guide your child through the major concepts.

In May we will also have a new expansion pack with ten activities focusing on U.S. History in the Washington, D.C., area with worksheets to help explore places like Mt. Vernon, Georgetown, the American History Museum, and the National Monuments. Stay tuned for more information!

Mexico and the United States

IMG_9367

Teotihuacan with the moon pyramid, sun pyramid, and ruins.

Our newest expansion pack explores some major themes regarding Mexico and the United States. Much of the Southeastern United States was a part of Mexico before the Mexican American war and today the countries overlap in many ways. Our expansion pack looks at indigenous people (prior to the formation of either country), the Mexican American war, famous artists (Romare Bearden and Diego Rivera) and immigration today.

This pack is perfect for an expat student from the United States living in Mexico or vice versa. Each pack includes books and a directly mailed activity packet that asks the student to review, reflect, make connections, and analyze current situations.

We also suggest that students visit famous historical sites including Teotihuacan, the Alamo, the Anthropology museum (Mexico) and the Native American museum (U.S.). If visits in person are not possible, we hope students will be able to explore the sites online.

The packet can be ordered separately or with an existing grade level American-History-in-a-Box. Orders are reimbursable for some expat families. Email us for the Reimbursement Request Form.

If you have questions, please contact us at afterschoolplans@gmail.com.

5 Ways to Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr., Day!

MLK

Every January, many Americans have a day off to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This holiday allows us to honor the birthday of one of our most famous and influential Civil Rights leaders.

Born in Georgia in 1929, King fought for equality and justice throughout his life. He believed in peaceful protest as a way to bring about social change. Legal racial segregation in the U.S. ended in large part due to his work. With this holiday, we celebrate his life, his work, and take the time to reflect and honor his legacy.

This is also a great time to talk about the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. While King was an important leader, there were many people who contributed to the cause including Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, and many others. In addition, this is a great time to talk about what those people fought for and the events in our history that made the movement important.

A review of the movement could start with the slave trade and the devastating effects of slavery in the South. Discuss the many heroes in the abolitionist movement including those who helped many escape from the South. The Civil War resulted in freedom for the slaves and Reconstruction provided many opportunities cut short by segregationist policies. The Great Migration saw many flee to opportunities in the North and was the impetus for the Harlem Renaissance and the flowering of African American art and music. Today there continue to be setbacks and struggle within our communities and King’s birthday can be a time to talk about how far we have come, and how far we still have to go.

Finally, while children living abroad are exposed to a wide variety of world history, geography, and language experiences unavailable in the U.S., sometimes our own history is given short shrift. Families can incorporate books, stories, and activities into home life to ensure children know about their own holidays and historical leaders as well as those in the host country.

Here are five ideas for learning about King and celebrating his birthday with the family.

  1. Create a timeline of Civil Rights history after reading books about the topic or watching videos. History.com is a great place to find educational videos.
  2. Celebrate his birthday with a cake and make cards thanking him for his work!
  3. Learn about his “I have a Dream” speech and then make lists of personal and family dreams and goals.
  4. Talk about diversity and equality in the United States and in the country in which you are living. Compare and contrast the history of equality in the U.S. and in other countries.
  5. Give back and honor King’s commitment to service. Volunteer at a local shelter, arrange a neighborhood trash pick-up, or make a donation to a favorite charity.

Our favorite books about King include:

  • For all children, Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by Doreen Rappaport, is a Caldecott award winner that tells the story of his life using his original writing.
  • For elementary children, I Have a Dream, by Dr. Martin Luther King and Kadir Nelson, pairs King’s most famous speech with beautiful pictures
  • Middle school children will enjoy Free at Last, by Angela Bull, which is a thorough biography with illustrations.

Martin Luther King, Jr., fought to end racial segregation and inspired, and continues to inspire, many Americans. This holiday is perfect for discussing the Civil Rights Movement and the impact of one of the movement’s most famous leaders.