I cover history for our homeschool about the same way as science, except instead of topics, we cover time periods. I decided thatI would break our studies down into a five year rotation (like science). The five time periods are: Explorers through 1700's American History, 1800's American History, 1900's American History, Creation through Ancients, Middle Ages/Renaissance to Explorers. Now, I do cover a bit of world events when we are covering american history, and I chose American history first since we start our rotation in the third grade and I think American History is easier to understand at that age since we live here and can see the history around us. I also wanted to make sure we were grounded in Bible truth before delving to deeply in ancient gods and such.
I collect material and plan just the same as I do with science in my Science Resources post. Say if I am planning out my1800's year, I will print an 1800's timeline off of the internet, then pick and choose what topics I want to cover. Then I gather all my material and write it up. The first few weeks of my 1800's curriculum looks like this:
Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) 1
biog. Jefferson "A Picture Bookof Thomas Jefferson" by James Giblin
www.monticillo.org (virtual tour/day in the life)
write a biography
rubbing of a Jefferson nickel
Johnny Appleseed (1801) 1
Biog. Appleseed "Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale" by Steven Kellogg
JE Gibbons "The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree" by Gail Gibbons
Johnny Appleseed puppet printout
Discuss why apples? nutritious, easy to grow, versatile; examine different apple varieties and products from apples. Examine center seed "star".
Draw an apple tree in each of the four seasons and a short biog. at bottom of page.
Louisiana Purchase/ Lewis and Clark (1804-1806) 2
Complete History book pg. 126-131
978 Bow "The Back of Beyond: A Story About Lewis and Clark" (long book-read only certain parts)
biog. Sacagawea "Sacagawea: Her True Story" by Joyce Milton
www.nationalgeographic.com/west (virtual journey)
http://www.usmint.gov/ (view coins and printouts)
-Divide a paper into six sections and write one important fact from the purchase and expidition into each
The numbers next to the titles are how many weeks I plan to cover that section. Especially for accountability, I'm saying that I have planned 1 week's worth of work to be completed in that section. I've also included the call numbers for the books I'm using so I that when the time comes I can just request them and go pick them up at the library. Now, of course you don't have to cover the same topics, nor do the same sequence of events or chronologically. You can follow this method and choose what topics you prefer. When I wrote up this curriculum, we were doing more of a "notebooking" style of work.
When you want to purchase History materials here are some good companies:
Rainbow Resource (They sell everything homeschool!)
Knowledge Quest (very good for geography also)
Hold That Thought
Home 4 School Gear
Homeschool in the Woods
Here are some websites that have good resources:
http://www.americanheritage.org/ (free lessons cd)