Texas history is a fascinating subject, and yet it hasn’t been given its proper due in the homeschool curriculum world. I looked and looked and was even in the process of creating my own study guide, when I found Discover Texas. The creator, Lynn Dean, really had me at her initial explanation of the program: she learned Texas history in school, but didn’t remember a thing as an adult, except for the activities her teacher did. She wanted her children to love and remember the story of Texas, so she created Discover Texas.
Discover Texas History is a hands-on curriculum that helps 4th-9th grade students discover Texas history, geography, and government…one adventure after another! It’s created exactly the way we do history at home: perfect for all ages and whole families, it’s flexible, and includes real books, videos, hands-on experiences, and field trip ideas.
I searched the Scope and Sequence and reviewed all the sample pages and found that it is exactly what I wanted to create (and so much more!). All Texas students should come away from a study of our state’s history with an appreciate for its uniqueness, its culture, and the memory of how it was founded. I believe this program is the only homeschool curriculum that does all of that.
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Discover Texas curriculum
Discover Texas is available three different ways:
- As a complete digital download (always up-to-date) for $129
- As a monthly digital download for $16/month
- As a CD-ROM purchase for $129
For our family, the complete download is the best option, so we can pick and choose to use certain volumes as we need them. There are so many links to great websites, videos, and books, plus great ideas for hands-on learning, like food, crafts, and field trips. Check out the “ABOUT” page for a short intro video. The best part? Once you purchase this, you can use it over and over, because it’s all digital! No need to purchase another textbook or workbook for each student!
We are integrating Discover Texas with Mystery of History volumes III and IV. Texas history is a small part of American history, which is a small part of world history. I prefer to teach them all on the timeline together, as they happened. I hope you’ll join me in this approach! You can click here to follow along.
When should I teach Texas history in my homeschool?
Anytime. Our family does history as a group, and as it naturally flows on a timeline. Since the battle for Texas Independence happened in the 1830’s, we read about it right between the War of 1812 and the westward migration. I don’t teach it in 5th grade or 7th grade, because we don’t actually do grade levels. All of my kids learn together, which at this point includes ages 7, 9, 12, and 17.
It’s fun, and meaningful, to do it this way! So, let’s begin.
When I was growing up homeschooled, we didn’t have a lot of curriculum to choose from, but we had enough creative friends to make some things really fun.
In 1986, when Texas celebrated its sesquicentennial, our local homeschool group had a banquet. I remember making the paper mache Alamo with my dad that you see in the pictures below:
My dad is presenting me with an academic award in this photo, while my sister and Mom look on.
Everyone joined in the fun with period-correct costumes:
My Favorite Resources
- a field trip plan (and possibly a Texas State Parks pass)
- a guidebook to Texas Roadside Historical markers and the willingness to stop and read them wherever you go
- a current copy of the Texas State Travel Guide (free online or at a Texas Travel Information Center – there are 12 locations)
I also want to mention Copano Bay Press. Their motto is “Rare Works of Texas History Brought Back to Life,” and they have the most amazing selection of real Texas history in print! They are doing for Texas what I’m doing at Knowledge Keepers Bookstore. Go check them out!
Texas is huge. But wherever you live, there are many historic sites near you. Take advantage of what’s local to you, or plan a special trip. Visit every local museum in your area. Tour the old homes and cabins. And plan a special trip to visit Washington-on-the-Brazos, Golidad, Gonzales, and San Antonio, where the battles for Texas Independence were fought.
I cannot walk into the Alamo without tears, because I’ve read the real stories of those who fought and died there, and of the women and children who hid there, knowing the details of the sacrifices made there. It’s more than a chapter in a textbook; your children should learn it this way!
So now you know! What are you waiting for? Grab these books and click over to Discover Texas and download the program today!
While you’re here, visit my Knowledge Keepers Bookstore! In it you’ll find the books and the stories that have shaped this great country, the books that influenced our founders and our ancestors, the books that Americans have mostly ignored or never heard of, but the good books that we should all read and protect. Join me in saving Western Civilization, one book at a time!