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    Living California History: Jessie Benton Fremont

    April 2, 2013 by Brandy Vencel

    As most of you know, I’ve been trying to develop a schedule that coordinates California state history and geography with the Ambleside Online history rotation. However, comma, because I forgot about California in the first term of this year {oops}, I’m actually a term off. So I’m writing this in preparation for Term 3 of Year 5, but when I do it again with my younger children, I’ll schedule it for Term 2 of Year 5, just as we did Jed Smith in Term 2, but I’d actually suggest him for Term 1.

    Below you’ll see that I divided up a biography of Jessie Benton Fremont into a 12-week term schedule that you can easily paste into your regular Ambleside Online plans if you are a California native, or if you simply want to add something about California into your scheduled readings.

    Jessie Benton Fremont
    by Marguerite Higgins
    Week 1:
    “Hurrah for Jackson” (ch. 1)

    (fits with AmblesideOnline, Year 5, Term 2)

    Week 2: “Whither Thou Goest…” (first half of ch. 2)
    Week 3: “Whither Thou Goest…” (second half of ch. 2)
    Week 4: Mutiny at Nineteen (first half of ch. 3)
    Week 5: Mutiny at Nineteen (second half of ch. 3)
    Week 6: “…Seeking the Golden Fleece” (first half of ch. 4)
    Week 7: “…Seeking the Golden Fleece” (second half of ch. 4)
    Week 8: First Lady of the Golden West (first half of ch. 5)
    Week 9: First Lady of the Golden West (second half of ch. 5)
    Week 10: The Presidential Race (first half of ch. 6)
    Week 11: The Presidential Race (second half of ch. 6)
    Week 12:  “From the Ashes of His Campfire, Cities Have Sprung” (ch. 7)

    For that last chapter, I actually divided it up into two also, and assigned it over two days in the twelfth week. The first chapter could be treated the same, but it was a bit shorter than the other chapters and so I chose to keep it all in a single reading. I suppose my student’s narration will tell me if that was a good idea or not!

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  • Reply Glenna Heustis August 9, 2014 at 12:59 am

    Curious how this book went. Mixed reviews on Amazon but I value your opinion more. 🙂

    • Reply Brandy Vencel August 9, 2014 at 1:25 am

      This one actually ended up being one of our favorites. I could see an argument for it being better for girls, but I think it’s good for my son to be exposed to women who have made history, so I’m glad we read it. 🙂

  • Reply Sharlene April 3, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    A book that would fit in the WWII time period is Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Houston. It is about the Japanese internment during the war. Thank you for showing how you put California in your schedule. I have struggled with how to put the Caribbean in to our schedule and seeing this plan helped me to see that I can do it relatively easily.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel April 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Thank you for the Farewell to Manzanar tip! I had forgotten that book. I think I read it in school growing up. I will get a copy. I did find something for the 1914-WWI, but I’ve still been looking for the WWII era, so I really appreciate it!

      The trick is picking only *one* book during the periods covered by a lot of good literature. 🙂 That is what has been hard during the California statehood era–lots has been written about Death Valley, fights with native Indians, and of course the Gold Rush. Hard to narrow it down!

      Another option is just to offer it on the free reading lists. I don’t know if your school does this, but AO has a pile of books each year (sometimes even organized according to term) that are available for free reading. It’s not the same as studying it, of course, but it is an option for already-cramped schedules. 🙂

      I would love to hear your top-five Caribbean books (fiction or non) for elementary students. I got a list like that from Jeanne in Australia and it has really widened out the free reading for my voracious reader! 🙂

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