Including women's history in our homeschool has always been a priority for me. I am very intentional about including fiction books with strong female characters as well as non-fiction titles about powerful women in our studies. I want both my sons and daughters to learn about the issues that women in particular have faced throughout history and continue to face today.
Reading well written and engaging literature in our Homeschool Morning Time has always been a natural way to learn about any topic, including women's history. Thanks to Candlewick Press, finding quality books with strong females characters and powerful women in history is easy.
This was a sponsored post and I was compensated for my time. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure here.
Our Homeschool Morning Time
Our school day begins with our Homeschool Morning Time. Morning Time is a designated time for family learning that we have continued for years. It began when my kids were little, and we continue it to this day even in my house full of teens and tweens.
Granted, my oldest is rarely home with us because of her class schedule, but my 15, 13, and 10 year old kids always begin the day together. We start with current events, a read-aloud, and 1-2 other subjects ranging from poetry readings to art projects to geography activities.
Every day is a little different, but our Morning Time always includes great reading material.
What can I say? We are homeschoolers. We we can't resist great books!
Learning Women's History Through Literature
Our family has always enjoyed learning history through great literature.
In my experience, great literature makes history more engaging and memorable by connecting us to the stories and people of particular time periods. Whether it is historical fiction, non-fiction, or poetry, I am always looking for captivating literature for our Morning Time.
So I was thrilled to browse the Candlewick Books catalogue to find quality read-alouds for our Morning Time. In particular, I was super excited about all of the options for Women's History.
Candlewick Books offers a wide selection of fiction books with compelling female characters as well as informative non-fiction books about strong women in history.
I had a great time filling our Morning Basket with new titles for the year.
Women's History in Your Morning Time
The books we added to our Morning Time collection have not disappointed. I can already tell that some will be favorites for years to come. These titles have been a captivating start to our day!
And while I have enjoyed all of them, my current favorite one is at the end.
Women's History: Historical Fiction Chapter Books
The most impressive thing about all of these historical fiction books from Candlewick Press is that they each introduced me to a brand new time event in history. After reading them, I was ready to dig in deeper and learn more with my kids.
Also, you might know this about me, but I love to celebrate books. And while I pull out all the stops at my book club celebrations, I also like to incorporate small activities, treats, and surprises during our Morning Time that reflect the books we are reading. Below, you'll find a Morning Time Activity for each of these titles. These ideas are are simple ways to celebrate these books during your Morning Time.
Time Period: Poland, World War II
Featured Historical Events: Life in a labor camp (Auschwitz-Birkenau) working as a seamstress
Age recommendation: 12 years old and up
The Red Ribbon takes place in Auschwitz-Birkenau, a work camp, in Poland during WW2. Ella and Rose are young teens who are forced to be seamstresses in a tailoring program created by a commandant's wife who wanted the prisoners to make her dresses. Historically he offical program
Did you know about this? Because I didn't. And this book did a wonderful job of introducing me to these facts through the eyes of the two main characters, Ella and Rose.
Ella and Rose are wonderfully relatable characters, though their reactions to their situation are completely different. Through Rose we experience optimism and a free spirit depsite her understanding of the horrors around her. Ella, on the other hand, maintains a surivalist mentality and often denies the reality of her situation. Despite their differences they develop a close frienship and rely on one another for survival.
Without being overly descriptive of the horrors of a work camp, this book does speak to the realities and opens up a discussion. The focus of the story remains on the friendship between the teen girls who meet at camp and their relationships with the other women there.
Morning Time Fun: Set aside time to complete a sewing project together. A sock monkey has always been a hit with the teens and tweens in this house.
Time Period: 1961, Havana Cuba
Featured Historical Events: Cuban Literacy Campaign to abolish illiteracy initiated by Fidel Castro
Age recommendation: 10-14 years old
My Brigadista Year was an enlightening read that captured a rather unknown event in the history of Cuba, the Cuban Literacy Campaign. Shortly after Castro came to power, literate young Cubans from the larger cities were recurited, trained, and then transported to rural areas to live with local families. They were called brigadistas. The program successful raised the literacy rate from 60 to 96 percent in one year and the United Nations declared Cuba a "illiteracy-free" nation.
Lora, the main character, is determined to become a brigadista, despite her parents' concerns. Thanks to her grandmother, permission is granted for her to leave her sheltered life and pursue her goal of teaching fellow Cubans to read. This book is an informative coming-of-age story perfect for tweens and teens.
Morning Time Fun: Enjoy a mid-morning treat and eat Flan together.
Time Period: USA, 1848 (Rhode Island and California)
Featured Historical Events: California Gold Rush, Rotten Row in San Francisco
Age recommendation: 10-14 years old
Daddy read Gold Rush Girl with the boys because sometimes we postpone a little Morning Time reading he can be involved. Have you ever tried this? It's a great way to include dad in your homeschooling!
Victoria, known as Tory, isn't happy about life for a girl in Rhode Island. Looking for adventure, sh stows away on the ship with her father and brother who are headed west for San Fancisco to earn their fortune in gold. Things don't go as they planned and Tory is left to care for her brother alone. When her brother goes missing, Troy has to find her on her own with the help of a friend and his dad.
My boys enjoyed the historical setting of the this book. The author, Avi, does an incredible job of bringing the reader into the historical setting. They didn't wan tto tell me how it ends, but assured me it was all okay in the end. (*smile)
Morning Time Fun: Make Rice Krispies Treats™ and sprinkle them with gold (or yellow) sprinkles for a gold rush treat.
Women's History: A Historical Fiction Graphic Novel
Have you read a Graphic Novel with your kids? It takes some adjustment, but it's a ton of fun and the kids love it.
Try reading one during your Morning Time as you curl up together on the couch.
Queen of the Sea is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel was the perfect addition to our study of the Middle Ages this year. This book was inspired by the early years of Queen Elizabeth the First of England and does a wonderful job capturing convent life with the Elysian sisters.
My kids adore graphic novels and this one was superior. Not only is the story engaging but facts about life in the Middle Ages are creatively inserted throughout the book.
Morning Time Fun: Invite your kids to teatime with the Queen (that's you!). Be sure to wear a crown and read more of the story when teatime is over.
Women's History: Non-Fiction Books
These two books are my favorite type of Morning Time books because I love reading illustrated books packed with information to my teens.
And honestly, they love it too.
Time Period: USA and England, 1832-1928
Featured Historical Events: Women's Suffragist and the path to Votes for Women
Age recommendation: 7-10 years (though I love these sorts of books for Morning time even with tweens and teens)
Suffragette: The Battle for Equality begins by explaining the time period of the 1800's and defining suffrage. From there, the book describes the journey of suffragettes from The Great Reform Act of 1832 to the right for women to vote in England and the USA.
The book introduces well know suffragists and their suppoorters in England and the USA. The end of the book briefly introduces suffragists from around the world. Packed with historical facts and details while also filled with illustrations, this is a perfect Morning Time selection.
Morning Time Fun: Print blank copies of the flags of the USA and England. Let everyone color them in while listening.
Leading the Way: Women in Power by Senator Janet Howell and Theresa Howell
Time Period: USA, 1700's to today
Featured Historical Events: tribute to past and present female leaders
Age recommendation: 10 years and up
Leading the Way: Women in Power is my favorite women's history book in our current Morning Time rotation. There are 50 short biographies that focus on the accomplishments for women in power. This book includes a variety of female senators, representatives, journalists, governors, and more. Women on both side of the political spectrum are featured including Nikki Haley, Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice, and Kamala Harris.
While this book contains historical figures such as Abigail Adams and Eleanor Roosevelt, I am so excited that it also includes so many names my kids will recognize from our current events discussions.
This book is a treasure trove of information that I am enjoying right alongside the kids. Do you know which first lady was nicknamed "The Secret President" because she acted as president for 1.5 years when her husband was too ill to lead?
It's Edith Wilson, wife of Woodrow Wilson. I had no idea. But I know that I can't wait to learn more with the kids.
Morning Time Fun: Write a letter to one of the women in the book who is still serving in the government. Tell her something you appreciated about her story.
Candlewick Press: Final Thoughts
This was my first experience with Candlewick Press but I know it won't be my last. They offer a variety of high quality books for all ages, from board books to chapter books. I can't wait to fill my Morning Time rotation again!
If you are ready to stock up on great literature for your homeschool year, make sure you check out Candlewick Press.
Giveway from Candlewick Press
Candlewick Press is giving away TEN copies of My Green Day: 10 Green Things I Can Do Today (a book for ages 3-7). Enter this giveaway below:
- The Best Activities for a Poppy Book Club for Kids - April 22, 2021
- Homeschool Weekly Wrapup: Work Schedules and Weekend Fun - April 11, 2021
- Homeschool Weekly Wrap-Up: Easter Weekend - April 5, 2021