Here are a few of the super fun ways we've explored our state's history over the years....
River of Dreams: The Story of the Hudson River is a beautifully written and illustrated book, available at most libraries, that chronicles the history of our state as pertaining to the Hudson River. From the Natives who lived along it, to Henry Hudson's voyages, the settlements on its shores by the Dutch, the English who came thereafter, the trains and canals and ships that carried goods by it, the ice transported from it around the world, the industrialization and pollution of it, and the cleaning of it. Oh and how can I forget... one of our favorite parts, the Hudson River School Painters!
Along with this book we also read Thomas Locker's beautifully illustrated book Hudson: The Story of a River.
We visited Olana, the home of Hudson River School painter Frederic Church, an amazing place not only full of art, but the shaping of the landscape and the architecture itself is a work of art. Completely amazing!!
We visited the home of Hudson River School painter Thomas Cole as well.
We visited Crailo, an old Dutch home turned museum in Albany, NY. Wait till you see the crazy beds they slept in due to a superstition against lying down to sleep!!
We've been many times to the NYS Museum in Albany. Many super cool exhibits, hand's on, interactive, stories, and more here.
Last year we studied the Revolutionary era. Helena watched the Liberty Kids videos on YouTube and we discussed the main events leading up to the war and main characters of the era. Needless to say, much of the Revolution was fought in NYS..
We visited Oriskany Battlefield and did the walking tour there.
We visited Fort Stanwix and took a private tour (one of many advantages of being homeschooled!). The docent was quite impressed with Helena's questions and knowledge, based largely on what she learned from Liberty Kids.
One of these days we hope to get to General Herkimer Home, Saratoga Battlefield, and some of the Erie Canal museums.... We'd also like to get further downstate to see Washington Irving's house since we've read about and learned about his stories.
We've also read books of the Erie Canal era from the library; we've learned about worker's unions from another cartoon we saw (name escapes me). We've read library books on the history of NYC and NYS history/facts.
We've read Farmer Boy about 19th century upstate NY farm life. We've visited the Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown.
We've been to the Iroquois Museum, to Native American events, read many books about Native Americans in this region... Helena went to wilderness school for a few years for 10 weeks in fall and spring and explored primitive skills of this state's history.
We've been on the Indian Ladder Trail that joined the Iroquois Trail (now the NYS thruway) to the Helderberg Mt region and into the Catskill mountains. We've studied the physical geography of the region, very visible along the Indian Ladder Trail.
Finally we've attended political rallies and events covering current issues in NYS history.
I'm sure there's a lot more I'm missing without looking over all of our quarterly reports...
Bottom line: why learn NYS history from a textbook when you can get out, explore, and see it all for yourself!!??