great books for us history

to study
US History this year?  

Looking for some great books to make all the people, places, and events come ALIVE ?!?
Here are some of my favorite books for early US History all in one place.    

The lists are compatible with the American Girl History Units, but there are also LOTS of other great history books NOT related to the American Girls …never fear fellows !  
Check back from time to time, I’m always adding to the lists.

As always, it would be AWESOME  if you’re going to purchase any of the books, if you could do it through these links (Amazon Affiliates linked).   There is NO extra charge to you whatsoever, and I get a small percentage for any items you purchase.  
Also, be sure to follow my American Girl Pages on Pinterest for all kinds of additional printables, recipes, activities, crafts, etc…
(There’s lots of non-AG ideas too !!) 

*I usually pin to these boards at least several times a week!


civil war great books




* Civil War Reading List  




pioneer unit reading list




*Pioneer America Reading List 


Frontier Unit Study Book List


*America’s Southwest
Frontier Reading List  



colonial america unit book list



 *Colonial America
Reading List



native americans unit reading list



*Native America    




photo by: Wonderlane

Family Bible Time ABC's

*Family Bible Time ABC’s Devotional….Knowing God and being known by God is the most life changing thing on earth.  This is a family devotional I made up when my children were small to help us learn more about our identity in Christ together.  Each alphabet letter has a corresponding characteristic, a related memory verse, and further related reading.  Some of the words are highlighted with a link to a fun song or activity as well.
 I hope your family will enjoy this Family Bible Time ABC’s devotional !  🙂

If you’d like to read more about the importance of teaching children who they are in Christ, and find some creative ideas too, Four Ways to Teach Christ Esteem to Our Kids‘ is a great article !  

In Christ we are…

A-Accepted                        (Ephesians 1:6)        Ephesians 1:1-14
B- Beloved                       (Colossians 3:12)     Colossians 3:12-17
CChildren of Light            (Ephesians 5:8)      Ephesians 5:8-21
DDelivered                            (Colossians 1:13)     Colossians 1:1-14
EElect                                      (2 Peter 1:10)           2 Peter 1:3-11
FFreed                                    (John 8:32)               John 8:31-36
GGiven Grace                        (Ephesians 1:6-7)     Ephesians 1:3-14
HHeirs                                     (Romans 8:15-17)     Romans 8:1-17
IIn Christ                                 (Ephesians 2:13)      Ephesians 2:1-22
JJustified                               (Romans 8:30)          Romans 8:28-39
KKept by God                      (1 Peter 1:5)              1 Peter 1:3-16
LLight of the World           (Matthew 5:14)         Matthew 5:13-16
MMore than Conquerors   (Romans 8:37)      Romans 8:28-39
NNew Creations                (2 Cor. 5:17)              2 Cor. 5:14-21
OOvercomers                      (1 John 5:4)              1 John 5:1-15
PPeople of God                   (1 Peter 2:9)             1 Peter 2:9-12
QQuickened                         (Colossians 2:13)     Colossians 2:6-14
RRich                                      (2 Cor. 8:9)                2 Cor. 8:1-15
SSons & Daughters         (John 1:12)                John 1: 1-13
TTemple                                 (Ephesians 2:22)     Ephesians 2:19-22
UUnited with Christ         (Galatians 3:27)       Galatians 3: 26-29
VVictorious                           (1 Cor. 15:57)             1 Cor. 15:54-58
W Workmanship of God       (Ephesians 2:10)   Ephesians 2:1-10
XeXamples                            (1 Timothy 4:12)         1 Timothy 4
YYoked                                   (Matthew 11:29)        Matthew 11:25-30
ZZealous                                (Romans 12:11)         Romans 12


summer school ideas
Can you believe it ?!?   It’s almost the end of May !!

And summer is stirring!
I’m already dreaming of grilling hamburgers and enjoying big slices of
juicy watermelon !

Summertime and the livin’ is easy !

Or at least it should be 🙂
No matter if we are year round homeschoolers or not, after several weeks of vacation from the daily routine, it’s good to have a little plan for the week.
See how little the plan is ?!

COME BACK !!   Don’t run away!  
I promise these FUN ideas won’t take much (if any) real planning, and will only add to the easy, carefree days that we all look forward to.

So here we go… 10 GREAT Ideas for
“Summer School” !

1.  Get Outside !
* Try something new like Geocahing !   You can get started HERE.
* Pick a day and hold a Family Olympics
* 32 Best Backyard Games
* Backyard Treasure Hunt:  Minecraft Style

* Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt
   If you love scavenger hunts here’s a great list of some more ideas !
50 Outdoor Summer Activities for Kids

(Print this list out…hang it on the fridge…never hear  “I’m Bored!”
this summer !)
* 50 Outdoor Games to DIY This Summer
(Possibly my FAVORITE ideas!  Great for kids of ALL ages !)

2.  Get Wet !  
* Water Obstacle Course  
* 17 Outrageously Fun Water Activities
* 75 Water Activities
* Fun Games to Play with Water 
* Play a game of Water Ball
* Water Gun Painting
* 25 Fun Ice Ideas for the Summer 

3.  Get Creative !
* Write a play and preform it for family & friends !
OR film your own movie
and invite the neighbors for the premier night !

* Try making a family scrapbook together or a simple family tree !
* Build a fairy garden together.
* Try Art Journals and if you need some GREAT ideas to begin, click HERE
* Get crafty with The Crafty Crow !

4. Get Giving !
* Host a Food Drive…Step by step how-to
* Make some Birthday Boxes  or some Blessing Bags
* Share some love with your Neighbors  (new twist on lemonade stand)
* Don’t forget the Elderly… 20 Ideas to Share 
* 100 Acts of Kindness for Kids  (and everyone else !!)
* 20 Unique Ideas for Summer Service Projects  

5.  Get Messy !
* Family Fun Night Messy !
* 20 Messy Outdoor Play Ideas
* Play Fun Foam Twister
* Color Spray T’s
* Get SLIMED !

6. Get Moving !
* DIY American Ninja Warrior Backyard Obstacle Course
* 12 Sports to Play with Pool Noodles  (No pool required)
* 35 Active Things to Do This Summer
* DIY Get Moving Game
* Fun YouTube Dances For Kids to Learn
* 10 Variations to the Game of Catch

7.  Get Away ! 
Whether you’re just kicking around your own town or city, taking a road trip, or jetting across the ocean to spend a week in Tahiti (I can dream!), summer is a time to EXPLORE !

* Free Fun at Local Retail Stores
(We’ve participated in the kids clubs at several of these stores and it has always been LOTS of fun!!  )
Here’s a few ideas:
Apple Kids Summer Programs
Microsoft Free Events for Kids
Lowe’s Build & Grow
Home Depot Weekly Workshops for Kids

* Going on a road trip this summer?  Maybe to one of America’s amazing National Parks ?
* National Parks Junior Ranger Programs  
* Printable Road Trip Games
* And some games for the big kids too ! 

* Funny post to keep you laughing if you’re on a road trip…and some super fun ideas for the kiddos!

* And if you’re lucky enough to be flying to Tahiti or some other wonderful place, check out this fantastic travel blog Word Traveling!  Written with homeschool families in mind, but good for anyone who loves to travel!

8. Get Reading !

* Barnes & Nobles Summer Reading Triathalon 
* Book Notes  (just because I thought this was awesome)
* Expand your reading borders and try the
 2016 Summer Reading Challenge
* Choose and read a book as a family.
Then watch the 
movie …make it a special themed night… you could cook related foods, play music as per the setting, or even dress up as some of the characters !!
* Reading Scavenger Hunt
* Start a Summer Book Club for Kids  

9. Get Cooking !
* Plan a Backyard Camping Trip….complete with COOKING !
* Try cooking a new meal together from a different country…
   HERE and HERE are some ideas to get started
* 10 Summer Snacks for Kids to Make
* Take a CHILL and make some icy snacks !
* Summer Themed Snacks 

10. Get Growing !
* 25 Things You Can Grow From Your Kitchen Scraps  
* Start small and plant an Herb Garden
* Creative Gardens For Kids !
* 10 Unique Gardening Activities for Kids
* Make your own garden markers and watch the beauty grow !

Wishing you all a summer FULL of daisy days !!
I’d love to hear your ideas too !  

Comments are always welcome !

 American Girl Addy: ~Civil War Unit Study~Addy Unit Study Civil War

Welcome to Addy’s World 1854:
Growing Up During America’s Civil War

*This is such a deeply emotional topic of study that will surely create much discussion and perhaps some sadness, anger, and confusion for children.  I hope to convey some positive points (stories of courage, faith, hope against all hope, and the deepest expressions of love) that will help sort out what can be learned,  so that in our personal lives and in the life of our communities and our countries, we will never repeat a history such as this.    

  * Core Reading:

Welcome to Addy’s World 1864

*Week 1: “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864”- Life in the South 

1.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  Meet Addy                                                     (p. 1-3)
2.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  Intro to the Civil War & Slavery             (p. 26-29)
3.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-   Addy’s Family                                              (p. 30-31; 34-35) 4.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-   Addy’s Faith                                                 (p. 32-33)
5.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-   Songs to Freedom                                     (p. 36-37 )

*Week 2: “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″- North to Freedom

1.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  The Underground Railroad                     (p. 38-39)
2.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  New Beginnings in the North                 (p. 8-11; 20-21) 3.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  Children Still Played                                  (p. 14-15; 12-13) 4.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  Fashion                                                            (p. 16-19)
5.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  The Church Family                                      (p. 22-23)

*Week 3: “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864”- America’s “Civil” War

1.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  The Nation at War                                       (p. 4-7)
2.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  The Homefront- South                              (p. 42-43)
3.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  The Homefront- North                              (p. 44-45)
4.  “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-  The War Ends !                                             (p. 46-49)
5. “Welcome to Addy’s World 1864″-   Moving On! A New South                         (p. 50-58) Continue reading American Girl Addy Civil War Unit Study

spring chick PEEP!~Spring Science~
Friday Favorites

As much as I love the cozy days of winter, I’m kind of ready for
a new season.
Ready for all the browns to be replaced with greens,
for flowers to bloom,
and the breezes to be warm.
                          Bring on the spring! 

There’s just something about the change of seasons that always energizes me….and err….it seems to have been genetic.
My kids tend to get that same “energy”.

                                                 Spring Fever !

So, this week’s Friday Favorites are  some fun   Spring Science Activities
to change things up a bit and get the spring fever wiggles out.    🙂

* ‘Egg’cellent  Ideas*

Bouncy Eggs from Parenting Chaos
8 Fascinating Egg Science Activities  from   iGame Mom
8 Egg Launchers  (These are SO MUCH FUN!!)  from   Little Bins for Little Hands

* Dancing with the Daffodils & Other Flower Power Ideas *

Daffodil Disection (& other lovely related ideas) from Mama Scout
*I really love this mama’s reminder that real learning is the goal!
Seed Sprouting Activity from Housing A Forest
The Magic School Bus Gets Planted!

Flower Pigment Experiment from Coffee Cups and Crayons

* Butterflies, Birds, and Bugs *

Make a Butterfly Feeder and learn all about butterflies with this Butterfly Unit from Premeditated Leftovers
Birds of a Feather from The Scientific Mom
Ants ! from Gift of Curiosity


“And then my heart with pleasure fills,
and dances with the daffodils. ”
– William Wordsworth

photo by:

fields of daisies

It’s Friday Favorites!
More fun ideas
for more fields of daisies days!

If you are just stopping by for the first time, you may be wondering what in the world I mean by  “fields of daisies” days.      🙂

Welcome to my cozy corner of Bloglandia!
Click on over to read what these wonderful days are all about,  then come back and sit and stay awhile!  I’m so glad you’ve found Fields of Daisies.
I hope you will enjoy the units I’m posting,  my favorite homeschooling finds, and most of all, I hope you will find some encouragement to keep on
living, loving, and learning with your family!

So, without further ado…on to the fun!!

Earlier this week, I posted some thoughts on being able to SEE the good and the Mercy in each day… and I kept thinking, in the least,  we all have days that test our patience.

It’s so frustrating when our plans change, or sickness happens, or there are endless trips to and from,  and “school” gets put on hold.

How do you homeschool on days like these?

Some days are just difficult, but making them into the best, most memorable kinds of days is totally possible.  It’s more than possible!
(REALLY this IS a fun post!  I promise!  Keep reading !)


So HOW do we do it ?!?
Look for the daisy moments!

Here are some ideas.


* When mama is sick~

 Can it be a good day when Mom is sick in bed?
Depends on how you see it!

– Read this mama’s sweet reminder at ilovemy5kids
THIS is a perfect field of daisies kind of day!

– Curl up together and listen to your favorite books.  There are TONS of free audiobooks for all ages.
Listen to some stories that might be brand new to you!
There are some fantastic ones out there that have so much to teach…about science, or math, or history!

Click here to see some of our favorites over the years Story Time !
And my very favorite series of books, The Chronicles of Narnia are all available free online!!

* The feeling blue kind of day~
Try ditching the regular routine and do something happy !!
What could be cheerier than  PEEPS ?!?
Peeps STEM activities from Schooling a Monkey
– Peep Science from Coffee Cups and Crayons

Peep Science   from  The Frugal Navy Wife
Peep S’mores… Oh my!  from

* Unexpected all day in the car~
Laughable some days isn’t it ?!?

– Just talk to each other.

Some of the very deepest conversations I’ve had with my children have happened spontaneously while in the car.  Maybe it is the lack of distractions, or maybe because we have each other as a
captive audience.  🙂
Either way, don’t “miss it” and stress about all that isn’t getting done at home… lots of important life can be found in the confines of the car.

– Roll the windows down and SING!
   Sing LOUD too!
  Ahhhhh.  Doesn’t that feel so good?!?!

–  I love this idea to create your family’s own soundtrack
from Alpha Mom

– Play some silly car games that ALL of you might enjoy!

– A fun “speriment” for the younger kiddos from this mom at
The (Reformed) Idealist Mom

* When everyone is wiggly and has
spring fever~

Get outside!
Even in the rain or slush !   The kids don’t mind, and stomping in puddles can make you feel like you’re 5.
And that’s a good thing.    🙂

– Here are some great ideas from Our Journey Westward

*And at last….the days when you are simply feeling “interrupted” by LIFE!

-I absolutely love this encouragement from Heidi St. John  !
-And THIS SONG from Kristene DiMarco

Hope you find a hidden daisy today !


photos by: & ,

 Mercy !

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.”

~ Psalm 22:1-2

Is there anything much worse than God’s apparent silence when your heart is breaking,
or terrified, or wounded and betrayed ?

Where is He, the One who promised to never leave your side,  when  life is spinning out of control, and your heart is pounding in your mouth,
and your mind is screaming with what-if’s ?

Have you ever prayed until you had absolutely nothing left…and then, still…only silence?

 Mercy !!!
I give up!

I’ve been here.  This is where David was when he wrote the words of this psalm.
Maybe you’ve been here too?

I’m so thankful David was honest about his struggles!  What a relief it was to read his words one morning, and know that I wasn’t the only one that had ever felt this way and had cried out to God with these same scary, bold questions.
And David, a man after God’s own heart!

And literally.

So I said the word out loud.  Mercy !
Maybe just to break the silence.

Have you ever had a eureka! moment ?
Ohhhhhh.  Now I get it!

Sheesh.  Some of us (me!) are slow learners.
After months of lament and frustration and doubt and tears, it dawned on me.
God had not been silent at all.  His answer, everyday ?


All those dark days, I had misread His beautiful mercy for terrible silence.
Yet He had walked me through each day pouring out an unfathomable amount of mercy.
On me.  On my loved one.  On my home and on my family.

And I had completely missed it.

Have you ever completely missed it with God on something?
OUCH!   Big ouch!
But again, the Word reminds us we aren’t the first.  Phew!
Our family, His people, have been “missing it” for a very long time.    Imagine how fervent and sincere the prayers were for the Messiah to come!  So long… hoping, watching, and waiting.  Yet many totally missed it because He didn’t come in the way they had expected Him to.

I missed the way He came to me too.  Completely.

But in the missing it, I have gleaned a treasure.
“The Lord is near.  Be not anxious about anything.”
God is not far or deaf to your cries.
“Call to me and I will answer you…”
Prayers aren’t always answered in the way you’d expect.

So, at the point of giving up…look up.

Shout mercy!

Open your eyes to see.

Maybe you’ll notice the grace you’ve had to get up and face each day, or a new friendship, or a beautiful flower that has sprung up in your yard, or even the kindness of a stranger…His answer and Presence in an unexpected way.
Don’t miss it!!

The Lord has comforted me so tenderly with this revelation.  I hope in some way, somehow, these words will be of comfort and hope to someone else who needs them too.   Apologies for this lengthy post.  🙂
May the Lord bless and keep you~

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles,
we can comfort those in any trouble with the
comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

And just in case anybody has read this far, I also wanted to share this song, “Mercy”, by Amanda Cook.   🙂   So good!

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****Christmas School****

Christmas School Fun***
Hello Friends!
It’s been awhile…

Is it already November?
The warmth and joy of the holidays are just beginning to stir in our home.
The Christmas music is playing, the candles are flickering, the first baking has begun.  

I’m sipping some hot, spicy tea and making lists.  
This week is one of my favorite weeks of the year.  Does that sound odd?
The week before Thanksgiving is kind of the calm before the storm.  
It’s a lovely week to me.   There’s still time to sit and reflect, and make preparations for all the sweet memories yet to be made in the swirl of the next month. 

When my children were small, this was a time I also spent planning what we called Christmas school.   With just a bit of organization, this became their favorite kind of “school”… I was happy and much less stressed about getting it “all” done…. and best of all, “Christmas school” gave us some of the very best memories of our lives.

Like the year we were studying Ancient Egypt just before Thanksgiving.
It was my very first time hosting Thanksgiving at my home.  I had three littles, including a newborn, and a collection of  in-laws and outlaws, and neighbors and friends….and I had pulled it off.

We were all happily eating and chatting and I, mostly zoning out from thankfulness that the turkey was edible, and from sheer exhaustion, was happily oblivious of how long my 4 year old had “excused”  himself from the table.
Just as the thought of it crossed my mind I heard moaning coming from the nearby “powder room”.   But the thought popped in too late.

I’m blaming the tryptophan.

Before I could move,  he came bursting into the dining room stark naked and wrapped up from head to toe with who knows how many rolls of toilet paper.

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM…….I’m a mummmmmmmmy !!!!

Thirty people.  Dead silence.
Shocked grandparents didn’t know what to make of the display.
Then a few grabbed their cameras, thank goodness, and this memory lives on and is retold every single year, much to my now 22 year old’s son’s chagrin.

We are homeschoolers.
School has a way of integrating into every part of our lives !!

ANYWHO,  onto a much safer theme of American History (sans MUMMIES!)  and onto Christmas school, haha.

If baking is on your list that needs to be done, why not be learning what Swedish immigrants were baking up in their holiday kitchens, buy some cardamon and bake on….if ornaments are to be made, why not find out what ornaments in Colonial Williamsburg looked like, and try making your own… and if you need a creative way to focus your families hearts and minds on Christ, how about opening your home and gathering your friends together for a Las Posadas celebration ?

And just think of the great family memories that your kiddos might make.  lol

There’s tons of great units, lesson plans, activities, and other ideas out there to use if you don’t have the inclination to plan it all out right now.
If you’ve been working your way through the American Girl History Units on this site, or just think the idea of Christmas school sounds like fun, you might like to check out my Pinterest boards  (I’m still adding to them daily!)
I will eventually write these into actual units, but for now, click away and ENJOY !

*Felicity’s Christmas-  An American Girl Colonial Christmas

*Josefina’s Christmas-  An American Girl  Southwestern Christmas

*Kirsten’s Christmas-  An American Girl Pioneer Christmas

Also, you may like to check out some of the fun books and movies to go along with these!

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