California History

California Out of the Box: Curriculum FAQs

How would you describe California Out of the Box? California Out of the Box is a lively new California history curriculum designed for homeschool families and progressive/charter schools.  Interdisiplinary in nature, students are encouraged to tackle the study of related areas that arise out of reading five historical fiction books.  The curriculum includes a teacher’s […]

California History

What California Event is Most Important?

How did you answer the quiz? If you have lived in California, you have a sense of how rich the history is.  Starting with the beginnings of the native people living off the land, and then more (and more) migrants coming.  These new pioneers had to deal with the terrain–trying to stay alive through snow-packed […]

California History

Supporting Urban Native Animals (and Plants!)

I sometimes wonder, living in Los Angeles, why there are so many humans here, but all of the big saber toothed cats and awesome La Brea Tar Pits Pleistocene animals are not here (imagine dire wolves, Columbian mammoths, the American horse, and the ground sloth).  They occupied this land up to 10,000 years ago; they […]

California History

I love cats! (from the Gold Rush)

As I have been putting the finishing touches on my curriculum – California Out of the Box – one of the wonderful resources that I stumbled across are selections from Mark Twain’s epic journey out west written between 1870-71, chronicled in his book Roughing It.  This book recounts his stagecoach journey from St. Joseph, Missouri […]

Book Review

Good Read: Stories from Where We Live: The California Coast

Stories from Where We Live: The California Coast is one of my favorite resources to begin a conversation about California habitats.  I was introduced to this book when my kids and I studied California history as a part of our homeschool curriculum. While looking in the book stacks in the California section of the Children’s […]

Book Review

What was it like in California during the ranchos?

We drive on freeways and take commuter trains and ride light rail to get to school and work. Surrounded by multi-story buildings, concrete roads, tall fences, and large parking lots, it is hard to imagine the land of California before this infrastructure. While driving around, I often times wonder what our state looked like as […]