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Our History, HIS-story: Using Literature to Weave the African-American Presence into the Fabric of Early American History Review by Lyria Moore

Belinda J. Bullard
A Blessed Heritage Educational Resources
PO Box 55
Mont Belvieu, TX 77580-0055

Are you an African American or Native American wondering why most textbooks don't give a full account of American history? Have you ever wondered why certain stories, happenings, and people were left out of the textbooks? If you are, Belinda J. Bullard has developed her curriculum especially for you. For all of you non-Native and non-African Americans out there, this curriculum would be an eye-opener for you as well!

Mrs. Bullard has divided her American history curriculum up into two parts. Part I is called Our History, HIS-story: Using Literature to Weave the African-American Presence into the Fabric of Early American History. Part II is called Our History, HIS-story: Using Literature to Weave the African-American Presence into the Fabric of Early American History, 1866-present. Both parts were developed with the elementary-age child in mind. Each curriculum is contained in a spiral-bound book complete with a suggested reading plan, timelines, and a list of the resources needed for the curriculum. The books that the curricula refer to can be found in your local library. The other resources can be found around the home or purchased at a store. The author made sure to keep those costs down!

The lessons are broken down into primary learning topics, reading assignments, and various activities, including map making. Each section is concluded with a "To talk and think about" box that contains questions and a small Bible study for the children to complete, which ties in the Bible to the topics they learned in that section. There are illustrations of what the author's children learned while going through this curriculum to help the parent along and give an idea of what they can expect from their children.

I am so happy to see these books hitting the homeschool bookshelves. When I first started considering American history curricula, I too was dissatisfied with the current offerings as they made slight mention or no mention at all of the positive influence these two groups of people left on American history. I especially was concerned about teaching early American history from the standpoint presented in most current curricula gracing homeschool catalogs. I just wasn't comfortable teaching my children and leaving a void where their rich heritage of building up this country was supposed to fit. I am very thankful to Mrs. Bullard for creating this curricula and filling in the gap. Now there is somewhere to turn for the vast number of African-American parents now entering the homeschool movement.

While these curricula contain features that specifically address African and Native Americans, they do not exclude the rest of history that most people know and have learned. Each volume is a wonderful blend of not-so-familiar history with the familiar. Mrs. Bullard has done a beautiful job balancing the two. This series would be an integral part of any homeschool history course. I look forward to future creations of this talented homeschool mom!

Product review by Lyria Moore, Homeschool Nations Indiana Contributor, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2006