Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

The Sixties: The Space Race, Civil Rights, The Vietnam War and Presidents Kennedy and Johnson

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television 
Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac 
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, "Bridge on the River Kwai" 
Lebanon, Charlse de Gaulle, California baseball 
Starkweather, homicide, children of thalidomide 
Buddy Holly, "Ben Hur", space monkey, Mafia 
Hula hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go 
U-2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy 
Chubby Checker, "Psycho", Belgians in the Congo 
Hemingway, Eichmann, "Stranger in a Strange Land" 
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion 
"Lawrence of Arabia", British Beatlemania 
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson 
Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British politician sex 
JFK, blown away, what else do I have to say 
Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again 
Moonshot, Woodsto/ck/, Watergate, punk rock...
-We Didn't Start The Fire, Billy Joel

The Space Race

Apollo program insignia
We watched Apollo 11: A Night to Remember, which the boys enjoyed but I wouldn't recommend it to everyone as it is a bit tedious (boring?). It is basically all the news coverage from BBC news files put together. We also read Buzz Aldren's autobiography written for children, Reaching for the Moon, which I do recommend. I also let the boys watch Apollo 13, which has some elements (bad language, sexual scenes, etc.) that would normally rule out a movie for them, but I let the rules slide this time because it is the best telling of the story there is and it is one of my very favorite movies. We also discussed the cabin fire during a launch pad test of Apollo 1. 
The boys have also been to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum twice, so they knew quite a bit about the space race already.
We completed a map From Earth to the Moon from Interactive 3-D Maps: American History by Donald Silver.

And for a creative twist, check out Classic Play' post, Celebrating Neil Armstrong and the History of Broadcast Television.

Civil Rights

Let no man pull you low enough to hate him. Martin Luther King Jr.
We read about Rosa Parks and
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I have a Dream speech. We completed a map, On the Road for Civil Rights, from Interactive 3-D Maps: American History by Donald Silver, which traces the routes of the Freedom Riders. We talked about how it was not too long ago that there were seperate lunch counters, bathrooms, water fountains and the like for black people, and about segregation in the schools.
Captain Salem Avery Museum, where my father and brothers and I went to school, before it became a museum, that is. For most of its history, it was a whites-only school. My older brothers experienced segregation, but by the time I went to school, the schools were integrated. Children are always interested in how family history and textbook history link together.

Vietnam War

We reviewed what we had learned about Vietnam's history as an introduction to the Vietnam War.
We enjoyed a most excellent book, 10,000 Days of Thunder: A History of the Vietnam War by Philip Caputo. It is written for children ages 9 and up, but I learned a lot from it as well. 
We also read bits of 


We completed notebook pages for the presidents during this time period from  Homeschool Share's Presidents lapbook.

John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy (JFK)
35th President
Served: 1961-1963
Party: Democrat
Cuban missile crisis – Soviet Union had nuclear weapons in Cuba. Kennedy negotiated the removal of the weapons from Cuba with the Soviet Union.
Created the Peace Corps
Supporter of the Civil Rights Movement
Supporter of the space program – made it a goal that a man would walk on the moon
Was assassinated in Texas by Lee Harvey Oswald – shot twice in the neck and head
Buried in Arlington National Cemetery – an eternal flame burns nearby, a request of his wife
Inaugural address - “Ask not what your country can do for
you – ask what you can do for your country.”
Youngest president ever elected at 43 years of age
Namesakes: JFK Airport in New York
Kennedy Space Center in Florida

Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ)
36th President
Served: 1963-1969
Party: Democrat 
Officer of the Navy during WW II
Served as Vice President under JFK
Became President after the assassination of JFK – was sworn in on Air Force Once in Texas
Passed Civil Rights Act of 1964 – outlawing most racial segregation
Passed an act adding Medicare for the elderly
Vietnam War – sent US troops to S. Vietnam to stop N.Vietnam communists from taking over
Namesakes: Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Texas




  1. How interesting about the Captain Avery Salem Museum and that you attended school there! I bet the kids enjoyed hearing about it.

  2. I forgot to mention, my daughter's SHINE camp group spent a day touring some of the black history museum before leaving Memphis. I was so excited for her to see history like that. i.e. The motel where MLK was shot.

  3. We made the interactive map for MLK also, I can not thank you enough for writing about those maps because the kids love them, especially the boys. I should go look and see if there is an ancient history version.....

    1. I am glad that you like them. I didn't see an Ancient History one. If you find one, let me know.

  4. I am highly entertained by how differently space race is portrayed here in comparison to "back home". In general, I found the Cold War portion of SOTW to be incredibly biased and even untrue in places. I expect that as these events move further back into the past, the coverage will become more impartial (hopefully!)

    1. I think I have mentioned before that I think much of SOTW is biased to the point of being inaccurate. It is the most easy for us to see this in the "history" that we lived through. "Hey, it wasn't like that." But if you research thoroughly the other topics further back in history, you can see that the bias is all through the book. I do not recommend it.

  5. What a great unit study! I've pinned it so I can revisit it when we get to that time period. :)

  6. Yes, does look like a great study unit.


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