The history for 7th level in ACE starts with 6 PACES that cover various careers and explains the duties of each as well as the training required. I like that it includes various full-time ministry occupations (such as pastor, youth pastor, church secretary, missionary) as well as a variety of trades and jobs.
PACES for State History
The second half of the year is supposed to be “State or Local History.” ACE has printed PACES only for Texas and Florida:
If you are in Pennsylvania, check out the 6 PACES we wrote that we have been using for several years (temporarily unavailable until we update the PACES).
Options other than PACES
What should you do for your teen to learn about your state’s history if you’re not in Texas or Florida? Well, I put that question out as a survey and then reviewed all 50 responses. Here is what I learned that I hope will help you in planning out your 7th grader’s history.
State History from a Christian Perspective (Statehistory.net)
By far, the most responses came back recommending this website. And the ratings were 4.5 Stars out of 5! They offer a book tailored to each state and then recommend that your student also buy and fill out the “My State Notebook” from A Beka as part of the project.
Here’s a quote from their website:
“Almost no teacher preparation is required. The Student Booklet includes text, maps, color state symbol pictures, 6 quizzes, 2 tests, and an answer key. The Master Lesson Plan provides a Basic 30-Lesson Course that adapts easily to YOUR desired time schedule. Each lesson takes approximately 20-30 minutes. Options within the lessons and Expansion suggestions at the end of each lesson allow you to easily and individually adjust the difficulty level as desired.”
A Beka – My State Notebook
A few families recommended this scrapbooking research tool from A Beka. It is part of A Beka’s 4th grade curriculum, so you might want to add more to it to bring it up to the 7th grade level. Consider using the State History from a Christian Perspective curriculum (above) supplemented by this A Beka notebook.
Alpha Omega – Switched on Schoolhouse
Alpha Omega is the other big individualized instructional curriculum publisher out there, very similar to ACE in format. They tend to be harder for students, as the questions require “reading between the lines” or thinking outside the box. They have a half-year computer-based (CD-rom) history course for every one of the 50 states which can be ordered directly from AOP.com, or from CBD, or Curriculum Express.
Families who used this AOP Switched on School House State History courses rated them rather poorly, on average about 2.5 stars out of 5.
Hewitt Homeschooling Research Project Guide
Their website describes this item as: “Syllabus for students enrolled in Hewitt’s State History course showing “Objectives and Text,” “Organizing Your Study,” ” Quarterly Assignments and Reporting,” and “Grading Criteria.” No text is necessary for this two-quarter course. Students use the library, Internet, and other resources to learn about their state. Maps and reports are required and a list of possible projects is included, such as preparing a current events notebook around a specific theme or reporting on how a bill becomes a law in one’s own state.
One family used and recommended this option. The website suggests it is geared for students in grades 9-12, probably because of the degree of independent research required.
Knowledge Box Central
Two families suggested the lapbooks from Knowledge Box. I found their website slow to load and hard to navigate. The products that were displayed looked like they would appeal to students who like to use their hands to make creative artsy projects that incorporate content they are learning about a subject.
Create Your Own
If you love teaching and putting together your own unit studies, then this would be a great opportunity to break away from the structure of the PACES and do online research, visit your local state representative, and visit historical sites and museums within your area. State legislators often have a variety of booklets, pamphlets, and maps about state history and government that they are more than willing to give to students! Just ask! Most state capitols make great field trips. You might find some websites, YouTube videos, or other digital resources about your particular state. Many libraries are a treasure house with archives of old photographs, maps, and books. Find out if there are some famous people from your state or area and then read some biographies and watch documentaries.
You might consider starting the year with State History and do several field trips in the fall while the weather is more cooperative. You can have your student do the 6 Career PACES the 2nd semester.
I hope this helps you when you get to the point of planning your 7th graders’ history for the year. If you find other resources, please join the conversation in the comments below!