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American Girl History Units: Josefina

The Unlikely Homeschool

Today on the 10 week American Girl History Unit Series, guest author, Susan Mathis, is sharing about an American Girl that I have yet to "meet." But, after browsing through all of the following unit study ideas, I am anxious to discover the 1820's life of the American southwest through the eyes of the spirited Josefina.

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Written by Susan Mathis.

Josefina's story is unique because it give us insight into the world of the descendants of Spanish settlers in the American southwest. This is important because American history has tended to focus almost exclusively on English settlers. Notice how important Josefina's faith is to her and her family.

Week 1

Mark Josefina’s home on the map. Note that, as with Kaya, we don’t know exactly where Josefina lived.

Find 1824 on the Timeline, as well as 1814, the year Josephina was born. Check out the internet to find other events happening in America at about that time. For Josephina, as for Kaya, the most important events would have centered on American expansion into the southwest.

Choose a craft to work on while you’re studying Josephina. Since Josefina was learning to weave, consider making simple woven potholders. These kits are available at most craft stores and make great holiday presents.

America is becoming a more bi-lingual country. Throughout the Josefina books, your daughter will have the opportunity to learn Spanish words. Help her take a few minutes each day to practices them.

Week 2

Josefina is unique among the other American Girls because she is of Hispanic descent. Take some time this week to learn more about Hispanic culture in America, including food, dances and celebrations.

If you know someone who speaks Spanish, invite him/her to your home to help you label different items with the Spanish names. Pay special attention to items that Josephina would have had, too, like “dress,” “scissors,” etc.

Week 3

Plan a fiesta for the children in your neighborhood or church. Invite everyone to bring a dish to share, decorate with bright colors and make or buy a piƱata.

This is about the time of year when many groups have costume parties. Consider helping your daughter dress up like one of the girls she has learned about.

More American Girl History Units to Explore

Grace & Cecile

Susan Mathis is the homeschooling mom of three children and a large number of American Dolls. She also joins her husband's blog, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Holiness.


  1. Thanks for compiling this all in one place. I look forward to using them with my daughters. Also, Felicity lived through the Revolutionary War so she was born long before 1814.

    1. Oops, that's suppose to say Josephina. Thanks for catching that!