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American Girl History Units: Samantha

The Unlikely Homeschool

Welcome to another week of our American Girl History Units series. This week, Susan Mathis is leading us into the 20th century with a look at the life and times of Samantha. Sweetie Pea and I just had a mother/daughter night this past weekend and watched Samantha, the movie. As usual, the movie version was not nearly as good as the books are, but it made for a fun girl's date!

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The Unlikely Homeschool

Written by Susan Mathis.

More than any other doll, Samantha represents the wealth and prosperity of the Gilded Era in American History. Notice how her life differs from Rebecca's, who lived at the same time.

Week 1

Locate New York on the map. Explain that Mount Bedford, where Samantha lived, is a fictional place but is supposed to be somewhere outside New York City.

Find 1904 on the Timeline, as well as 1894, the year Samantha was born. Check out the internet to find other events happening in America at about that time. The most significant of these for Samantha would have been the Industrial Revolution that made so many products available to Americans, but also led to children like Nellie working long hours in factories.

Choose a craft to work on while you’re studying Samantha. Consider either counted cross stitch or traditional embroidery, such as Samantha would have been learning.

Week 2

Introduce the president, Teddy Roosevelt and his wife, Edith. In 1904, they were living in the White House with their six children, including a son Samantha’s age and a daughter who was a little older. The Roosevelts were also from New York and might have even known Grandmary or their relatives.

Watch the Samantha Movie. Depending on when you started, you might want to add some of Samantha’s Christmas activities to your family’s celebration.

Week 3

Nellie’s life was very different from Samantha’s. Research some of the Child Labor practices of the era.

Read The Wizard of Oz or some other book that Samantha might have read.

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.

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