I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

American Girl History Units: Julie

The Unlikely Homeschool-American Girl History Units Julie

Ironically, we started our American Girl History Units on a birthday...the birth of our nation...and we are ending it on one too...the birth of...well, ME. Fitting that the era of history we are looking at today is the era of my birth, the 70s. As our guest writer, Susan Mathis, points out, the 70s were a rather dark time in our country's past. But, as has been said...If we don't study history (and all its parts), we are doomed to repeat it. Because of some of the themes of this particular American Girl Series many moms, myself included, have opted to forgo reading them...at least for a little while. But, I encourage you to tuck Susan's thoughts away for future reference.

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If you are just joining us, and would like to learn more about how you can use American Girl books to enrich your study of American History, be sure to begin at the beginning where Susan shares some wonderful tips on getting started.

Written by Susan Mathis

Frankly, Julie's era is difficult for me to write about because I lived through it. However, because I was raised in a conservative, Christian home, my experience, and thus my perspective, was very different than the norm. We must take care to not unduly romanticize what was a very traumatic era in our country's history.

Week 1

Mark Julie’s home in California on the map. Note that, while most of the girls we’ve studied recently lived on the eastern half of the United States, Julie is a West Coast girl.

Find 1974 on the Timeline, as well as 1964, the year Julie was born. Check out the internet to find other events happening in America at about that time. For Julie, the most important events were related to social upheavals and the peace movement. This is a good chance to discuss that all was not as good as it sometimes seems to be in the Julie books.

Choose a craft to work on while you’re studying Julie. Obviously bead necklaces would be a good choice. You can also mention that there was an interest in the 70s in all things Native American, hence the crafts were similar to what you did for Kaya.

Week 2

Remind your daughter that Julie would be 48 years old now. Have her interview a woman who is about that age and see what she thinks of the Julie books.

Again, because Julie’s values may be different from those of your family, now is a good time to address that; for instance, standing up for the right thing sometimes means submitting to lawful authority rather than rebelling against it.

Week 3

Plan a fondue party for your extended family. Invite all the adults to bring pictures of themselves and/or their families from the 70s.

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. I found your site when you were just starting this series, and, well, life got in the way, and I'm only just now returning. I'm so glad to see that you finished the series, and yet, it makes me sad that it's over.
    I'm so looking forward to using your units to teach American History to my girls.

    Thank you ever so much for this!!

    1. I hope you and your girls have a great time with it. We will be reading the Rebecca series sometime together as a fam and will have to revisit some of these again too.

  2. Hi- I thought I had come up with the idea to do history via American Girl books, but I see that I definitely did not. These lesson plan suggestions are AWESOME! I was just wondering- Do you think it might be a possibility to have your guest writer post a lesson plan for Caroline? I know her books probably came out after this series was finished. Thank you so much- I can't wait to start history next year! :o)

  3. I am so glad I discovered your blog in the wee hours of the morning. I am nursing twins trying to keep myself awake. I stumbled upon your posts for Tot Trios through Pinterest. I loved every one of the posts. Now, I found this new series for American Girl. This is a fabulous idea for teaching history to my sweet 2nd grader! I am so excited to peruse your blog even more! I am VERY appreciative for all your time and effort with your blog posts!

    1. So glad you found me, Holly. I hope you and your second grader enjoy the series!

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