Donna Connolly taught for several years with LAUSD teaching ESL and with Burbank Unified School District as a substitute school teacher. As a substitute, she had the opportunity to teach many subjects and grade levels. After the birth of her first son, Donna left the workforce to become a full time mom. As a stay-at-home mom, she spent little time at home. For three years, Donna sat on the Scholarship Board at Mission College and worked briefly as the Executive Director and fundraiser. She has volunteered in the field of education and with community organizations, writing posts for education blogs and Letters to the Editor. Donna decided to pull her oldest child out of public school and homeschool. It's been an exciting and wonderful new adventure. As a homeschooler, Donna has taken her love of learning, teaching experience and passion for history and developed a course for HuckleBerry! She is a UCLA graduate with a degree in Philosophy, and believes the number one goal of any instructor is to instill a love of learning in the students he or she is honored to teach.
Our Beautiful State - The History of California!
Homework: There will be reading to do at home!
PREREQUISITES: Students should be reading minimally at the 2nd grade level to complete the in-class and at home learning.
California is so much more than just beaches and fires! We have a fantastic history and topography with a wild range of weather, flora, fauna and history. Come join us as we look at the history of our beautiful state!
Fall: We start our study of California with a look at the local La Brea Tar Pits! Here we will learn how history has been trapped in the asphalt seeps! These tar pits are the only active urban fossil dig site in the world! Plants and animals from the last 50,000 years are discovered there every day. From there we will map the geography of California’s regions and mountains, lakes and deserts. Not all of California is a desert! Understanding our topography will help us understand the varied history of our state. We will learn about the Native American tribes that made California their home, make a wigwam and study the plants that were used in their diet that can still be found on our trails today! Let's try them! We will learn about Spanish Explorers, Mexican Colonization and build a Presidio. We’re surrounded by the Missions of California so in class we’ll take a virtual tour of some of our favorites! Our families may want to visit the Santa Barbara Mission this week! We’ll be panning for gold when we learn about the Gold Rush and the Miner 49ers. Every week our learners will be bringing home evidence of learning to help them remember what we learned in this hands-on exploration of California!
In the fall we will be reading Island of the Blue Dolphins. Students are welcome to listen to this wonderful story online if they prefer!
Winter: In the winter session we’ll cover the time period from the Miner 49er’s to Industry in California! Just like in the fall, our class will be full of maps, worksheets, hands-on projects, short movies and more to bring this period of time to life!
Spring: In the Spring session we’ll be learning about the changes in the last century in California!