History vs. Social Studies

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I am looking into next year's books and I am stumped. I have a rising 1st grader and a rising 3rd grader. This year we have just been using resources for social studies. We study each state, we learn about people in history and the time they came from, and we have a timeline we add to every time we learn something new. We also study directions and maps through a great Scholastic book with lots of worksheets to practice with. But I'm just wondering if I'm not hitting all the marks. I am wondering if maybe I'm teaching more history and not enough social studies.

I really love using readers instead of textbooks for this subject, and I have my eye on Core Knowledge History and Geography. I was thinking of starting at the beginning with both girls since it's all great information and we've never used those sets before. Can a set like that be used for the Social Studies requirement, or is there a big difference in the two subjects?

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Welcome to our community, Jennifer! :)


Social Studies includes history. For the younger grades social studies tends to be learning about holidays, maps, other peoples and cultures, different jobs (fireman, policeman, baker, etc.), and things like that. It tends to become history and current events as students get older.


That said, you decide what you want to teach and what resources you want to use. Using readers, books, and other resources besides textbooks are absolutely fine (and usually better, in my opinion).


If you want a general guideline about what's typically offered in social studies (and other subject areas) in different grades, browse World Book's Typical Course of Study at


Let me know if you have any other questions.




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