Before we begin American History, we’re learning about Africa! I only have one issue with early America; African Americans are not afforded equal opportunities. I don’t mind him learning about it, I just do not want to show him that first. I decided to back up and give him a quick, and I mean, quick overview of Africa. To guide me, I chose Visits to Africa as my spine to navigate us; but I’m bucking the suggestion of using it over 36 weeks. Not to rush either, I just don’t need an entire year to give the overview I am looking for at this point in our schooling. I’ve managed to plan 14 weeks of lessons, spending 2 days on each visit as opposed an entire week.

Visits to Africa by Simply Charlotte Mason

Again, this is the spine for the study. It is a geographical approach to the continent of Africa learning approximately 2-3 countries per “visit.” I love this approach because I really want my son to see just how big Africa is.

After so many “visits” the students have a chance to “meet the families.” Theses sheet are opportunities for the study to write while they read about real-life families in the two non-fiction texts. We skip the writing portions of these “meetings”, be we do discuss the questions.

Lesson Plans

While we are using a spine, I decided to created lesson plan for each visit so I’d have an “open and go” type format for the duration of this study. Many of the rescues and books in my plans are featured in this post today. If you’re a pulling together your own resources and plans, then by all means carry on. However, if you’d like something all planned all, I’m sharing my lesson plans with you to make it that much easier.

Living Books About Africa

As always, in Charlotte Mason style, we must have living books! The booklist is divided into two lists: a required list and a suggested list. Here we go!

Required Living Book List






All of these books I found at my library, so please check there first. The only book I had to purchase was Yatandou. I have a few readers tell me their library held this title, so please check your specific, local library.

Suggested Book List

This list of books are mainly African folktale from specific African countries or regions that I thought my son would enjoy as he “travels” from land to land.



Resources for Africa

The African Bundle is a digital file with 20 photographs of African life, animals, foods, landmarks, and flags! This is a great resource for the entire study! There is a flag for each county and for each “visit” a food or craft or chosen hands-on learning. The pictures will help you know the name of foods and be able to see what they look like. On review weeks, the kids will study African landmarks and animals and these files are useful then.

Materials for Africa

  • A pen
  • A binder for each student (unless you are buying the print version of Visits to Africa)
  • Tracing paper (5 mapping exercise that needs tracing paper, so 5 per student)
  • A soft pencil, 4B (one for each student)
  • Colored pencils

**There are opportunities to choose an African craft or dish for each visit. I have not decided this craft or dish for you in my plans, but my Africa Study Pinterest Board has some for you to can scroll the ones you’d like to do. Naturally, you’ll need whatever supplies and ingredient each one yields. I will also share our choices as we progress in the study**

Extras for Africa

This extra is not used in my plans, but it case you wanted to learn some interesting things about Africa, especially empires and its leaders, Look, We’re Learning has a wealth of information.