Yes, we’ve struggled with history time being a boring subject that the kids asked to skip every day. I love history, and that really drove me crazy. Last year, I finally sat down and made it a point to find a curriculum and method that would change that way of thinking.
First, I realized that I had to model good behavior and show my kids that history was and really could be fun. I began by thinking of ways that I could add field trips to our history lessons to bring them to life. I also began using a curriculum that was based on projects. This was a huge success with the kids, because they enjoyed the practical side of making relevant things from history.
Second, I realized that I had to find a fun and engaging way to help them practice their history facts. I started using online history games as well as online geography games. Both of these are pretty fun and enabled the kids to stay interested while learning.
Since we have instituted these new methods of learning history… It has been a whole new ball game! My son even asks to do history!
Taking advantage of the world around us is not something new for homeschoolers. We use our backyards for nature studies and our kitchens as science labs. How about our travels as history lessons? Sure, the best way to learn history is to live or re-enact it. This past week we spent several days reliving what we’ve been studying all year… Colonial History.
We took an opportunity to visit family and turned it into a history field trip. We spent several days in the Williamsburg, VA area putting meat on the bones of the history facts we’ve studied all year. The fact that we did this off season really enabled our children to get hands on quality instruction from the very knowledgeable guides. It was probably one of the best trips we’ve ever taken. In fact, one of my son’s favorite colonial heroes was Patrick Henry. He was enthralled to learn that Patrick Henry was the governor of Virginia and lived there in the governor’s palace in Williamsburg. Later, as we toured the Williamsburg capitol the guide took us to the high court and explained that the governor presided over this court. It was my son’s priveledge to be able to sit in the governor’s chair (Patrick Henry’s at one time…) while the guide presented her history lesson.
What an awesome way to remember history and make it come alive. Making connections to the past enables us to make connections in the application of our knowledge. Use the world as your classroom to make history live… it really works!
Homeschooling history can be either exciting or the most boring subject you’ve ever studied. Making it exciting is so simple when you find a great curriculum. We have used the Time Travelers curriculum off and on over the years, and since I found one that we hadn’t used on our shelf… we are using it again this year.
We’re studying the American Revolution. The cool thing about it, is that it is all on CD, I simply print the lessons that I am ready to use, and go from there. It also has really awesome projects that correspond to the lessons, and a penmanship or copywork that continues the thought. We do a whole lesson each week, on one single day.
Last week was our first go at it, and it was fun. We were able to study about the origins of our country. The first 13 colonies and the very first colony and capitol of those colonies. We also learned that our own Georgia was the last colony to be established. We learned that the pilgrims came to America solely for religious freedom. They were so dedicated to making sure that they raised their children in a manner that glorified God, that they traveled at peril to their very lives to the New World. Amazing.