Admitting I love history, is something I would never thought I would say. I found it boring. The few times I remember liking history was when we dove a little deeper in school. When we did projects, read a book or watched a movie about the era. I still remember my 4th-grade pyramids of Giza project. In my homeschool, I aspire to make history as fun and engaging as my 4th-grade teacher did. I want my son to enjoy history. There is so much that can be done with teaching history, without just listing off names and dates. Instead, we live history. Here is what we do!
Books, Books, Books!
We are a family of bookworms. We love books and at any given time we have at least 50 books checked out from our local library. So it’s no surprise that when we begin a new topic of study, I can’t get to the library fast enough. I will check out all the books I can on that time period. Some books we may only skim and pick out a sentence here or there that captures our attention but then other books we can get lost in for hours. We have amazing conversations and we are reading and learning as many facts as we can.
Learn History with Art study
Art is one of my son’s favorite subject. I will incorporate an art project with anything I can to get him engaged and excited. We study the art from the period and experiment with related art projects. Which means we can be outside digging for rocks or plants to crush to make our own paints; or using plaster to create beautiful works of art.
Learn History with Music study
The way we study music can differ from time to time. Sometimes it can be as simple as just listening to music from that time period while we work or play. However, sometimes we can get extremely involved and actually try to produce an instrument or learn about famous musicians of that time.
Learn History through Culture Study
To really learn sometimes we must engulf ourselves in that time period. The best way to learn about an era is to learn about its core, the culture. What did people eat? How did they prepare their meals? What did they wear? How was the family dynamics? Where did they live? How was their daily lives? My son’s favorite question “What was it like for kids?” So, we dive into these questions with preparing period-themed meals, the way they did it. Playing games of the period. We will make costumes and dress up, create building models. Try to create a product of handicraft from the period.
Learn History with Movies or Documentaries
One of our favorite activities to do as a family besides cooking is watching a really good quality movie or documentary about the time period we are studying. For the visual learners supplementing with a movie is a great way to engage them. It can be difficult at times picturing everyday life of historical periods, so seeing it on a big screen can be helpful and fun. We have terrific discussions.
Studying history doesn’t have to be boring. It can be fun and engaging. Don’t just read it from a textbook, experience it, live it and enjoy it!
Nancy is an Orthodox Christian wife and mom to a 6-year-old son and two angels originally from Illinois. She has been married to a chef for almost 10 years and has homeschooled her son his whole life. She has a Montessori Certificate in pre-primary education and has enjoyed tutoring children for 15 years. She is a huge advocate for literacy and the family read-aloud movement and currently uses Classical Conversations. Nancy and her family enjoy the beauty of living in South Carolina!