Spotlight On: Homeschool History

March 29, 2018
Written by:
Guest Author

As homeschooling parents, we have the privilege of immersing our children in subjects that interest them and subjects that, perhaps, do not. Generally, if you ask children what subjects they love the most and which subjects drive them up the wall, history (and sometimes science) fall into the latter category. But, it doesn’t have to be this way! How can you change your child’s perspective on history? By making sure your history curriculum taps into your student’s needs and desires. 

Things to Include

When teaching history, there are definitely aspects you don’t want to forget to include. Some of these fundamental features include timelines, notebooks, and literature. These can be the “skeleton” of your history program while history games can be a much-loved supplement.

Methods of Study

Sometimes, it’s not necessarily the curriculum you’re using but the way in which you’re teaching it that causes students to dread history. Here are some quick tips you can implement today to change your course of action!

    • Give students a broad perspective. Students sometimes get frustrated with history because they just don’t understand the point in learning about “old, dead people.” Rather than focus on history bit by bit, let them know that history covers the ancient times up to today! If students can see where they’re “headed,” that alone often helps piece things together better.
    • Only teach what is necessary. Don’t focus on minor details, and don’t go overboard trying to get concepts across.
    • Try to stay neutral! This may be the hardest part of teaching history. It’s difficult to look past things that may be incorrect in curriculum or parts of your cultural history that tend to be totally overlooked in history textbooks. However, you may end up giving your children a biased view of history by doing so. 
    • Don’t forget geography. There are programs that incorporate history into geography, but you can also teach it as a separate subject. From experience, teaching history while incorporating geography is the easiest way to teach it!

Field Trip Ideas

One of the things that really helps history come alive for students is to see it for themselves! If you’re able, try to visit points of history that are relevant to the time period you’re teaching. Some ideas include:

  • Visit your state or city capitol when you’re studying state history.
  • Take a trip to a local archeological site.
  • Be sure to stop by any historical landmarks in your own town.
  • Visit the post office to learn how the mail system works.
  • When you’re studying historical plays, ask to take a backstage tour at your local theatre.
  • Definitely, check out some American history virtual field trips and World History virtual field trips!

Homeschool History Curriculum and Supplements

Depending on your overall homeschooling style, you will find that different programs suit you better than others. Below, we’ve captured supplements you can add to your choice of curricula such as games and printables. You can also replace your curriculum completely and try something new!