Though I don’t consider myself a classical homeschooler now, the lure for me to the homeschool classical approach was my never ending thirst for learning history.
Knowing not everybody feels the same way and because I wanted my sons infected with the same passion, I am sharing 10 ways to hook homeschooled kids on history.
Maybe one of these “secrets” will work for you.
Embrace the Imperfect in History
- Hone In on the Conflict
Having boys, I know that it’s important to not just teach about moments but boys want to know about conflicts. Conflicts lead to war.
Boys and most kids are interested in war, but this doesn’t mean your focus is about teaching violence or even on war.
It is about seizing teachable moments to instill essential moral values.
Use events that stir the sense of right and wrong in your child’s heart to develop their love for history.
Check out my World War II Free Resources for a Middle School Unit Study and free lapbooks on the American Civil War.
You can’t find anymore injustices than these two hotly debated topics.
- Art, Drawing and Coloring are Worth Remembering (no, not just for little kids.)
Avoid moans and groans that can accompany writing and instead have your child draw or color what he knows about history.
Especially if you have a creative child who may loathe history, having an outlet to showcase their natural talent will help them to give history at least a glance.
And no, drawing is not just for young children. I am eager for Tiny to try out Drawing on History , Pre Civil War- Vietnam 1830s-1970s when he hits the high school years.
This is a high school level art appreciation course with short lessons and another outlet for creativity.
If you do have younger kids, look at Draw and Write Through History. My boys liked this series and opening the history day with a drawing always won them over.
- Never too old for Board Games and Gold Fish
Then never underestimate the power of childhood games like Gold Fish.
We loved the fun and easy distraction to learn history by Go Fish Cards and Book Ancient Egypt by Bird Cage press.
- History and Drama = The Perfect Mix
Though I don’t have any kids as dramatic as myself (okay, okay) drama and dressing up are equally fun ways to stroke a budding history buff.
Learning about Shakespeare was so much more engaging when the kids could do a short drama in a co-op setting.
That is the kind of history that is worth taking time to do because it’s memorable.
Too, when I first mentioned the idea of learning about period dress or dressing up, my boys were not so interested.
You know, I got the I-really-want-to-roll-my-eyes-but-know-I-better-not look.
By not letting my boys always have the final say on things we did to learn history, dressing up and even drama became some of our fondest memories about learning history.
Check out my article Bring History to Life With Historical Costumes: Fun, Fashion and Unforgettable.
- Living Books Bring Dead People to Life
Okay, maybe not so dramatic that living books bring dead people back to life, but they sure make you feel like you have stepped back in time to see events unfold through their eyes.
Living books are one of the best ways to revive a spark for history and the ones I love using are inspired by Beautiful Feet.
We love the series by Genevieve Foster as we learned about George Washington’s World or The World of Columbus and Sons.
Check out my article, When We Used Beautiful Feet as Our History Spine as I share about the value of history living books.
- Pop the popcorn. (butter please)
Living in a digital age has advantages and that means movie watching can be instant and it can be cheap. When I start our unit studies on history, I do look for ways to kick it off by watching an epic movie.
I have a great list if you are studying the ancients. Check out my article Homeschool History – Teaching Ancient History Using Netflix.
Try coaxing your little and maybe not so little homeschooler with a few of these unconventional ideas.
Who knows maybe you have a hidden history buff in bloom?
What other ways do you teach history that are sure to bait a history hater?
Hugs and you know I love ya,