It’s hard for me to believe that I could’ve birthed a child who loathed history, but I did. Beginning to teach him the same way I had his older brother, my history hater pushed back. And he let me know there is absolutely no reason to learn history.
Teach History in 14 Lessons
Explaining that history is all about the present, that fascinating treasure troves can be unearthed when we tap into the minds of brilliant people of the past and learning from both triumphs and tragedies in history sounded eloquent to only me. However, my history naysayer wasn’t budging from his mindset or attitude.
Two things had to change (for me) and one thing was not going to change. One change was my expectations and the other was I had to put aside curriculum, which taught too many details.
But what absolutely couldn’t change or that I wouldn’t compromise on was giving him a solid foundation in history. Like all subjects, a thorough, but basic foundation is necessary because every child deserves that.
Little did I know that back when I reviewed What Every Child Needs to Know about Western Civilization that I would refer it to many years afterward. And it would help my highschooler cement time periods and ancient civilizations though it’s written for a middle grade student.
You can look at what I wrote then about how I used What Every Child Needs to Know About Western Civilization by BrimWood Press.
History in a Nutshell – Thank You!
Look at three things I learned since then.
ONE/ Teaching history in broad strokes makes it manageable for those who either get overwhelmed by the details or need to know immediately the value of learning history.
It didn’t mean that my son wasn’t interested at all in history, he needed to see the practical value immediately instead of covering it for a year chronologically.
Even though my history hater has graduated, to this day he still wants people to get to the point of what they are saying instead of patiently listening to details or a story.
Are you sure this kid is mine? I always have time to dawdle over the details of any story and especially history.
Now that my history hater is grown though, I realize that is part of his personality. Not only do we need the detailed people, but we need people who see the big picture.
I learned that it’s not just history that he could hate, but other things if they are not given to him in a nutshell first.
TWO/ Forget the story or at least for the immediate time.
A story approach works for a lot of kids and it did for my other two boys, but such a detailed approach is not necessary to form the basic cornerstones of understanding history. Move on, it’s okay.
When my son wanted to learn more about a famous person or event, then he would ask to. Otherwise, I moved on to the next topic.
THREE/ Let him choose which topics or activities he wants to do, if any.
Though a hands-on approach to history is always a favorite of mine and I feel it teaches way beyond books, I allowed my son the right to make choices in how he wanted to absorb the information.
Choices or options on subjects that I am not so crazy over (math) empowers me to take information in at my leisure. Kids are not any different. When given the option, I learned that many times my son would do the hands-on activities I suggested because he is a hands-on learner.
What I liked the most about What Every Child Needs to Know about Western Civilization is that it breathed life into our day when we wanted to cover one area of history without getting overwhelmed with every event or person in a time period.
And the history hat cards, which have a famous person to remember in each time period honed in on valuable cornerstones to form a framework for history.
Look at the picture below so you can see the broad sweeping time periods covered. Such a huge help to teaching history. I put the civilizations so you can see how helpful they are.
Yes, history should really be this easy and streamlined.
And What Every Child Needs to Know about Western Civilization is a great help if you don’t feel adequate to teach history. Remembering 14 points about Western Civilization is a lot less intimidating than covering one time period of history.
Form a framework first with the broad strokes in history, then sketch in the details, people and events at your leisure.
The curriculum, like I mentioned is targeted for about 5th to 8th grade, but it can easily be handed over to your highschooler to give him a framework.
If you have a history hater, don’t feel qualified to teach history or want to cover it in broad strokes, but not compromise on the significant big picture, you’ll love What Every Child Needs to Know about Western Civilization .
Look at my original Review of What Every Child Needs to Know About Western Civilization by BrimWood Press, and these other ways to cover history, which are 10 ways to Hook Homeschooled Kids On History and 8 Ways to Teach Homeschool History Other Than Chronologically.
Hugs and love ya,
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