I love history. I have loved history for years. And I think that is why I love teaching homeschool history. It is something that I have a desire to learn more about, I find it fascinating and I am completely passionate about children having a firm grasp on history. This has led me to teach history unit style.
I think that teaching history in units helps a child to get a better idea of what life was like for famous people during the time that they lived. When we are studying a certain time period I always strive to let the children experience that time period in any way possible. We check out books from the library about people that lived during that time, I strive to find recipes that we can make together to taste food from that period, and we recreate anything that we can from that way of life. During our unit on Westward Expansion and the Oregon Trail we researched the size of most of the wagons used by the pioneers and we taped off that size on the floor of our family room so that the children could see how small it really was. We then used pillows as food sacks and the children could see first hand that there was no room for toys, comfort items, or anything extra.
No matter what the unit is the children always seem to love learning about what life was like for children then. There are great biographies out about the childhoods of famous people. We have read many of these from our library. We use these for our reading curriculm and also for our read alouds together. You can find some of the games that children played during cetain time periods and even pictures of toys that they played with on the Internet.
So, if you are planning to teach a homeschool history unit what are the things to keep in mind that will help to make it a succes?
1. Use lots of different mediums to teach.
the Interent (pictures, YouTube, printables, historical websites, etc)
Books from the library, other homeschool mommas, and from your personal collection
Hands on Activites – plan a day with friends full of activites from that time period (the pictures in this post are from a big pioneer day that we had with a couple other families that had also studied the same time period. We shook butter, used a wash board, spun wool and more) These days are much more fun and easier to pull off with help from others.
Keep it real – Make recipes together, build a log cabin out of sticks in the yard the size of George Washington’s cabin, cook a meal over an open fire, walk a mile to show how far children had to walk to school, and if you can find a festival or expo in your area about that is upcoming plan your units around that. It is is a great way to culminate a unit and to show your children that other people are interested in history as well.
Visit a Site – If you are close to any historical sites they can make great field trips too. Many of them are inexpensive and yet, with a little preparation from you they can teach a ton.
Those would be my favorite ways to make teaching homeschool history a lot of fun for the whole family. It does take some time but once you get into the groove it does get easier. And the rewards are amazing. You will make great memories and will teach lessons that they will not forget for a long time.
What is your family’s favorite time period to study?
Check out how other homeschool mothers teach their favorite subject on the Crew BLOG POST.