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Teach History the Fun Way

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In our house, we love history. We don’t see history as a bunch of boring facts, but rather a grand epic that God is sovereignly writing, while men make choices to align themselves with the Lord or against Him. History is HIS Story.

We study HIS story the fun way.

 

Discover the Story

There is always a story: secret plans, clandestine meetings, friends who worked together, folks who risked their lives to share the Good News, funny circumstances, and “coincidences” that occurred, changing history. Look for the story. I discovered a bittersweet story behind the assassination that started World War I; when Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were celebrating their anniversary, they escaped an early attempt on their lives injuring others, and it was on the way to visit those injured people they were killed. There is always more than a dry fact.

 

Meet the People

There are few purely evil people, but no perfectly good person except Jesus who was also God. People are fascinating with strengths, weaknesses, quirks, and devotion to something or someone. We get to know people when we study history. Biographies are a great way to meet historical folks. One of our favorite people, George Washington, was so kind and polite, yet painfully shy. His life was filled with God’s provision and supernatural protection, especially in battle.

 

Explore the Places

History happens on location; we like to explore the places history happens. You can watch travel videos on YouTube, take field trips, or read books to get a feel for the location. We enjoy visiting Saint Augustine because it is the oldest colonial town in the United States with over 400 years of history. We love to explore the museums, churches, and attractions, learning something new every time we go.

 

Living Books

We love to use living books, especially historical fiction to make a period in history come alive. G.A. Henty books like In Freedom’s Cause and The Dragon and the Raven are so helpful for those turbulent times in history—they make those confusing times come alive! The Journeyman by Elizabeth Yates, The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy, Hittite Warrior by Joanne Williamson, and The Winged Watchman by Hilda Van Stockum have enhanced our history studies and make great read-alouds.

 

Hands-On Fun

Hands-on fun can be anything from crafts to creating a radio drama based on the time period. When we studied the 20th Century, we played games from different decades, created a mini-golf course, filmed our own talk show, splatter painted, danced at a sock hop, and acted out World War II battles with toy soldiers. When we studied ancient history, we created artifacts from different time periods, broke them, and layered them by age so we could have our own archeological dig.

 

Music & Art

Every culture and age has their own music and art that reveals so much about their religious and philosophical beliefs. We like to look at paintings from time periods where there is artwork available and to listen to their music; the Renaissance is our favorite period for art, and the Baroque period for music.

 

Food

This was my son’s favorite thing: eating his way through time. We started history feasts when he was nine and they were the highlight of his history studies. We had medieval feasts, created our own TV dinners, hosted a Passover feast, cooked our way through American history, and created recipes that we thought the Ancients would have eaten based on their crops and natural resources. This was fun!

I hope I have inspired you to try at least one fun thing in history class!

 

 

Teach History the Fun Way Resources

Teach 20th Century History the Fun Way

Teach History with Movies

Read Your Way Thru the 20th Century

Teach History with Toys & Games

Teach History with Dolls

Build Jamestown with Pretzels

Pocahontas: Act It Out!

Until next time, Happy Homeschooling,

Warmly,

Meredith Curtis

 

Meredith Curtis, homeschooling mom, writer, speaker, and publisher, loves to encourage families in their homeschooling adventure. She is the author of HIS Story of the 20th Century, Travel God’s World Geography curriculum, American History Cookbook, Let’s Have Our Own Medieval Banquet, and Ancient History Timeline. You can check out her books, curricula, unit studies, and Bible studies at PowerlineProd.com. Free Reading Lists for all ages are available at JSHomeschooling.com. Read her blogs at MeredithCurtis.com and PowerlineProd.com Listen to her podcast at Finish Well Radio

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).
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