I dreaded history when I was a student. It was such a boring subject. Who cares about all these names and dates? Why does it matter anyway? But then, something happened. When I began learning alongside my children, my eyes were opened. How wrong I was!
I have always enjoyed reading. Being transported to different places, experiencing adventures right from the pages of a book. As I learned about homeschooling and that these wonderful books are known as "living books", I knew, no matter what else we might use for our learning journey, living books would be the key. How easy it is to be drawn in to a story - the sights, sounds and smells! When more of our senses are involved, more will be remembered.
Living books don't always need to be read; sometimes, we listen to them as well. In our recent study of Puritan colonization in Massachusetts, we listened to Ruth of Boston by James Otis found on Librivox. Librivox is only one source for audio books of living book titles. My Audio School is another favorite place to find audios. Some of the links found on My Audio School are to Librivox, but not all. The layout of My Audio School also makes it easy to find titles related to various time periods.
Living books are not all we use. I want to study history chronologically. I want our studies to include Biblical and church history. I want to do some hands-on projects as well. I chose Mystery of History for these reasons. We are currently in the third volume and thoroughly enjoying it. We add-in living books whenever we can. We do only the activities that we enjoy and add to the experience.
|Making bows and arrows as we learned about Robin Hood.|
|Classical Historian has some great games for all ages!|
History is one of the most fun subjects because you can tie so many things into it. I was an architecture student in college. The history of architecture was a fascinating course. I kept the text because of the photos and examples. I have pulled it out often to show my little learners some of the great buildings we have read about.
It is easy to study artists and composers within your history studies. I recently shared about Classical Composers Monthly. Using a resource such as this makes it easy to bring composers into your history studies. Art and artist studies can also be done in conjunction with history. We are taking many suggestions for our artist studies from these sets from Confessions of a Homeschooler.
|Painting like Michelangelo.|
There is science in geography as well. The habitat - climate, flora and fauna of a place is also part of its geography. We also love to read of missionaries to the region we are "in". We have a separate science curriculum, but it would be easy even tie science into history/geography studies. In the time of Galileo? A perfect opportunity for learning about astronomy.
Of course, I love to add in tasting foods from various countries and time. You could look at the dishes prepared in a place throughout history. When I was looking for recipes for southeast Asia, I was puzzled by the French influence in many recipes I was finding. Through reading a few articles I found online, I learned that France had colonies in this region starting in the mid-1800s. So that's why I kept finding Vietnamese recipes that could have just as easily been French recipes!
As my girls get older and their interest in cooking and finding new recipes grows, I hope they enjoy finding those connections to history. As my sons get older, I love to watch them recreate battle scenes with Legos and army men or wooden castle blocks and knights. When history is seen as interesting stories about people and events, that changes everything!
|The Mayflower and the Speedwell - Duplo style.|