When you teach history, don't just expect your children to memorize facts.
Become investigators together and solve the history mystery.
When did it take place?
Who was involved?
Where did it happen?
Why on earth did it happen?
It all starts with curiosity and a sense of adventure. I will often start with an interesting story like this...
A royal couple was visiting a city in their realm on their anniversary. They were very much in love. But, they had enemies. Those enemies tried to kill them as they were on the way to big get-together. The enemies tried to bomb their car, but instead of hitting them, they hit people in the car behind them. After returning home to rest, the royal couple decided to go visit the folks that had been shot. They felt so sad they were hurt. On the way to the hospital, they were forced to take a detour into a side road. While they were trapped, a gunman shot both of them. They reached out to hold one another. The handsome Duke said to his beautiful wife, "Live, darling, for the children." I am so sorry to tell you that they both died. And that's how World War I began.
Now, I have made it personal and gotten my children's interest. What's next?
Get out a white board and start jotting down what you know about World War I.
No one can look anything up on Google or open a book. Start out with what you know. Maybe all you come up with is that it was a big war, we were on England's side, and the Russians pulled out because of the Communist take-over.
Now, we go back to our story and let's ask questions:
Who were the man and woman celebrating their anniversary?
Who wanted to kill them?
Why did they want to kill them?
Where did assassination take place?
What chain of events was triggered because they were assassinated?
At this point, we are interested in the couple and probably also want to know how many children they had and what happened to their children?
All the kids and Mom can go research the questions in books, history blogs, and textbooks. We all meet back together and share what we learned.
From here, you might want to have everyone read a chapter on World War I in a history textbook or read a living book on World War I.
Or you might want to tell another story. How about a story about an English Nurse named Edith Cavell who was stationed in Belgium when the Germans attacked Belgium. She was a hero! And she paid the ultimate price.
Or maybe tell the story of brave King Albert who fought with his people, winning their devotion and inspiring them to give their all.
Or maybe tell the story of a race car driver who became famous for dog fights. Dog fights? Yes, fascinating stories there!
After each story, dig in and research.
No matter how you study history, here are some more tips to keep history easy-to-understand:
For the WHERE, use maps.
For the WHEN, use timelines to make it clear
For the WHO, read biographies, or zero in on discussing people and their personal stories.
For the WHAT HAPPENED, use stories and interesting details.
For the WHY ON EARTH DID IT HAPPEN, talk, discuss, and explore ideas together.
Resources to Teach History the Fun Way
History is so fun and exciting to study. It's fascinating to learn about other places, periods in time, people, and thrilling events.
I like to feel that we are traveling back in time to experience what life was like back then.
One of the ways we do this is to have special fun times like Medieval Banquets, Archaeological Digs, and Ancient Greek Olympic Games. We also love to cook and bake our way through time. Timelines and unit studies bring joy to our schooling--especially when we learning about history!
If you would like to check out our history resources, visit us at our website: PowerlineProd.com and find our Teach History the Fun Way page or click on the photo. We have had so much fun learning history together and we want to pass that on to you!
Be blessed in every way!