Jan 23, 2017

The History of Our Mysterious Struggle With History

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Welcome to the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair! The fair, led by Susan at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds is a group of homeschool mom bloggers sharing inspiration, encouragement and, hopefully, a few fresh ideas to brighten up the "blah" month of January. In the past few weeks we have talked about

How We Learn

Playing With Words

Discovering Patterns

This week we will be Exploring Our World.

One of our biggest struggles in our school has almost always been history. A fact I find strange since history is one of my favorite things. Not just as a school subject, but as a life-long hobby. As a kid who loved to read, historical fiction was my absolute favorite find and I would devour any that I could find.

I expected that it would be easy to pass this love on to my kids. Even from the very beginning I planned that I would teach history as I learned it, through story. So we read a lot of historical literature even when they were little. Yet, much to my astonishment, they were not inspired.

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We tried just stories. We tried Story of the World. We tried Ambleside Online. We tried A Child's History of the World. We tried lots of projects. We tried not doing anything at all. We tried lots of random stuff. But nothing seemed to engage them like I hoped.

So now I have given up on them loving history like I do. And I just teach it like something I love and they need to learn. And our method is very simple.

I start with a list of  literature books that submerge them in a story of someone's history. Right now, for instance, we are reading A Single Shard. They are greatly enjoying the book and are deeply engaged with Tree-Ear and Crane Man's story. They don't even realize they are learning about 12th century Korea, the history of pottery, and a host of character building extras.

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Secondly, we read a lesson from Mystery of History every day. We recently started Vol. 2. We discuss it as needed.

Finally, I throw in whatever projects seem appealing and applicable as we have the time. Time-lines, maps, color pages, notebooking, dramatizations, hands on recreation of art or science. I try not to overwhelm myself with a lot of advance preparation but just to do stuff as we feel comfortable getting it done.

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I like to gather resources and ideas to have on hand and I jump at opportunities as they present themselves. For example, we are currently reviewing Homeschool In The Woods' Project Passport: The Middle Ages.

And that is pretty much it. It might not be their favorite subject, and they might not be enthralled by it, but they are still learning history just the same.

Our History Plans Landing Page if you want to see what we have done in the past.

Please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are talking about Exploring Our World this week:

Note: all links will be LIVE by Monday 1/23 at noon EST.
Notebooking Our Way through History by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Studying the Where and How by Michele@Family, Faith and Fridays
The History of Our Mysterious Struggle With History by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Social Science, Science and Exploring our World - Our Path by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Learning History Through Fiction by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset
History in Our Homeschool by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool
Exploring Our World Through History And Science by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Bringing History to Life! by Yvie @ Gypsy Road
History, Living Books and the Imagination by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Exploring our world comes in many different forms. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love
Bible, History and Geography by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home
Beyond the Books - Social Studies and Science by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed
Exploring the World with Living Books by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
High School History & Science without Textbooks by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Exploring the World Starting with Canada by Annette @ A Net in Time
Visit The World Through Video by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens
Nature Study is Our Favorite Way to Do Science by HillaryM @ Walking Fruitfully
What A Wonderful World by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
The Time we got Lost in the Woods by Dana Hanley @ Roscommon Acres
What A World by Jennifer @ A Piece of Mind

And if you have an Exploring Out World post to add, feel free to link up below!


DeliveringGrace said...

It is strange, I have often found that the subjects which inspire me most are the most challenging to teach.

Susan said...

My kids seem to enjoy history as long as I don't overdo it---our first few years of homeschooling I went all in with "fun" projects and the like and it made it a dreaded subject. I've found that if I keep it pretty simple, they learn more, enjoy it more, and they are not overwhelmed.

P.S. We read A Single Shard earlier this year for our middle ages study, too, and they loved it. :)

:) said...

I hate history. I feel your kids' pain :D

Lori said...

I'm going to go look up A Single Shared. Sounds interesting. I try not to stress to much over history because my girls read tons of historical novels. My oldest is falling in love with history, I think, and enjoying the Ancient Greece review she is working on. - Lori

Annette said...

sounds like it's a system that's working for you. We use story of the world as well as a variety of other things for history.

Amanda H said...

I have tried Story of The World, but fell in love with Mystery of History. The kids are not so much into right now, but I plan to try again in the fall. We should have our current history done and I can easily switch over! Thank you for sharing with us!

Brittney said...

My kids are lukewarm towards history, so when I see a true interest in a specific topic, I go from there. For the last year, they've had a lot of interest in presidents (probably due to the elections), so we're studying American history this year. I'm not a "pinterest project" homeschooler, so I only add in an art project or something extra if I think they will truly love it. Maybe they will fall in love with history, maybe not . . . I can't make them. My job is just to expose them to great ideas, it's their job to find their passion.


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