History is a vital subject for children to learn, as a lot of their understanding of current events, science, discoveries and more is based on historical events of the past. History helps children understand where we came from and how our society came to be. History can also be interesting and captivating. Especially, if you make it so.
My children are homeschooled, but during the school year we do not have enough time to devote to history studies, as our curriculum is loaded with Latin, science, grammar, advanced math and other things. In the summer, however, we tackle history full-on, immersing in it for two-three months. If your children go to a regular school, you can also benefit from our system of history during the summer to deepen the child’s understanding of this subject during their time off.
First of all, we build a timeline. A timeline of history is a linear progression of historical events that children learn and memorize. They later use these events as memory pegs to hang more and more information, relating to that time period.
We like Classical Conversations’ Timeline. We get their CD and listen to it in the car all the time, and as it is playing, we memorize the order of historical events. At home, we lay out the CC history cards, one historical period at a time, on the dining room table and keep them there as long as needed in order to be very familiar with the events of that time period. Our walls are made of logs and aren’t suitable for hanging timelines. If they were, I’d hang the timeline cards on the wall, as they would be more visible this way.
As the timeline cards are visible every day, the kids come up to them, flip them over, read about the historical events on the cards and ask questions. Additionally, we read and discuss three cards a day together every single day.
As children are curious creatures, they ask questions and need more information about all of the historical facts and figures they are surrounded by daily. This is where the audiobooks come in. We have Story of the World and Mystery of History CDs. These audiobooks explain the events on our timeline is a very detailed and lively manner. We continue listening to these CD series throughout the year, in the car.
Furthermore, once a week, I give the children some craft materials or books ( for the child that hates crafts,) regarding the historical events we’ve been studying. It could be a coloring page or a book about Renaissance, or we could make some Roman armour out of play dough and rags. It all has to be alive and engaging.
When we visit the library over the summer, I encourage the children to select books about the historical events, figures and periods we’ve been studying, too. This way, they get a pretty comprehensive dive into history over the summer.