How do I get them into History?

Discuss Greece or ancient Rome - or maybe the history of the United States.

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momo3boys
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How do I get them into History?

Postby momo3boys » Mon Oct 30, 2006 5:30 pm

I am teaching my two oldest 7and 9 they sometimes get into history but not for very long. We are what some would consider unschooling, but I never knew what that was until Iread an article about it over the summer. I just want to know what others do to keep them interested in history.
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Aurie
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Postby Aurie » Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:49 pm

We did our first history lesson today for an 8 and 9 yo. It was extremely short. It was on very simply state history. I read to them some short facts off line and had them color the state flag while I did it. That really was the extent of their attention on a history subject. Of course this is our 3rd week of HS. Tomorrow I will read a couple more facts and go back over the old and they will color the state bird. Same for the next day with coloring of the state flower. On Thursday, they will write a couple of sentences about what they know about Louisiana and then color the state map. I am not going to force too much, when I personally HATE history. I know they will pick up on it. Our boxed program starts next week and I will then be using its guide for history. But from what I have read in the boxed set so far. It really isn't much more indepth then what I stated above.

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Postby Lenethren » Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:03 am

It depends on the subject but I try to connect the past to us. For instance we had a relative come over on the Mayflower. So that made it very exciting to the kids to learn about that time frame. From online records of wills, census's, etc I've been able to show my kids these documents which makes them interested in the area and what went on.

Hope this helps for some of it.
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robinsegg
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Postby robinsegg » Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:01 am

There are movies that can spark interest . . . School House Rock has lots of US History songs/cartoons that work well as an introduction.

I like Charlotte Mason's idea of "living books" instead of textbooks, esp. for history. You can take a look at http://www.livingbooks.com for a good list of world and US history books that are interesting instead of merely factual.

Are there nearby field trips you can make? Eg, we live near St. Louis, MO. We took an Amtrak to Springfield, IL, and learned about Lincoln by touring his home, and going to the new presidential museum which has some interactive things, and lots of manequin-type scenes for the period. If there's something like that nearby, a field trip could be all that's needed for an impetus to learn history.

I hope that helps!
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David
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Postby David » Sat Nov 04, 2006 6:16 pm

We took our kids to Hawaii. We went to the bay where Capt. Cook was killed, as it was a gorgeous place to Kayak. From the Kayak we jumped off and went snorkeling with the gorgeous fish and even dolphins. While Kayaking out to the point, my brother who lives there, fascinated with the history of the place, gave us all the entire history of the place, the incident of the captains death, and the history of Capt. Cook.

The children, fascinated with the story, didn't even know that it was a history lesson.

We have done similiar things when visiting the White House in Washington, the plains of Canada, etc.

We try to make schooling as little like school as possible. Initiating an interest is the key. Then you can't make them put down the books till they have found out everything there is to know about a subject.

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Postby Kitty-Cat » Sun Dec 10, 2006 3:59 am

I read to them some short facts off line and had them color the state flag while I did it. That really was the extent of their attention on a history subject. Of course this is our 3rd week of HS. Tomorrow I will read a couple more facts and go back over the old and they will color the state bird. Same for the next day with coloring of the state flower. On Thursday, they will write a couple of sentences about what they know about Louisiana and then color the state map. I am not going to force too much, when I personally HATE history.


Ah yer, well that does sound pretty dull. I love history. History can be really fun!
As robinsegg said, use living books. These use real facts interwoven in a story. Use those instead of text books or reading basic facts as the base of your lessons and you will all find it much more interesting.

Movies and field trips are great too. Maybe instead of colouring a bird you can all go bird watching and attempt to draw one of the birds you find. Or draw one from a bird book for out of state birds.

Also some times you can use crafts. Give the kids some scraps of material and tell them to try and make the flag from those.

Another way to do work is to make a lap book. They make mini books on the facts you want them to focus on. Then glue them into a file folder. They are a great way to showcase what you are working on. There are heaps of sites on various ways to make mini books, flaps and wheels for lap books.
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janzeiger
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History

Postby janzeiger » Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:00 am

History shouldn't be boring--it's all about the methods.

Just do lots of real life learning. Visit museums, historical landmarks, etc..Take a family trip to a historic town if there's not much in your area.

I also agree with using REAL LITERATURE rather than dry history books.
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WAHMBrenda
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Postby WAHMBrenda » Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:55 pm

I'd like to get a list of living books to read but that site livingbooks.com was down. Right now we're working on a MLKJ lapbook and she's enjoying it. I don't expect her to remember everything but she's trying. I also made her a notebook timeline to use. We're also working on geography right now and that's really fitting in with our history to a point. What I'm doing is I bought a 5th grade geography workbook and wrote in all the answers so that we can just sit down and look at the globe as we "work" through the workbook. I am also going to go through the states and read a small book about each state to her, let her color the flag and look at where it is on the map. We're starting with our own state first. Luckily my daughter really enjoys what we're doing so I don't see any reason to change what's working for us.
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momo3boys
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Postby momo3boys » Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:36 pm

Thank you all for the great ideas! wow! I am starting on a trip through the states. KNowing where they are, and who was there. We live in Massachusetts so we have alot of field trips we can take. Thank you so much for everything. I appreciate it.
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Postby StellarStory » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:37 pm

I find most history to be dry and anachronistic.

What I like best are thanks that put a "handle" on history for me or make it relate-able. Things like Colonial House on PBS, movies and good historical novels work for me.

My kids and I actually like most ancient history but not the more modern history.

I got a book called "Let Authors Speak" which lists historical novels by time period and such. I also have found some web sites with historical movies, many of them are boring so I have to be careful.

One of the best was the original All's Quiet On The Western Front which we enjoyed even though it was so old. It was so good, my girl wanted to read the novel too.

Hands on history museums, and such can be good. I do caution people though about just going to things like this and expecting history to sink in by hanging there. The kids and you have to direct and apply what they see or learn, it doesn't just happen, IMO.

I hear The Story of the World is good but perhaps a bit religious too. It's several volumes. If I understand correctly it's for the grade school ages.

I've just started reading Lies My Teachers Told Me, which I think has some valuable lessons to teach on how history becomes known and why it is written the way it is.

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Postby frogguruami » Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:34 pm

We are using Story of the World. So far I love the Activity Book. The "text" is a bit dry but the Activity book is great.

www.pennygardner.com has some great book lists for history and so does abookintime.com
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Postby knobren » Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:13 pm

I would think that reading biographies or historical fiction would be useful for approaching a topic. For example, the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder would give a child a connection to what it was like for kids growing up in the pioneer days. Then you could add in some more formal history lessons or documentaries about that time and they might be more interested in it. You might also add an historical novel written about some Native American tribe or a biography about a tribal Chief.

Likewise, when they are older and you get to WWII, you might read The Diary of Anne Frank, Hiroshima, and something about someone held in a U.S. Japanese containment camp. I haven't read it, but I think Snow Falling on Cedars is related to that.

Roots might be an introduction to slavery. What was the movie that was about a slave ship captain that realized the error of his ways or something like that? Those two examples might be too graphic for a while though. You could bring in oral histories, African stories that slaves brought with them, slave songs, the underground railroad, etc.

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Laura Ingalls Wilder

Postby Ramona » Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:27 pm

knobren wrote:For example, the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder would give a child a connection to what it was like for kids growing up in the pioneer days.


When I was growing up I read them all and absolutely believed that they were historical. When I started reading them to my kids, I found in the public library a biography of Laura herself written by someone else. Her books are adapted to be more interesting stories. It was enlightening to find out what her real life was like.

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knobren
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Re: Laura Ingalls Wilder

Postby knobren » Sun Jul 22, 2007 9:49 am

Ramona wrote:
knobren wrote:For example, the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder would give a child a connection to what it was like for kids growing up in the pioneer days.


When I was growing up I read them all and absolutely believed that they were historical. When I started reading them to my kids, I found in the public library a biography of Laura herself written by someone else. Her books are adapted to be more interesting stories. It was enlightening to find out what her real life was like.

Ramona


Good point..."historical" fiction often has inaccuracies. However, it does help spark interest in a time and place that we aren't familiar with. It would clearly be in the best interest of the history lesson if a parent found resources to compare the book/movie to in order to see how it differed from real life.

knobren

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Postby StellarStory » Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:03 am

One thing that I love about historical fiction is trying to figure out just where those inaccuracies do and do not occur.


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