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I can't teach History


kfeusse
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How can someone who really doesn't like History teach it so that their kids like it??? I started using SOTW last year...sort of liked it, but not really. And so wanting to stay with Classical model...I then chose VP history...running into the same problem...anybody ahve any suggestions for me????

 

Kathy

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How can someone who really doesn't like History teach it so that their kids like it??? I started using SOTW last year...sort of liked it, but not really.

 

What don't you like about history?

 

(BTW, I don't like SOTW either, but I use it to save time. I much prefer getting out a spread on a culture in the Usborne history, and then doing read-alouds from other books...tales, picture books, etc. and that is what I do when I have time. And we do NO projects. The hands on in science and art is enough.)

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This seems to be a logical board for this kind of question.

 

Why do you need to TEACH history? There are so many ways of homeschooling, so many ways of tackling a subject, perhaps you need to reframe your thinking about this aspect of homeschooling by starting first with what you do enjoy, then consider the interests of your kids. Use those interests as the lens through which you look at history, then learn about the period to give you some context.

 

Do you enjoy reading? There are many wonderful works of historical fiction that can lead you into history. Or if your kids are really young, you can start just by reading mythology and folk tales from around the world. If your family is really into science, you can explore the history of science by reading biographies or a series like Joy Hakim's on science history. Or if your kids enjoy art, you can look at history through art.

 

When I started homeschooling there was no SOTW, so I just read Greek, Egyptian and Norse mythologies. We did some arts and crafts, looked at maps and photos of archaeological and historic sites. I read aloud all kinds of books, science, historical fiction, classics, and I'd stop to explain or look up anything my kids weren't sure of. We watched lots of NOVA and other documentaries, and we visited many museums both in our home town and when we traveled. My kids also had fun with the Highlights Top Secret series on different countries of the world. I've heard great things about those "Horrible History" books, though we never used them.

 

As they got older, I added the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia to use as a reference, and at least for my oldest ds, I even shaped high school history entirely around his interests. My younger ds is approaching high school history through a Great Books approach.

 

So, start with what you love, and build from there. You and your kids will probably get more out of it in this manner than by using a prepackaged history curriculum.

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I'm still finding my groove teaching history with my first graders, but I hated history in school. I love it now because I discovered the power of the biography. Events and dates are dry, but I find the people who actually made history to be fascinating. I think I've read about 3-4 bios of Eleanor of Aquitane. (I've really gotten hung up on that era) I'm hoping to be able to teach history using a lot of biographies, but they have to be well written and I've found it kind of difficult to find many written for this age level.

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What do you like? Everything has a history. I think everyone should read history because it is so cool, but don't come near me with a history of sport because I'll fall asleep and drool in your lap. I don't want to know the history of computers either. You might not like political history, but social history is amazing. What about food history? The history of clothing? Everyone in history has eaten food and worn clothing; why they ate the food they are and wore the clothes they wore is fascinating. There is far more to history than who was invading who.

 

Rosie

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What do you like? Everything has a history. I think everyone should read history because it is so cool, but don't come near me with a history of sport because I'll fall asleep and drool in your lap. I don't want to know the history of computers either. You might not like political history, but social history is amazing. What about food history? The history of clothing? Everyone in history has eaten food and worn clothing; why they ate the food they are and wore the clothes they wore is fascinating. There is far more to history than who was invading who.

 

Rosie

 

Rosie, I LOVE the way you think...do you want to come to my house and teach history to my kids?????

 

Kathy

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Rosie, I LOVE the way you think...do you want to come to my house and teach history to my kids?????

 

Kathy

 

 

Geez. I don't know enough about any of that to actually teach much. I'm in the process of learning myself. I can recommend books to explore though, (of course :D.) Have you considered historical re-enactment? My dh does Roman, I dabble in various parts of the Middle Ages, and you would probably have access to Civil War and later period re-enactment. I liked history before getting involved, but have come across many new ideas by hanging out with people who are even geekier than I :D

 

How old are your kiddies, anyway?

 

Rosie

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I agree. My sons LOVE encyclopedia type books, like Usborne, DK, Eyewitness & Kingfisher, about historical stuff. We have one of these type books about American history, a couple about World history, one about the history of the Armed Special Forces, and one about the history of professional wrestling (of all things!!!!....this one is a HUGE book).

 

My 15yo ds wants one for Christmas that is a DK book about Warriors.

 

My boys are *visual* learners and that is why these books really appeal to them.

 

Both of them also have always enjoyed reading biographies for history.

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Well since you're doing VP, have you thought about signing up for the self-paced online courses? I'm a die-hard history hater raising a history lover, and it has definitely about killed me more than once. I was just thinking to myself tonight that my ds (age 1) is going to just do the self-paced courses and be done with it when his time comes. Oh, and the way I've survived all these years? The book pile. Every week we introduce our new VP card, do the spine readings, and then pull books on the topic and any pertinent rabbit trails. Projects are her deal, not mine. Of course that's easier as they get bigger. Until then, if they crave them, pick out one project a week. Don't fiddle around with the VP worksheets and stuff. As long as they read a lot on the topic, they'll retain enough and come out loving it.

 

As for those who don't understand why a person could hate history, it's simple: it's incomprehensible. History goes on forever and you can't wrap your brain around it the way schools teach it. To a big picture learner, that's the death nell. All you have to do is clump it the way VP does, and suddenly it makes a LOT more sense. And at this point I don't have enough brain cells to deal with it anyway, lol. In other words, I've given up. But to the young who have memory and can learn, there you go, that's the answer. Arrange it in a way that makes sense, that fits the way their brains work. ;)

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