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I can't stand history.....anybody else?


mommy25
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I don't know how to make myself like it. I guess by the time I finish the basic subjects with the kids I am worn out and history gets put on the back burner. When we do it, I practically fall asleep - especially with historical fiction. SOTW is okay but does not engage me enough. My older girls feel the same (probably because I am not into it) and can't stand reading historical fiction either. I think I would like it more if we were studying American history - right now we are in the Middle Ages.

 

Most of the time I just grin and bare it. But this has caused me to dread homeschooling.

 

I don't know what I could do to make this different. Any suggestions? I know this goes totally against what a true "classical" education is supposed to be. Although I did read in LCC where there was not much focus on "history" as a subject in the schools back then.

 

The only part about studying history is studying God's Word and giving my children a thorough Biblical knowledge.

 

There is no question that studying history is beneficial - so what is the worst that can happen if we did not do an "in depth" study of history?

 

I wish their were some videos that gave us a overview of history - a whole picture of world history so that some of the historical fiction books made more since and we would have somewhere to place what is going on.

 

Okay...I'm rambling. Would love to hear from you.:)

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SOTW on CD has really turned things around for us. :) The kids also really enjoy doing more hands on activities like suggested in the Activity Book. I'm thinking a better schedule for us (since I'm too worn out for history and other subjects after the basic ones get covered) would be a 4-day school week for the basics and 1 day for history and/or science projects.

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Maybe you can try to make it come alive more. If it were me, and I was bored doing it, I would take a break on the routine (however, I don't feel compelled with history to complete a certain time period by year's end.)

 

Perhaps with the warmer weather coming you can find a rennaisance festival nearby. Maybe you can make a medieval feast. Find some great movies about the time period.

 

Maybe instead of tacking it onto the end of a long day, give it its own day or time. This may be hard with older kids as their schedules get more busy. However, I read a post here that said someone did something like "super science Saturdays". I know if you all need a break on the weekend, this may not sound like fun. Maybe Friday could be a shorter day and the afternoon could be dedicated fun history stuff.

 

I LOVE history! I love doing it with my kids more than anything else. My kids (of their own doing) while studying the ancients made a roman feast. One made a crusades board game. My other ds molded a clay toilet while I read about an ancient town in India and their toilets.

 

If you don't like historical fiction how about non fiction? Do your dc like either? Would they listen to some on audio books and then you all could work more on the fun stuff together?

 

Just some thoughts......Or, of course, you all could come over to my house to do history and we'll stop by yours for science or math or whatever you love...:D

 

Woolybear

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A few things come to mind. First, Veritaserum's suggestion is a great one: audiobooks. You can get SOTW on CDs and listen to them in the car. (Caveat: Although there are many Jim Weiss CDs that I like, his SOTW reading drives me INSANE. I don't know why. The kids like it, though--and that's what counts, right? ;))

 

Second, going on with the audiobook theme--and since you specifically mentioned that historical fiction drives you crazy--check those out on CD, too. Middle Ages? The Door in the Wall, Otto of the Silver Hand, and Men of Iron spring immediately to mind as audiobooks that DD ate up.

 

Third, you could try a different spine. Maybe SOTW just doesn't "speak" to you. That's OK. Maybe go with Foster or Guerber or Synge or the Famous Men series.

 

And finally, as you said, you can rest easy that history doesn't HAVE to be the center of your curriculum. Many traditional classical homeschoolers put Latin and Greek at the center and do history once a week just like science and geography and etc.

 

Good luck! :001_smile:

 

ETA: In the interest of full disclosure, I have the opposite problem: I lovelovelove history and would read history and literature to the exclusion of all else if I could. So I'm struggling to put history in its proper place in our homeschool, just as you are--but we're working at it from two different directions! :D

Edited by laylamcb
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I don't know how to make myself like it. I guess by the time I finish the basic subjects with the kids I am worn out and history gets put on the back burner. When we do it, I practically fall asleep - especially with historical fiction. SOTW is okay but does not engage me enough. My older girls feel the same (probably because I am not into it) and can't stand reading historical fiction either. I think I would like it more if we were studying American history - right now we are in the Middle Ages.

 

Most of the time I just grin and bare it. But this has caused me to dread homeschooling.

 

I don't know what I could do to make this different. Any suggestions? I know this goes totally against what a true "classical" education is supposed to be. Although I did read in LCC where there was not much focus on "history" as a subject in the schools back then.

 

The only part about studying history is studying God's Word and giving my children a thorough Biblical knowledge.

 

There is no question that studying history is beneficial - so what is the worst that can happen if we did not do an "in depth" study of history?

 

I wish their were some videos that gave us a overview of history - a whole picture of world history so that some of the historical fiction books made more since and we would have somewhere to place what is going on.

 

Okay...I'm rambling. Would love to hear from you.:)

 

Have you looked at The Artner's Reader's Guide to American History from Memoria Press? It's wonderful and definitely comprehensive enough to use a main history curricula. It is not full of a lot of information, but it points you to great books and give a "just the facts, ma'am" approach to history. I am really loving it.

 

Memoria Press also offers a companion guide called Everything You Need to Know About History Homework. I hemmed and hawed over purchasing it an finally decided to order the two books together. I have not been disappointed. It's as if someone took all of the things that I think are important in a history curriculum and put them together for me.

 

You can see samples of both of these books on the Memoria Press website. Good luck with whatever you choose.:001_smile:

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I hate history, too. So I'm just here to sympathize with you. I was always a math/science person and history was the only subject I got C's on in high school. Now my dd loves history. She begs me to do it and it takes all my self control not to roll my eyes and groan. I think part of my problem is that I don't care for the "voice" of SOTW. I couldn't tell you why, but it just hasn't clicked for me. DH likes history. I tried to convince him to read SOTW with the kids in the evenings. All I got was a lecture about how he's gone several evenings a week and that I just need to be more committed to HS. Oh well. I'm switching to something else for next year. Hopefully that wiill keep me interested enough that I don't squash dd's enthusiasm for the subject.

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I don't know the ages of your children, but if they are old enough to work independently, I would suggest letting them use a textbook/workbook approach. My dd didn't enjoy historical fiction until just this year (8th grade) and even then, it's selective (nothing girly -- she likes the action!) We've always enjoyed history textbooks, though. :tongue_smilie:

 

Anyway --

 

SOTW audio CDs -- lunch time listening for four years!

Mystery of History -- my dd's number one favorite history resource

 

Abeka Textbooks -- grades 3 and 4 -- American history -- we LOVE these!

 

Christian Liberty Press -- History for Little Pilgrims -- overview of world history

 

So far, we haven't been a history-centered family; and the sky hasn't fallen. I think it's perfectly okay not to love history and center your curriculum around it. Maybe you can choose a year here and there to make history more of a priority. And, it's quite possible that your children will become more interested at a later date, and take on more independent research.

 

I didn't like history, either, until I "discovered" the Vietnam War (it was relegated to one very poorly written chapter in my uber-conservative Christian school curriculum; I figured anything they didn't want me to know about, was worth researching -- I was a stinker that way!) Anyway, I spent all of my high school years studying the Vietnam War. I still don't especially love history in general, but I continue to regularly read and study that particular era. My point (and I do have one, in all my rambling!) is that it's fine to give your kids a nice, well-rounded exposure to history. You never know if or when they will discover their own interest.

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I've decided to use history odyssey but I really want the main focus of our studies to be math and science and I have a degree in history LOL. I like math and science better, that is a long story. Anywho just pick a different spine. I'm not going to use SOTW when we do History Odyssey I'm using A Child's History of the World instead. You could do CLE's history and just do the workbooks and get it over with. I would pick the subject that you all are most passionate about and make that your main focus. Or find the kid's individual passions and they could have different main focuses (or is it foci?). but that would be more complicated.

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Maybe do history first thing in the morning..and only twice a week?

 

This is what we do, or we wouldn't get to history at all. And we love history. There are, however, certain periods of history that do not interest me in the slightest. As far as I'm concerned, once Bach was dead, that's it. The Enlightenment? Please. Boring. Exploration and Industrialization? Makes me sick.

 

Are you passionate about something that could give you a way in to history, that would make it exciting for you? For a long while, my son's window into more modern history was baseball. Civil rights, WWII, all kinds of things, were viewed through the lens of baseball. I think he had the whole Ken Burns Baseball documentary memorized. One time we were watching a documentary on Civil Rights and a photo came on the screen of a young man. "That's so-and-so" my son said, with, you know, the actual name of the guy. I couldn't imagine how he knew. He paused the video and looked at me for a long moment and finally said, "Mom. How could you not know that? He signed Jackie Robinson."

 

When you find something that works, let us know what it is!

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Textbooks killed history for me. I read widely, and read about every subject. But, I didn't read any history for years after being out of school. After finding some good narrative style history books and books that studied history from interesting, analytical viewpoints (Sowell's Culture series, Strauss and Howe's Gererations, Hobhouse's Seeds of Change and David Hackett Fisher's Albion's Seed), I have now learned to enjoy history and am enjoying looking for chronological connections and progressions.

 

I would try reading a few of these type of books, here's a thread where I explain each of the books I liked and asked for recommendations for similar books: http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84362&highlight=albion%27s+seed

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Since you have at least 1 or 2 girls (according to your post), I wanted to recommend Royal Diaries books. My DD loves them! There are about 20 books from Cleopatra to Nzingha to Elizabeth I to Anastasia.

 

How about Diana Waring's audio CD's for listening to history? Her enthusiasm is contagious.

 

I'll start homeschooling my younger daughter in the fall and she has made it clear, under no uncertain terms, she does NOT want to study any history. She wants to study math, science and art, period! Bless her heart. Since my older dd will be doing American History, I'll have them work together on Time Traveler lap books from http://www.homeschoolinthewoods.com and no textbook for my younger dd. We'll also be doing Geography through Beautiful Feet and then MFW ECC which includes art & science so I think she'll like it. I know it's not very WTM to "skip" history, but I'm hoping to speak to her heart by focussing on subjects she enjoys.

 

Hope this helps a little. :)

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Guest Bibliophile Dot

My boys love SOTW, but also like the Joy Hakim US History Series and Landmark History of the Amarican People. If it is ancient history, sometimes I like to just read topical books and use a timeline as reference.

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Join the SCA and let that be your middle ages study :D

After that, viewing history through a specific lense might well make it more interesting. History via baseball would just about kill me, but history via food sounds perfectly sensible, and leads into economics, politics, anthropology, sociology and nutrition. In fact, food history is about the 'funnest' thing I can think of! History via music could be just the same. There's some pretty serious political music around. I've often thought I could use a couple of Michael Jackson's film clips as the basis of a history study. Not that one with the really bad werewolf, obviously :lol:

 

Cheers,

Rosie

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Wow! So many wonderful suggestions! I don't feel so bad now with the fact that history doesn't HAVE to be a major part of our schooling. I think I will maybe try a biography aproach, listening to CD's and I also like the look of Artner's stuff.

 

So if you had an 8th grader (in the fall) whose writing skills were a little weak and didn't read anything other than what we have on our shelves or what she picks from the library, what would you do for reading/literature? She hated the the lists in TWTM. I may just go ahead and start a thread on this topic.

 

Thanks a bunch!!:001_smile:

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We've also used a lot of very short books that are somewhat below my son's reading level. He breezes through these, enjoys them and learns history as well. And because of their brevity, even the ones that may be less interesting can be "endured" for the half hour to an hour to takes to read them.

 

Here are some authors we've used in this manner:

 

Betsy & Giulio Maestro

Edward Eggleston

Diane Stanley

Jean Fritz

Joan Holub

Mary Pope Osborne

Andrew Santella

Mike Venezia

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I was just thinking along similiar lines as Rosie and then I read her post. Maybe pick some interesting unit study ideas: food (yes, I was thinking of this too :)) , fashion, women in history. I would let it go out of order a bit if need be. You could still keep track of the order on a timeline. I think it might be more important now to find a way to make history interesting and/or fun for you all. It's hard to love learning if it feels like drudgery.

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Guest KathyinGermany

Well, I really like history, but I do not like memorizing trivial details--I'm more of a broad sweep person, and if I get the right half-century, I think I'm doing good.

 

Even so, every subject has a history, and if math and science is more your thing, then you can teach it through that. Who says it has to be kings and queens and wars and politics? Ugh. I actually learned history on my own through art and costume as a kid, and that isn't a half-bad way to do it, and is way more interesting. It all started as a TV program I saw on Leonardo da Vinci when I was in second grade.

 

I'm a big fan of following your passions, so just find something you all are, or your kids are, interested in and follow that. We tend to be a little lax on science and history right now, because our focus is on English and Math. Once ds gets his basic skills down, it will shift. I supplement with Time4Learning to make sure at least the science and history bases are covered.

 

We also do keep a timeline (we have a separate line for math, science and technology, and lines for different parts of the world) and plot stuff on a map (Sonlight is a good source for this) to tie it all together. Actually, we have covered a good chunk of world history and science just pursuing his interests.

 

Don't like fiction? Maybe you can use a nonfiction book that is more to your liking. We are just starting using Beautiful Feet books from Columbus to Abraham Lincoln, and in the process, am learning a big chunk of world history too. The Scholastic Guide to American History Homework covers the basics well to supplement. We also have the American Education Publishing Complete Book of World History Grades 4-6--it covers the bare-bone trends quite well and without a lot of fuss for only $15.

 

We live in Europe, so the middle ages is very alive for us--nothing cooler than visiting a real castle. Still, knights, princesses, armour, the Crusades, the Black Death, castles, Gothic art--what's not to like for a normal kid? Dover coloring books and Eyewitness books are great to browse, have great pictures and cover the basics pretty well. We also like the book: A Street Through Time, which is European history in a nutshell.

 

Maybe local history is a place to start for you. Or use science, math or technology to start. Tracing Copernicus thru Kepler thru Newton thu Einstein is facinating, and you get a lot of history in the process, from the teachings of the ancient Greeks to the Reformation and Inquisition, the Age of Enlightenment, and the Atomic age, and more.

 

We have been diving into math history recently, especially the history of number systems and the number zero. That's a trip from 3,000 BC in Babylon, to India, to Persia to Italy, with some side trips to Central America and Egypt.

 

Try some Living Math books and get history and math at the same time! Go to the MacTutor math history website at St. Andrews and get all the math history you could ever want, or go to hyperhistory for bios on scientists from all over the world and see how that ties into other history.

http://www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/History_n2/a.html Also it helps to have history maps to figure out where this stuff took place: http://www.wadsworth.com/history_d/templates/student_resources/0534600069_spielvogel/InteractiveMaps/maps_index.html

 

My 11-year old son is currently working on a presentation about the development of electrified rail lines in Europe. Not a subject I've ever thought about, but it is more interesting than you would think. The inventor also founded one of the largest companies in Germany--Siemens. But Switzerland lead the way because it has loads of hydroelectric power.

 

Well you get the idea. History isn't as linear as science and math, but it does have its own logic, and it really helps you understand some of the whys and hows of other subjects. And I think it is just cool to learn about all the weird stuff people used to do, and do still.

 

Kathy

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