I know I haven't shared much about homeschooling on this blog. It really hasn't been as high a priority as it should have been the last several months. (It's amazing how much kids learn even when there isn't much formal education going on... also beside the point.)
Anyway, I thought it might be nice to share some of my thoughts and ideas about how I homeschool. I'm not trying to convince anyone to do it themselves; I've just found that a lot of people are curious about how it works. I've been homeschooling for going on 10 years now (wow, really?) and if I'm not an expert on the subject... well, I probably never will be.
Anyway, I digress (again). History is one of the easiest subjects to teach. Why? Well, because all it is is a bunch of true stories all strung together. It's the textbooks and the teachers that make it boring. Be honest with me, is it really that important to know the exact date Columbus reached the Americas or would it be better to know why he was out there wandering around in the ocean. Of course, it's important to know a general timeline for major events- it's probably a good idea to be aware that he sailed in 1492 and not 1942. But isn't it the adventure, the excitement, the wonder of the event that a child will remember? They can learn the dates later, when they've got the stories down pat.
Have you figured out where I'm going with this? The best way to learn history is to read about it. And get this: The books you read don't even have to be non-fiction! Of course, you have to be aware that the historical fiction is not completely factual but in most cases, the people, places, and events give a pretty good picture of what that time was like.
|The first of the Tennis Shoes books.|
I read this for the first time when
I was about 12.
My point here is not necessarily to sell you on Chris' books (although I highly recommend them) but to illustrate just how great an impact good historical novels can have on one's understanding of history. Of course, reading some of the non-fiction is a good idea as well, just to clear up any question about whether certain events really happened.
Now, all of this isn't to say that I just pick up school books that take place in another time at random. There actually is a series, written for homeschoolers that we use that took me 8 years to find. It's called "Story of the World." The history of the entire world has been broken down into 4 years worth of lessons. Each year is broken down further into major events, and those are broken down into individual stories.
|We are studying Ancient Times this year...|
Of course, my enthusiasm for the subject probably helps a lot with being able to keep their interest but all in all, I think we've finally found what works for us in history. Now, if I could just learn to love science...
I hope this wasn't too long-winded and that you were able to get something out of it.