Wednesday, June 1, 2011

History: My Homeschooling Spine

ABCs of Homeschooling


H: History

Although I wouldn't consider us Classical in style, and we definitely don't cycle through history every four years, we have used a mostly chronological study of history as a basis for choosing curriculum throughout our fifteen years of homeschooling. This made sense to me way back when and we began our first year of homeschooling with the Weaver Interlock program for Kindergarten.



The Weaver Interlock is a wonderfully gentle unit study approach, based on the days of Creation. We loved this curriculum oh so many years ago and I often recommend it as a great way to begin your homeschooling journey when your oldest is Kindergarten age. In fact, I still own it as I haven't been able to let it go for sentimental reasons. Crazy, I admit.

While we have taken time off from chronological studies to insert units based on interest or opportunity (the Narnia study, election studies during election years and the like), it makes it easier for me to know where to begin when we work our way through history. We can all study the same time period together and it's a great way to continue the flow of learning.

So what are some of our favorite homeschool history resources? I'm so glad you asked! My number one favorite is TruthQuest History. I love the freedom the lack of a schedule gives us and the way Michelle Miller's commentary ties everything together. This is a Christian based study and she teaches the student to always ask the Big Two questions: Who is God? and Who is Man?. When we discover how the person would answer these two questions, we discover their worldview.



Another favorite is somewhat opposite in that it provides a step by step daily schedule, but this curriculum gave me a love for living books and a desire to teach through storytelling. Sonlight is known for their books and that reputation is well deserved. When you live history through the eyes of characters of the time period, you remember it. It becomes more than dry facts, it becomes an adventure. History was life to those who lived it and life is always an adventure. To teach it as mere facts and dates is a tragedy.




A new favorite, and one I am currently reviewing, is History Revealed by Diana Waring. This curriculum is different in that it encourages the student to share what they have learned in ways that appeal to their learning styles. There are a lot of project type choices available and my kids have enjoyed both the options and the encouragement to be creative. I have enjoyed that these are provided without an overwhelming amount of work on my part. No building giant ears for this mom.



There are other great history resources out there as well; Homeschool in the Woods, Learning Adventures, Christian Cottage Schools, Greenleaf Press, Night Owl Creations, and Revolution are a few more we have enjoyed. History is a favorite subject of mine and a backbone to our homeschool planning. It provides structure to this not so structured homeschooler and comes alive through discussion, living books, and projects. History, like homeschooling, is an adventure.

What's your favorite history resource?

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