During week 3 of our new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m bringing you 5 days of fun schooling ideas for your home. Most of the ideas can be enjoyed now, but a few you can look forward to once things return to normal.
History is often the dry, dreaded class in a public school setting, but it doesn’t have to be in your homeschool! Here are some tips for fun schooling history in your homeschool.
Eat Through History
What did the Vikings eat? How about the Ancient Romans? What were popular dishes in the Medieval period? Many of these dishes are still eaten today in different parts of the world.
Have some fun in the kitchen with recipes from a book such as the Usborne Children’s World Cookbook, or look for recipes online. You may even find some of your historical dishes become family favourites! One of our favourites is a Viking fish dish we found on the Parks Canada site.
Include Primary Source Material
There is nothing like reading first-hand, personal accounts of wars and different times in history – using primary sources. These first-hand accounts can be so exciting, or at the very least eye-opening! Here is a great collection of primary source material from different periods in world history.
Read Historical Fiction
Historical fiction can bring history alive! While historical fiction isn’t all true, generally the setting and way of life will paint a good picture of the time period in a compelling way. The Book of Negroes is an excellent example (for older teens). I thoroughly enjoyed reading it myself and learned so much about slavery in the U.S. and Canada that I hadn’t known about before! Once you read the book, watch the miniseries. It was filmed here in Nova Scotia!
Enjoy Historical Arts, Crafts & Trades
There are so many arts, crafts, and trades that have been enjoyed over the centuries by different cultures around the world. Many of them are simple and can be done with items you already have around your home, such as the fibre arts. You may even be able to find local tradesman and artisans that will let your child try a historical art, such as glass blowing or working at the forge, like my son is doing here:
History Through Song and Music Videos
It is so much fun to learn history through music! There are many terrific audios available to learn from and sing along to, such as the History Songs from Audio Memory and the Presidents’ Rap and the Prime Ministers of Canada from Sara Jordan. Bring them with you in the car for some “car schooling” fun. I learned more about our Canadian Prime Ministers by listening to that one CD than in all my years of public school!
You can find a great example of fun music videos that teach all about history on the “historyteachers” channel on Youtube – for example, learn all about Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia set to Lady Gaga’s Pokerface!
History Dress Up Time!
Have your children dress up like a famous figure you have been studying. They can memorize and recite a speech or piece of writing that the famous person is most noted for. You can make it simple and use clothes or sheets you already have around the house, or teach sewing and make more elabourate costumes (check out Bluprint for some sewing help). Some heritage sites offer a chance to dress up, such as the Fortress of Louisbourg in Cape Breton:
Another way to keep history interesting, is to study it in context. It doesn’t have to be a separate subject. Learn the relevant geography along with the history. Look at old historical maps and compare with present day maps. These black line maps to print out and label are a great resource. You may even want to use a unit study or an integrated curriculum such as Tapestry of Grace.
History doesn’t have to be boring! How do you make history fun in your homeschool? Please let me know in the comments below.
Love, Luck &
Please note: This article was originally published in May 2016 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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