My kids are all very tactile and visual learners. Sitting in a desk or at a table all day in a book just doesn’t work for them, so I try to incorporate as many hands-on projects or educational videos and experiences that I can.
We try to do History units sectioned into time periods or cultural studies by geographical regions. Doing this allows us to dive into projects and get crafty instead of just reading some dry chapter books and not retain anything. Which is not to say it doesn’t work… It just doesn’t work for us.
For example, we did an entire month of projects studying Ancient Egypt. We combined baking and eating like the Egyptians did. Dressing up with our crafted “jewels” and headresses. The kids still remember small details about these projects and historical tid-bits years later.
Hieroglyphic tablets made with air dry clay.
Making Hieroglyphic clay amulet necklaces.
These projects don’t need to be super elaborate or require tons of supplies either. We try to incorporate recycled materials or things we already have on-hand at home. For example, we used cardboard, paint and glue for our tribal masks during our African studies unit and they turned out so great!
Whenever possible, we love to venture out to museums to encounter historical artifacts face to face. After our visit, I have the kids journal about their favorite exhibit or experience during our visit. (Hey, I get some extra writing and vocabulary thrown in, so I call that a win!)
I like to randomly recap things throughout the year and I will ask something in the manner of “what has been your favorite part of the school year so far?” Almost unanimously the response always includes one of the trips to a museum and the kids will go on to recap the exhibits and go on talking in detail about what they saw, or things they did and it makes this homeschool mama heart sing! They talk so in depth about it, it solidifies they are really absorbing the information they see and experiencing history instead of just reading about it and calling it a day.
We also like to watch historical documentaries or educational shows that have history tid-bits in them during our “free-time.” Some of these include:
The Who Was? Show
National Geographic documentaries
This works for us, and may not be what’s best for you and your family, and that’s ok! That’s the beauty of homeschool… You find what works and enhances your child’s educational experience or tweak it if it doesn’t! Schooling is not a one size fits all box.