Bringing History to Life

Living History Title | Homeschool Survival

They say it is important to know our history so we don’t repeat the same mistakes. While this may be true, many find studying history to be boring and irrelevant. How can we capture our children’s interest so they learn the wonderful lessons history has to offer?  How are we bringing history to life?

Problem: History = Boring, Irrelevant, Uninteresting

My own experience with history is that it was dry and unconnected. I read snippets of someone else’s interpretation of events and tried to memorize long lists of dates. My eyes would glaze over, my brain would zone out. I have a tiny recollection of studying the Ancient Greeks in my high school World Civ class, but I more clearly remember the monotone voice and polyester pantsuits my teacher wore. I can tell you exactly what the cover of my American History text looked like, even the title, but I cannot remember any information contained within that thick book.

How can we make History studies a better experience for our children? We can look for opportunities that would help make learning come alive for our children. In our homeschool, history studies include reading as many biographies and first-hand accounts of people and events as we can. Reenacting the accounts we read about, discussing the events and the differences in their lives and ours at the dinner table or around the school table help reinforce what we’ve read.

Living History 2  Apron Strings & other things

Solution: A Living History Museum

Anything we can do to help connect our children to their history will help reinforce the lessons that can be learned from history and make the future so much brighter. How about a Living History Museum? Have you ever seen the movie ‘Night at the Museum’? Where the displays come alive at night? Next month that is exactly what will be happening with our homeschool support group. We’ll be stepping back in history, meeting the famous and reliving memorable events that have influenced our lives today. This is how we accomplish it:

  1. Invite all participants to research the life of an important person in history. Learn all they can about that person, their lifestyle, family, circumstances, events in their lives.
  2. Prepare a display of some type and step into their hero’s shoes. Collect samples of tools and items that person may have used, learn a skill they might have known, find/create clothing that is typical of that time period.
  3. Learn the names and places of their family, their home, their occupation.
  4. Be ready to represent this person to those visiting our museum. Child will interract with visitors explaining how an event or invention or discovery came about, from the first person point of view.
  5. Invite your friends, Grandma and Grandpa, Aunts and Uncles, others interested in homeschooling or skeptical about educating children at home.
  6. Open the doors and walk back in time! Have fun! Absorb! Learn!

 

Laura Ingalls | Homeschool Survival

At our Living History Museum last year, we met Israelites who were at the Wall of Jericho when it fell and Queen Esther with King Xerxes. What a treat it was to meet Laura Ingalls, barefoot with her sunbonnet hanging down her back, practicing her letters on  a slate. Oh! and one of the Wright Brothers. We conversed with Betsy Ross as she worked on the first flag of our new nation, she had some interesting tales to share. Let’s not forget Sally Ride. She even had some freeze dried ice cream for us to sample, just like the astronauts ate when they were in space. Our children brought history to life for their grandparents and neighbors and learned some things along the way. What a great educational opportunity! History, Reading, Speech, Language, Writing, Art, Woodshop, HomeEc, Science, Geography – these are just some of the subjects we covered while preparing for this big assignment.

I wonder who we’ll meet at our Living History Museum this year? Who would you most like to meet?

 

stop and smell the daisies

Linda Sears is a stay-at-home wife, homeschooling mother and doting grandmother. She and her husband have 8 children, a daughter-in-law, 2 sons-in-law and 5 grandchildren, so far. They have been homeschooling for more than 20 years, graduating 4 of their 8 children, with 4 more to go. You’ll find her at Apron Strings & other things where she blogs about life as she knows it, with children in various stages of cutting those apron strings.