Quick Ideas for Making History Fun!

Here’s another guest blog post by Cindy. Ever since we went on a school field trip to Brattonsville (a historic village close by), my daughter has become a bit of a history buff. I love Cindy’s tips in this article and am looking forward to implementing many of the ideas over the summer.

by Cindy Rushton

Want to make the new school year better than ever? Want studies that are interesting for the whole family? I think I can help you!

How about some quick tips for making your history studies fun? I think you will find these to make lessons fun and easy. Let’s dig in…

* Get out to see (and live) history as much as possible:  Hunt up any Living History Days scheduled in your area.  Get out to all historical sites and museums…even hands-on children’s museums. Don’t miss any historical reenactments and plays within driving distance! These all give wonderful opportunities to get your children in touch with those that love History and know it best.

*  Begin a history notebook: This is the cure to bringing history lessons to life. Talk about a great alternative to those dull, lifeless texts!  Let your children create their own notebooks of study. Include anything from great quotes to poetry to pictures to sketches to newspaper clippings to photographs to mementos from history sites, reenactments and postcards from friends to narrations from books read.  These personalized curricula will bring life into all areas of study.

* Tap into grandparents, elderly, family, and friends: Our family and friends have been a key source of finding out neat stories that are not recorded in the history books. Sitting at their feet, we have learned many details from history that would be long lost without the gift of story telling. The key to making this come alive is to listen and record their stories for your History Notebooks. Keep this part of history alive for you and for generations to come.

* Find treasures at antique stores: One of our favorite past-times is “junking” at antique stores, junk shops and flea markets.  Take your time to find wonderful treasures from the past, which will breathe life into your history studies.  You can find journals, uniforms, books, dress up clothes, and even play gadgets to make history come alive for your little ones.

* Let the little ones make up their own costumes: I have always enjoyed researching and creating authentic costumes from other time periods.  I used to have more time and energy to create costumes for every time period we studied.  Now, my children are using their extra time and endless supply of energy to create their own costumes.  I love to see them as they pull together little things from around the house to create their own costumes!

* Let them make doll clothes: This tangent began for us when my daughter got her first American Girl doll.  We combined my love of creating authentic doll clothes with my deep passion for making doll clothes.  Each year for the past five years, I have spent time each December creating matching outfits for Elisabeth and her dolls.  This is easy to do with today’s patterns.  Just take basic designs and create your own “historical” costumes for the dolls.  If you have a beginning seamstress interested in some quick projects, this would be a wonderful way to learn the basics of sewing while learning history.

* Make a timeline: Timelines are priceless!  We have had two different kinds of timelines for our studies in history.  We had a huge one that took up an entire wall in our old home. It was fascinating to watch the little ones as they would review and test each other on history as they went by! When we built our home, my husband would not allow that one back on the wall, so we made our own “Book of Centuries” on our computer, which includes all of our history facts. We simply developed a notebook with the dates marked.  We record key events, people we study and the key events of their life, our family’s key events, illustrations which remind the children of those historical figures and events, pictures that the children have collected from books and trips that we have taken, information from our computer encyclopedias and internet sites, and even charts we have collected or made ourselves. These are another text that we create about our studies. How priceless!

Need MORE Help?

Cindy Rushton, who has become known as THE BINDER QUEEN, uses notebooking for EVERY subject in her homeschool. She will show you how to begin whether your child is a toddler or the most skeptical high schooler. AND … she will take your hand as she walks you through notebooking each subject. Wonder how? Don’t miss her crazy offer here: www.HillbillyHousewife.com/notebooks

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