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Putting History into Perspective

Connecting History to the Modern World

 

Putting History into Perspective

Let’s face it, sometimes history can seem so dry.  Without context children lose the importance of understanding how history affects their own lives. Trying to connect their minds and hearts to something that happened long before they were even born can seem like a daunting task. Actually, it may seem impossible. The reality is it’s hard for any human to connect to something that happened decades, if not centuries, ago. It will seem irrelevant if there isn’t an understanding of how it connects with ones self.

I think there are three great ways to connect the old with the new. These three ideas allow a student to explore and consider history as it relates to other people, and ultimately to themselves. None of them are a great mystery and one or more of them are often incorporated into homeschooling. You may currently be using one of these methods but perhaps didn’t consider how you are connecting the old with the new.

History through Literature

History through Literature

Reading stories that are set in the same era, especially true, biographical and/or autobiographical stories, can put into perspective the time and place where events occurred. By putting a human face on the story we see how the events affected that person. We can read about their struggles, their worries, their victories and joys. We can see how government decisions affected the people living at the time. We can read about how a family endured during hardship or how they fought for the sake of freedom.

Whatever the story is about, reading through it with a child, while at the same time studying the historical events of the same era can help our children to relate to history. Comparing that history, that story, to how a child currently lives, and considering what might be different if events had turned out differently in the past, can help to truly put into perspective how history has shaped our world.

Resources for Historical Literary Guides

 

Personal History through Family Genealogy

 

Personal History through Family Genealogy

Knowing where they come from can help a child to connect with history. Discovering that a grandparent lived and served in the army during a war, or a great grandparent lived through the depression, or perhaps a 3 or 4x grandparent immigrated to the U.S. or even that you are related to royalty, can make for exciting discoveries, comprehension of how a period of time affects your actual family and make history seem more real.

A few years ago I became fascinated by ancestry research. It was before the show “Who Do You Think You Are?” began. But, the addition of that show has increased an awareness of personal family history. I’ve researched many direct lines of my family’s ancestry and have been fascinated by what I have found on both sides of my lineage.

Examples of my Personal History

  • My grandfather (my dad’s dad) was a soldier in World War 1. (Yes the first war, not the second).
  • I learned that my 9x Great Grandfather on my mother’s maternal side was one of the earliest settlers of the Maryland Colony and gave 100 acres for the establishment of London Towne, Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
  • On my father’s maternal side I can trace, not one line but 4 separate lines through English royalty including barons, earls, and knights. I also discovered that my 15x great-grandfather worked prominently with Kings Edward IV, Richard III, was the step father to King Henry VII and presided in his coronation ceremony.
  • I also discovered that through my 15X great-grandmother’s line I can directly trace my lineage back to King Edward III and subsequently William the Conquerer.
  • The infamous Devil Anse Hatfield and I share a common grandfather. His great-grandfather (Abner Vance) on his mother’s side (Nancy) is my 5x great-grandfather through her uncle James Howard. Which means we are 2nd cousins 4x removed.

There are more stories than just these. The point is that as we study through history being able to relate events to our ancestors helps to put into perspective how the history is personal to us. Knowing my grandfather was a soldier in the first world war helped me to truly relate to the events which unfolded. As my son is learning about the founding of the American colonies, I can point out that his 10X great-grandfather was there, was a part of the events, the culture and how the geography unfolded to form Maryland today.

Have you researched your ancestry? Do your children know where they come from? Have you made history relevant by learning about how your family interacted with the times?

Resources for Learning more about Personal Ancestral History

My favorite source is Google.com, it’s there that I can enter any name and the word genealogy, or include an approximate date and find a wealth of information. It doesn’t work every time, and many times it leads me back to ancestry.com which is where I keep my tree research, but sometimes, I unexpectedly find even more information to the stories than I had ever discovered and it opens my eyes to how each person’s life relates to the history that we read during the era in which they lived.

History Timeline

Using a History Timeline to Put History into Perspective

Building a historical timeline with your kids can help you to put the time frame into perspective. Knowing when something took place in relationship to the child’s own life, helps them to get a feel for how long ago something happened. Did it happen in their lifetime, just before they were born, in mom & dad’s lifetime, or grandma’s lifetime? Was the event something that took place before, during or after the life of Jesus Christ, was it something that happened during the time of Moses or David?

By connecting the dates of world history with something relevant to a child’s life will help them to put into perspective when something happened. It doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be quite simple.

Timelines do not have to be fancy. In our homeschool we use a simple binder and paper, we trace the timeline from creation forward. As we learn an era, we can easily see how close to creation or modern era the event happened. You can use a pre-made timeline, or make one of your own. A poster board, or homemade scroll would work nicely.

I recently discovered the game Time Line, where the goal is to put into chronological order the cards which contain specific events. It really is a fun game that can easily put events into historical context.

Have you used any of these methods of putting history into perspective for your children? Share with us in the comments.

 

Renée (19 Posts)

Renée Brown is author at her personal blog, Great Peace Academy. She is a homeschooling mom to her one amazing son, Jonathan and has been the wife of her Beloved Michael for 21 years. On her blog you will find discussions about her work as a homeschooling mom, her family and her faith.


A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***Early Christmas special for HOMESCHOOL POST readers: 25% off BIBLE STORIES 5 DVD Boxed set + FREE SHIPPING. Over 17 hours of content including 15 stories and 15 complete step-by-step art lessons. Code to use: HSP http://www.seethelightshine.com/store/bible-stories.html***
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Three MORE Truths Every New Homeschool Mom Should Know

Last week, I told you about three Homeschool Truths I’ve learned in my six years of homeschooling. Now I want to share three more Homeschool Truths that, had I really known them at the time, would have helped me tremendously when I first started homeschooling:

Three more truths for homeschool moms. The encouragement in this article is amazing!

1) It’s important to offer grace liberally.

You’re going to be making a lot of changes. So will your kids and your husband. While this isn’t an excuse to allow tempers flare or to let the house become a continual state of chaos, it is a reason to extend grace as all of you learn to adjust to the new norm.

Don’t just stop at offering grace to those within your home, though. Chances are that friends and relatives are going to have a ton of questions and concerns about your decision to homeschool.

Answer their questions lovingly and with kindness, but if others won’t relent, simply state, “I understand that you want what’s best for my children. My husband and I want that as well.” Then change the subject and ask how they’re doing. If they still won’t ease up, politely end the conversation and walk away.

2) The first year of homeschooling will be one of your absolute hardest years.

I heard this advice before I started homeschooling. So I decided to start homeschooling when my oldest daughter was four because I assumed that preschool surely couldn’t be very difficult!

I’ve since learned the first year isn’t difficult because of the schoolwork itself. Not at all. For me, that first year was difficult because selfish behaviors I didn’t even realize I had were ripped right out from under me. I was left flailing around, desperately trying not to fall flat on my back.

I also had to work through deep fears that I was going to screw up my children, regardless of that fact that, statistically, homeschool kids consistently outperform their public-school peers academically, socially, and spiritually.

And I needed to learn how to schedule my time and manage my home while still teaching school (I failed miserably in this area; my house was a complete disaster for quite a while).

Encouragement for new homeschool moms - you will get the hang of this!

The good news is that it does get easier and you will find a groove as you become more confident, so don’t give up!

3) It’s important to find support!

If my father-in-law hadn’t given me a little pamphlet he’d seen about a local homeschool support group, I don’t know how I would have survived that first year.

I called the number listed and cried hard as I blubbered to the poor soul on the other end about how stressed out and overwhelmed I was.

I vaguely remember hearing something like, “Oh, she’s in preschool? It’ll be okay, I promise. You can do this. Why don’t you join us for an event next week?”

Bless that woman’s heart, she was so nice and gentle and didn’t tell me I was insane for sobbing over preschool work! I nervously drove to the activity and was immediately put at ease by the wonderful people of all ages who welcomed us into their hearts.

A few of my closest friends are also women I met at various homeschool events. We’ve bonded over stories of homeschool struggles and successes. That support from someone who understands has been invaluable and, as a wonderful bonus, our children have become best friends as well!

And now, beginning our sixth year of homeschooling? I love the fruit and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

“For whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Galatians 6:7-8 (NKJV)

What would you add to this list of encouraging truths that every homeschool mom should know?

{PS Don’t forget to read three other Truths for new homeschool moms here.}

Davonne (11 Posts)

Davonne Parks is a married Christian homeschool mom who began teaching her children at home in 2009. She blogs about cultivating a heart for motherhood, as well as organization and simplicity, at DavonneParks.com. Davonne believes that some of life’s richest moments happen when we embrace the beauty of imperfection as we extend grace to ourselves and others. She’s written two eBooks, “101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms” (free to her blog subscribers) and “28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person.”


A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***Early Christmas special for HOMESCHOOL POST readers: 25% off BIBLE STORIES 5 DVD Boxed set + FREE SHIPPING. Over 17 hours of content including 15 stories and 15 complete step-by-step art lessons. Code to use: HSP http://www.seethelightshine.com/store/bible-stories.html***
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Three Truths Every New Homeschool Mom Should Know

This year is my sixth full year of homeschooling my children. Throughout these years, I’ve learned and grown so much. Here are three truths that, had I really known them at the time, would have helped me tremendously when I first started homeschooling:

Three encouraging truths that all homeschool moms need to know! I love the thoughts on # 3!

1) It’s possible to homeschool frugally.

The first year involves a lot of learning about what works for your family, including your teaching style and your children’s learning styles.

So, no matter how excited you are about the books you’re buying and the lessons you’re planning, whatever you’re using now probably will not be what you end up sticking with for the long-haul. And that’s okay!

There are so many free resources, like All In One Homeschool,” which is a complete, free online Christian homeschool curriculum. You can also browse the internet and visit your library for a plethora of information about every subject!

For visual learners (or on days when you just need a little extra ease), Youtube videos are great for science and Netflix can be utilized for educational purposes as well.

Or maybe, for your own peace of mind, you want to go with a relatively inexpensive box curriculum like a basic set from “My Father’s World.” That’s perfectly fine as well – just remember there’s no need to spend an exuberant amount of money homeschooling.

A great bonus to keeping costs down is that if something really isn’t working for your family, you can pitch it, guilt-free.

2) There is time to relax.

I used to think that I was too busy to relax, but the reality is that I have too much going on not to take time to refresh my spirit.

Give your kids a quiet activity each afternoon, set the timer, and take 30-60 minutes to refresh and relax. You could read a few chapters in a great book, take a warm bath, paint your nails, try a new hairstyle, take a catnap, or work on a hobby or fulfilling a dream (for me, that means writing as often as possible!).

A note of caution: If you’re new to quiet times, keep a pleasant attitude when you lay your children back down for the 15th time in 20 minutes. Eventually they’ll catch on and it’ll be worth your initial effort!

Relax

3) It’s okay to be imperfect!

As a recovering perfectionist, this was probably the hardest and most important lesson I’ve had to learn during my homeschool journey.

My job isn’t to be a perfect mom, to have perfect kids, or even to teach my children everything they need to know – my job is to love my children fully, to show them Jesus, and to help them to enjoy learning so they’ll willingly teach themselves anything they need to know as they grow older.

So while we should strive to do our best, we also need to be okay with the fact that our best isn’t perfect.

“And He said to me, ’My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me… For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NKJV)

I’m going to share three more truths next week, but for now feel free to chime in the comments and let us know:

Seasoned homeschoolers: What would you add to this list of encouraging truths that every new homeschool mom should know?

New homeschool moms: What areas do you feel that you need extra encouragement?

Davonne (11 Posts)

Davonne Parks is a married Christian homeschool mom who began teaching her children at home in 2009. She blogs about cultivating a heart for motherhood, as well as organization and simplicity, at DavonneParks.com. Davonne believes that some of life’s richest moments happen when we embrace the beauty of imperfection as we extend grace to ourselves and others. She’s written two eBooks, “101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms” (free to her blog subscribers) and “28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person.”


A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***Early Christmas special for HOMESCHOOL POST readers: 25% off BIBLE STORIES 5 DVD Boxed set + FREE SHIPPING. Over 17 hours of content including 15 stories and 15 complete step-by-step art lessons. Code to use: HSP http://www.seethelightshine.com/store/bible-stories.html***
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