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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 (18 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.


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Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***3 FREE Complete Drawing Lessons from the SEE THE LIGHT 9 DVD/36 lesson ART CLASS curriculum that is used by many homeschooling families. Recommended for ages 6 + + http://www.seethelightshine.com/free-lessons/***

My Favorite Things for Homeschooling with ADHD

We’re homeschooling several children with ADHD in our family, so we’ve had to make some major adjustments to our homeschooling approach over the years. One of the biggest adjustments has involved adapting my teaching style.

I tend to be a sit-down, book-learnin’ type of educator. I have ADD, so I’m not hyper and I’m capable of long periods of concentration. My hyper kids, though, are not, which means I had to adjust to them in order to help them learn. We’ve found a few items to be especially useful for helping our kids stay on task and pay attention. So today I’m sharing five of my favorite things for homeschooling with ADHD!

My Favorite Things for Homeschooling with ADHD - Look! We're Learning!

Tools for Homeschooling Children with ADHD

  1. Digital Timer – I don’t use a timer that often, but when I do, it’s usually to keep me on schedule. I can get interested in a subject and talk for a bit too long, especially for my kids’ short attention spans. In general, I try to keep each subject to 25 minutes so that we can get up for a “brain break” a couple of times per hour.
  2. Squeeze Balls – Squeeze balls, or stress balls, are great for fidgety kids. They’re quiet, they’re small, and they don’t distract the other kids during lessons. Plus, they’re handy for moms who need a little stress reliever. ;)
  3. Nickelodeon FIT for the Wii – We make physical education a regular part of our school lessons. Sometimes we have P.E. outside and sometimes we use the video game Nickelodeon FIT on our Nintendo Wii. It’s packed with simple fitness activities for young kids, featuring Dora the Explorer, Diego, and other Nickelodeon characters. It’s really fun. I’ve even been known to get in on the game on occasion. :)
  4. Individual White Boards – Most of our kids are visual/kinesthetic learners, so any time I can take a lesson and make it interactive, the kids learn their concepts better. When we cover math, I use a chalkboard but I try to let the kids copy my work on their own white boards. They get to draw, write, and “see” each concept – all of which helps them grasp it better.
  5. The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks – This affordable ebook features simple activities that kids can perform during short “brain breaks” each hour. We had the opportunity to try the program last year and it gave the kids a simple way to move around and get themselves refocused for the rest of the school day.

And those are some of my favorite things for homeschooling with ADHD! We’ve found them all to be useful, especially when we’re covering complex subjects or topics that require concentration.

Do you have any tips for homeschooling active learners? We’d love to hear them in the comments!

Selena (2 Posts)

Selena is a homeschooling graduate, a former tax accountant, and a homeschooling mom to four super special kids. She and her husband, Jay, practice eclectic homeschooling to keep their ADHD learners engaged! You can keep up with Selena by following her blog Look! We're Learning! on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google Plus.


A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***3 FREE Complete Drawing Lessons from the SEE THE LIGHT 9 DVD/36 lesson ART CLASS curriculum that is used by many homeschooling families. Recommended for ages 6 + + http://www.seethelightshine.com/free-lessons/***

3 of My Favorite FREE Homeschool Activities

Earlier this month I told you about a few of my favorite homeschool things. Now I want to share a few of my favorite FREE homeschool activities!

Three of my favorite free homeschool things!

1) Exploring Nature

Whether we’re finding new nature preserves to visit, looking for acorns in friends’ backyards, reading nature books for Science, or visiting the great outdoors of an area we’re visiting, we absolutely love exploring nature for school!

One example of this is on my Beach Learning Pinterest board where I pinned things we studied before a recent family vacation. I also pinned links to a few of the fun outdoors things we did while we were there!

WP_20140827_017

2) Kitchen Learning

I absolutely love teaching my kids basic skills when we’re in the kitchen!

Reading
When one of my kids is learning to read, I’ll ask her what the next ingredient is on the list. Or I’ll point to a word and ask her to spell the word for me. Then we’ll sound out the word together.

Math
My oldest daughter learned how to read, measure, and multiply fractions while we baked together. My youngest is now learning how to read the fractions and apply that to real life!

History
It’s fun to talk about how pioneers heated and cooled their food in the 1800’s. It’s also neat to look up things like how the first waffle cone was invented!

Science
From discovering how different ingredients work together, to figuring out why oil and water don’t mix, recipes are a great way to experiment with a little bit of science! We also learn things like gram to ounce conversions, states of matter, and why raw meat isn’t safe but cooked meat is when we’re preparing food together.

3) Audio books

My kids and I absolutely LOVE audio books! We have a large set of audio books that we take on road trips, we snuggle on the couch while listening to our history lessons, and the girls are currently listening to Farmer Boy before they go to sleep at night.

My number one favorite place to find audio books (and other books for my daughter’s Nook) is on BooksShouldBeFree.com. These are FREE classics that volunteers have recorded!

My kids also love getting audio books from the library and following along in the printed book while they listen. This is a great way for them to naturally improve their reading and vocabulary skills while having fun doing so!

farmer boy

If you’d like to see more of my favorite free homeschool resources, check out this article I wrote about how to homeschool for free or this article with a great list of 10 fun and frugal learning activities.

What is one of your favorite free homeschool activities?


Davonne (9 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
***3 FREE Complete Drawing Lessons from the SEE THE LIGHT 9 DVD/36 lesson ART CLASS curriculum that is used by many homeschooling families. Recommended for ages 6 + + http://www.seethelightshine.com/free-lessons/***