Let’s play Revolutionary War! And they are off, playing games together about the founding of our country.
It always makes me smile when I see this. Like something I have tried to teach them has actually taken root in their brains and has been applied to their hearts. It’s when book learning becomes real life.
Welcome to Day 8 of our 10 Days of Summertime Learning Fun Series. Just two more days of really awesome ideas to get your kids learning and creative this summer. But actually the series should have probably been named something like 10 days of Learning Without a Textbook, because these are tips you can use all year long!
How to Help Your Kids Love History
Do your kids hate history or think it’s boring? How do you encourage your kids to take what they have read and learned about History and actually apply it in their daily lives? Here are a few tips that I have found for helping make history come alive in our homeschool, during the summer and all year long!
Make it Exciting
History is my favorite subject to teach and learn along with my kids, and I think my excitement is passed on to them. Even when I am planning our unit studies, I will exclaim, “that is so cool,” or “I didn’t know that!” So they naturally become interested in whatever it is I am excited about.
Read living books
Homeschool families are usually huge book lovers, and I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but… Just in case, I want to remind you that you don’t have to only use “school books” to learn. You can learn almost anything from living books. Make sure they have access to great books about historical happenings and figures. As a kid, I checked out piles of biographies from the library, and I probably remember more from the books I read, than the textbooks we used. My kids have loved the Rush Revere series, and they often act out what they are reading.
Let them experience Living History
One of our favorite summer activities is to visit Civil War Reenactments and Historical Settlements. We went to a local farm a few weeks ago that had a blacksmith shop, weaving loom, print shop, and Civil War era cannon. Seeing it in real life helps make history seem less like an abstract idea about old people they don’t know, and encourages them to find an interest in history.
Encourage Historical Play
I love to see my kids reenacting History themselves. There is nothing sweeter to a homeschool momma’s ears, I think than to see them acting out what they have learned. It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate to encourage them to do this. A red shirt from Goodwill makes an awesome Redcoat uniform or the front porch makes a great ship. It’s amazing how creative kids can be if given the chance. Sticks will become guns or crutches or brooms. A blanket will become a tent or a bed or a flag for their ship.
Create Historical Crafts
Sometimes when they are playing they need more props, so help them create the things they need. I let my kids get into my fabric scraps and make “uniforms” or flags or whatever they need to play their history games. They can create Paul Revere’s lamps from peanut butter jars. They can actually weave on a cardboard loom. Let them be creative!
How do you encourage your kids to love history?