Like today's study of the French Revolution.
A Child's History of the World by Hillyer. This is a wonderful book that has a voice that is very much like someone telling the story of history. It is factual, but written with an engaging style. It is written at about the 4th grade level, so it could be read by some students. It just works best for us for me to read it aloud to my youngest two boys. Despite its style, however, my boys are very visual in terms of their learning and they just need something visual to go with it or they just can't picture or understand it.
The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History on the same topic. Today, however, I just left it open to the appropriate page as I read Hillyer's book and just referred to it by pointing out the pictures that went along with the sections I was reading. I showed them the storming of the Bastille as I read that section. I showed them the guillotine when the chapter talked about that, and the picture of Robespierre when we got to that point. These pictures helped to cement the story of history into their minds. You could substitute any other pairing of these type books. For example, if you have The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, this could substitute for the Usborne volume. Even though it is written for an older audience, it still has beautiful, vivid pictures. Likewise, many people like The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer to substitute for Hillyer's book. The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem Van Loon (updated 1999 edition) is also a nice choice, and one I like to use for our second round of our 4-5 year history plan. (My high schoolers are using the Kingfisher and Van Loon's book now.)
|inside the The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History|
|Quentin playing with Movable Paper Figures|
|Quentin drawing Sacajawea from Draw and Write Through History.|
Charlotte Mason, Homeschooling Series, Vol 1., p. 295
For today's lesson on the French Revolution, we didn't come up with any projects, and that is okay too. We laughed about the idea of having a guillotine model just like they have the trebuchet models. It is not necessary to do a project with each and every lesson, for then it becomes drudgery in itself, and that is just what we are avoiding.
My high schoolers are running along side us in their history, with much deeper concepts and connections, of course, but when we are all on a similar course, we can each add to dinner time discussions to our own level and perhaps we will sometimes go over our little ones' heads from time to time, I am more often surprised by their insights. They are absorbing much more than I ever thought possible.
What are some of the ways you teach and learn about history?