There are so many ways my old history teachers took the joy out of learning history… like empty memorization, for example. I’m glad I get to rediscover it with Micah and Kade.
I would like my sons to get to the point where they are able to talk about how different persons, groups and nations, with certain agendas, took action and influenced others to make choices. And then understand how those choices impacted others. I also want them to consider what alternative routes they could have taken, and what that would have done to the course of history as we know it now. I would like my sons to also weigh those choices and actions in the balance of what God might have thought about them, based on what we know about His character and plan for humankind as well.
I want my sons to understand how music, culture, food and identity develops and influences people, and how people live in other nations now and in the past. I want my kids to understand how the great geographic and socioeconomic divide drives people to do certain things, and how we impact the well-being of our physical Earth – this includes globalization and global warming, for example. My sons will learn we do not live in a silo. They will learn how rich of a land is America, and what our humble responsibility is among nations. They will learn how natural resources are limited, and how those natural resources impacted the wealth of nations over time, and how human innovation and memes changed lives too. Lastly, how policy and government can create liberated money-creation vehicles, or stifle people into submission until they revolt.
In short, my sons will become thinkers and philosophers through their understanding of history. Now, that’s a hefty goal, and what human can put that on a public school history teacher? It’s unfair. But it is fair for a homeschool family.
Where do we start?
We start at the beginning of time with Creation. We don’t make up stories, and we don’t deviate from the truth.
I’ve found a great way to make history accessible to rising 4 year olds is with the book “The Story of the World” but Susan Bauer. I’m reading it to Micah, so we can stop and discuss what we’re reading as we go.
In addition, we’re also making a accordion-style timeline binder. This one was simple: http://www.halfahundredacrewood.com/2012/06/keeping-timeline.html
Anytime we learn about a composer, artist, war, person, event, scholar, etc., we will add the appropriate picture to the timeline.
If we find things we can ‘make’ into an art project, or cooking, music, dance, etc., we do that too.
We are also memorizing the timeline song from Classical Conversation to take advantage of the natural ability to memorize at this age.
This is how we are starting our foundational learning of history. We will also ask comprehension, what-if questions, and add to our vocabulary. This, and the reading of the Bible everyday, 1 chapter a night, will start us off solidly in our love of history. This way, history will be no mystery.