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Teaching History At Home

Making the decision to homeschool your children can be exciting. You will be able to control their education while providing your children with a nurturing classroom environment. Teaching history can be a challenge for those who homeschool their children.

History can be an overwhelming subject, so it's best to take a proactive approach to helping your children understand and appreciate historical information.

Always start with a broad overview

As you begin teaching your children about historical events, it can be beneficial to provide them with a broad overview of the events from the beginning. Knowing where a story begins and where it is headed will help your children better understand where smaller details fit in.

Learning about the bigger picture before focusing in on the details of each individual event that contributed to a major historical change will make it easier for your children to remember these events and recall them in the future.

Focus on the details that matter

History can be a challenging subject to teach because there is a lot of material to work with. To avoid overwhelming your children with details, focus only on the details that matter.

For example, many schools have children learn about turkeys and Thanksgiving when studying the Pilgrims. Although eating turkey was part of the Pilgrims' experience, it is not the major reason why they have historical importance.

Your children will be able to provide more detailed accounts of historical events when you focus only on the pertinent details in each history lesson.

Teach geography alongside history

Many teachers overlook the importance of geography when it comes to teaching historical events. Many of the major historical events that have occurred involve disputes over borders, invasions of countries, and migrations of people.

Providing your children with a background in the geography associated with historical events will help them better understand how and where these events took place. You should always begin a history lesson with an overview of the geographical information that will be needed to appreciate the context of the historical events you plan to discuss.

Focus on sequence, not on dates.

It can be easy to get bogged down with dates when teaching history to your children. While having an understanding of the approximate time period in which certain events occurred is important, most people never need to know the specific dates of historical events.

Instead of trying to have your children memorize a series of dates, focus on having them learn the sequence in which historical events occurred. This knowledge will be far more useful in the future. For more information on choosing a high school history curriculum, contact your local homeschooling group.