We have made a choice in our homeschool to use History as our “spine.” Why? Simply because we feel to live in this world, we must KNOW about it. Why our country is here, how it came about, how other countries have come about, etc. We want to see GOD’s hand in forming this world and shaping it to get us to the point we are at today. In order to have a worldview, and for us it is a Biblical worldview, we need to have an understanding of the history of our world.
We have had an amazing time this year learning about the history of this country. Not just a list of facts, but we have come to *know* the people who have formed our country, and have shared in their victories as well as struggles. We have done this reading mainly historical fiction, supplemented with good non-fiction books. We have taken field trips (Plymouth, MA and Philadelphia, PA) and have seen movies. We use a variety of resources to learn and not just memorizing facts. I, myself, have learned far more this year than I had previously known about American History.
History involves learning about God’s plan for our world. We see His hand in so many of the events that have taken place. In turn, it helps us to form ideas for what our future will be like. In order to live IN this world, we must know about it. We are doing this by keeping History as one of our main studies.
Using History as our spine then enables us to also develop other skills. I read aloud from historical fiction and have the kids do narrations about what I have read. Doing so enables the kids to make real connections to what they have just read or heard from a read aloud. When you narrate, or tell back what you have read, it enforces the information. In historical fiction, the characters come to life so you get to know them. When Grace was in 1st grade she scored at a 6th grade listening comprehension level on the standardized test. I believe it is because we do so much reading aloud. Then, often we will do copywork based on history. The kids will copy a part of a famous speech, a famous song (America), or quotes from famous Americans. This develop grammar, language, as well as penmanship.
I encourage you to make History a big part of your lessons. Not just an “extra” subject. There is so much to be learned from history and having an understanding of the world we live in. This year we used Beautiful Feet’s Study Guide for Early American History. Next year, I am planning on starting with the Constitution up through the 1800’s. I have learned there really is no “schedule” for when we learned these things, but that we just focus on a time period and truly learn about~ not just memorizing facts. I am excited for next year as we can read Little House on the Prairie books, and get to the Civil War…maybe even a trip to Gettysburg will be in our future? There is so much to learn and I thank God for creating this world we live in!
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;” Psalm 24:1
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