Welcome to this weeks edition of 4 Moms, 35 Kids: How Moms of Many Manage. This week we’re talking homeschooling and how we teach history.
History is the story of God’s hand in time and space, it’s the best story ever told and who doesn’t love a good story?
Although there may be those who disagree, I do not think that there is one ‘best’ way to teach history. God has given parents the responsibility for telling children the story of God (Psalm 78) and with the responsibility He gives the ability. You can teach your children what they need to know about God’s story.
So how do we tell our children the story of God that we call history? Here are some general principles that can be used in many different situations to teach history to children.
Focus first on the only infallible history book available. The Bible is full of history that is God-breathed important for us and our children.
Keep it real. With hundreds of thousands of stories to be told, history is our entertainment. We try to focus our reading, watching and talking on the true story. Don’t get me wrong we enjoy an occasional journey into the realm of imagination and use historical fiction, but our children are most interested and inspired by true stories of people and events.
Read, read, read and read some more. Quality, living books that tell the story can not only fascinate, but educate better than a book full of dry facts and dates. Read books that changed the course of history, books that convey the mindset of the times and books written by and about important figures. As soon and as much as possible read the original sources.
Be educated. Read along side your children. Read ahead of your children. Take the time to learn the story because after all it is His story and as such it must be important to His children.
Make history a family discussion. Talk about the story at the dinner table, during family worship and during free time. To facilitate making history a family discussion we study history together as a family.
Use a curriculum or not. If you’re more comfortable with having a history program to help guide your studies, there are several good ones available (I’ve written about about several specific programs and how we’ve used them), but telling the story to your children doesn’t require buying a curriculum.
Let your children have fun. Our children have dug the Panama Canal, crossed the Red Sea, eaten hardtack and coffee by an open fire, worn the double crown of a united Egypt, visited the USS Constitution, written in cuneiform on clay tablets, battled cannibals as John Paton, eaten rye n’ injun bread and honey cakes like Farmer Boy and lots, lots more. The beautiful thing about all of this? For the most part they do it on their own. Just last week Colby (4) asked me to help him make honey cakes so he could eat them after planting the garden, ‘just like Almonzo’.
The story is amazing, unexpected, death defying and miraculous, it’s God’s story and sharing it with our children is a beautiful privilege.
Visit the other 4 Moms to read how they teach history:
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