History is an exciting subject that can take you through time to experience the world from other people’s perspectives. It is not just a list of names and dates, but rather the story of cultures, including the rise and fall of empires, the introduction of new inventions, and how our modern cultures came to be.
Introducing history to children well can help them appreciate this exciting subject. Here are some key strategies to help your kids learn history and build a love for the subject.
Introduce quality historical fiction
Good historical fiction books can bring time periods alive. Rather than just reading boring recitations of who did what and when they did it, historical fiction creates a world that the child can envision and better understand. They can see the historical world through the eyes of someone they can relate to and start to see their own place in history. It will help them imagine what it might have been like to live during different periods, which will then help them make sense of all the changes and events that took place in the lives of the characters.
Use hands-on learning
Some of the best memories people have of their school days come from exciting projects, and history can be full of them. Hands-on learning experiences, such as using heavy whipping cream to make butter in the classroom or learning how to knit, can help children better appreciate the type of chores children their age may have done a few hundred years ago. They will then find it easier to relate to the children of the past and associate fun and excitement with this subject. An interest in history inspired by projects can then carry the students through other types of learning.
Timelines can be a great way to help children organize dates. Often, history classes cover so many different cultures and events that everything can start to feel muddled together. A timeline helps to lay everything out so that people can see and understand what was going on in China at the same time as Rome and South America. History will start to make more sense.
Explore and visit museums so children can personally see items from earlier eras. Rather than looking at pictures, they can see objects that people hundreds, or even thousands, of years ago touched and used. This will also help history come alive and inspire interest in the student.
Speak to those who have lived it
First-hand accounts are immensely beneficial in history. For modern history, find community elders who lived through certain events. They can tell their story about different wars and the historical events and changes in their lifetime.
If you want to teach children about events older than modern history, you can seek out first-person accounts of the targeted events. They can also help the historical narrative become more alive and interesting for children as they start to imagine what living back then was like.
History is an exciting subject, helping to educate current generations about the past so that we can all better understand our place in history. If you want to inspire children about the subject, consider incorporating some of these ideas to make the subject more engaging and interesting for these younger learners.