I love history. I mean LOVE it! And at least one of my three children do too. While we enjoy a good historical fiction book and literature based history curriculums we prefer going out and about and experiencing history first hand. One way we do this is to bring history to life through field trips and real life experiences. It’s the BEST way to truly engage our children in learning about history.
Learn While on Vacation
Every time we go on vacation we always look for places to visit that are educational. Some of our favorites have been in Pigeon Forge. We have visited the Titanic Museum, Cades Cove and numerous one room school houses while vacationing in our favorite spot. We also loved visiting Colonial Williamsburg and the Misty of Chincoteague museum while in Virginia. We plan on visiting some of the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesteads on vacation next year and have toured lighthouses, recreated native American villages, and much more while vacationing as a family. I encourage you to look for places near your favorite vacation spot that could be educational and could help bring History to life for your homeschool student!
Local Historical Attractions
No matter where you live I would be safe to guess that you have some sort of attraction near you that could help bring History to life! We have visited our flood wall murals to help our children understand the history of our area. One experience we had recently was visiting what is known as the 1810 House which is near our area. I didn’t even know it existed before we went, and was fascinated by the history that was alive in that house! There were old clothes, furniture, toys, stoves, pans, beds and more. That house was able to bring history to life in my girls eyes in a way that I never could’ve taught.
We were also able to visit a real navy war ship last year. The ship came through our area and we were able to see what life would have been like on that ship during World War II. It was one of the most interesting experiences we have ever had, and I am so glad we didn’t pass up the opportunity. You can see more about that trip here.
Hands On Experiences
We have completed multiple literature unit studies with our homeschool group. We have studied American Girls, and recently Little House on the Prairie. Studying these books allows our children to get a taste of what life would have been like years ago for the characters in the book. We like to take it a step further by studying that time period.
We have brought history to life by mining for Gold like during the Gold Rush. Cooking food from scratch like Laura did, and learning how to make apple pie with crackers like Kits family may have done during the depression. We have had a local historian come in and talk about the Underground Railroad while studying Addy’s time period, and had ballroom dance lessons and a tea party (without tea) like Felicity may have done in Colonial Williamsburg. All of these experiences opened our children’s eyes and brought history to life for them in ways that a textbook never could!
When I was in school I always thought that history was boring. Why did it matter what happened many years ago? Now that I am a homeschool teacher, history excites me! One reason I think that happens is because we have so many opportunities to share history with our children in ways we didn’t learn in school.
What are some ways that you have brought History
alive for your children?