Fun Ways to Teach History

by Dianne McLean

Is history boring for your kids? Do they constantly whine or put their head down on the table when you are reading history books?

We've previously featured a blog post on how to engage history using family genealogy. Since that post, we have received hundreds of emails from our readers expressing a desire to know more. How do you start?

Well, the easiest way of course is to ask those who have experienced history and are still alive - grandparents and relatives are always excited to share their stories. Children can learn stories of courage and heroic actions, stories of hardship and living through economic changes, and stories that reflect cultural and sociological cycles.

But if your relatives are no longer living or are not able to tell their stories, you can start by simply finding people who are willing to share. You can visit a senior center or talk with elderly members of your congregation. Or search for journals online and in county libraries. Many counties and provinces all over the world have genealogical centers with collections of family histories as well as histories of people who lived in their county. Read old newspapers and learn how to read microfilm of very old documents (this could turn into a fabulous lesson in old writing styles). You can also search online, there are numerous resources for genealogy. We like Ancestry.com, as it has the largest archive that is not built primarily on linking out to other websites.

To give you an idea of how fascinating this method of teaching history can be, we have invited John Notgrass to present at our 2014 Not Back to School Summit. This summit was part of a collaboration of 30 speakers and more than 65 homeschool topics, all brought to you for FREE during the live sessions. The live sessions have ended, but you can still catch the replays of all the speakers by upgrading to Plus membership.
We also have two free workshops available from Charlene & Ray Notgrass, John's parents, as listed below!

In John's presentation, he actually dressed in character and told his grandfather's story of World War II in first person. His presentation description is as follows (you will need to be logged in to watch it):

One Soldier's Story: A Tennessean in World War II - aired Sept 29th, 2014– http://hecoa.com/one-soldiers-story-a-tennessean-in-world-war-ii
John's grandfather Wesley Notgrass (1915-2007) joined the United States Army in 1941 and served for four years, one month, and seven days in the United States and Europe during World War II. Based on his grandfather's recollections, John steps into character to share Wesley's life story in a first-person narrative, from growing up in the 1920s and 30s through his experiences during the war. The presentation is illustrated with photographs from Wesley's collection

Charlene's FREE workshop is as follows:

Homeschool Without Fear -aired Sept 15thhttp://hecoa.com/homeschool-without-fear
The voices we, as homeschooling parents, hear and think we hear from other homeschoolers and the world at large can make us fearful. Worries can swallow up our confidence and even our original intention to make God’s truth the center of our homeschool. This workshop will help you remember that God equips you with everything you need to homeschool without fear.

Ray's FREE workshop is as follows:

How Christianity Changed World History -aired Sept 15thhttp://hecoa.com/how-christianity-changed-world-history
It's so obvious that we often miss it. People who follow Jesus have been changing the world for good for almost two thousand years. As Jesus changes us and changes our relationship with God, He leads us to live differently and to see the world and other people differently. Ray Notgrass surveys how people following the way of Christ have impacted the world's perceptions of morality, the value of children, business, labor, helping the poor, politics, and other areas of human society.

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