Homeschooling families can easily design their own living books curriculum to teach history. How?
Simple, yet extremely effective, homeschooling families can teach history by using Living Books as a base for their studies in homeschool history. Many people who use this approach work through history in a chronological way and they explore the time-period by choosing Historical fiction novels set in the time period and reading books which are "alive" and "inspire" in order to explore the time period.
Living books are not dry textbooks. They are filled with life and ideas that touch the heart and mind. They awaken curiosity; they do not dull our senses. These books cross the curriculum areas: fictional stories, non-fiction (interesting, colourful science books, dealing with important details, not dumbed-down), or history books which make the subject come alive the person, the issues, the places and things, sparking imagination and curiosity. Charlotte Mason says in Towards a Philosophy of Education. ..we must sustain a childs inner life with ideas as we sustain his body with food.
Reading Living Books introduces children to the times, the setting, the year, the place, the smell, and makes them familiar with real characters. It helps us gather a more complete picture of what it was like to live, eat and breathe in that time-period. Through the pages, we can move with the character and family, see their daily struggles, hear their questions, their language, their dreams and aspirations, and live alongside them. We can begin to understand them better, not be so quick to judge their actions, and walk in their shoes for a while.
Reading History Living Books brings history alive to our children, and through the endearing, warm, noble characters of history, they learn to love the stories and desire to know and read more. This means that our task as parents is to make careful and wise choices of literature.
Reading Living Books also helps us to remember history: the stories, the joys, the injustice, the wars, and the godly heroes- those which can be models for our children.
What does a Living Books Approach to History look like in reality?
This is not the only way to use Living books, but this is an example of what we do.
You may choose to complete a project in that week or over a few weeks, which can enhance your study. This incorporates art skills and this hands-on approach can be very rewarding for most children.Projects can be so varied, and children are so imaginative and different, that it is often through this process that you realize the uniqueness, the passions and interests of your children.
Some may love to get their hands dirty building a papermache castle, or a knight on a horse, or working with wood - building models and weapons, others may love to work with material -collages, embrodiery, costume-making.
Other children may want to dramatize a scene; Others may love to write about it; or paint it.Other children will want to set up a powerpoint presentation on the computer of what they have learned.Others will want to make musical instruments, listen to or play the music of the time-period.
The Living Books approach to Homeschool History does not focus on projects, but these can be a natural result of learning about and living in the time-period. Some weeks will be heavier on reading, and in other weeks the time may be spent more on reading. However, the focus of the Living Books approach to History - is reading excellent literature, living non-fiction and fiction books, poetry and drama.
We keep a History Book (which is an A3 visual arts Diary) and all their narrations, drawings, photos of projects and so on, go into this large book which covers a specific time-period.
I have now created my TOP TEN Lists - my favourite historical fiction novels in time period or study topic. I have not read all of these books - but I have gleaned ideas from others and from authors I trust and have read previously.
More TOP TEN History Living Books Suggestions:
Here is also a list of all the G.A.Henty Books according to time periods.
Who is G.A.Henty? If you have boys (and even if you don't) you MUST read this! G.A.Henty Historical Fiction