My Kids Hated History…and Then I Tried This!

I’m the type of person that loves learning, no matter what it is. Well, let me qualify that…I don’t like a lot of science topics…but other than that, learning is something I love. With that said, I do understand that my children are not going to be just like me and there will be some subjects they just don’t enjoy. History is one of those for my younger two kids…I tried several different homeschooling curriculum with the same results: fighting to get them to do the work. Then I decided to switch tactics, and use this wonderful book to get things going.

My 2 younger kids are 10 and 7; they love school, I don’t have a hard time getting them to do their schoolwork, and they learn quickly. Until it’s time to learn about history. For some reason, nothing has caught (and kept!) their attention about history! We have tried textbooks, worksheets I have found online, even watching documentaries on historical topics. Normally my kids LOVE learning videos. But not with history.

I was about ready to throw my hands up in defeat.

Until I found this awesome book that has all the elements children love: pictures, timelines and diagrams. It has enough informative text to make Mom happy too!

Honestly, there isn’t a book that the Smithsonian puts out for kids that I haven’t liked. They are so full of information, yet the kids have fun reading and learning from them.

We are going through this book, reading the information on each topic, then I’m finding worksheets, printouts and lapbook/project resources to give them to reinforce what they are learning. WOW! What a change in my kids! They are excited to be learning about American History now!

The first couple of topics have to do with the exploration and conquest of the Americas, so we started there. We read the few pages on that topic, then I found more information on each explorer that I printed out and gave them to review. Now we have started an Explorer Lapbook (more on that in a future post) which is so much fun for them. They LOVE lapbooking…any craft type of project, really.

I like doing the history this way, using the book as a list of topics of sorts. It will allow us to branch off on another topic if we want to, if there’s something the kids want to learn more about. Here are the chapters in this book:

  • Two Worlds Meet 1000-1607
  • Colonial America 1607-1763
  • Creating a New Nation 1763-1800
  • America Grows 1800-1850
  • The Union Shattered 1850-1876
  • Settling the West 1869-1900
  • America’s Industrial Age 1865-1900
  • The Progressive Era 1900-1920
  • America Becomes a World Power 1898-1920
  • America’s “Golden” Decade 1920-1929
  • The Great Depression 1929-1939
  • World War II 1939-1945
  • Cold War Anxiety 1945-1960
  • Turbulent Times 1960-1969
  • War and Protest 1970-1979
  • The Global Age 1980-1991
  • Bridges to the Future 1992-1999
  • A New Millennium 2000-2002

So what do you think? How do you keep your kids interested in history?