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Author Topic: Introduce history to young children  (Read 36587 times)
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« on: August 08, 2013, 03:33:02 PM »

My son is 2.5 and I am wondering how I can introduce history to him.

If anyone has any experience to share? How and where do we start? From really ancient history eg beginning of mankind or more recent stuff? Can someone suggest a systematic approach?

Many thanks in anticipation!

« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 03:59:40 AM by Kezia » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2013, 08:59:46 PM »

You could try the Well Trained Mind approach of using Story of the World as your spine. We started SOTW around that age. We dip in and out of it, reading a page or two a day and listening to the audio book in the car. The WTM book recommends supplementing with the other books such as the Usborne History encyclopaedia. We also have the SOTW activity book but we have not started that yet.

I'd love to know what other people are doing!

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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2013, 10:02:04 AM »

We are also using the welltrained mind idea. Adjusted slightly as usual  big grin  we began by listening to Story of the world in audio but quickly realised that alone is wasn't nearly enough. We have listened to the first one and half of the second.  It opened doors and encouraged questions and we all loved it ( OK Tiana tolerated it, the rest of us loved it) I decided to wait to listen to the rest until we get up to that time in history with out other readings.
Now we decided to use the general format and study each section of history as a whole and link it to our world map. So logically we started with ancient History ( ancient Egypt, was our favourite, Rome, and other ancient civilisations.) since my kids go to a Christian school and I ( but not they) believe in evolution sometime during our ancient civilisation study I realised I needed to start even further back!
To solve that problem we listened to a few other complete history Audios ( a short history of nearly everything, good for mums and older kids, and 2 others I can't remember the names off just now) this gave my kids a good strong overall structure to pin our History exploration to.
To actually learn about History my kids LOVE living books best. They love reading a story about what a  life was like in those times. So we are always on the lookout for history living books. Especially audio books! We started this adventure into living books from a chance borrowing from the local library. Hapchetsut (spelling?) the female Pharoah had them hooked!
So from now on my job is just to provide the books in historical order. Then remember to go and point it out on the map each time we change civilisations. I try to get as many books as I can and work through it pretty slowly. Unlike the welltrained mind, I doubt my kids will ever do this history cycle more than once, maybe twice but definitely not three times!
What I love about it is the kids get to read great stories, not always realising that they are based on true facts. They learn naturally that history is "just a story" one persons view of what may have happened many years ago. They get the chance to read fables, myths, legends, bible stories and stories of every day life. Plus this way they get a much stronger understanding of sequence and past world events.
I think if you read the well trained mind book you would know exactly how to proceed. What would work for your child and what wouldn't. I highly recommend it.

« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 03:54:55 AM by Kezia » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2013, 12:27:19 AM »

I am just about to start history with my children.  I did buy vol 1 of Story of the World but before it arrived I started listening to the audio of M.B. Synge's Story of the World.  He wrote a 5 volume set which should all be in the public domain.  I have been listening to the audio from librivox (unfortunately I think they only have 2 of the 5 done as audio).  I am only part way into the first one but it is quite interesting.  From what I have listened to it does assume a Christian point of view and retells a number of Bible stories during the first part of book 1 at least.  It starts with Abraham (and doesn't touch on creation/evolution as far as I can tell).  I am also planning to do a time line (probably on a wall somewhere) with pictures for all the major events that we cover.

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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2013, 10:15:40 AM »

Just realised M.B. Synge is a woman.  I had assumed male.....   Sad

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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2013, 04:11:15 PM »

We listen to the timeline song from YouTube. We also read and reread Story of the world. But we do it in spurts. I have a great lap book for it. I put the lapbook together myself and we read through it for review.

We also do a quasi living history thing. James loves Little House on the Prarie Books. So we read the books. Over and over. We have been blessed to be able to see a real Prarie wagon, and to go into a log cabin like Pa would have built. My son also recognizes washboards and butter churns among other things. Daily life, and how people lived is much more relatable to him at this age (3) than abstract major events.

Frankly I was shocked at how well he understood the passage of time. We went to visit the land holdings of Johnny Appleseed and the home of Daniel Decatur Emmet. (Both local historical places in my small town). We were ale to talk about these people, their contribution to history and by showing James where they lived or walked made an impact. I was trying to explain to James that these men lived over 100 years ago. He then asked me how many sunsets ago that was. When I was able to break things down into sunsets he certainly got an idea that 40000-50000 sunsets was certainly a long time ago.


JJ: 5 years old.
Math:  CLE2, Singapore 2A, HOE, living math books.
Language Arts: CLE2
Reading: CLE2
Independent Reading: Half Magic, Boxcar Children, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.
Science: BFSU, Peter Weatherall, lots of science books.
Americana: Liberty\'s Kids, Complete Book of American History, Story of Us.
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2013, 04:15:11 PM »

Oh and James loves our history. He loves seeing the place where he was born. And hearing about when u was a baby. He loves seeing the  places where my husband had lived and the schools my husband attended as a little boy. He loves hearing stories from when I was a little girl. He tells everyone this story. "Grandma used to cut off mummy's skin and she liked it!" I used to have my mum peel my apples so I could eat the skin because I liked it best.
He can certainly relate to that kind of history.


JJ: 5 years old.
Math:  CLE2, Singapore 2A, HOE, living math books.
Language Arts: CLE2
Reading: CLE2
Independent Reading: Half Magic, Boxcar Children, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.
Science: BFSU, Peter Weatherall, lots of science books.
Americana: Liberty\'s Kids, Complete Book of American History, Story of Us.
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2014, 04:24:42 PM »

The original edition of The Well Trained Mind suggested the following books to introduce history. They are very well suited to preschool children, but they are out of print and hard to find.

Journey Through History: Prehistory to Egypt
Journey Through History: The Greek and Roman Eras
Journey Through History: The Middle Ages
Journey Through History: The Renaissance
Journey Through History: Modern Times
Journey Through History: The Contemporary Age

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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2014, 05:34:41 PM »

I think the Montessori great lessons are a good framework to build on.  What do other people think?

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