Learn History And Make It Fun
Types of History
“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”
–Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
There are so many different kinds of history: there’s our own personal history, our heritage. There’s art history, ancient world history—from the time of the dinosaurs to the Middle Ages, to the Renaissance to covered wagons, and, finally, to 2022. Children should know history, whether it’s their own ancestry or major events that have occurred in their native country, to battles fought and won all around the world, from the time of Cleopatra to the Enlightenment.
It’s so unbelievably important to know about great political figures, inventors, and revolutionary thinkers. It is absolutely essential to have a well-rounded education that helps us to understand the world and our place in it. Here are some tips that will, hopefully, encourage the children in your life to pay attention in and out of history class.
Make it Fun!
History is probably more interesting (and bizarre) than any fiction. It’s also been said many times that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. We need to keep this in mind when teaching our kids.
- Talk about current history/events, current world leaders, etc. Make sure they know the name of the current President of their native country, etc. Ask the children in your life how they feel about what’s going on around them. This will be incredibly helpful as a communication tool.
- Learn your country’s history (important events, dates, figures, holidays, etc.)
- Be enthusiastic and positive.
- Discuss your child’s place in the world, where they come from, their ancestry, and what makes them unique and special. Share fun family stories, look at old photographs, newspaper clippings, and relics.
- Avoid using too many screens; keep the activities as analog as possible (as opposed to digital).
- Use lots of visuals, such as films and documentaries. This will make history come to life.
Texts/Books to Explore
Encyclopedias and dictionaries are essential for learning just about anything. Now that we have the Internet (in our pockets, no less), we have limitless information at our fingertips. When you’re trying to engage someone (especially a child), it’s a good idea to have lots of visual imagery and tactile objects. This is why libraries and books are so important! Make good use of your public library; use the available reference rooms and actually flip through books to study.
Some essential books to get you started include:
- “World History Encyclopedia”
- “Classic Starts: The Odyssey”
- “The Timetables of History”
- “Timelines of World History”
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” –Marcus Garvey
Make it an adventure and go on educational outings/field trips, including museums and historical sites. Start by visiting ones in your hometown and then travel to the nearest big city for inspiration.
- Get a globe! Give it a spin as you place your finger on its surface and see where it stops. Use this as a starting point for discussion.
- Map out a family tree. This is not only fun but educational as well. Kids usually enjoy hands-on activities that actually have some stake in their lives.
- Use maps and timelines (not on the phone; paste actual paper maps to the wall). Maps are so important so that children have an idea of the size and scope of things. Timelines are also ideal in order to get a grasp on just how vast and old the world is. There are all sorts of timelines, obviously, so start with your area of interest. Do you want to learn about the Paleolithic period and pre-history or detail the events of the Middle Ages? It’s up to you!
For more information on the reference books mentioned in this blog, check out the link below for all your reading recommendations:
And don’t forget to visit www.fullcyclepublications.com for all your reading and learning needs.