Homeschoolers are nothing if not ambitious. It's not enough to just read about something, we want to experience it too! Here are some ideas of what you can do to deepen and expand your child's introduction to history.
1. Grabbing a solid reference book for history can be a great touch point for your kiddo throughout your study of history. The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History and the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia are both fantastic resources.
2. If gameschooling is more your style, Sid Meier's Civilization is one of the best video games series out there for history.
Civilization is a great intro to the mechanics of history. You play as a historical world leader leading a nation through history. It's not a reenactment of history, but it includes many important connections. It opens the door for teaching about the importance of geography and natural resources when building an empire, the benefit of trade routes and roads, the impact of war, how science and culture develop, and the benefits of wonders and great people for a civilization. The game can be purchased and downloaded on Steam. Civilization VI is the most recent and user friendly version of the game, but also the most expensive. Civilization III is an older and simpler version of the game, but still lots of fun (and much cheaper!).
Family History Ideas
History can seem distant and irrelevant. Help your child feel connected to history by digging into their own history.
3. Make a timeline of your child's life. You can get super crafty or keep it simple for this one. Talk to your child about their life and help them lay it out as a timeline. What events in their life were so important they want to remember them? Add some important world events to help your child see how their life fits in with what's going on around the world.
4. Make a family tree. We're all personally connected to history by our ancestors. Learn a bit about where your family came from by making a personal family tree with your child.
5. Learn where your last name comes from. Visit ancentry.com's free last name meaning page to learn the history and meaning of your last name.
6. Interview a relative. Have your child become a historian by interviewing a family member. Before the interview talk with your child about what sorts of questions they can ask. They can ask about what life used to be like, what sorts of jobs their relative has had, or ask about major world events they have lived through.
7. Archaeologists Dig for Clues is a fun picture book that introduces kids to archeology.
8. If you kiddo isn't squeamish, check out this level four reader about the discover of a 5,000 year old mummy encased in ice and get a look at what archaeologists do.
9. Create an archaeology dig. Make your child's day by helping them become an archaeologist. All you need is a pan of dirt and a few buried objects! To simulate what archaeologists do, buy a small terracotta clay pot and decorate it—then smash it with a hammer. Bury the pieces in the dirt and turn your kiddo lose to uncover the ancient civilization. But before they get too carried away, make sure you explain how archaeologists work. Give your child a paintbrush and set up some string to divide the dirt into section. Help your kiddo take notes on what they find. As long as you didn't smash the pot too small, see if your kiddo can reconstruct the "ancient artifact".
I hope this helps you set up some ideas for starting your study of history. Check back soon for more activity guides!