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Teaching history at home

Most adults have some part of history, or even several defining events or times in history, that played an important part in their childhood.  These times could include John F. Kennedy’s funeral, man’s first step on the moon, the first episode you saw of Saturday Night Live or even hearing Ronald Reagan’s famous “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” speech.  Regardless of what it is, these parts of history will remain forever fixed in both your brain and your heart.  Remembering these defining points is the best place to start whenever you are teaching your children about history or social studies.

Children love hearing stories about when they were born.  They will even come right out and ask where they “came from.”  This is something that is important to them.  It is something that is meaningful to them.  It is also something that they can relate to since it is their history.

Another idea is to share those parts of your lives, events and times that are of historical significance with your children as they grow up.  This will teach them how the historical events and times have shaped the world in which they live in today.  After all, your children really are interested in you because you mean a lot to them.  They see you standing right there in front of them, which is able to make the events that you talk about a little more realistic and believable to them. So, by sharing the excitement that you naturally have about those events that you have experienced and have feelings about can help bring those events and historical situations to life in the eyes of your children.

It is also a good idea to take some time to visit the history museum in your area with your child.  Herein not only are you spending quality time with your child but you are also teaching them about history.  By looking at the various displays that are available at the museum, you may even find yourself with more stories to tell.  As aforementioned this is very beneficial because children get to see and hear history through your eyes.  Furthermore, with the items that you are talking about being located right there in front of them, history will come alive for them in ways that it never has before.  Of course, all of this can also create a great bond between you and your child for the 2 of you to enjoy for the remainder of your lifetime together.

So, regardless as to whether your child’s teacher is having them study history by making “All About Me” books out of construction paper or by reading textbooks, sharing a part of yourself and how you have related to some of the special times and events in history that occurred during your own lifetime will help your children to develop an excitement, awareness and appreciation of times that lie beyond their own understanding.  Plus, you will be surprised at just how much fun this can be to do together.

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