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It’s day 4 of iHomeschool Network’s Winter Hopscotch and today’s focus is on homeschooling middle & high school history. I’ll be sharing strategies and curriculum.
Strategies for Homeschooling Middle & High School History
As you might imagine after yesterday’s science post, we do a lot of unit study work for history. Here a few of the ways we’ve incorporated history into our homeschool at the middle and high school level.
- Unit Studies– On a specific time period in history. Currently, my middle schoolers have started a unit on the Middle Ages. My 8th grader is just finishing a unit on Jules Verne and Steampunk.
- Project Based Homeschooling– My students have engaged in many projects over the years which have been thought up and finished by them as the student with me as a mentor in the process. My 6th grader is an expert on all things flight and rocketry.
- Biographies– Whenever we are studying an era in history, my kids will be reading biographies. This is a non-negotiable. It’s gold.
- Audios– From Little House books to Jim Weisse audios, there is a lot out there in the way of stories and history to listen to as part of a history study.
- Projects– These work best when my kids choose what they will work on and the drive the project. When my 10th grader was in 8th grade, he made a wonderful game about the Early Church which is one of his favorite time periods. It’s called Conversion and took a blue at the NY State Fair!
- Custom Coursework– I will often put together my own curriculum for my kids not just a unit study but an entire course. For 9th grade, my oldest had a course I named Foundations of American Democracy for his US Government class. This year he is taking Ancient Studies (with our own scope and sequence based on resources we own) and his project is a blog which is the whole package- content relating to his studies along with appearance and site design. He’s just getting it going, but today he posted an interview he conducted with a graduate student in archeology.
Within their unit studies and projects, I love for my students to study people. Biographies are such a great way to learn about a time and place. It touches all disciplines.
“Let him, on the contrary, linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home in the ways of that period. Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age.” – Charlotte Mason
Our Favorite Middle & High School Homeschool History Curriculum
We have a wonderful collection of resources and curriculum we have used for history. I also put together our own studies because I rarely like all of any curriculum.
- Beyond Five in a Row– Literature based unit studies with choices from various periods in history. Betsy Ross, Marie Curie, and Thomas Edison are among our favorite studies.
- Above & Beyond Five in a Row– Just one unit in this series and it’s written to the student to study Hitty The First Hundred Years
- WinterPromise– We have only done The Quest for the Middle Ages, but this a great transition between all unit studies and more traditional teaching patterns.
- Mystery of History– I love the Biblical history intertwined with the secular history. Puts all our Bible stories into a context with the other pieces of history we’ve learned. MOH is a great resource for history studies even for older students.
- Story of the World– I really love the activity books as a starting place for projects for older kids.
- Time Travelers Series– from Homeschool in the Woods. If you like to do projects with your kids these are a fun tool to have on hand. Our sixth grader especially loves them.
- Amanda Bennett Unit Studies– Something for everyone here, but we have enjoyed her four week studies in middle and high school.
- Unit Studies Made Easy– I love this book to talk about what elements are necessary for a unit study and how to keep them simple. Ms. Bendt encourages you in how to go about making a study for all ages and abilities.
Join other bloggers from the iHN as they write about how they teach history in their homeschools.