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Using history as a pathway to extend into cross-curricular studies makes the learning objective concrete for the homeschooled student. History for the homeschool curriculum does not have to be limited to stuffy textbooks, in fact the freedom of the homeschool classroom allows for historical field trips, preparation of time period menu items (extending the historical theme into chemistry, math, science, language arts), the creation of time period costumes (another curricular extension into sewing, fabric, fashion, cultural studies).
Using history as the stepping-stone into the days of yesterday can be both exciting and educational. Taking the time to explore history and bringing it to life for the student will enhance the appreciation, understanding and excitement of the homeschool history lesson. An example of this concept is the pioneer history lesson, visit a nearby family farm or historical farm so that the student may encounter real-life farm animals, observe and physically touching the animals, animal feed and observe farm life. If you are lucky enough to find a historically working farm, it is very possible to see how pioneers actually “put up” hay, made candles for their homes; tanned animal hides and gardened for food. While education through reading is a valuable part of any education, actually observing and interacting with history makes the textbook reading a reality and enhances the overall comprehension.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|