With all of the options available to homeschool parents these days, it can be difficult to know what the best curriculum avenue is for teaching history in the Beginning to Understand stage (5th – 8th grade). Here are some tips to help you determine the best choices for your child.
Tips for the Beginning to Understand Stage
During this stage, children naturally begin to make connections between what they learned through games, projects, and picture books in the Getting Excited stage and specific dates and prominent events scattered throughout history. This stage also serves as a bridge between the general learning style of the early learning and elementary years and the more focused, reasoning-centered learning of the high school years.
- Continue utilizing maps and your timeline in all studies to reinforce time frames, locations, and the ways events overlap and interconnect.
- Be more intentional about focusing on one region or portion of history. For instance, spend one year each focusing on ancient history, general world history after ancient times, American history, and recent history.
- Continue with age-appropriate map skills, learning the states and capitals, major geographic landmarks, and major regions of the world.
- Continue to explore missions efforts around the world and pray for missionaries.
- Use biographies to learn about prominent people from history, recording their names and dates in the timeline. Make sure to know when and how they fit into the overall scope of history being studied.
- Intersperse nonfiction accounts of history with living books such as biographies and historical novels.
- Teach the basics of research by encouraging your student to dig more deeply into areas of particular interest.
- Begin to teach your student how to process current event stories and articles.