Parent as teacher – History
"Living history" is infectious and constitutes a deep level of understanding. For our family,
history is a family adventure, we immerse ourselves in a variety of time periods, even to point
of having joined a local Fife and Drum Corps, attending local Civil War balls in period costumes,
visiting historical sites and attending electronic field trips on the web. Our family library is well
stocked with great historical fiction for a wide variety of ages and time periods. When my
husband and I are enthusiastic about history it becomes contagious to our children.
It is definitely worth reading Mortimer Alder's How to Read a Book, especially his section on
history. This book will give you excellent, practical ways to teach reading for deeper
understanding. In doing so, the student develops the habit of asking questions and seeking the
answers, which fosters a love of learning and a deeper knowledge base. This is essential if one
wants to eventually be able to speak or write about what they are studying, in addition to being
excellent preparation for college work too! Deciding on which historical fiction books to use
can be tricky, we hope our offerings help, since we are very selective and carefully read each
book we offer. New books are added daily, click NEW ARRIVALS.
Here are a few things we look for: What is the author's agenda? Is it fair and balanced? Does it
have a rich bibliography? Is it age appropriate? Does it include primary sources?
A natural place to improve our writing skills is in the area of history. For those of us not secure
in our own ability to teach writing to our children, an excellent resource is Teaching, Writing,
Structure and Style and the corresponding History Based Writing Lessons Source Material books.
This program has given us a solid foundation in teaching our children how to, begin outlines,
form topic sentences, and organize their ideas in a variety of writing styles, from creative
writing to persuasive essays.
Use a good, reliable, Catholic textbook as your framework for the time period you are studying,
like From Sea to Shining Sea and Light to the Nations. Round out the study with age-
appropriate, well-written, historical fiction or primary sources. Then add on hands-on projects
like the ones in the easy to use History Pockets series and History Portfolios. Timelines are
important element in giving perspective and overview of the time period you are studying. We
worked hard to create our History Worth Remembering Timeline Figures , where the
contributions of Catholics throughout time are highlighted.
By following a plan as outlined here, your family will see clearly God's Divine Providence
throughout history while having a ton of fun and knowing that real, sustained skills are being