How I Teach History to Multiple Ages Using the Charlotte Mason Method

Jan 16, 2014

How I Teach History to Multiple Ages Using the Charlotte Mason Method

This is day #4 in my series on "How I Teach to Multiple Ages Using the Charlotte Mason Method." 

Confession: I'm a history junkie.

I can't get enough. Can't learn enough. Can't visit enough historical places. As a young child, the only books I brought home from the school library were biographies. In high school, my favorite subject was ancient history and as an adult, one of my favorite things to do is visit historical places. 

I was excited when I realized Charlotte Mason taught history in chronological order. I didn't have to wait until high school to teach about ancient Egypt! Whoo!  

That's what I'm writing about today. How I teach history. 

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Teaching History to Multiple Ages

Family Studies
Until recently, history has been one of the subjects included in our family studies. We learned together as a family. Over the years, I've tried quite a few history curricula, but settled on Heritage History as a favorite. We've been using it for a few years now.

Heritage History fits perfectly into our Charlotte Mason style of learning because it's based on rich, living literature. It includes timeline events, information on battles, descriptions of major characters of the time and a large collection of maps. (See my review of Heritage History.)

What's really great (as if those things weren't great) is that we have been able to study history as a family. Reading the stories together, listening to the girls narrate and completing group projects is always fun. 

Did you notice, however, I said, "until recently?"

Individual Studies

This year, we're doing a things a little differently. (I'm always good for switching things up and experimenting a bit.) This year, I've separated the girls' history studies. They're now individual studies. I have several reasons for doing this.

Alexis is in 10th grade. She needs to work more independently. Because of her dyslexia, we didn't move her into individual, self-paced learning as soon as one would with non-challenged kids. She's more comfortable studying together. But....

She wanted something more dyslexic-friendly- more hands on and creative. I decided to go in a different direction for her. Just as this decision was being considered, we were entering the Renaissance Era of history. I decided on World History 1: Ancients through the Renaissance & Reformation

I'll be writing a review on this soon, but for now I'll say it's a Charlotte Mason education that works well. It's good for left and right brained learners. Each section offers a list of living books to read and gives the child a choice of activities. In other words, the child can write an essay or complete a hands-on project--whatever works for that individual. Alexis was actually excited when she first saw this. Finally, something that will work with her creative brain! 

History Curriculum

Curriculum choices we're using for a Charlotte Mason education

In summary, what we're using this year is...

Lorelai, age 10, is using the Heritage History CDs along with the online classes that are now available. 

Alexis, age 15, is studying using the World History curriculum from Train Up a Child. They're both working these as individual studies. 

Traveling and Field Trips for History Studies

Field trips offer a real-life aspect to studying history.

Our family enjoys visiting historical places. Except for literature written with rich, descriptive language, nothing else can give the sense of 'being there' quite like.. well...  being there. 

If you've followed this blog for a while, you know we visit St. Augustine every March and October. It's absolutely our favorite place on earth. Just love it. If you're ever in Florida, go there. If we go out of town for other activities, I always try to visit the historical sites and museums.

We also visit a lot of history museums. While a museum is not quite like visiting a place, one can gain much information and hands-on experience at museums. Visiting museums in historical cities? Even better. 

What do you use for history? Do you study history as a family or as individuals? Share in the comments

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  1. We do individual due to my age gap. My younger ones are together but my oldest had his own studies. We do study the same time period together but different books based on their age. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for sharing what you do. Technically, Alexis should have been doing individual, self-paced work for a while now. She has dyslexia, however, which is a language processing disorder. Whether language is written or spoken, she has trouble decoding it.


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