Topic | History struggle with lower elementary

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  • Sarah Stillings
    Participant

    Hi.  I have a 1st and 3rd grader this year.  We are using the Modern History guide.  We are struggling with both American and World history.  This first semester there are no separate books for the lower grades that I have.  The books Stories of America and Stories of the Nations are wonderful but my kids don’t understand the majority of it.  I am reading and stopping to explain almost every paragraph.  I have tried to just let them narrate (without me stopping to explain) and they just cant follow it.  I want them to love history.  It is one of my favorite subjects and I believe it is so important.  Their eyes start to glaze over almost as soon as I pull out the books to read.  We are working on imagining as a habit this term but the kids are having such a hard time because they just do not have the visual library in order to imagine things in history and no picture books in the guide this term.  I have searched the bookfinder and haven’t found much.  What I do find on the bookfinder I can’t find at my library (and we are low on funds so can’t buy more).  I have gotten some picture books from the library but they are bland.  I’m not even sure what the goal of teaching history at this age should be.  I feel very lost.

    alphabetika
    Participant

    Well, my radical notion for young ones like yours would be to drop the guide and structured study of history, go to the library and/or used bookstore,  find the best and most interesting history picture books, short biographies, and story-based history resources and just start reading and enjoying the stories together. There are so many very vivid picture books that can give them that visual reference and scope for imagination, as well as acquaint them with people and events in an exciting way.

    In my experience, younger elementary students aren’t developmentally ready to grasp the flow of history, so it isn’t necessary to stick to a strict order. I know that’s unorthodox in some segments of the homeschool world, but that’s been my experience. History is vast and overwhelming, so bringing it down to, for instance, the story of one child in colonial America, with lots of pictures to go along, can make it more fascinating and understandable for younger kids.

    Tamara Bell
    Moderator

    Modern Times can sometimes be difficult for little ones.  I encourage you to continue reading the spine to help stretch their minds however we always believe that you need to do what is best for your family and your situation.

    We have slowly been adding “bonus” history titles for each of our guides which you can find under “Book list”.  There are several on our list for kiddos in grades 1-3.  Perhaps your library has some of these titles?

     

     

    CrystalN
    Participant

    I love a tiny little book list for American History called Turning Back the Pages of  Time. It is around $5. The books are  listed by history period/event and age group. It is exclusively for elementary and is full of the most extraordinary picture books for American History. The best $5 spent on “curriculum” ever. Most of the books were available at my library. There are multiple to choose from so if something wasn’t available there was an alternative. I highly recommend it for lower elementary American History.

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