History was not my favorite subject growing up. I simply could not make sense of it. Since we started homeschooling, my views on history have changed. I love the fact that I'm redeeming this aspect of my own education while I encourage a love of history in my kid's studies.
Day 5 of my 10 Days of Morning Time Resources centers around history. Finding great history resources can be overwhelming because there are so many good ones! The trick of finding something that will work well in your morning time is finding a resource that you can get through with your whole family in a short amount of time.
Don't let the short amount of time fool you. It's amazing what great learning can happen when you're consistent over time. Longer is not always better. Here's five of the most helpful history resources we've used in our morning time.
1. The Power of a Timeline
As a kid, I struggled connecting thousands of bits of seemingly disconnected information. That is, until I learned my timeline! In Classical Conversations, we memorize a 161 point timeline that anchors all other history that we learn. Now, when I learn about a incident of history, I can see where it fits in my timeline, and all of a sudden, history comes to life.
A simple history resource for morning time is a good set of timeline cards. Whether you're a part of Classical Conversations or not, invest in some timeline cards and start reading. Veritas Press also produces a wonderful timeline. These also become a great resource for research down the line if your students get into debate.
2. Knowing the World you Live In
Another key to unlocking history for me was learning geography. The primary way that geography was opened up for me was drawing maps. You can trace them, fit them together with puzzles, or build them with clay. Get a globe and have fun exploring together. Geography is an important piece to understanding history.
3. Remembering Where We've Been
As you build on your timeline and geography knowledge, what you study about history will have a better chance of sticking in your brain. With those pegs of knowledge, you can layer on juicy historical facts that kids can't resist. They'll want to know so much more, and that's where you can add in some great rich resources.
Mystery of History
The Mystery of History is a brilliantly written history text that integrates history from all over the world. There are four volumes in the series. I love these texts because they are so easy to read aloud, and they are written from an apologetically Christian worldview.
There are tons of extra resources to expand this material into a full History curriculum, but for morning time, we just read a lesson and discuss it. My oldest will jot down a name and date from the lesson to add to his ongoing timeline, and that is it! It maybe takes 15-20 minutes to read a lesson, so it's an easy to use history resource for morning time.
Story of the World
This has been the go-to staple of history books in our family, however, I almost always just let my kids listen to it as they play. I love the audio version of The Story of the World books.
There are so many wonderful resources for these story books as well. While I find the chapters a bit longer to read in these books, because they are written as a story, the books are easy to read and easy to listen to, making them a perfect add to your morning time.
Audio Book History Resources
Audio books are a great way to get a little bit of history in without always having to do the reading yourself.
We enjoyed The Intellectual Devotional: American History last year as my oldest studied the history of American government. The audio clips only took a couple of minutes each day.
I also loved D'aulaires Book of Greek Myths on audio book because I struggled pronouncing all of the names, and the readers were phenomenal. We just enjoyed looking at the fascinating pictures in the book as we listened!
4. Getting a Visual
Sometimes history can be so strange that it's hard to even imagine what life would have been like. There are so many wonderful video documentary history resources that would be excellent to add to your morning time. The Drive Thru History series is engaging and packed with great information. The videos cover anything from ancient history to American history.
Curiosity Stream is an online streaming documentary database with hundreds of fascinating resources. Starting at just $2.99/month, this treasure trove of history resources could be a fun way to ignite a spark for history in your young learners. Of course some of the documentaries exceed the time you'd like to spend on history in your morning time, but just set a timer, and pause the video until the next day. Then pick up where you left off.
The beauty of a flexible morning time schedule is that you can insert something like these video resources as the need arises, and just for a season. It doesn't have to be the same every single time.
5. Keeping Up with the Times
CNN student news has been a staple of our morning time for the last couple of years. It's a quick 10 minute news broadcast that is geared towards middle/high school students. Our whole family watches it together and discusses the events that were highlighted. It is so hard to find a good way to introduce children to current events without getting too scary or too over their heads. This broadcast strikes the perfect balance. They always encourage previewing the day's news if you're concerned about your audience being too young for the material.
Morning time provides a great opportunity for working history into your school day without compromising the basics.
What's your favorite history resource for morning time?
Get more great Morning Time inspiration from Pam at edSnapshots:
Discover more great resources by reading the full 10 day series:
Day 1: Why Morning Time
Day 10: Morning Time Storage Solutions
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.