Making History Exciting for Every Grade Level
September 6, 2017
Hey, Mama,
 
One of the best ways to make learning history exciting is to experience it. If you take a lot of trips like we do, you can visit historic places. Some people like to dress up and act out history. Others enjoy reading fiction and non-fiction books about the past. Whatever you do, ditch the textbooks—just for a while—and you’ll find history can really come alive.
 
Here are some ideas for making history fun from  The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine :
 




And remember, Mama . . .

Count the days. Right? You have Monday through the weekend with your kids, and then your week is over. Finito. Done. This particular week will be forever gone. Any opportunities we choose not to seize, any moments we decide not to give that hug and kiss, any choices we make to scowl instead of smile, quit instead of pursue, will be set in stone for this week's memories.
And . . . His mercies will be new each morning (and the following week). All is not lost.

But, for the rest of this week, Mama, start fresh; start new. Let’s decide right here and now: It’s going to be a good week so far as my own strength allows it. By His grace, we can do this. And He who is in me will be the One I lean on all week long. His grace is there, and I can emulate that.

May the next seven days be beautiful for you, Mama. Daughter of the king, walk as a gracious and royal heavenly princess. Because if you are in Christ, that is EXACTLY who you are. And may your children watch . . . and learn.

They are doing just that, regardless how/where we land on this. Their eyes are on us. Their hearts, easily influenced right now.
One day they will be in their 40s, and it will be their turn to walk this walk with their own children and spouses. And they will always remember Mama . . . she loved them dearly. She never gave up on them. Her Savior was her strength; that is why. Eyes up. His hand is on your head tonight.

~gena

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James Madison

Although small, shy, and often sickly, James Madison became one of the most important figures at the infancy of the United States. Madison graduated from Princeton in only two years, serving in the Virginia legislature, and becoming the youngest delegate to the Continental Congress. These experiences helped shape his views on the course of the country.

Seeing a worrying trend toward anarchy in the state governments under the Articles of Confederation, Madison helped spur the nation toward convening the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention. And he came prepared, presenting what was known as the Virginia Plan. Although the Virginia Plan was heavily debated and altered throughout the convention, it eventually formed the basis for the United States Constitution, earning Madison the title of “Father of the Constitution.”

Madison was also vitally important in moving the debate between federal and states’ rights to a more balanced middle ground of shared sovereignty, where both sides were subject to checks and balances. His detailed minutes of the meetings, though unofficial, provide us with the only comprehensive record of what took place.

When it seemed like the states would refuse to ratify the new Constitution, Madison united with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay to write the Federalist Papers, arguing point by point in favor of ratification. When it became apparent that ratification would only take place if amendments were promised to be added as soon as the new government began, Madison took it upon himself to author the original draft of the Bill of Rights in the first Congress.

After breaking with Hamilton, Madison joined with Thomas Jefferson to form the Democratic-Republican party. When Jefferson was elected president in 1801, he asked Madison to be his Secretary of State.

In 1808, Madison was elected President, and he served two terms. He became the first president to oversee a declaration of war and is the only sitting president to come under enemy fire, as during the War of 1812, the British invaded Washington, DC, and set fire to the White House. After a series of American naval victories turned the tide of the war, peace was declared in 1815, shortly before the end of Madison’s presidency. Madison’s contributions to the formation of the United States were invaluable.

Learn more about the U.S. Constitution and important figures in our country’s history by studying Constitutional Literacy by Michael Farris, published by Apologia. Download two free lessons here.
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Staying Relational   
Dear Friends,
 
Woo Hoo!!! Today I get to write about my favorite subject— history —and my favorite approach to learning— make it exciting!!
 
The timing on this is amazing, too. Just recently, I received this note from one of the students in one of my online courses:
 
“I never really thought that history could end up being so fun. Before this, I always thought of history as just having to memorize facts and events. But ever since I joined your class, I realized that there was so much more than just facts in history. Being able to study history from a Christian worldview has been amazing as I never fail to see
God's hand of love and protection, even in the darkest of times. At the beginning of the year, I wasn't the most enthusiastic student, but right now, history is my FAVORITE SUBJECT, and I can't bear to miss the lessons. You make the past so interesting, and I love listening to the discs over and over again and doing all the projects.” ~ Christie in Singapore
Notice what she said: “I realized there was so much more than just facts in history.”
 
What does that mean? For many of us, studying history in school meant memorizing names, dates, and places. The better you were at memorizing, the better was your grade. But are “just facts” adequate for our kids to really learn history?
 
No. A thousand times, no!
 
History is about people who lived in times past, about their lives, about their cultures, about their choices, about their responses to the challenges of their generations. History is richly populated with the most incredible stories, with the most amazing people, with the greatest lessons for life.
 
So, what we want to do is open up the door for students—out of the stuffy classroom approach—to the wonders of history. We can do that through reading great biographies and historical fiction aloud to our kids. We can go on field trips to historic sites or museums (make sure your kids are excited about going). We can listen to audio CDs. (Christie mentioned how much she enjoyed listening to the “discs”—those are my What in the World?, True Tales, and Digging Deeper CD sets ). We can offer them opportunities to do hands-on projects, art projects, skits, create maps, play games, cook historic food, and more! (Christie mentioned doing all the “projects”—she is doing those in my History Revealed curriculum .)
 
Finally, Christie pointed out what was perhaps the most exciting (and life-changing) thing we can do: “Being able to study history from a Christian worldview has been amazing, as I never fail to see God's hand of love and protection, even in the darkest of times.”
 
Discover the stories of God’s faithfulness in history, and then teach those stories to your children. It’s the best part of history! (If you need help with finding these stories, check out my audio CDs and world history curriculum —they are filled to the brim with God’s breathtaking timing, provision, and wisdom.)
 
Remember, stay relational!
 
Diana
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It's that time of year again! Get ready with our " Back to School/Higher Education Resource Guide " in the Summer 2017 issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine ! Find fresh ideas for all ages in science, literature, spelling, history, art, Bible, etc. Don't forget: TOS 2017 Annual Print Book has resource guides, too.

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Whether your student is interested in ancient Greece, the Middle Ages, the American Revolution, or the fashions of the 18th and 19th centuries, they’ll find great courses to fuel their interests on SchoolhouseTeachers.com. They can Drive Thru History (American or Ancient History) with Dave Stotts, explore the history of men and women of God with They Lived for God , enjoy the popular Torchlighters series, and much more.
 
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Contest Corner  
For the month of September


If you are looking for a new tradition for your kids during the Thanksgiving season, let me encourage you to look into the Turkey on the Table Kit. This is an adorable stuffed turkey decoration with the mission and purpose to cultivate an attitude of gratefulness in children and families.

The Turkey on the Table Kit comes with the turkey, a storybook, a pen, and the decorated paper feathers that family members can write something on that they are thankful for each day and stick the feather into the turkey for display. Our family put this out as a centerpiece on our table and encouraged the kids each morning at breakfast to think of something that they were thankful for and write it down. At first, the answers were things like Legos and ice cream, but as our discussions grew in depth over the days and weeks, their answers became less superficial as they were noticing the bigger and richer things to be thankful for such as living in a country that is free to worship God, having full bellies, having running water, etc. The creators of Turkey on the Table give a portion of the proceeds to help feed the hungry in our country, which is an added bonus.

It is encouraged to keep the feathers year after year as a reminder of all the things that we have to be thankful for. There are refill packs of feathers available on the website. The retail price of the Turkey on the Table is $39.99, and the refill pack of 13 feathers is $8.99. Considering the fact that this will be a sweet Thanksgiving tradition for years to come, I think that is a good price. ( Read the review here. )

YOU can WIN this set for your homeschool!

TO ENTER : Email Kathleen with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, “ Turkey on the Table ” for a chance to win it for your family!
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