The beauty of homeschooling is that you don’t have to limit yourself to teaching one subject at a time. Here is a great project that will help in all kinds of subjects and keep your children interested at the same time. Create a history timeline using Scholastic’s Dear America diaries.
If you have a child that thinks history is boring, here’s a way to bring it to life. Scholastic has created a series of diaries that are written by children during key events in American History called Dear America (they also have the Royal Diaries-for a broader perspective.) These books are geared to readers ages 10 and above. Ask your reluctant historian to read several of these books then sit down and discuss them. The first thing you will want to do is to put them in chronological order so you can talk about how they relate. Then make them come alive by creating a timeline of the events.
These timelines can be as simple or as complex as your child is up for. If you have a budding artist you can have them copy the portrait on the cover of each book into the timeline. This will put a face to an event. Or get them to come up with an icon that represents the event. For example the book Standing in the Light is about a young settler who gets captured by the Indians. Your child may want to use feathers or tepees to represent this story. Then ask them to write a short summary of the book to help them remember this time in American History.
You can read all the books upfront and then create your timeline. This will reinforce the idea that history is ongoing and that we have to learn from it to avoid future mistakes. Or, you can make this an on-going project. If you have a not so happy reader, the fact that they get to add to their timeline may help them complete the book.
Creativity is one of the elements that make homeschooling so inviting. You can teach to a child’s needs and help them to love learning.