Wednesday, 6 February 2013

My Passion: Chronological History

Teaching history chronologically has become one of my favorite things to do.  When I was at school I loved history because of all the wonderful people I got to meet as I travelled through time. Their acts of bravery and heroism were inspirational. The villains being conquered were always met with applause in my heart.  The only problem was I could never connect the dots because every year we did isolated historical time periods and for some things I could not even begin to comprehend the cause and effect of these actions in time as we never continued to find out what happened.

Time lines and teaching history chronologically walk hand in hand. Dates help us to anchor our learning as we mark them off on a time line. I took this a step further and actually added our family to our time line.  This enhanced our families experience of history.  I remember so clearly when we first started using time lines we had been putting people and events onto our time line for around three months.  We happened to read a biography of Eric Liddell and discovered that he was still alive when Paul's parents were born. My son looked at me with wonder in his eyes and exclaimed: "So Mommy these are R*E*A*L people!" That ah ha moment had occurred.  He connected the dots and realized that he was a part of history.

The second thing I have come to understand during my home school journey is that EVERY THING happens somewhere in history. As Diana Waring would say "It's OK to take the Scenic Route when teaching history" It does not matter what subject you pick there is a point in time that it happened. By using a timeline we are able to add in all manner of learning.

"In history, a great volume is unrolled for our instruction,
drawing the materials of future wisdom 
from the past errors and infirmities of mankind.
"
Edmund Burke


I think that too often we see history as an isolated topic and that was a mistake I made for a long time.  I have found that the adventure of teaching history has become a rich tapestry of His hand working to bring us to Himself.  There is so much to learn from past errors to past triumphs. For me dates and history are confusing outside of the time line frame work. Personally I am not very good at remembering them. However the relationships in history are more my personal pleasure. I am not saying that there is no point in learning dates, what I am saying is that this is something you need to decide for yourself and act on it. For me it's the people, the relationships and the cause and effect and it's this that attracts me to learning history chronologically.

Resources
When I first started on this journey there were extremely limited resources available and most of us muddled along adding bits and pieces in as we came across them.  Today however there is a plethora of chronological points of view and methodology. Here is a list of a few to whet your appetite for what is out there.
On Pinterest

Further reading on the www
Take some time to enjoy the learning experience of history.  You might be surprised at just how much history you already do in your day to day studying!

"History is for human self-knowledge ... 
the only clue to what man can do is what man has done. 
The value of history, then, is that it teaches us 
what man has done and thus what man is." R. G. Collingwood

Blessings
Chareen

Photobucket The Homeschool Village
This post is part of The Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog Cruise : The Subject I Enjoy Teaching Most. Take some time and pop on over and be encouraged.


22 comments:

  1. We have made a timeline from a long piece of lining paper (wall paper). This is long enough that we have allowed a metre per millenium and wide enough that we can put pictures above and below the actual line.

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    1. Sarah that sounds like a neat timeline. How do you store it ?

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  2. Mmm you've made a good case for chronological history, haven't really thought about it properly before.

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    1. Erin it was not very high on my agenda either to be honest. That is until I experienced the joy of completing a cycle of chronological history that I realized the importance and impact it had on my grasp of life in general. The cause and effect was so obvious and it was such a pleasure to do that it changed my perspective on the date thing. :)

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  3. We are big fans of the Timeline Figures here in our house. I also love chronological history.

    This year we are doing SOTW III for the little girls, and MOH III for the big boys.

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    1. We are doing SOTW book 1 this year and want to do MOH in a few years time

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  4. Hi Chareen

    Do you think there is a God kinda evolution in Homeschool.......?? Hee hee

    I am just about to buy Mystery of History Volume 1, to do with my 7, 11 and 13 year old.....I cannot endure the hop skip and jump approach anymore.

    My poor older kids have endured text book History and it is just sooooo uninspiring!

    Yes we are launching into the Timeline, it just makes SENSE!!

    Your well timed and (God timed I must say) post has just confirmed once again my direction!

    Blessings Cathy

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    1. I am pleased it was a blessing to you Cathy. I was saying to my Mom this morning that being a part of a cruise with a theme has really stretched and grown me too. Thank you for sharing your heart here because it has been a blessing to me too :)
      Happy history journey to you :)

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  5. Fantastic resource list, Chareen! Love this post ; )!

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  6. I love teaching history chronologically as well. We use Mystery of History here. :)

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    1. I am looking forward to using Mystery of History in a few years with Sir N

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  7. This is perfect! I am a big chronological history fan myself!!

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  8. We do history chronologically as well. My school education in history was so lacking, in part due to the fact that we never actually studied all of world history from beginning to end, it was always US history, then US history again, then some European history---I didn't get a clear picture of how it all fit together. I hated history in school because it made no sense. I think it's one of my favorite topics now that I'm really learning it with my kids.

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    1. I hated having to learn pages of "important dates" in order to show I knew my history. I loved the stories but otherwise my experience was much the same as yours. I am enjoying this second round and really enjoyed our first. So much to explore and learn

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  9. I could have written some of that! o.O Much as I enjoyed historical studies when I was in school, it wasn't taught chronologically, so it didn't make sense to me. I've been trying very hard to teach my kids chronological history, including using timelines. We used to keep our timeline on a long piece of butcher paper in the stairwell and add color-coded events to it as we studied. It was so enlightening to realize that when a certain event was happening in one country or region, there was stuff happening AT THE SAME TIME in other parts of the world too. Eye-opening! Loved this post - thanks for sharing!

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    1. You are welcome :) I had a similar experience by drawing lines on our timeline discovering that majour figures in history were living during the same time periods and some were still alive when my husbands parents were born!

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  10. Thanks for sharing! I struggled a long time to decide how I wanted to teach history to my kids. Should I teach chronologically? Should I start with American history? I was taught just like you; no connections. I actually hated history when I was in school because I couldn't learn it.

    Last year I finally decided on the chronological route and I'm so glad we did. This year we are using MOH, so I'm going to go over and check out your Pinterest board. Thanks for listing all the other resources too - very helpful!

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    1. You are welcome Sarah :) I am looking forward to doing MoH with Sir N in a few years time.

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  11. We are part of a Classical Conversations co-op and, let me tell you, the history timeline is the single most amazing thing I've come across yet as a homeschooler. I never knew it myself and love learning it with the kids, it really does make history come alive when you understand when it happened and how it weaves together. Thanks for your resources!

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    1. You are welcome Lisa. I agree timelines make history come alive.

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