Welcome to my homeschool blog, which offers insights into loving learning, loving your family, loving history, loving homeschooling, and enjoying your life! With your cup of coffee in hand, take a break to laugh with me, to have your heart refreshed, to be reminded of how cool your kids really are, and to consider the amazing adventure of being a homeschool mom. AND, if you are interested in the History Revealed curriculum, be sure to check out my Teaching Tips!

What brings history to life?

HistorytoLifequoteWhat brings history to life?

A few weeks ago, I spoke to a customer on the phone.  She had ordered quite a few of my What in the World? history CDs—with some duplication—and we wanted to verify that she actually intended to order duplicates. What a delightful call that turned out to be!  The things Alicia had to say about the CDs was so encouraging that I asked if she would mind writing out her thoughts for me to share with you:

“I cannot say enough good things about Diana Waring’s What in the World? series. I am a homeschooling mom of two young children who are not quite old enough to listen to the CDs, but my husband and I listen to them ourselves for FUN. And every person I have shared them with all love them too! I have never before listened to history for the fun of it, but Diana has a captivating style that brings history to life and makes it applicable in a way that none of my school history classes ever did. I now have retained more history than I did in all of my school years combined!

Which brings up this question, “Why does learning history in school seem so forgettable?”

To answer this, let’s consider what normally happens in history class.

School deskWalk in.

Sit down.

Open the textbook, filled with forgettable names, dates, places.

Listen to the football coach drone on about something dry as dust—UNTIL someone asks a question about last night’s game. With history easily pushed aside, football enthusiastically comes to center stage.

Take a test on how well you memorized the forgettable names, dates, places.

It doesn’t connect to us personally when the information comes as sterile facts.

There is another way to do this, however.

Let’s go back to 1975, to an African history college class to see what is possible.

Prior to the start of class, the prof required us to read a fast-paced spy novel set in Africa. Frankly, I LOVE spy novels, so that was not a hardship. A little surprising, yes, but not hard.

On the first day of class, this professor immediately began to weave an amazing story of events in pre-colonial Africa. Class after class, he would tell unbelievable stories of colonialism, independence, and current day events in Africa. . . Mesmerized by what we heard—and fifty-five minutes at a time—the history of Africa came to life for us. And though I do not remember all of the details forty years later, I still remember the gist of what he taught us.

But history is not all we learned in that class: he also taught us how to teach!  His example of how to bring history to life with sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat-in-suspense stories became a model for me when I created the What in the World? CDs.

Stories well told. Personal connections. Fascinating anecdotes. All of these bring history to life for students, regardless of age. . .and bring a lot of FUN to the process!!

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June 2024
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