30 Days of Homeschool: Day 21 – History

(30 posts about free resources for homeschooling)

“Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
Winston Churchill

“We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.”
George Bernard Shaw

“History doesn’t repeat itself; human nature repeats itself.”

PREFACE/ENCOURAGEMENT/PONTIFICATION: Ah, the good ol’ days! Well – there actually weren’t necessarily any. We all like to look back at our youth, or at times-gone-by, and talk and think about the positives (aka, nostalgia). But for every good there was something bad. Early America was free, but medicine – holistic or not – was hard to come by. My kids don’t have the good neighborhood/neighbors that I had as a kid, but they also have lots more time with immediate and extended family. Various other times and places had neat toys, or fashion, or opportunities, but they also may have had more wars and tragedies than we have in our hometown today. We may not have the freedom of the great outdoors that America once had, but there are also fewer incidences of bear maulings. Taxes can be high, and families are scattered across the country, but there are inexpensive technologies that allow for Skype and other instant communications around the whole world.

To find out what you missed and have lost from the past, and what you’ve gained by living in this era, it’s great to study history. Below are several free resources, though check out my previous posts about libraries and general references (e.g., Wikipedia).

***PROCEED WITH CAUTION: Many times a year authors publish books about the truth of what REALLY happened at some point in history. Who has the real facts about the American Civil War? Who really won such-and-such war? Who has the right information or “secret knowledge” of this or that country? Do your best to provide what you can.

How to Homeschool for Freehttp://howtohomeschoolforfree.com/history-homeschool-free/
A great site! Lots of great links here – they’re all active.

James Townsend and Son, Inc.http://www.jas-townsend.com/index.php; https://www.youtube.com/user/jastownsendandson
We’ve been to their store before, and it was fun! They provide 18th Century reenactment items (e.g., they provide things for the movie Master and Commander). The main site has just items for sale, but their YouTube channel has lots of historical information.

Savoring the Pasthttp://savoringthepast.net/
This is James Townsend’s food blog which provides a whole host of historically accurate and free recipes.

Society for Creative Anachronisms http://www.sca.org/links/misc.html

This is great for Medieval and European History. Any time you can hook into a re-enactment site of any kind, please do. While you may think them quirky, or just wrong, reenactors have actually provided a heretofore unknown source of historical information. Because they study and practice and live history, reenactors have often discovered things (fighting techniques, songs, poetry, languages) that professional historians never have.

Teaching American Historyhttp://chnm.gmu.edu/tah/
Lots of good lesson plans and activities here.

Discovery Educationhttp://www.discoveryeducation.com/search/page/-/-/lesson-plan/u.s.%20history/index.cfm
Again, tons of information, lesson plans and activities.

From their site: “FREE interactive World History Atlas is the most comprehensive history atlas on the internet. Inside you will find over 1,500 maps, well-written historical overviews, depth-articles, images and much more.” Because it’s quite interactive, the page-loading might be a little slow over a slow or public connection, but worth checking out.

Online Collegehttp://www.onlinecollege.org/2009/05/27/100-free-courses-to-teach-yourself-world-history/
This site has links to other sites (a lot of MIT), so it’s geared toward older students, but it covers a lot of areas, both broad (e.g., The Ancient World: Greece) and more pointed (e.g., Japan in the Age of the Samurai: History and Film – I’m going to have to take this one!). Many, if not all, of these will require extra reading or buying other books, but you can of course just go with the free downloads, bypassing the in-depth purchased reading. Or you can look for some of the items at your library.

This should get you going, or give you some inspiration as you study.

Happy Homeschooling!

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