I didn’t get on with History at school. It was all a bit dry, set in an unruly class, with a young, nice but ineffective teacher it just didn’t get through to me.
Now, as a family we love history.
Horrible Histories helped to start us off with things like this:
The programmes are great ( and many are available on YouTube and repeated on television.) and the songs are fantastic… my girls both learned a lot of them by heart at a very young age… now we use them as a reference when we want to know who was King or Queen after or before someone then they sing the song.
It also led to us showing the kids the original songs that some of the songs were based on, so they now also know who Adam and the Ants are!
We recently watched a fantastic programme on BBC2 – The Story of Britain – it was on iplayer but I can’t see it on YouTube. R was so impressed with it that she watched it through twice in one sitting! I watched once, I’ve never been quite sure of the order of Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings etc and in an hour long animation it gave an excellent account from Stone age / Bronze age / Iron age, through to the Magna Carta. Great resources on the Magna Carta here: British Library Magna Carta
L spent a lot of time interested in Tudors, so we went into great depth over a period of time and gradually added to our knowledge, with further trips and reading and programmes, extending out either side of Henry VIII who seems to be the main focus for most Tudor resources.
We’ve had Tudor banquets with friends, making authentic Tudor food, we have visited lots of museums and dressed up in many types of period costumes, it all adds together.
We’ve watched some excellent Living history series, such as ’24 hours in the past’ recently which was an excellent look at living in Victorian England. We often have discussions about family members in relation to Historical events… so that would have been when Great Nan’s Mum was a girl for instance. It makes it all so much more real.
We’ve had timelines along the wall in our hallway where we’ve added family events, famous inventions, historical events… something that can be extended and improved and re-done as the children get older.
See also Historical Fiction