Teaching high school history is intimidating. We worry about doing too little and failing our children. We worry about doing too much and burning our teens out.
High school history isn’t that hard. Just use my top ten tips and plan an awesome year of high school history.
Top 10 High School History Tips
1. Keep Going with your History Rotation
Just because your kids are studying high school history you don’t need to make major changes to your homeschool. Many homeschool families follow a history rotation over the years working from the ancient times to modern times over four to six years.
If you’ve been following a history rotation, don’t change the rotation, just begin high school level work at your present spot.
2. Let Teens Make Reasonable Decisions
High school teenagers have definite opinions on how they prefer to study. Some teenagers prefer to answer a list of questions. Others love to write papers. Still others enjoy worksheets or notebooking.
As long as the work is on a high school level, allow your teenagers to choose their preferred method to study high school history.
3. Choose a Spine
Use a spine such as Western Civilization to provide continuity to your high school studies. Use these spines for all 4 years of high school history and will give you a launching point for rabbit trails. Assign a few pages from the spine.
Encourage your teen to complete addition research on interesting topics after they’ve read the assignment.
4. Add Primary sources
High school teens are ready to study primary sources from the time period being studied. Not only do the primary sources shed light on what is happening in history, but they show how history affects the writers.
Slowly work through various historical documents together while discussing the material together.
5. Watch Documentaries and Movies
Documentaries and movies are a fun way to round out your high school history course. They give a view of the historical times and culture that is impossible to replicate. You see the clothing, houses, and culture of the period.
Documentaries and movies are awesome during those weeks everyone is sick.
6. Use the Library
The library is an awesome tool to expand your child’s high school history studies without breaking the bank. Wander the shelves and pull out books you’d like your teen to read.
You can also bring home a stack of books and let your teenager choose the ones they’d enjoy reading.
The best part of homeschooling high school age kids are the long, in-depth discussions. You don’t need to hold formal discussions around the kitchen table. Sometimes the best discussions occur while washing dishes, driving in the car, or cooking dinner.
If all else fails, head out to a coffee shop once a week to catch up and discuss history together.
8. Let Kids Spend Extra Time on Areas of Interest
The battles and wars in history fascinate some teens. Others adore the myths and stories. Give your teens enough time to delve into the areas that fascinate them.
Teenagers learn a lot about the general history of the period while pursuing the rabbit trails of their interests.
9. Write Papers
History gives a lot of fodder for writing. Have your children write essays, thesis papers, stories, and novels about what they’re studying.
Alternate between the various genres as you move through the year, while giving room for sudden inspiration.
10. Age appropriate projects
Projects aren’t just for little kids. There are many elaborate projects that are more suitable for high school teenagers than they are for kindergartners. Take mummifying chickens. Teenagers can mummify the chicken whereas kindergartners watch YOU mummify the chicken.
Choose a few appropriate projects and let your teens loose.
History with high school teenagers isn’t all work and no play. Use these tips to customize your high school student’s history subjects and have some fun.