Summer History Project

Summer History Project

Every May I mentally plan out all the teaching activities I am going to do over summer break to keep my son from experiencing summer brain drain. I list two or three subjects and tell myself that we are going to study throughout the summer. I don’t plan on overwhelming my son with worksheets or turning my home into some kind of torturous summer school, but I do plan to teach him throughout the summer  The operative word here is plan. Summer seems to go so fast that I always fall very short of my plans. I usually end up feeling like a failure when the first day of school rolls around. But this year is going to be different. This year we are going to do a summer history project.

The idea for a summer history project came to me the other day when I realized that I will have two vacationing students in my home this summer since my daughter is finishing up kindergarten. I wondered how I was going to have a successful anti-brain-drain summer with two kiddos when I couldn’t even do it with one. Then I realized that I am always talking to my kiddos about history since I love it so much. Could I use that somehow? I used to be a junior high school teacher and although I never got to implement one, I was intrigued by the thematic unit. For those of you who do not speak teacher, a thematic unit is the organization of a unit of learning around a central theme. Clear as mud? Basically, a teacher might lead her class through a unit on the Olympics in which she incorporates math, history, language arts, and science. It sounds complicated but it actually makes planning and implementation easier. My idea is based on the thematic unit and it allows for considerable flexibility. It will allow you to keep your kiddos learning all summer while they also have a ton of fun.

So how exactly do I plan to use this idea in my home this summer and how can you do the same? Check out my guidelines below and adjust them to fit your family.

The Summer History Project

  1. Choose a period of history to focus on. Make sure you get input from your kids on this. Since there are so many periods of history to choose from, offer your children a few suggestions to choose from. It would be wise to choose a time period that you are familiar with, unless you don’t mind doing a lot of research. We selected the Middle Ages but you can pick a narrower focus if you want to. For example, you could select WWII.
  2. Make a list of aspects of the time period that you would like to cover. Ideas include art, math, science, language arts, fashion, architecture, music, foreign language, food, politics, religion, economics, and literature.
  3. Decide if you want to teach this information to your kiddos or lead them in finding the information themselves. I suggest a mix of both.
  4. Research and organize the information you plan to use. Try googling the period of history and you will be amazed at the number of resources you will find.
  5. Schedule your history project into your summer plans. Actually writing it on the calendar can help ensure you follow through.  But do not restrict yourself to a schedule. Find teachable moments in your day-to-day life. For example, if you are studying Ancient Greece and you see a building with Corinthian columns, point it out and ask your kiddos about them.
  6. Have fun and be flexible. This is supposed to be an easy way to focus on a period of history and keep your kiddos’ minds engaged all summer. No worksheets! Plan fun learning activities.

Here is an example of how this could work. If you choose to focus on the Italian Renaissance, your kiddos could learn about Galileo for math, science, and religion; Leonardo da Vinci for science, art, and engineering; Machiavelli for politics and literature; and they could observe the beautiful art from that time period. This could be done by reading, visiting an art museum or science center, watching movies, conducting research online or at the library, and listening to music. They could use the information they learn to write a story, draw a picture, make a diorama, paint, write a song, record a video, or dress in costumes.

Summer History Project

This can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be. I suggest that you keep it simple and fun. Maybe even plan a themed end of summer party or event to celebrate all they have learned.

What do you think?  Does this sound like fun? What period of history will your family choose?

 

About Janice

I am so glad you stopped by. Kick your shoes off and hang with me a while. I am an Arizona native, wife to a hard-working hubby, mom of two, and daughter of the King. I love sharing recipes, crafts, and family activities that any mom can do. Life is complicated enough, right? When I am not up to my ears in laundry, dishes, and creating for Celebrating Family, you will also find me at East Valley Mom Guide. Come follow me on Google +, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Comments

  1. http://Debra%20Wagner says

    What a wonderful Idea! I think that is the best way for children to learn is to make it fun. They wont even know they are learning while having fun! Fantastic Janice

  2. http://Melissa says

    This is a great idea! We’re taking a road trip to Yellowstone National Park this summer so I think I will focus our learning on the late 1800s when the region was still very wild.

  3. What a great idea! I\\\’d love for you to link this up to Tot School Tuesday!

  4. http://Wendy says

    What a great idea. I was just planning our summer learning schedule over the weekend. Might just have to change things up and do more of a themed unit instead. Thanks for the idea!

  5. http://Antony%20Norman says

    I recently completed this unit. My students really enjoyed it! We used it throughout the month in preparation for our Sports Day event. Since the Olympics were this summer. The students really got into the subject with sharing what they experienced of the 2012 Olympics.

  6. http://Leilani says

    What a great idea! I will have to try this for next summer. My girls start school in less than 2 weeks.

  7. http://Wittle%20Wood says

    So nice. Parent – child together projects are the best bonding time. And this one is probably more fun for the parents. But the kids learn some fun information. Something else you could do together is bake a popular food dish for the time period. I have done this before and it was fun!

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  12. http://Mommy%20Pamela says

    This is such a fabulous idea. Mine just a little one still but when he’s older and in school this would be a great tool to implement in the summer. Absolutely love it!

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    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency. This Mark couldn’t be spiritual because the word references two different physical locations. If it was spiritual it would just say in the forehead. RFID microchip implant technology will be the future of a one world cashless society containing digital currency. It will be implanted in the right-hand or the forehead, and we cannot buy or sell without it. Revelation 13:11-18 tells us that a false prophet will arise on the world scene doing miracles before men, deceiving them to receive this Mark. Do not be deceived! We must grow strong in Jesus. AT ALL COSTS, DO NOT TAKE IT!

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    People have been saying the end is coming for many years, but we needed two key things. One, the Third Temple, and two, the technology for a cashless society to fulfill the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast.

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    “EITHER HUMAN INTELLIGENCE ULTIMATELY OWES ITS ORIGIN TO MINDLESS MATTER OR THERE IS A CREATOR…” – JOHN LENNOX

    We all know God exists. Why? Because without Him, we couldn’t prove anything at all. Do we live our lives as if we cannot know anything? No. So why is God necessary? In order to know anything for certain, you would have to know everything, or have revelation from somebody who does. Who is capable of knowing everything? God. So to know anything, you would have to be God, or know God.

    A worldview without God cannot account for the uniformity and intelligibility of nature. And why is it that we can even reason that God is the best explanation for this if there is no God? We are given reason to know or reject God, but never to know that He does not exist.

    It has been calculated by Roger Penrose that the odds of the initial conditions for the big bang to produce the universe that we see to be a number so big, that we could put a zero on every particle in the universe, and even that would not be enough to use every zero. What are the odds that God created the universe? Odds are no such thing. Who of you would gamble your life on one coin flip?

    Is there evidence that the Bible is the truth? Yes. Did you know that the creation accounts listed in the book of Genesis are not only all correct, but are also in the correct chronological order? That the Bible doesn’t say the Earth was formed in six 24-hour days but rather six long but finite periods of time? That the Bible makes 10 times more creation claims than all major “holy” books combined with no contradictions, while these other books have errors in them? The Bible stood alone by concurring with the big bang saying, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1); and says our universe is expanding, thousands of years before scientists discovered these things. Watch a potential life-changing video on the website listed below with Astronomer(PhD) Hugh Ross explaining all these facts based on published scientific data. He has authored many books, backed even by atheist scientists.

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    God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten son, so that whoever believes in Him, through faith, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Jesus says if we wish to enter into life to keep the commands! The two greatest commands are to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind; and your neighbor as yourself. All the law hang on these commands. We must be born of and lead by the Holy Spirit, to be called children of God, to inherit the kingdom. If we are willing to humble ourselves in prayer to Jesus, to confess and forsake our sins, He is willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who keep asking of Him; giving us a new heart, leading us into all truth!

    Jesus came to free us from the bondage of sin. The everlasting fire was prepared for the devil and his angels due to disobedience to God’s law. If we do the same, what makes us any different than the devil? Jesus says unless we repent, we shall perish. For sin is the transgression of the law. We must walk in the Spirit so we may not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, being hatred, fornication, drunkenness and the like. Whoever practices such things will not inherit the kingdom (Galatians 5:16-26). If we sin, we may come before Jesus to ask for forgiveness (1 John 2:1-2). Evil thoughts are not sins, but rather temptations. It is not until these thoughts conceive and give birth by our own desires that they become sin (James 1:12-15). When we sin, we become in the likeness of the devil’s image, for he who sins is of the devil (1 John 3:8); but if we obey Jesus, in the image of God. For without holiness, we shall not see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

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