22 Nov 2012

The threads of history

After studying the American Civil War this past year, we are really excited to see this film when it is released here on January 17th. What do you think of the trailer?

As we Australianise AO, it is difficult to decide what stays and what goes. So far, I think we've reached a pretty good balance between Australian and World history. I am certainly pleased that I have more knowledge about when went on in the past, both within and without of Australia's boundaries, and learning about Abe Lincoln and his attempts to abolish slavery is an important episode in the history of all mankind, not just in the history of the United States.

How do you teach history in your homeschool? How you decide how much time to spend on the history of your own country compared to the history of other parts of God's great world? Do you think you have the balance right? Will you be seeing Lincoln at the movies? Will you take your kids? Do tell. Which threads of history are the most important to you?


  1. Initially I taught history really broadly so Star had something to hang her more specific interests on. Our major focus was on Europe & Asia. We did almost no Australian history ~ just a brief outline as so little of it falls within our areas of interest & so many really important things happened elsewhere. No American history as we are swamped by the media with all sorts of Americana ~ enough that general discussion took care of different things like slavery & the civil war.

    I don't teach history as politics but more archaeologically & from the viewpoint of ordinary mortals. Star had enough archaeological nonce by grade 4 to flummox more than one teacher but the poor child was breastfed to bones being dug up & bodies exhumed. One of her earliest research papers was on the Lindow Bog Man ~ I joke you not.

    And primary sources where possible! I got some unusual & interesting insights after Star listened to some of Hitler's speeches on~line for part of her WWII study.

    I will stop now. ☺ I'm passionate about certain aspects of history ~ especially if there's a good story attached to it!

  2. "How you decide how much time to spend on the history of your own country compared to the history of other parts of God's great world? "
    The plan is to spend 1 term each year on Australian history, the rest on world history. (plan has problems as my children are not as passionate about Aust history as I) Interestingly my boys are more keen on modern history than any other area.

  3. Ooh Jeanne, this movie looks great - we will definitely be seeing it!
    We spend two days per week on history. One on Australian history, the other on world history. We use books like Story of the World as our spine. Last year we LOVED studying British history using Our Island Story. We always supplement with plenty of historical fiction. This year my older children have loved studying American history. I swoon when reading some of the speeches of by men like Lincoln - they really knew how to talk back then! Australian history hums along for us, we watch films, study Australian poetry and enjoy books like the Australian Pictorial Social Studies series. Could there ever be such a thing as too much history?! :)

  4. I like to do something for History every school day, even if it's just reading. I like to use both Story of the World and Mystery of History as spines with lots of other stuff thrown in.

    We do History as a 4 year rotation. We just did Medieval History this year. Next year is Renaissance, and the following year will be entirely devoted to Australian History - all things Australian.

  5. We can't wait for this film! Miss M is a history buff in general, but particularly US history, Revolution through the Civil War. Goodness, with the Hobbit and Les Mis in Dec. we have so many good ones to look forward to - must save up!

  6. We usually wait for the DVD. American History in school has been reduced to sound bytes. No where is the War of 1812 mentioned. Korea gets a blip. In the rush to be oh-so politically correct my kids bring home amazing things that never would have made the text book in my day. Example: Marilyn Monroe. You read that right. And Stonewall--not Jackson, but the first march for gay rights. Of course there are other things, the Trail of Tears for example, that WERE truly missing from the curriculum and that has been rectified.


I'd love you to leave me a message. Tell me what you like - and what you don't. Just remember that this is what we do in our family - it doesn't have to be what you do in yours...