Friday, 8 December 2017

December Inspiration

London feels chilly today. My children are hoping for snow! The photo is from a Park Run a couple of weeks ago when the frost was thick and my feet were cold.

It isn't always easy to get up when outside is dark. This article is a very practical list of 102 ways to start your homeschool morning out right.

The Institute of Engineering and Technology has a guide to making STEM toys using cheap and cheerful items. I know that one of my children is going to love these ideas.

Hedgehogs are becoming rare. For anyone who lives in a London borough and who has access to a garden, Wildlife London will provide hedgehog detective kits on a first come, first served basis. An ideal opportunity to be involved in some worthwhile research.

This year, I have been working on the 2017 Christian Reading Challenge. I don't think that I will complete every category but it has been a stimulating challenge which has expanded my reading. My progress is here-the list of books read is first followed by the categories in the Reading Challenge. This week, the list for the 2018 Challenge has come out.

Annie Kate has published a review of a book called The Fundamentals of Literature. I haven't read the book but she follows it with a summary of concepts in English literature from a Christian world view. If you want the name of an eight verse stanza or the difference between blank verse and free verse, this is your opportunity.

Do let me know about articles that you find useful. 


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Friday, 1 December 2017

Tweens Book Club

My tweens book club has now been running for over two years. This is a quick overview which hopefully, may be helpful for anyone else thinking of running a book group.

The book club meets fortnightly at our local home education group. Group sessions last about half an hour. Currently, the group ranges from 10 to 13. Members of the group include a wide range of reading ability.

The aims of the group are to
  • encourage the group to read wholesome literature.
  • to read critically.
  • to introduce a wider range of books that the child might choose to read.
How the group works

The tweenagers meet separately for their book club. The group reads two books per term.
Criteria for the books are
  • well written 
  • acceptable from a Christian worldview
  • available in some format for less than £5.
  • not another in a series from which we have already read a book
I always pre-read the books and think this is vital. Roughly, 50% of the books that I preread are not suitable. Reasons for not choosing a book have included
  • racism
  • just didn't pull me into the story
  • too expensive or would take too long to arrive
The whole of the book club isn't devoted to the current book. We also have a time when the children recommend books to their friends and loan out books. When another child reads a recommended book, they and the child recommending both have a point. At the end of term, there are small rewards. Last term, these were bendy pencils. 

In terms of discussing the current book, I have found reading Deconstructing Penguins invaluable. Some books have lent themselves to more discussion than others. I try to keep a list of open ended questions:
  • What do you think will happen next?
  • How would you rewrite the ending?
  • What do you think is the point of this book?
  • What do you think of x character?
  • How has y changed?
The book club does not include asking the children to read aloud. In theory, I meant to start a new book by reading the first chapter aloud but so far this hasn't happened. Maybe, for the next book!

In addition, from time to time, I add an extra. These have included

  • each child taking turns to have three book recommendations from me. I used a form to ascertain the type of books that they had enjoyed/not enjoyed. If anyone wants to do this, please be warned that this involves a lot of prereading. I spent one summer reading children's books to recommend. This idea was stolen from A Modern Mrs Darcy although I did modify it a little.
  • being a judging panel for the Royal Society Young People's Science Prize.
  • a quick presentation about the background of a book.
  • a session of poetry. 

Books that we have read have included
  • Gentle Ben
  • Journey to the River Sea
  • Jungle Doctor to the Rescue
  • The boy who biked the World
  • Number the Stars
  • The Long Winter
  • One Great Purpose: Jim Elliot
  • My side of the Mountain
Useful sources for book club ideas 
  • Veritas booklists
  • Readaloud Revival
  • Sonlight booklists
  • Ambleside online free reading suggestions
  • Friends and family
I would love to know how other book clubs run and any book recommendations for my group. Thank you!

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Monday, 13 November 2017

November Inspiration

We are well into November now. Well past Reformation Day,
 Guy Fawkes night and even Remembrance Day.

November is also a month for anyone who wants to write a novel. The NanoWriMo site has a special feature for younger writers with the ability to set an individual word target and help designed for children.

There are plenty of children though who struggle with reading and writing. This can induce a fair amount of parental guilt especially when there is a societal expectation that anyone from a home filled with books will love reading. This is a really helpful article about Where kids still struggle with reading even in a print-rich home.

We haven't really got into podcasts for children yet but this is a list to explore.

I'm not an unschooler but this post about learning and living is thought provoking. Yes, home educated children do get a chance to follow their interests now in a way that wouldn't be possible for a child in school. 

This model DNA is so easy. We made it recently and unlike many other cell/DNA activities around it isn't  filled with sugar!

I am currently on the look out for book club suggestions. The club has children from 10-13. We read both fiction and non-fiction. The group has a science theme, this year but the books don't necessarily have to have a scientific theme although  bonus points if they do! Any suggestions?


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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Early Autumn Learning

Writing about our learning is always a balance. We have had some great and enjoyable days but there are always adjustments to the plans to be made and times realise how much we need God's grace. 

These are a few of the highlights of the last few months.

Science
Our local home education group has a science theme, this year. This has meant practising activities at home in the days before each session. Particularly popular was the rocket, although I was far too busy to record it; extracting DNA from strawberries
and melting chocolate (states of matter!). 

The group was able to vote on the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize. We are now waiting to find out if our choice was the overall winner.

Art
Younger Daughter has been working on an Explore Art Award in photography. This meant a dash up to the Natural History Museum, one Saturday, to see a wildlife photography exhibition before it closed.
This award also means working on a project. The plan is to combine art with history studies.

Poetry Tea
This term has been busy so I thought that we might have fewer poetry teas. However, it turned out the Poetry Tea was an important part of the week and no one wanted to miss this. 

Nature Walks
We are using Exploring Nature with Children and this year, using the new journal.

Seaside Trip
We had a week away, at the sea,
in Bournemouth, while my kind husband held the fort here. Our time away included a long cycle ride,
time on the seashore with rather wet paddling, a visit to Corfe Castle and the Bournemouth Aviation Museum. 

Reformation Day
Today,we have celebrated the 500th anniversary of Luther's 95 theses being pinned to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Over the last few weeks, we have been reading Danika Cooley's book When Lightening Struck about the life of Luther. Other activities have been

Of course, we had to have some themed food: sausages and Black Forest gateau.

This term, there has seemed to be more to do than time! Trying to prioritise seems a major challenge. Any thoughts?

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Friday, 20 October 2017

Sources of Home Education Inspiration: Maths

This is the fifth part of my series on resources for inspiring home education. The first four parts are

This post is about maths. The links are either resources we have used or seriously considered using. 

Early Years
We used plenty of learning from life: counting stairs, number of people eating at a meal, recipes and so on.
Games have also played a major role. Favourites have been various Orchard Games including Pop to the Shops, Ten Green Bottles and the Spotty Dog Game.


Sum Swamp has been helpful towards the end of this time, and for the next few years, and has been played over and over again. This game helps with simple addition and subtraction as well as the concepts of plus/minus and odd/even.

There are a few books which have been useful for introducing mathematical concepts.
I would particularly recommend, Less than Zero which is a fun introduction to negative numbers. 

Infant (KS1 about age 5-7)
I'm not entirely sure that I would use this again but we used Mousematics which comes as part of a Mother's Companion. This is a Welsh printable curriculum. We modified it, for example, the parts about weighing and volume we used as hands on activities rather than using the printable workbooks. In retrospect, it isn't particularly challenging and could do with more hands on work. We ended up supplementing with games and maths from life. 
Other curricula that I would consider are

  • MEP (Maths Enhancement Programme from the Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching. This is a free programme although it is easier, and probably cheaper, to buy the workbooks. I did use this for a while and really regret that it didn't work for us as it is a rigorous programme, scripted and easy to use except for one thing. The problem that we had with this is that it takes about 45 minutes per day of teaching. This probably works well with a class but my children aren't in the same year and at the time which we used this also needed one to one phonics teaching. I couldn't teach phonics and maths at the same time. Sadly, the topics for each year aren't in the same week so I couldn't teach the two together. Highly recommended if you have one child or children who don't need other one to one teaching at the same time.
  • Singapore maths probably using the UK version. The working from manipulatives to visual to paper (Concrete/Pictorial/Abstract) makes such sense and is a principle that we have tried to use with whichever programme we are using.


Junior (KS2 about age 7-11)
This is the reason why I have been so long in posting this.
We have used/use Galore Park maths successfully for two of our three home educated children. These books start at year 3 and are designed for private schools. We use the older edition where they have two sets: the Junior books which cover years 3-5 and the So you want to learn set which covers years 6-8 so going up to the Common Entrance exam. I note that the newer edition seems to be arranged by school year.
Points to know about these books

  • After we finished the year 8 book, I found some year 9 work for Middle Son before starting GCSE work but I wish that I hadn't done this. The end of the Galore Park books would have been a great place to start GSCE maths and he really coasted for that year.
  • The series has textbooks but no workbooks for anything other than tests. We have not used the test workbooks. We have found that writing out problems can be majorly time consuming and slow progress for younger children. I have often written out the questions when they are younger and gradually move to getting the children to write them out.
  • The books progress in a spiral manner. If a child has forgotten a topic or finds it difficult then it is worth going back to the previous year's book.
  • Buy the answers! I spent several years working out all the answers because of a mistaken belief that this was the only way to be sure that I understood and could explain clearly. What it actually meant was that I was working out maths at midnight so the marking could be done. It is worth checking that you can do the first and last questions but not really necessary to do everything between!
Galore Park has worked less well for one of the children. We spent some time working on one particular topic using the concrete/pictorial/abstract approach then using one of the Schofield and Sims Understanding Maths books. This worked well so we are currently using other books in the same series. This series has a clean lay out. It is not necessary to write out the whole problem although sometimes, supplemental squared paper is necessary. 
Please note that home educators are able to use the tutor discount which makes a substantial saving.

One cheap and cheerful item that we use every day is 10 questions. I write 10 questions in the children's maths exercise books each day which they answer at the start of maths time. The questions cover topics that need revision and are individualised for each child.

We quite often finish maths time with a game. Games that we use frequently are equivalence dominoes, fraction bingo, Brainbox fractions and tables and Trilemma.


I have written about learning tables before.

Senior (Key Stage 3 about 11-14)
We used the Galore Park maths books to the end of year 8 (age 13) then changed to Conquer Maths and a year 9 text. KS3 Conquer Maths was well organised but as I stated above, changing to GCSE work would have been better.
At this point, we also occasionally used Khan Academy as a backup for further explanation of some topics.
I am not going to comment above KS3 as we used a tutor of GCSE maths.

Extras
This is a post about sites which we have used for adding to the maths curriculum. 
Squeebles is an app occasionally used for tables practice. 

Please feel free to recommend maths resources which your family have enjoyed.

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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Chai Chat....with Sarah

Nicola who blogs at The World is their Classroom has been interviewing a variety of different home educators including reasons why people home educate, what a typical day is like, socialisation, physical exercise and much more. Today, my chat with her is up.


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Tuesday, 10 October 2017

October Inspiration

We are almost a month into term and there has been plenty going on. Our home education group has been studying science and planning this has been busy, as well, as providing my children with the chance to help me practise activities. Recently, we did acids and bases at the group and used Sarah Dees' magnificent rocket activity for the older children. It worked very well but I'm sorry, teaching and running the activity took precedence over photos.

Ambleside online has produced an enormous list of Charlotte Mason resources. Many of these are relevant for those who aren't strictly Charlotte Mason followers.

Helping children learn about subjects where we are weak can be challenging. This is a helpful article about teaching music appreciation for non-musical mothers

Reformation Day is on the 31st October and this year is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther pinning his theses to the door of the Castle church in Wittenburg. Talking mom2mom has a free set of intricate colourings of the Five Solas which are ideal for older children. The Trinitarian Bible Society produce a rather splendid Reformation timeline.


It is easy to get dragged down by difficulties when home educating. This isn't a Christian article, and this shows in the solutions, but the list of joy suckers is pretty accurate.

Hope that your autumn is going well. Does anyone else struggle with not overloading the day but wanting to fit enough in?

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Thursday, 28 September 2017

How Home Education is different to School

I have a minor peeve about the term home school as it suggests that the only thing different about what we do is transport the classroom venue and have fewer pupils. Actually, home education is very different.

So we don't
  • have to follow the National Curriculum. 
  • have to teach from a secular worldview.
  • start and finish with school times. We usually do similar hours but we don't have to. This means that if the children have a late night, we can start later. Actual education, of course, lasts far beyond traditional working hours.
  • have to stay inside in "school time".
  • have to have a teaching qualification.
  • have to have the same holidays. 
  • have inset days-I rather regret this one.
  • have constant testing. 
We can
  • talk to the children about the Lord.
  • pray when things are difficult.
  • tutor the children individually.
  • individualise learning. 
  • let the children have major input into their learning. 
  • let the children be a part of caring for an older relative or anyone else, for that matter. Not, I hasten to add, in an arduous way but in terms of popping in and having a conversation, making a soup or picking flowers.
  • have activities that wouldn't really work in school: poetry teatime, having a picnic lunch in an autumnal park and more.
  • enjoy parks and playgrounds when they aren't overcrowded. 
  • make birthdays a holiday.
  • be around to see when the child takes a big step forward. 
  • learn rather than worry about tests when the children are young.
Home education isn't always easy. 
If your child is at home all day, you
  • don't get a break. 
  • are responsible for arranging the whole of their education. You might not teach everything  but someone has to research and arrange.
  • have to provide all their meals. This seems to involve a constant answering of the question What is for lunch?
  • have to fit other responsibilities around the children's education. I'm thinking of housework, paid employment and other caring roles. 
  • are financially responsible for your children's education. 
In my book, the positives far outweigh the negatives.

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Girls just like You/Boys just like Me

Jean Stapleton has written a couple of Christian children's books which we have appreciated: Read with Me and God's Special Tent. The latter is an explanation of the tabernacle, the special tent in which God's people met in the wilderness and includes instructions for making a model. So, we were pleased to learn that she has written two more children's devotional books: Girls Just like you: Bible women who trusted God and Boys like me: Bible men who trusted God.


Each of these hardback books contains fifty devotions around either men or women in the Bible. The format is a title, a suggested short Bible reading which is often only one verse, a retelling of the narrative followed by something to think and pray about.  Each book has a ribbon bookmark which seems a sensible addition. 

The characters vary from the very well known: Abraham, Mary and David to the less known Jehoiada and Jehosheba who were real heroes as well as  Shiphrah and Puah.

These books are recommended for ages 3-5 if read aloud and 6-10 for reading independently. This seems about right although I wish the publishers had not started the first paragraph of each day with a large capital which makes the first word  more difficult for young readers. 

These books are ideal for children who need an easy devotional book to read on their own or to read with a parent. They can be obtained from Christian Focus or Amazon.

Disclaimer: I was given these books by the author but was not expected to provide a review.

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Thursday, 7 September 2017

Learning Plans 2017-2018

We have just started our more formal learning again and with a new year there are a few changes. This is a list of my plans. Please note that what works for us may not work for you. Having made this disclaimer, I would add that many of my best ideas have come from other home educators' plans.

Younger Daughter is almost 11 so UK year 6 and Youngest Son is 8 which is UK year 4.

English aka Language Arts
English consists of multiple parts

-Reading. I am planning a time of individual reading, after lunch. This will be reading of the children's choice. Youngest Son will also read aloud to me daily.

-Writing. During morning time, I plan to work through the writing workshops in How to teach English at Key Stage 2 by Pie Corbett. Most  writing will be linked to topics in other subjects.

-Spelling. The plan is that one child will continue to use All about Spelling and the other will use Touch Type Read Spell.

Handwriting: Younger Daughter has been practising calligraphy over the holiday and will have some time to work on this. Youngest Son will use a handwriting workbook and copy work.


Typing: Nessy Typing and Touch Type Read Spell.

Poetry: we plan to continue to have a weekly Poetry Tea. This is much loved and has many benefits including reading aloud, enjoying and discussing poetry, reading dialogue poems with friends and writing. In additon to this, Poetry Tea helps with  planning a small snack and decorating a table.

Grammar and punctuation: we plan to use the Galore Park English books for this.

Extras: We hope to read Julius Caesar, this term, both in a simplified version and as the actual play to fit in with a Royal Shakespeare Company production of this play for schools in the late autumn.

Maths
We tend to start math with 10 questions which I write in the children's maths books the previous day. These tend to be short and cover topics which might need revision.                                                                                                                                            
Youngest Son has already started Galore Park Junior Maths book 2 and we hope to continue this.

Younger Daughter is using a different programme this year with the Schofield and Sims Understanding KS2 workbooks.

Maths games most days.

Science
Energy: its forms, changes and functions from the Elementary Physics Series.

Exploring Nature with Children: we are planning to use the new journal although work on one journal between the three of us.

Our home education group is studying science, this year and the group is also a judging panel for the Royal Society Young People's Science Book Prize.            

History  
This year we plan to study the Victorians and the First and Second World Wars.
For the Victorians, we plan to use Our Island Story as the core text and for the First and Second World Wars, The Story of Britain by RJ Unstead.
We hope to supplement with many other books, trips and activities.  This week, we have been consulting a rather old copy of Mrs Beeton to write a Victorian dinner menu.

Geography
I have planned three country afternoons during this term. In addition, we use Seterra and probably will use the geography from Valley Christian School Online.

Art
Younger Daughter is signed up for an Explore Art award and has done her first activity for this. While she is working on this Youngest Son will be working on coding using Code.org. 

Music
We plan to use Classics for Kids weekly during morning time. We sing each day and Younger Daughter has piano lessons.

Latin
We do a little Latin daily using Minimus. Younger Daughter is already familiar with book one so this is revision for her but new for Youngest Son. 

Physical education
This is mainly informal with visits to the park and time on the trampoline most days. Younger Daughter has been running with friends and has started to go to Park Run, on Saturdays. I would like to add in some longer cycle rides.



       
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Saturday, 2 September 2017

September Inspiration


I had every intention of blogging more in August but despite having a break from formal learning, this hasn't quite happened. We have had various trips out,
a photography workshop and many friends to play, plus a garden which has been wonderfully productive.

Grandma has enjoyed the general summer bustle and we have made major progress toward her being able to sit out of bed. It has been a long, long saga!

Planning for next year has happened and I hope to post about the resources we hope to use soon.

Earlier in the holiday, we popped into a temporary exhibition of Shirley Hughes' work. Shirley Hughes is famous for her books about Alfie and also Dogger. We particularly like her poetry anthology for younger children, Out and About. 


The Read Aloud Revival has had an interview with another favourite childhood author and illustrator, Helen Oxenham. Helen is the illustrator of Going on a Bear Hunt and it turns out that she is married to John Burningham of Mr Gumby fame.

Nothing to do with education but, at long last, I have found a yeasted banana bread recipe.
Yummy! I have tried increasing the number of bananas for extra flavour but this didn't make much difference to the taste and adversely affected the consistency. If any is left, this loaf is great toasted.

Some time ago, I reviewed Hazel Stapleton's book Looking back with ME. This was orginally privately published but has now been attractively republished by Day One Publications.  

Not infrequently, I am asked about starting home education and resources. Now, into our ninth year, we use a mixture to suit the children's needs and interests. I hope to post about the resources for this coming year very soon. However, there hasn't been a UK Christian curriculum divided by key stages and looking toward UK exams. Just recently, I found out about Valley Christian School Online which plans to fill this gap. I haven't used the resources as yet but am in the process of signing up to use some of the Key Stage 2 materials. It is looking very promising and if all goes well, I plan to update about this.

Farmhouse Schoolhouse is a US blog and Instagram feed and one of my favourites. There is a new post about resources on the blog. I like the disclaimer that the post is to give ideas rather than something to copy. The part about not buying cheap crayons resonated. We have found that, here in the UK, Straedtler pencils and Berol felt tip pens last far longer than cheaper alternatives. 

We are looking forward to the start of the new learning year and hope to be having a not back to school picnic with our home education group to celebrate! Do you have plans to mark this time of year?

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Friday, 25 August 2017

The Girl who thought in Pictures

It isn't always easy to help children to understand people who appear different. Background knowledge is  needed to help them befriend people who may behave in different ways. The Girl who thought in Pictures: The story of Dr Temple Grandin, by Julia Finley Mosca, is a successful attempt at explaining about how life felt for one autistic young girl.

Temple Grandin is a professor in agriculture and has autism. This book about her is a picture book with rhyming text.
The illustrations, by Daniel Reiley, are clear and make such sense in a book where the major character thinks in pictures.
I particularly liked the front and back pages. 

Temple was an unusual baby and found loud noises
and some sensations difficult to manage, in addition, she was a late talker. These difficulties made school a challenge and adding bullying into the equation meant that Temple snapped and was expelled. Temple had a supportive mother who sent her off to stay with an aunt who kept a ranch. Temple was in her element with the animals and this led to a high flying career in agriculture as well as in  advocacy for autism.

A lovely book which shows how people with apparent disabilities can succeed with the right encouragement. The unsung heroes of this book are Temple's relations who helped her find her strengths.

The last few pages contain fun facts, a time line and a potted, more formal biography.

Recommended particularly for children from about 5 to 8.

The Girl who thought in Pictures is published by the Innovation Press and is available from Amazon in the US. In the UK it is available to preorder from Amazon.co.uk. It is releasing on 29th August. It is currently available from the Book Depository and Wordery. In the US, The Girl who thought in Pictures is sold in Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: This book was supplied to me for review. I was not required to write a positive review


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Monday, 14 August 2017

New Nature Journal

Lynn Seddon's Exploring Nature with Children is the best resource I know for learning about nature with a family. As part of this, Lynn suggests making a nature journal and now, to help with this she has produced a guided nature journal to help you and your children keep a record of what you have learned and seen. The journal is set up by seasons with a section for each week and includes
  •  a page for a picture about the nature walk. This page has a box to record the weather
  • a poem to copy
  • an art study page
  • pages for extension activities
  • a place to record nature books read 
  • a calendar of firsts
The journal comes as a pdf and is available in printing and cursive versions. 

I am looking forward to using the journal with my family and creating a record of our year. 

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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Sources of Home Education Inspiration: History

This is the fourth in a series about resources in home education. 
Part 1: Sources of home education inspiration.
Part 2:English
Part 3: Science
This post focuses on history. There are plenty of materials around so I have concentrated on those which we have used.

History Curriculum

  • Veritas self paced. We used this curriculum for a couple of years doing the Greeks,Romans and New Testament year followed by the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation. These are all on the computer and require a daily slot to get through the sessions over a year. In addition, to the computer programme, history cards are needed. There are optional literature selections which I highly recommend. This programme was very popular with my history loving daughter. Both she, and I, learned so much. In addition, to the actual teaching there are map activities, a history song, revision games and more. Highly recommended. Sadly, the latter years tend to focus on US history which is our only reason for leaving Veritas self paced. If they had a parallel world history unit then we would be very interested!
  • Story of the World. We have used this curriculum in a couple of ways. First, to add to parts of history which we had learned out with Veritas. This worked well and second, as a history curriculum over the past year along with the activity book. Sadly, this has worked less well for us. This has been for several reasons: there are many topics but no built in revision so it has been difficult to hold the information and also because the activity book has been overwhelming. There are too many book choices, very few of which are available in the UK. We haven't used the first volume much but please note that some of the Bible sections are not Biblically accurate.
  • Story of God's Dealings with our Nation by Christina Eastwood. This is a Christian, UK history. We did find its format a little dry and worksheet based but I plan to use it again, alongside other books.
Books

There are so many books which can be used. These books are most relevant for primary aged children.
  • People in History and other titles by RG Unstead. These books have been around for years. I remember reading Unstead's histories when I was in school. Unstead was actually a primary school head teacher after the Second World War and wrote easy histories for his pupils. The older editions also tend to have large font.
  • Our Island Story by HE Marshall is the history of the UK. It is available as a book or as an audio book. The pluses of this book are that it is very readable and that it has more detail about the Middle Ages than many similar books but the downside is that it stops at the end of Victoria's reign. 
  • The Great History of Britain by Anne and Paul Fryer is suitable for children from about six and is another book with large font making it ideal for early readers.
  • Ladybird history books are generally out of print but cheap second hand. They have a picture on each page.
  • Usborne and DK have many illustrated history books which we often add to learning about any particular time period.
  • Simonetta Carr's Christian biographies for Young Readers are beautifully produced books around characters in church history. Each book includes maps and timelines.

Fiction

We have found historical fiction an amazing way to raise interest in history. This list could be enormous so I will limit this to the books which have had most influence here.
  • Roman Mysteries by Caroline Lawrence. These have been read by both older and younger children. One of my younger children is a real enthusiast about these books and Roman times. Reading the Roman Mysteries has piqued an interest in all things Roman.
  • Veritas historical literature lists. We used these when we used the Veritas self paced curriculum.
  • My blog post on chapter books contains many more suggestions.
Other
  • Timeline. We have sometimes used timelines and tend to make our own using wall paper lining paper which is cheap and cheerful.The Trinitarian Bible Society have produced a rather more beautiful timeline of the Reformation.
  • Visits. Adding visits to museums and historical sites is easy. English Heritage allows free educational visits although these do have to be booked in advance. Many museums are free.
  • Book of Centuries is really another way of keeping a timeline. This link explains. We haven't made a Book of Centuries yet.
  • History file. This is an idea from a friend which I hope to start in the autumn. This involves keeping a file of history work, pictures and leaflets, perhaps from somewhere which you visit, in chronological order. It sounds an easy way of keeping everything in order, both physically and intellectually. 
  • Young Archaeologists club. This is a fantastic resource. There are branches all over the country. Our club meets once a month and also has trips to exhibitions as well as talks which usually include some sort of activity and often the chance to handle archaeological artefacts.
  • Themed meals. For the last couple of years, we have had a meal themed to the history which we have been studying. The first year was a Medieval banquet and the second a Thanksgiving dinner to remember the Pilgrim Fathers. Both involved dressing up and relevant cooking as well as investigating music and wall decorations.  This has been an amazing learning experience.
Please share your favourite history resources. I'm always looking for more!

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