To some people, history can seem like list after list of names, dates and factoids. Geography might seem boring, government might seem too complicated. But teaching these subjects doesn’t have to be hard or monotonous; you can make them fun and enjoyable. Here are some tips for making teaching social studies a bit easier:
- Bring topics to life: History doesn’t have to be all memorizing dates and names and events. The most fun way to tackle it is to get creative in the way you teach it. Is your child a visual learner? Make an extensive timeline with relevant doodles along the way. Got a kinesthetic learner on your hands? Make historical costumes or act out significant historical events. Best of all? Field trips! Whether you’re checking out local museums or traveling to far off historical monuments, field trips are one of the best ways to experience history.
- Keep your child’s interests in mind: Social studies encompasses a lot of topics, and I mean a lot. There’s everything from comparative government, to U.S. government, psychology, women’s studies, economics, and anthropology. The great thing about this is, there are a ton of choices for you to look through to figure out the best fit for you and your child. They (and you) might even discover a new interest along the way.
- Make connections: This might seem a little complicated at first, but it’s worth it when it comes to your child’s grasp on social studies. History and related topics are full of connections. Identifying patterns is not only necessary, but a great way to sort through and make sense of a ton of information. In fact, the common nature of most of these topics reflects that they’re all interconnected to begin with. For example, if you’re teaching U.S. history, it might be helpful to teach some of the philosophy topics which have influenced U.S. culture and government over the centuries. Or, if you’re teaching comparative government, teaching the history of specific nations in conjunction can make the development of governments much clearer.
- Don’t feel like you have to tackle it alone: There are some topics that are just hard to explain, plain and simple. Sometimes the best method is to seek outside help or supplements. Adding a little variety to the way your child is learning doesn’t hurt either.
Standard Deviants Accelerate is a great tool for supplementing your teaching. It simply fills in the blanks and reinforces learning, while keeping you aware of your child’s progress. With funny videos, interactive activities, and a program that adjusts to your child’s pace, it’s a great option for taking some of the weight off of your shoulders.