instead gave ourselves time! What was the
rush, after all?
We allowed ourselves time to plop in, not
just skitter across, to get the whole memorable story, thus reducing need for repetition.
The boys’ favorites were biographies which
showed the entire life of significant persons,
especially their formative experiences, their
teachability (or lack thereof), the challenges overcome, the hard tasks accepted, the
lessons learned, to reach their callings. This
was much more than the mere snapshots of
notable deeds I’d had in school, which implied that historical impact was reserved for
some otherworldly lot, rather than actually
being the reward for perseveringly walking
a challenging road . . . available to any willing to pursue their God-given callings. Our
kids long to be difference-makers, so let’s
show them how to do just that!
Take time for gripping books which take
your kids back. Let them grasp connections
and cause-and-effect. Let them vicariously
experience how civilizations seek truth (or
reject it) and how that changes everything.
In other words, give your kids time to immerse in wisdom. Isn’t that our goal in
teaching history? Don’t we want more for
our kids than we had in school, the (
forgettable) knowledge of skipping across the
surface of history? Can’t we go so deep that
its lessons are internalized forever?
My kids came alive when our mechanical, past-obsessed, passive, he-said-she-did,
factoid “history class” blasted wide open!
They began their journeys toward adulthood in a vivid way. History became a golden opportunity—on a platinum platter—
for my kids to see how their heroes become
servant-leaders . . . and how they could too!
Their zealous craving for personal purpose
was finally being fed, not in scanty “after
hours” time, but during our daily home educating! They watched boys like themselves
romp the woods, do their chores, attack
their studies, and crave input from their
elders—eager to stockpile the truth which
the world so needs—on their way to being
liberators, inventors, and thinkers.
Our kids want their lives to count. They
want more than a transcript, especially
when they realize history is not human-driven, but God-driven. They want to serve
God’s kingdom too! We have the privilege
of making that happen!
Michelle Howard Miller is a veteran home edu-
cator, author, columnist, speaker, consultant, and
librarian who operates “living books” libraries in
Michigan and Florida, including the first-known
of its type. She wrote the deep, award-winning,
literature-based curriculum TruthQuest History
( truthquesthistory.com) to probe history
for spiritual truth. Michelle offers home-ed
consultations and personalized book recom-
mendations to families (and schools), and
consults for a foundation on living books.
Michelle graduated summa cum laude from the
University of Alabama, has long served in local
churches and educational groups, and now has
seven cute grandsons!
Jay Wile Science
A History of Us
Diana Waring History
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