It is never too early to encourage your child to love the study of history. From baby and toddlerhood into the pre- school years, reading historical stories together sets the stage for a fascinating
journey for a child.
Real stories from the past do more than
entertain a preschool child; they teach
them lessons that they can study, introduce
them to activities they can participate in,
and they lay a foundation for further exploration.
Dictionary.com defines history as: a
branch of knowledge dealing with past
events; a continuous, systematic narrative
of past events as relating to a particular
people, country, period, person, etc., usually written as a chronological account; and
the record of past events and times, especially in connection with the human race.
Using this as a framework allows you to
use history to teach about geography, other
population groups, and the world.
In my opinion, you don’t need a cur-
riculum to teach history to your preschool
child. You need books—lots and lots of
books! The Bible is a great introduction to
early history. Use a translation you enjoy
reading, and read to your child. Hearing
stories about Adam, the Ark, and Moses
sets the stage for an introduction into the
study of Christianity.
Introduce the history of your family to
your child. Tell stories about their grandparents and older relatives—especially about
what life was like when they were young.
This will introduce them to the past, and
they can talk to someone that lived in the
past (history.) Include stories about what
life was like when you were young.
3 I still
marvel at the surprise I see from preschoolers when they hear I grew up before the microwave, cellphone, or answering machine.
It is possible that their great grandparents
grew up without a car, running water, or a
An inexpensive reading option to con-
sider is the Scholastic “If You…” series
4 They are well illustrated, easy
to read, and hold even a wiggly child’s
attention. They are stated as for the four to
ten-year-old child, so they lend themselves
well to multi-aged story time. There are sev-
eral bloggers that write about the benefits of
using these books to teach history concepts.
Stories such as the Little House series by
Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Anne of Green
Gables series by L. M. Montgomery are
great examples of historical fiction. These
books have been treasured by thousands
of children around the world, and reading them will give a good background to a
particular time period that you can build
upon. Also consider the G. A. Henty books
for older preschoolers. (Although my three
year old loved them, not all preschoolers
find them interesting.)
I am a huge Charlotte Mason fan and use
many of her principles in my home. She felt
the study of history was vital and should
be taught in cycles. She believed in reading
living books, narrating back what was read
to you, and keeping a “Book of Centuries.”
There are numerous free and paid resources to this method; just search Charlotte
History for Preschoolers
In my opinion, you don’t need a curriculum to teach history to your
preschool child. You need books—lots and lots of books!