Friday, October 2, 2020

How Can You Supplement Your History Curriculum?

Text: How Can You Supplement Your History Curriculum? background blue circles; A Mom's Quest to Teach Logo

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There are so many fun and educational ways you can supplement your homeschool history curriculum. I love history. In fact, I can't remember a time that I did not enjoy visiting historical sites, reading about history, or watching history movies (both fiction and non-fiction). Therefore, it is quite easy for me to recommend many different options to supplement your homeschool history curriculum.

Visit History 

So many of my vacations with my mom, before I was married, involved touring historical locations (like Eckley Miners' Village Museum). This is probably one of the easiest ways to supplement your history curriculum. All you need are time and some money because you will often find tour guides, park rangers, and others at each site who will be able to help teach you and your homeschooled children new facts and information. Many places will even allow you to participate in living history by using tools of the time period, trying on period clothing, or creating a memento to take home.

text: Eckley Miners' Village Museum; A Mom's Quest to Teach; photo of village

Watch History 

Text: A Mom's Quest to Teach: How Can You Supplement Your History Curriculum? photo of Go to the Head of the Class game; care made of wood; hand-made shieldAnother very easy way to supplement your homeschool history curriculum is with documentaries and movies. If you attended public school, you might remember the television being wheeled into the classroom to watch a documentary borrowed from the school library or perhaps from your teacher's own collection. I am old enough to remember a few of my teachers sharing slide presentations with us. While not all documentaries and movies are created equal, there is a great selection available. One of our favorites is Drive Thru History® with Dave Stotts. There are quite a few series in which Dave Stotts takes viewers on a journey through history like those listed:

  • Drive Thru History® Ancient History 
  • Drive Thru History® American History 
  • Drive Thru History® The Holy Land 
  • Drive Thru History® The Gospels 
  • Drive Thru History® Acts to Revelation 

In addition to documentaries, movies can also be wonderful to incorporate into your homeschool history curriculum. From movies that are not highly accurate to those that are written and try to stick the facts more, there are different learning opportunities. For example, for high school homeschooled children, you may wish to view the movie Gettysburg, read the book, and visit the site to compare and contrast the accuracies and inaccuracies. In addition to this movie, many others focus on the American Civil War, including two television series: North and South and The Blue and Gray. These both follow many fictional characters but provide a sense and a feeling for the time period with costumes, foods, and other details.

Drive Thru History® DVDs

Listen & Play Through History 

If your children enjoy music, you might want to research the different genres of music based upon time periods. There are many different ways to approach supplementing your history curriculum with music. Previously I shared how you can study the American Civil War through Stephen Foster's "Better Times are Coming." And don't forget to listen to recorded speeches, watch clips of historical events recorded live, or view home movies to see what was life like in a particular time period.

  • Learn to play songs from a particular time period 
  • Learn to sing songs from a particular time period 
  • Research different musical instruments that may no longer be played today 
  • Listen to the music of the era of history you are studying 
  • Interpret the lyrics written to learn more about the historical time 

Why not play a game? There are many different games inspired by history and ones that incorporate history into their play. You may wish to purchase games already made and designed like Egyptians, Made for Trade, or even Go to the Head of the Class (which covers multiple subject areas), or perhaps you might want to make your own file folder games like those offered by Home School in the Woods.

Egyptians board game

How Will You Supplement Your History Curriculum? 

Have you discovered any new ideas to incorporate into your history curriculum? Even if you are using a boxed curriculum, there is always room for additional supplements. Some even have items like literature packages or hands-on projects. We are using the literature package that goes along with Our Star-Spangled Story from Notgrass History. We have also used hands-on kits from Sonlight in previous years.


  1. Art projects are a fun way to engage kids as well.

    1. Yes! I was just reading a post today where the mom has her children draw out what they studied in history before they write about it. I thought was a great way to incorporate multiple subjects.

  2. I love this! History field trips are a family favorite here. We are so excited that our museums and such finally opened back up last week.

  3. What a good idea to put all these helps in one list. Really brings history alive to view the different aspects and pieces of it.

  4. I have the Story of the World books and Activity Guide, the kids seem to have fun listening and doing the projects. Drive thru History is a fun way to show history.

  5. Supplementing history I find to be quite easy.

    1. For those who enjoy history - definitely. I think those who did like it as a kid sometimes have problems.