History is a record of important events that have happened in the past. The study of history lays the foundation for a better future as we learn why our society is the way it is today, about our ancestor’s actions and their consequences, and about human struggles, deprivations and triumphs. It also helps us learn several life lessons. By studying history, we not only learn about the story behind our origins and get to appreciate our culture and heritage, but we also learn about the cultural history of other communities.
But, school children often find history boring. They feel that they need to study the subject only to pass examinations. This could be because of our educational system or the general obsession with science and mathematics. As a result, children fail to appreciate the subject and do not understand how its study can contribute to long-term human and social development. Read on to find out how you can make history interesting for your child.
Travel to historical places
A good way to get your child to become interested in history is to visit places of historical importance. If you find it difficult to plan frequent tours to other cities, try to visit historical sites within your city, as and when you can. Start a blog and upload photographs or videos you capture during these visits or make a scrapbook on the city’s history. These activities will help your child look at the subject in a new light, which will encourage her to take more interest in the subject.
Work on creative history projects together
In most schools, social science exhibitions are organised every year to help students explore their creativity through the installation of models, which include historical monuments and other aspects associated with the history of cities and civilizations. Make sure that your child takes active part in these events. Visit these exhibitions and think of ideas for history projects that you can help him do at home. When you engage your child in these activities, he will tend to remember these facts better.
Watch historical films and documentaries together
Introduce your child to educational documentaries related to history through the Internet or television. In addition, you can also make sure your child watches news reels related to history shown on television. This will enable your child to learn about important events in history and increase his knowledge in the subject rather than just focussing on scoring better in examinations.
Teach your child about important historical figures
Learning about people and their contributions in the past may be more interesting for your child than knowing about events. Make your child stick pictures of social reformers, political leaders, kings and other historical figures and write about their contributions in short in a book. She can also listen to famous speeches. For younger children, you can organise fancy dress competitions in the neighbourhood with ‘People From History’ as the theme.
Encourage learning life lessons from history
This is especially useful for older children, who would have developed the ability to think rationally and be able to appreciate the nuances of a subject. Help your child understand the connections between past events and present ones. Hold frequent discussions on how history tends to repeat itself by giving examples of behaviour patterns, decisions of past rulers and that of modern day administrators, and the consequences of their actions. By doing this, you will help him appreciate the importance of learning crucial life lessons from history.
Studying history can be rewarding for your child’s career. If she develops an affinity for the subject and decides to major in it, then there are several career opportunities she can consider later. Archaeology, research, textbook writing, journalism, documentary film-making, teaching, civil services, heritage management and museum curation are some options. Besides, knowledge in history can be useful if your child decides to pursue disciplines like literature, sociology, political science or mass communication.
With these tips, make your child’s study of history enjoyable, fruitful and memorable.
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