The following post is from Jennifer Burke, a lifelong educator: 12 Ways to Make Social Studies Fun
See all of the Homework Helps posts here.
History and geography (Social Studies) are a passion for some and a pain for others. Most children are somewhere in-between and need a little boost when learning about the world.
Try some of these ideas:
1. Make a timeline. When studying a person or a period in history, it will help your child see how one event flows into another.
2. Show your child how to create a crossword puzzle. Working with the facts will help them retain more details.
3. Watch a video of the event or time period. A picture is truly worth a thousand words.
4. Put a map on the wall. Use sticky notes to mark names and dates where events occurred.
5. Make an acrostic when trying to memorize a list. Take the first letter of each sentence or name and write it vertically. Then insert the details. For example, to remember the first six presidents of the US, write WAJMMA down the side of a paper. Then fill in: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and Adams.
6. “Chunk” the material. Help your son or daughter organize the information into segments. Then, work on one group of details at a time.
7. Study over time. Ask your child’s teacher about upcoming topics. Cover just a little each night, then review periodically. It’s much more beneficial than cramming in volumes of information.
8. Read background information to fill in your child’s understanding gaps. Librarians can help you find good books for your student’s grade level.
9. Have your child teach you what they’re learning. Ask questions that are relevant to the topic and help them find the answer if they don’t know.
10. Let your child make a word search for you to solve that includes important names and places.
11. Role play. Have your child pretend to be the person being studied. Let your child use their notes as you ask them relevant details about “their” lives.
12. Create a pretend newspaper online. Just typing in the facts will cement more of the details into your child’s memory.
How do your children get ready for a history, geography, or civics test?
|Jennifer is passionate about children and education. She homeschooled her two sons for five years, established and directed a Christian school in Maryland for 20 years, and currently teaches in a public school in a Chicago suburb. She loves investing in relationships and delights in every moment that she spends with her family.