Do your kids hate social studies – history, geography, you-name-it? Well, you’re in good company! I’ve found that even the most motivated, capable, and easy-going students can dislike a subject at one point or another for a variety of reasons. The good news is that you can help – and it’s easier than you think!
Why do your children hate social studies?
Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. You pick up a book and you just can’t bring yourself to finish it because it simply doesn’t interest you. As an adult, we just set aside the book and pick up another; however, when the book that bores you is your main textbook, then that’s a problem! Many of us grew up using traditional textbooks so it can be difficult to imagine an alternate way to learn about social studies.With unit studies, children aren’t just memorizing names and dates – they’re seeing history and geography as a whole. In truth, this is how many college classes approach subjects!
Albert Einsten once said, “Never memorize something you can look up”.
How right he is! Your children can look up the dates of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency in countless sources. Are they able to tell you how his difficult childhood contributed to the great leader he later became? With unit studies, they are – and it’s all because they read a fascinating story detailing the hardships in Mr. Lincoln’s daily life. (Did you know? Although his family had very little money, Honest Abe once walked 3 miles to return 6 cents to a storekeeper who accidentally gave him too much change!)
They don’t see why it matters
I remember asking in high school math, “When will I ever use this in real life?” and my teacher gave me an answer that I’ll never forget. She said, “You won’t. You won’t use these formulas in real life, but you will use the logic skills that you gain in this class every day”. Math instantly became more important to me and, as I then paid more attention in class, even easier!
It’s much easier for children to see how unit studies relate to “real life”. The Passport Geography series takes you on a virtual trip to each country, where you not only see the sites, but experience the culture, as well. Students learn how to read maps, travel within countries, and speak a little of the language. Plus, each one-week study is much cheaper than a plane ticket! 😉
They feel incompetent
How many times have you heard, “I just can’t do it! I’m not _____ enough!” only to see your child later do exactly what they believed they could not? Even as adults, we struggle with mental blocks like this.
If you think that you can’t, then you won’t. If you think that you can, then you will.
Unit studies are so flexible. They allow you and your children to pick and choose the topics that you find most interesting. As you help your children to build self-confidence by working on the topics that they enjoy, I am sure that you will find that they begin branching out and tackling new topics – until they’re completing entire unit studies because they want to!
If you’ve ever found yourself asking, “Why do my kids hate learning about _____?”, then leave a comment! Your fellow homeschool parents would love to hear how you overcame the problem – or happily offer advice if you’re still struggling!
Originally Posted on Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett Blog