Homeschooling can be a daunting prospect for parents. However, it can also be a rewarding gift to the child that is homeschooled because a personal touch and flair can be added to the education process, especially where something such as teaching about the Presidents of the United States comes in. There are many ways to make learning about the lives and history of the great men that have led the country exciting and fun.
The first tip is to not be afraid to learn more about them yourself. After all, if you are going to teach it, you should know it without having to look in a book and read verbatim from someone else’s notes about the men elected to the office. Go to the library and pick up several books on individual Presidents, then look up accompanying information online and create your own notes about them.
A good way to focus on a President is to do a display of photos you have printed off of each one, along with three by five cards with pieces of information on them and illustrations of important events all glued onto a poster board backing, thus creating a poster collage of information on each one of the men. Include a card with kid-friendly websites and book titles listed that give more information about them, and ask the child to come up with two or three facts about each one that is not listed on the poster that they found on the internet or in a book. This includes the child in the search for information and can give them a feeling of being a part of the learning process instead of merely absorbing information that is presented to them.
Another way to spark a child’s interest in learning about a President is to have a “birthday party” for each of them as their birthdays roll around during the year. While the two most prevalent birthdays in the United States for celebrating the birth of Presidents have been Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays, that should not prevent a celebration on March eighteenth of Grover Cleveland’s birthday, for example. Bake or purchase cupcakes and sing “Happy Birthday”, then eat the cupcakes while you talk about the President you are honoring that day. This will break up the usual monotony of learning and give the child something to look forward to doing, since the dates can easily be marked on a calendar in preparation for the experience.
Adding some information about how each of the Presidents lived as children before growing up to become the Commander-in-Chief is an additional way to add to the fun of learning and teaching the child about the Presidents. Talk about other events that occurred in the lives of Americans during the same time frame, how the people lived, how they ate, the clothes they wore as children, the toys and games that entertained them. There is an entire world of possibilities open for teaching children about the history of the Presidents, and it is only limited by lack of imagination.