Home School Reflections: Teaching My Weakest Subject- History

This post is sponsored by Notgrass Company.  All thoughts are my own.
I am not a history teacher. History was one of the subjects that I often struggled with because it didn't grasp my attention. This is also true for government. Textbooks filled with words often lost me unless there was a story between the pages that caught my eye. So you can imagine that this truth has made an impact on our homeschool. We avoided history textbooks until last year when we reviewed Notgrass Company's America the Beautiful . I had to put on a brave face because I was afraid that my apprehension towards textbooks would spill over onto my girls. Luckily, the homeschool history curriculum from Notgrass Company made it easy for me to get over my apprehension.
studying Uncle Sam and You

This year, we are learning about U. S. government using Notgrass Company's Uncle Sam and You.  Since we took our two week break a few weeks ago, I found that we had to slowly ease back into our subjects.  Transitions are necessary no matter how long you have been a homeschooling family or how much your kids enjoy learning at home.  It takes a bit of time whether it's a day or week to find the groove you once had before taking that break. Although I now am less apprehensive about teaching history and/or government, I still have to ease back into because it is one of my weaknesses.

Three Ways I Help Myself Be a Better Teacher in My Weakest Subject

  1. I use curriculum.  Before using Notgrass history curriculum, we read a variety of historical fiction books.  This method worked somewhat.  The problem that we had using only historical fiction books is that we tended to only read books that interested us.  This left out many other areas of history and limited my daughters' knowledge base.  Using curriculum helps me to be a better teacher because it gives me a guideline to follow.  It includes information that I often know little about.
  2. I try to mix it up a bit.  We do most of our work at the kitchen table.  One of my daughters thrives on routine and working in the same space.  I don't thrive on routine as much as she does so I find ways to mix it up a bit for the sake of the teacher.  Oftentimes, we think of the comfort of our children, but if we are teaching them and desire to teach them well then we do have to think about our teaching styles also.  I stay consistent in completing our history lessons on the same days of the week around the same times, but I have found changing our location is good for me.  Most days we do work from the kitchen table, but some days we find a nice spot on the floor to work through the day's lesson.
  3. I acknowledge my weakness and put forth effort to engage.  As with most curriculum, I can easily encourage my daughters to work through it independently, but I chose not to use this method.  I know that if I fall into the mindset that this is simply not my thing, I would totally disengage.  Instead I acknowledge where the disconnect came from, and work to pursue history as if it is now my best friend.  I actually enjoy learning alongside the girls.  We enjoy doing the projects together.  I find our conversations from Uncle Sam and You interesting because my youngest daughter has really been questioning the idea of government and wanting to understand "who" is the government. 
Working on vocabulary from Uncle Sam and You

Working on vocabulary from Uncle Sam and You

Home School Tip of the Week:

We all have weaknesses as parents and teachers, but we don't have to allow those weaknesses to control our learning environment.  If you have a hard time teaching a subject, enlist help whether it's purchasing curriculum or signing your child up for a class to ensure he or she is taught the subject. 

How do you manage teaching your weakest subject?