Make Homeschool History More Fun with These Creative Ideas

Save or Share:

It’s always been a goal for me to keep FUN in our homeschool. 

That’s not to say that there have never been hard days or struggles, but I love experimenting with different ways to make learning fun. Whether it is a good book party or a history field trip, I love adventure.

And when we’re homeschooling, it’s good if we can play to our strengths. Making it fun to learn is definitely one of mine.

And so, I’ve made it a priority to bring the fun to homeschooling history.

You'll find 30 ways to make homeschool history more fun.

This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.

Homeschooling History: Our Experience

The way many of us learned history in school was a bit … dry. 

Lots of textbooks. Maybe a few maps. Lots of dates that we forgot right after the test, right?

So it was important to me to do it differently in my homeschool. Not only did I want to make homeschool history fun, but I wanted to find ways to bring it to life and make it memorable.

From using engaging literature resources, to planning memorable field trips, to creating history-themed art projects, there are so many ways to make history enjoyable for your crew.

Homeschool History: 30 Ideas to Make Learning Fun

Remember when I said that it’s important when we homeschool to play to our strengths? 

Mine is helping you bring fun to your homeschool! As a result, below you will find 30 ideas to bring fun to homeschooling history.

But, think of this like a choose your own adventure (remember those books?)

You absolutely don’t have to do ALL of these to create memories and keep history engaging. Pick what works for you!

1. Learn as a Family

First, we always made history a whole-family subject.

Learning about the same time period at the same time meant we could chat casually over dinner or in the car.

Some historical topics may be too much for younger kids, but remember, usually as you continue homeschooling, eras wrap around again and again. You can continue to dive deeper into more challenging topics as your kids age.

There are also some resources listed below that can help your older kids study subjects more in-depth on their own like classes, books and more.

Making homeschool history more fun by learning together as a family.

2. Make It a Mystery

If you have mystery lovers in your family, this “Unsolved Mystery from History” book series is so well done.

Books include:

The books are by mother-daughter duo Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple, who also paired up to write Bad Girls: Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, Thieves and Other Female Villains. (Recommended for teens).

3. Draw It

You Are an Artist Chalk Pastels (afflink) offers a fun way to learn history. Their I Drew It Then I Knew It Series helps students learn history through engaging drawing lessons with artist Nana.

Here is a FREE lesson to try, and you can get access to tons of I Drew it Then I Knew It Lessons if you join the Chalk Pastel Clubhouse. (afflink)

Check out these fun drawing lessons for history:


4. Add Friends

One of the best things we did to keep homeschool history fun was to ADD FRIENDS!

You don’t have to be in a formal co-op to do history with pals. You can simply recruit a family or two.

I typically organized a group of 5 or so families who agreed to meet every three weeks. Each family would do all of the reading at home but meet together for arts, crafts, food, games, and fun in the time period (or geographic location) that we were studying.

Typically moms paired up to plan the events at our time together so the load was shared all year long.

Making homeschool history fun but planning craft days with friends.

5. Make It Musical

Listening to music from the time period you’re studying can help create an immersive experience.

You can search YouTube or try the Library of Congress for all kinds of amazing history resources. 

You can find collections such as this one that celebrate America’s history.

Here’s a helpful tool to help you find a musical from the time period you are studying.

7. Use YouTube and Movies

Oh, YouTube – the many ways you help out a homeschool parent!

There are SO MANY great history channels on YouTube, and of course, you can always search for individual videos about whatever you’re studying.

Maybe it’s just an average Tuesday, and one of your kids is going to get a cold drink and asks “How did people keep stuff cold before refrigerators?” Of course, there’s a (fascinating) video for that!

One of our favorite channels has always been Crash Course, but a couple of other fun channels to try are:

There are so many great history movie options, including War World 2 movies that you can research and enjoy.

6. Take Field Trips

Field trips are just the best. There’s nothing like visiting a nearby living history museum, a historical site or even stopping by the nearest cool monument.

Field trips help make homeschool history fun and they bring learning to life. Best of all, they count as doing school for the day!

Do a little research some rainy afternoon to find the best historic sites near you (try Googling “historic places near me,”) and then hold onto that list.

Later, you can use it as a resource any time you begin planning to study a new time period.

Make homeschool history fun by taking field trips and bring learning to life.

8. American Girls

You might be thinking … that store in the mall isn’t going to help my kids learn history … 

But guess what? The American Girl historical books are well-written, and excellent on audio.

They even have Step Into Reading versions for younger students/emerging readers.

9. Costumes

Now, I’m not saying you have to pull out the sewing machine. 

Or … buy a sewing machine.

But if your kids are inspired, you can easily pull together historic costumes with a trip to the thrift store and a few safety pins.

The key is to let your kids take the lead, and yes, a Christmas tree skirt can double as a fur shawl! 

Homeschooling history is more fun when you use costumes.

10. Make a Timeline

It’s a pretty classic homeschool history project to make a timeline, but keep in mind, that a timeline doesn’t have to include a ton of work.

You can tape up Washi Tape around a room or down a hallway and add events with their date on sticky notes ⬅️ (this brand really does seem to stick best).

As you learn about more events, simply move the sticky notes around.

The idea of a timeline is just to help kids track the order of events and find correlations. It doesn’t have to be complicated. 

You can also try this online timeline creator.

11. Try Mixing in an Online Class

If you have teens, you can try adding in one of these online history classes.

Here is a resource for online secular history

12. Go Medieval

Looking at studying Medieval history?

I have a whole bunch of ideas for homeschooling Medieval history.

Make homeschool history come alive with Medieval history.

13. Nathan Hale is a Genius

Nathan Hale has figured out how to make history engaging, especially if your kids are OK with a bit of gore.

His historical graphic novels have become New York Times bestsellers, and he even has a book called Let’s Make History, about how to create your own graphic novels.

Our family did a book club based on his book Treaty, Trenches, Mud and Blood.

NOTE: These books are recommended for readers 8 and up by the publisher, but you know your kids best.

14. Embrace Holidays

Holidays mean traditions and history. There are so many ways to celebrate the holidays with hands-on history. This post has plenty of ideas for common and less common holidays.

Milk Chocolate Day? Learn a bit about Milton Hershey

In fact, there’s a whole Unit Study about him!

Talk Like a Pirate Day? You can bet there’s a book for that.

15. Go For It with Graphic Novels

Sometimes parents ask themselves if kids are really learning from graphic novels.

Of course they are!

Here is how you can use graphic novels in your homeschool and feel like they really count.

And this list of more than 150 graphic novels includes many that could be used for history, like this one about the Boston Tea Party or this one about the Titanic. 

(And don’t forget about Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales books!)

16. Time Travel

Time travel books can offer history with a twist, and if you have a child who is a fant of time travel, they can learn so much through reading.

From books like The Magic Tree House series, to the Ranger in Time series, there are lots of series that help kids imagine different time periods.

Sports fans might like the Baseball Card Adventure series and the Mouse, Geronimo Stilton, now has a Journey Through Time series.

This list of time travel books just for tweens and teens has plenty of options. Try A Traveller in Time and Charlotte Sometimes for you older history buffs.

Books like The time Museum make it easier to enjoy history.

17. Virtual Field Trips

Wouldn’t it be great if we could travel around the world and visit museums and historic sites?

Luckily, there are now lots of opportunities to visit historical landmarks through virtual field trips.

18. Cook Like a Pioneer (or other time periods)

If your family loves making meals and snacks from the time period you are studying, there are many options for cookbooks.

Try books like:

The Little House Cookbook
The First American Cookbook
The Medieval Cookbook

Ancient Roman Cooking
The Fanny Farmer 1896 Cookbook
Grandma’s Wartime Kitchen

19. Add Audio

Whether your voice gets tired at the end of the school day, or you want to be able to keep everyone learning while running to the orthodontist, an audio book is a great solution.

There are so many great historical audiobooks like this one, about the fight for women’s voting rights.

20. Binge Biographies

Biographies are such a great way to explore history. Reading a person’s story can bring us closer to the time period.

Many of the books on this list of biographies for middle schoolers are a fantastic choice for your homeschool.

The Waldock Way also offers unit studies on historical figures from Abraham Lincoln to The Wright Brothers based on the Who Was series of books.  

22. What Was?!

The Waldock Way also has a new series of unit studies based on the What Was series of books!

These books are another great addition to your elementary history studies and a great way to make homeschool history fun!

Find 30 ideas to make homeschool history more fun for all ages.

23. Games

There are tons of history games from the Timeline series to Ticket to Ride (our family favorite) to many of the Professor Noggin games.

Include these in your weekly routine or just pull them out on a rainy day.

You can get a whole FREE printable list of history games here.

History and Geography games make it more fun to homeschool history.

24. The Map as History

The Map as History is the largest online collection of animated historical maps.

It allows you to explore the Bible in History, Ancient Greece, the Middle Ages, the Cold War and more.

25. Pitch in on Puzzles 

If you are a family of puzzle people, it can be fun to work on a puzzle that depicts a landmark or famous historical moment from the time period you’re studying.

A few great examples:

26. Make a Model

Another fun way to get hands-on with history is through 3-D puzzles or models.

Try building:

In addition to building models that make homeschool history more fun, check out these intricate books by David Macaulay. They are engaging and detailed. Be sure to check out all of his titles!

27. Pick a Podcast

Podcasts are great for when you’re in the car, on a trip, during breakfast or lunch, or just need a break from talking!

Here are a few winners:

(As always, preview and use your judgment to determine which podcasts/episodes are best for your family.)

28. Add Apps

There’s nothing that says that some screen time can’t be part of learning history.

These are just a few options to look for in your app store:

  • BBC History Magazine
  • Timeline – World History
  • Civilisations AR
  • History Adventures – World of Characters
  • History in Pictures
  • The Presidents – Flash Cards
  • Kings and Queens – 1,000 Years of British History

29. Get to the Roots

Learning Latin and Greek roots might not seem like the most obvious to study history, but actually, this is a classic way to learn more.

Word Up is a series that teaches kids Latin and Greek root words and includes plenty of history

It’s also really funny!

30. Genealogy

Genealogy can be a great way to study history as a family and make personal connections to the past.

You can begin simply by pulling out old photos and starting a family tree.

From there, if genealogy catches on, you can sign up for a program like Ancestry.com, and search resources like the Ellis Island Passenger Search.

More History Resources For Your Homeschool

There are so many ways to make history fun, engaging, and memorable.

Check out these additional helpful history posts:

How to Easily Include Women’s History in Your Morning Time

Medieval History for Middle Schoolers

The Ultimate Guide to Online Homeschool Classes for Teens

Online Secular History for Your Homeschooler

Teaching Through The Holidays

Treaty, Trenches, Mud and Blood: A Book Review and Book Club Guide

A Homeschool Parent Teaching World War I

How to Homeschool History Using Literature with BookShark

Engaging Hands-On History Lessons with Take Time for Art

Boys in the Boat: Homeschool Study and Book Club Ideas


Save or Share:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.