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Roadschooling | Challenging ourselves to learn about European History

Roadschooling | Challenging ourselves to learn about European History

Besides all the family adventures and fun filled days, there are as many opportunities to immerse ourselves in the differing cultures and histories of the places we’ve visited. As both girls have been homeschooled across this ‘Year in Europe’, we’ve amassed a number of lessons that we’ve taught across Europe – for more information, why not visit our Educational Explorers page..

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But today was all about history, or to be more precise ‘European History from 12,000BC to the present day’… so no small task!!! Across our journey, we have been contacted regularly by other families wanting to know how easy it is to homeschool.. whilst we would never profess to be the best, we have tried to use our collective teaching experience to condense information down using techniques that we might not have been able to do in a classroom… for example, writing a war poem whilst actually sitting in a trench near Flanders Field or visiting the Mequito in Spain to see differing religions and their places of worship

 

Both girls have loved these opportunities to work together, learning as a family and today proved no different… there was so much to cover I’d decided the night before to concentrate on 3 main themes…. Religion, Empires & Significant Periods (i.e Dark Ages, Italian Renaissance)

 

The next focus was how to include as much of our travels as possible, in order to bring this all to life i.e could we mention about the growing ‘city republics’ of Venice, Pisa, Amalfi and Genoa as we’d visited these earlier in the trip, or could we mention the rise of Britain via it’s Industrial Revolution or even the French Revolution since we’d celebrated Bastille Day at Villandry last month..

 

Timing is crucial as both girls need something to lead onto after a topic, so our next place works brilliantly as it is the Dordogne… one of the most crucial ‘prehistoric’ sites in Europe with some wonderful cave paintings at Lascaux.. Then comes the research… I’d found some great 3-5mins clips via the internet… we’ve found both girls enjoy these as they help give a background which can then be discussed and expanded on… and I’d created a brief timeline that could show the girls how Europe’s history has altered since it’s first real settlers some 14,000 years ago…

 

The actual teaching is just great fun as it seems to flow, both girls bring memories from the trip into the lesson… we try to find interesting ways to break up the lessons… sweet challenges or memory games… and we even taught the ‘Age of Reason’ as two opposing football teams (one called ‘Logic, Reason & Science and the other ‘Religion’…)

For us this journey has to be about challenging ourselves (physically but always together as a family) but also an opportunity to experience learning together (so in this instance Catherine took a full part in the lesson just like the girls and created her own timeline)… next week will be maths so it will be her turn to demystify some of the maths problems that both girls love to take on….Pythagorus Theorem here we come…

 

Arcachon

so where did we park the bus for the night?

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About The Author

Richard

Ever wanted to pack your bags, just jump in a motorhome and go off and explore Europe as a family? Well, that’s exactly what my family has done since September 2015. Visiting 35 European countries, travelling over 54,000 miles and grabbing over 450 family experiences on the way… enjoying Bobsleigh in Norway, Climbing into Mt Etna in Sicily or Kayaking the River Dordogne.

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