Confession time here...
I used to fall asleep during our homeschool history lessons!
Seriously, I FELL ASLEEP while reading our history lessons aloud to my kids!
I know what all of you homeschool moms are thinking right now..."Goodness, what curriculum were you using?"
You'd be right to assume the curriculum was boring, but you'd actually be wrong.
When we started out homeschooling we used Mystery of History for our first year of homeschooling which I honestly LOVED, especially since we were covering ancient history and I found their Biblical lessons scattered throughout the book to be amazingly deep and really enjoyed tying the Biblical events into other events of the time. It wasn't the perfect fit for my kids youngest, but my oldest loved the lapbooks and has always soaked up every history lesson ever in the history of well, history lessons in her life.
The next year we switched to Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer hoping to find a better fit for my son. Again, I LOVED the curriculum. Bauer has a beautiful way of telling the stories of history in an engaging manner while still giving plenty of details. It was wonderful.
This switch in curriculums is where the falling asleep problem began for me though. With Mystery of History we did the lapbooks and coloring pages, which again my oldest loved and my youngest didn't, so we were seated at the table and it was a more engaging experience that required more movement. When we switched to Story of the World I decided to forego the worksheets and such and I moved history lessons to the living room after lunch.
At 6 years old, my son was more of a kinesthetic learning...preferring to build EVERYTHING we read about in history out of Jenga blocks or Legos.
Great Wall of China - Jenga Blocks
Great Sphinx - Legos
Leaning Tower of Pisa - definitely Jenga Blocks
and so forth and so on. My daughter loved to just listen to the stories and then have deep conversations about all she learned and my son absorbed more while his hands were active during the readings. It was a great set up for everyone except me.
I kept falling asleep during our history lessons.
I woke up on more than one occasion covered with a blanket and every stuffed animal we owned. I remember vaguely waking once as sweet little hands lifted our history book out of my hands and hearing, "it's okay, Mommy, we understood it," before I drifted back off to sleep.
I was so frustrated. I liked history when I was in school, but other than a few incredible teachers, it was just REALLY boring. I did not want history to be boring for my kids! I wanted it to be rich and exciting. And I didn't think our curriculum was boring at all, in fact it was spectacular...but I couldn't stop falling asleep!
So what was the problem. Did you catch it up above? Once I realized it, it was so easy to fix.
I had moved our history lessons to after lunch and I sat down on the couch to read our lesson. Then I quickly became very groggy and even fell asleep. Not every day, but definitely more often than I would have liked.
So I changed up our schedule, moved history lessons to earlier in the day or later in the afternoon depending on how our day went and after lunch we took a recess to play outside. My body was just naturally calmer and honestly a tad tired by lunch time and all it took on most days was spending more time outside, being active, and enjoying the sunshine to wake me up and make the rest of our school day flow well. On the days that didn't work and I still felt tired, we all cuddled up on the couch, took a quick nap, and finished up school later in the afternoon when we were more refreshed.
We didn't need a new curriculum or anything like that. We just needed to move our history lessons to a different time during the day and Voila! Problem solved!
There you have it, my best tip for solving the problem of falling asleep during history lessons!
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out on Facebook or IG if there you have any questions for me regarding your homeschool history time!
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