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Hands-on Learning Projects Engage All Types of Students

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From Our House to Yours

Hands-on projects in Creation to Christ bring history to life!
Hands-on Project of Roman Soldier
“R” Stands for “Roman” Soldier

Three days each week in Creation to Christ Emmett progressively works on a hands-on history project.  Projects closely correspond with the weekly history theme and give a creative outlet for him to express what he’s learned.  They use items I readily have on hand, and they are never the same from week to week.  Emmett adores his history projects!  In fact, he took these pictures himself this week.  He was so proud of his Roman decked out ‘soldier!’  His Roman soldier has a helmet, tunic, armour, belt, sandals, and travel pack equipment.  Emmett will not soon forget how a soldier in the Roman Empire was at all times ready for battle!

Hands-on projects engage every kind of learner!

It’s obvious hands-on projects engage children who are kinesthetic or tactile learners, who enjoy movement while learning.  But, did you know they also engage auditory learners, who enjoy talking about what they are learning?  They even engage visual learners, as they see what they create come to life!  Finally, social learners naturally enjoy getting to share their projects with us as moms.  So, every kind of learner benefits from hands-on projects!

Hands-on map drawings in World Geography bring history to life!
Hands-on Map Drawing in WG

World Geography provides a chronological approach to geography that is based on the history of exploration, discovery, and mapmaking.  It starts with the ancient cultures and ends with polar region exploration.  Ellen McHenry’s Mapping the World with Art gives step-by-step DVD instructions to help students make their own world map.  This is only one part of earning World Geography credit, however, it is one of Riley’s favorites!

Hands-on drawing of maps engages learners in a more memorable way!

As students study cartography and mapping through history, they connect in a more memorable way by making their own maps.  Riley understands first-hand how difficult it is to make maps.  This is something that cannot be learned from simply studying others’ maps!  As he reads about the struggles cartographers faced making maps, he can empathize with them.  It’s not easy to visualize that which you cannot aerially see.  Hands-on drawing helps him commit to memory what he is learning!

Hands-on Book of Centuries entries in U.S. History II bring history to life!
Hands-on Book of Centuries in U.S. II

U.S. History II marks the end of a 4-year journey of keeping a Book of Centuries.  Keeping a Book of Centuries is a Charlotte Mason hands-on skill that pairs well with high school students.  Printing, cutting, coloring, and gluing timeline entries helps students gain a  mental picture of individuals and events within a century.  Wyatt wanted me to snap a picture of this today because he ‘had an entire 2-page spread’ completed!

Hands-on compilation of a Book of Centuries gives high school students a keepsake of the history studied in high school!

Compiling this Book of Centuries provides a hands-on way to create a keepsake of history that has been studied.  This helps students commit to memory the overall flow of history, rather than memorize individual unconnected facts.  I like how the Book of Centuries is handmade and not just a preprinted timeline chart someone else made professionally.  Wyatt has made reference to keeping his Book of Centuries handy after graduating, just as a chronological resource.  Now that is truly a special high school keepsake from his time spent studying history!  My quizzes I took in history never made their way into my ‘have to have reference resources’ post high school.  I’m so glad Wyatt has something to show for his years of high school history he cares enough to keep.  This is just more reason to keep meaningful hands-on learning a part of Heart of Dakota from start to finish!

In Christ,


P.S. To read more about what other homeschool moms are saying about our hands-on history projects, click here!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Stephanie

    Hi Julie –

    I was just curious regarding Creation to Christ and what grade/range that your son is tackling this particular guide. My son is 12 and we are just starting Creation to Christ mid-year this year.


    1. Hi Stephanie! My son is 11 yo right now, and he is loving CTC! It took him a little while to grow into it though. Just yesterday, he looked back to his first unit of his CTC Notebook and blushed, saying, “Mom, my writing was NOT neat back then, was it?!?” I told him his writing was just fine, but it sure was better now! That’s the beauty of HOD’s “front-loaded” guides. Kiddos start the skills they need to work on right away on Day 1, but then they get better and better at them all year long! Progress is just totally evident. I bet your son will thoroughly enjoy CTC too – it is a mature guide with many important skills being taught!

  2. Stephanie

    Thank you so much!

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