Posted in Homeschool Information

Fun Schooling History

During week 3 of our new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m bringing you 5 days of fun schooling ideas for your home. Most of the ideas can be enjoyed now, but a few you can look forward to once things return to normal.

History is often the dry, dreaded class in a public school setting, but it doesn’t have to be in your homeschool! Here are some tips for fun schooling history in your homeschool.

Eat Through History

What did the Vikings eat? How about the Ancient Romans? What were popular dishes in the Medieval period? Many of these dishes are still eaten today in different parts of the world.

Have some fun in the kitchen with recipes from a book such as the Usborne Children’s World Cookbook, or look for recipes online. You may even find some of your historical dishes become family favourites! One of our favourites is a Viking fish dish we found on the Parks Canada site.

Include Primary Source Material

There is nothing like reading first-hand, personal accounts of wars and different times in history – using primary sources. These first-hand accounts can be so exciting, or at the very least eye-opening! Here is a great collection of primary source material from different periods in world history.

Read Historical Fiction

Historical fiction can bring history alive! While historical fiction isn’t all true, generally the setting and way of life will paint a good picture of the time period in a compelling way. The Book of Negroes is an excellent example (for older teens). I thoroughly enjoyed reading it myself and learned so much about slavery in the U.S. and Canada that I hadn’t known about before! Once you read the book, watch the miniseries. It was filmed here in Nova Scotia!

Enjoy Historical Arts, Crafts & Trades

There are so many arts, crafts, and trades that have been enjoyed over the centuries by different cultures around the world. Many of them are simple and can be done with items you already have around your home, such as the fibre arts. You may even be able to find local tradesman and artisans that will let your child try a historical art, such as glass blowing or working at the forge, like my son is doing here:

Fun Schooling history

History Through Song and Music Videos

It is so much fun to learn history through music! There are many terrific audios available to learn from and sing along to, such as the History Songs from Audio Memory and the Presidents’ Rap and the Prime Ministers of Canada from Sara Jordan. Bring them with you in the car for some “car schooling” fun. I learned more about our Canadian Prime Ministers  by listening to that one CD than in all my years of public school!

You can find a great example of fun music videos that teach all about history on the “historyteachers” channel on Youtube – for example, learn all about Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia set to Lady Gaga’s Pokerface!

History Dress Up Time!

Have your children dress up like a famous figure you have been studying. They can memorize and recite a speech or piece of writing that the famous person is most noted for. You can make it simple and use clothes or sheets you already have around the house, or teach sewing and make more elabourate costumes (check out Bluprint for some sewing help). Some heritage sites offer a chance to dress up, such as the Fortress of Louisbourg in Cape Breton:

fun schooling history

Integrated Learning

Another way to keep history interesting, is to study it in context. It doesn’t have to be a separate subject. Learn the relevant geography along with the history. Look at old historical maps and compare with present day maps. These black line maps to print out and label are a great resource. You may even want to use a unit study or an integrated curriculum such as Tapestry of Grace.

History doesn’t have to be boring! How do you make history fun in your homeschool? Please let me know in the comments below.

Love, Luck &


Please note: This article was originally published in May 2016 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I may make a few bucks to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Resources

5 Days of Canadian Social Studies – High School History

Welcome to the second day of 5 Days of Canadian Social Studies! Today I’m sharing Canadian resources for teaching high school history in your homeschool.

High School History

high school history
Canada: A People’s History is a 30 hour documentary series. The website includes episode summaries, a teacher’s guide, and a discussion forum to help you create an entire homeschool class. We borrowed the DVDs from our local library, but they are also available for purchase on the website.

high school history
Canadian History for Dummies is part of the fun but informative “for Dummies” series of books. This book can be a particularly good match for high schoolers (and parents) who think Canadian history is boring.

high school history
The Canada Year Book Historical Collection, part of the Statistics Canada website, contains information on families, economics, Canada at war, and more with tables, charts, maps, photos, and multimedia resources. A great reference for any Canadian studies or research papers.

Check out day one of 5 Days of Canadian Social Studies for elementary history resources for your homeschool.

Check out more blog series full of Canadiana at:

5 days of Canadiana Roundup

What are your favourite resources for Canadian high school history? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &


Please note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I make a few bucks to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Blog Hops/Walks, Resources

5 Days of Canadian Social Studies – Elementary History

5 Days of Canadian Social Studies

One of the most frequent questions Canadian homeschoolers ask is where to find Canadian resources. Join me for 5 days of Canadian social studies! I will share resources and curricula for learning all about Canadian history, geography, and government for elementary and high school students in your homeschool.

Let’s start with resources for elementary history!

Elementary History Resources

elementary history

Our Empire Story by H.E. Marshall, is a free online book that tells the story of the British Empire. The book begins with Canada, from the arrival of the vikings, to the story of Louis Riel. It makes a great read aloud for the elementary grades.

elementary history

The Story of Canada is an award winning book by Janet Lunn for ages 9-14.

elementary history

O Canada! Her Story is one of my favourite read alouds for elementary history. It is a great book full of fascinating stories about Canada, from a travelling school on a train car to the Dionne Quintuplets. Even I learned something new when we read this in our homeschool! (And I had a hand in copy editing a few of the stories, too).

elementary history

Expedition Canada is a one-week unit study/lapbook for Grades K-4. It includes history and geography study.

elementary history

Courage and Conquest: Discovering Canadian History by Donna Ward is a great resource for the early to middle school grades. It covers the history of Canada from its early settlement to Confederation.

Your young child can learn about the Canadian Charter of Rights with The Charter for Children. These books are available as physical or pdf/epub versions, individually and as a set. They are also available in French.

What are your favourite resources for Canadian elementary history? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &


This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy I make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

Please note: This article was updated for content and accuracy in March, 2022.

Posted in Resources

GEEK Schooling: Exploring History With Quantum Leap

Quantum leapWere you a fan of the Quantum Leap TV series in the late 80’s, early 90’s? Check out my post at Geek Schooling, I discuss how we enjoy exploring modern history in our homeschool through watching Quantum Leap! Check it out at Exploring History With Quantum Leap.

Love, Luck &



Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

Halifax: Historica Minutes Viewing at Spring Garden Library – Sept 23

Sunday, September 23rd from 2:30-3:30pm.

An afternoon of Canadian history, whistling and whooping…..view an incredible number of Historica Minutes: History by the Minute and play HERITAGE HULLABALOO!  These are the sometimes quite bizarre mini documentaries that give you Canadian history in bite size chunks. Bring a noisemaker along for when you hear a key phrase like, “Dr Penfield, I can smell burnt toast!”  We will give you a list of phrases for you to look out for, you will bring a whistle, kazoo, tambourine, trumpet or your very own loud whooping for when your hear the lines! Laugh AND learn at the very same time.


Check out the Facebook page for more information.

Love, Luck &

Posted in Resources, Reviews

TruthQuest History – Review

PhotobucketTruthQuest History provides Christian, literature-based history studies.  We received the TruthQuest History guide in pdf format for Ancient Greece.

Each guide includes (from the website):

  • Profound, sequential commentary
  • Vast, specific literature recommendations
  • Provocative ThinkWrite™ exercises

TruthQuest study guides are suggested for Grades 5-12, but you could incorporate all ages.  The Ancient Greece guide is 100 pages long and consists primarily of lists of books and descriptions, including suggested grade levels ranging from Gr 1-12.  There is a brief, informal introduction at the beginning of every section, along with questions to answer throughout.  I was able to easily transfer our guide to my iPhone so I could look up books on the go.Photobucket

The author writes in a very informal way, seemingly aimed at the student, but then will state information clearly intended for the parent.  This makes reading it aloud (which we enjoy doing in our homeschool) a bit confusing. (As an aside, I find the author’s abundant use of exclamation marks distracting).  My 13 year old son found it frustrating that the author assumes you have never even heard of the Greeks, much less know anything about them – the writing seemed “dumbed-down”.  Another thing I didn’t like, is that some of the books are recommended by the author only because she has seen them in catalogues – hardly a great way to choose a book to recommend.  And some titles are simply repeated under alternate headings.  There is, however, a comprehensive alphabetical list at the end of the book, and many of the recommended titles are ones we own, or books we have read from the library and enjoyed.

You can find samples of the 11 TruthQuest History guides offered here.  The guides run from $24.95-$34.95 US for print copies, and $19.95-$29.95 US for pdf versions.  Also available for purchase at the TruthQuest store are “Binder builders”, notebooking pages, and “Map/Timeline/Report Packages”.

To see what other families in the TOS Crew thought about TruthQuest History, click HERE.

Disclaimer: This product was received in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Posted in Resources, Reviews

Creek Edge Press Modern History – Review


Creek Edge Press provides a simple tool that brings together Classical, Montessori, and Charlotte Mason elements: Task Cards.

What are Task Cards?  Task Cards are simply cards with activities/assignments listed on them.  These can be used by multiple grades and are great for encouraging research and independent learning.  We received the Modern World Task Card Set in exchange for an honest review 🙂

PhotobucketWe were already working through Modern History in our homeschool when we received the Modern World Task Card Set, so I was just thrilled to receive it!  This set consists of cards covering Victorian England through to the beginning of the 21st century, in chronological order.  The accompanying book includes instructions for completing tasks, directions for preparation, and a guide for selecting books and resources to use throughout the course.  It is designed for use for Kindergarten through Grade 8.

We use a relaxed Classical approach to homeschooling, and these cards fit in beautifully.  We just jumped in right where we were at in history.  For my 13 year old son, I would hand him a card and ask him to do two or three activities of his choice.  He loved that, as he loves working independently.  For my 8 year old daughter, I chose with her and we worked on them mostly together.  As you can see by the task card pictured below, these cards cover quite a bit, from history to geography and culture, through: research, reading, map work, writing, vocabluary, time lines, and more.  Big events in history such as the World Wars involve more than one Task Card.  We used our Task Cards with an existing curriculum, and I believe they could easily be used to supplement any curriculum.  They can also be used as a stand-alone curriculum.
PhotobucketOther available Task Card sets include not only periods of history, but also science, music, art, and grammar (as a music teacher, I’m going to be checking out the Music & Composers set!).  Sets cost between $18 – 20.00 US, or you can save by ordering a complete set of history, music, etc.  Click here for a Creek Edge Press catalogue in pdf format.  When I tested out the shopping cart, shipping to Canada was $10.95 US for one set.  And if you live in the US, act now and get FREE shipping on orders of $36 + when you use the code: MidWinter

To see what other TOS Crew families thought of this and other Task Card Sets, click HERE.

Love, Luck &

Posted in Resources

Knowledge Quest E-book Sale – 50% off til Sept 30!

50% off on great e-books like…

  • Expedition Earth – only $14.98
  • O Canada! (great book to learn about Canada, even if your children ARE Canadian!) – only $7.48
  • Map-Trek – each title is just $7.48!
  • What Really Happened – each title is just $6.48!
  • and more!

I love Knowledge Quest’s books.  Take advantage of this fantastic sale, HERE!

Love, Luck &

Posted in Resources, Reviews

Griddly Games – Civilize This! – Review


Griddly Games has games for all ages.  Their philosophy is “to offer games that encourage social interation, learning, strategy and challenges that anyone can enjoy.”  Sounds like a match made in heaven for homeschoolers like me!  We are huge fans of boardgames in our home and homeschool.  We were delighted to receive Civilize This! in exchange for an honest review 🙂


As soon as I received Civilize This! I was immediately impressed by its quality.  The box is sturdy, and even has a strong magnetic closure.  The cards and die each have their own storage space, and the cards are sturdy and easy to read.  Rules are printed right on the box (no rule sheet to misplace!).  We opened it right up in our car after picking it up at the post office, and started playing it immediately.  My 7 year old daughter walked us through the rules and rolled the die when it was my turn (as I was driving).

Game play is simple.  There are 4 different Card categories: Wise Alec, Ancient, Medieval, and Modern.


Players role the die and the corresponding card is read.  Wise Alec cards include fun, often physical activities which gain points.  Ancient, Medieval, and Modern cards each include one question worth 3 points and one question worth 7 points.  The 3 pointers are easier, and my 7 year old was able to answer them, while my 12 year old preferred the challenge of the 7 point questions.  Two possible modes of playing are included: a timed game, i.e. the one with the most points in 20 minutes wins, OR a high points game, i.e. the first to reach 50 points wins.  There are other suggested variations, of which my 7 year old loved the suggestion that younger sister only needs 25 points to win, while older brother needs 50, and adults need 75 🙂

This game will be played again and again in our home, just for fun and as a supplement to our history and geography studies.  It is recommended for ages 8 and up, but my 7 year old loved it.  2-4 players are recommended, but you could easily play with a big group in teams.  Civilize This! can be used as a stand-alone travel-sized game, OR as an expansion set to the Wise Alec Family Trivia Game.  We’re putting the full trivia game on our wish list!

You can view the rules and a video on game play HERE.  Ask for Civilize This! at your local game or toy store, OR check out Griddly Games’ Where to Buy List.

To see what other members of the TOS Crew thought about Civilize This! AND Nature Nuts (another travel game/expansion set available), click below:


Love, Luck &

Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

Singing Through The Centuries at South Shore Waldorf June 24

South Shore Waldorf School
64 School Road Blockhouse
JUNE 24th 7:00 p.m.

with Jeff Spade music teacher, Chicago Waldorf School

Human beings have always made music. Through experiencing how music has changed from earliest times to the present, we can begin to understand how human consciousness has also changed. How are we different from our ancestors? How are we the same? Explore Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern musical styles. Learn a lot and have fun!

Jeff has an M.A. in Vocal Performance and has been a music teacher in Waldorf schools for the past twenty-one years. Currently, Jeff teaches vocal music in grades 3–12 and orchestra in grades 4–12 at the Chicago Waldorf School and singing, recorder and music curriculum courses for the Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Education Program. In addition to his work in the Waldorf movement, he maintains a private vocal studio in his home, directs opera and musical theater, and is an assistant conductor for the Chicago Licorice Sticks, a clarinet orchestra performing music from all genres.
(902) 624-0874