There’s something fascinating happening with kids’ reading habits these days. More and more, kids are turning to history books for their leisure reading. At the ages of 7 to 9 years old, kids are already learning about Helen Keller, Anne Frank, Harriet Tubman and other important figures from history. This could partially be because of the focus Common Core puts on nonfiction, but regardless of the reason, parents should encourage these habits. Learn how reading history books as bedtime stories for your kids will prepare them for life.
History and Bedtime Stories
The next time you sit down for bedtime stories, consider making the book you reach for one that presents history in a fun and engaging way. Your kids can develop a passion for subjects just as they can for reading in general, and history is a great subject for them to grab. History gives the right perspectives for children to learn to function in our society by understanding days gone by.
History is full of the deeds of men and women, both normal and great, who have made a mark for good or ill that has stood the test of time. As kids read about history, they learn about these great people and gain perspective on the world at large. After all, their own problems may not seem so difficult to them after learning of the challenges Hellen Keller had to face!
History teaches children important life skills like honesty, honor, self-sacrifice, sharing and more. Consider the sacrifices and difficulties that many great historical figures had to face. As children read these stories with you, they will absorb and process the events therein and make them a part of their own experience. They will learn to emulate the qualities that led these great people to make their mark on the world, but will also learn why we still remember them.
Talking and Reasoning
Sitting down to talk about these stories with your kids after you read them will hammer those life skills home even more. Ask your child what they thought was the most important thing about the story they just read. What did they like about what happened, or about the characters and figures therein? Why do they think it’s important? Kids need to learn to think about the stories they read as much as hearing about great deeds and huge events.
Race and Gender Issues
History is full of stories about the struggle for freedom—freedom from tyranny, from inequality, from the bonds that hold us back. In our society where race and gender issues play such a vital part, learning about the roots of these issues will help your child to process and deal with them as they face them on a daily basis.
There are many ways in which history can prepare your child for life. It can build perspective, teach them about other points of view and allow them to find real-life heroes. If you are ready to start your child on a lifelong journey through history, read about the Amazing Life of Helen Keller, and then look at our other literacy tools today!