Learning through Historical Fiction

Everybody loves a good story.  How many times have you heard that phrase said, or spoken those words yourself? It’s true. When we can place ourselves within the story we are able to better comprehend and apply the meaning or message of the story to our lives.  So how can we take this love of stories and apply it to our homeschool?

One subject many children complain about is Social Studies. They find the topic dull, dry, and boring. They ask, “Why do I need to learn about this thing that happened hundreds of years ago?”  Sound familiar?  You can bring history to life with historical fiction. Historical fiction stories are set in the past, generally with fictional characters, but the characters and events are based on historical data.  In historical fiction, events and people from the past come alive. Historical fiction encourages us not to look at the past as one event after another, but instead, to search for causes and consequences, for patterns and sequences. Historical lessons learned by others become applicable to us once again. Your child is swept up to that time and place long ago, living the adventures, experiencing the past, and feeling empathy for what has happened.  Learning happens without your child even being aware.

How can you find quality historical fiction to read to your child?  RCOA’s Stepping Stones Social Studies packages in the Core Library provide grade appropriate historical fiction suggestions. The Canadian History Book Bank has an amazing list of historical fiction, all based on Canadian history.  Below are some historical fiction suggestions, by grade level, that cover BC Learning Outcomes while captivating your child’s attention. I have compiled this list drawing from the recommendations feel free to download and print it for reference Historical Fiction

There are, of course, many other beautiful works of historical fiction that are worth exploring.  So, what are you waiting for?  Snuggle up next to your child, read together, and you’ll both fall in love with history once again.

Karen Johnson

Lead Teacher of Information Management