What do we need to teach our children? Which books should we buy? What topics must we cover? Teaching history in a Muslim Homeschool can be tricky. How do we teach the whole history of mankind in a way that makes sense to children of different ages? This blog post will show you how a Book of Centuries will completely transform your Muslim Homeschool curriculum.
What should be in a Muslim Homeschool Curriculum for History?
When following a Charlotte Mason philosophy, history allows children to build connections between historical events. Our kids must understand how events relate to each other and be able to discuss the lessons which can be learnt.
To do this, it is essential children learn the order of historical events. Understanding when things happened is just as important as what happened. In a history lesson, your children are probably reading a variety of books covering history from different periods and cultures. But how can we gather this information in a logical way for our kids?
Charlotte Mason recommended children get to know a few particular time periods very well, rather than skimming over a brief outline of everything. Children interested in a certain time period will often find themselves absorbed in a single period of history for longer. However, they need to gather information in a coherent way, while understanding how events relate to each other.
This is where the Book of Centuries comes in.
What is a Book of Centuries?
A Book of Centuries sounds incredibly important, doesn’t it?
And it is.
It is an organised way for your children to process the historical facts learnt during their readings, read alouds, and history lessons. A Book of Centuries is an essential part of any Muslim homeschool curriculum.
The Book of Centuries is set up like a diary and contains blank pages waiting for your child to fill them in. To guide them, dates are written across the top of each page. These dates usually span from around 4000BC (the time of first recorded history) and the present day.
A Book of Centuries becomes a household treasure. You can have one shared between your children or they can have one each for their own personal collection. Over their years of homeschooling, children will continue to add to their Book of Centuries, their book growing and evolving alongside their historical knowledge.
Their Book of Centuries will become a cherished possession which they return to years later and recall the incredible stories. Having a place to record their historical findings encourages children to engage with what they are learning. They practice how to critically decide which pieces of information are important enough to include. Their creativity is sparked as they choose how to display the information in their books. They can choose to either write, draw, or even glue pictures and diagrams!
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How to use a Book of Centuries in a Muslim Homeschool Curriculum
Now for the interesting part.
You know how to approach history, you know how important a Book Centuries is for your child’s Muslim homeschool curriculum, but how do you use a Book of Centuries alongside your history readings?
Charlotte Mason, recommends your children spend at least one lesson per week working on their Book of Centuries and timeline. This means they spend about 20 minutes gathering what they have learnt throughout the week and adding to their book.
To add an entry into their Book of Centuries, children locate the page with the correct year. Then, they add content to those pages to represent what they are learning. This could be done in different ways:
- Writing the date of birth and death of famous people throughout history
- Small sketches of important relics, events, or locations, such as pyramids or castles
- Pictures printed from the internet of famous people or events
- Parts of leaflets cut out from history field trips
Is a Book of Centuries just for History?
The Book of Centuries is a versatile resource that can be used in more than just History lessons.
For example, if your child reads about Salahuddin, they will come across dates of important battles and crusades. These dates would be added to their Book of Centuries, along will a small description of what happened. Your child might sketch the armour and weapons used at the time. Some children might include a map of Jerusalem and the grounds of Masjid al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock.
This little project may spark an interest in the crusades and the ongoing fight for authority in the Holy Lands. Your child will see how long this fight has been going on. Your child will understand how many time periods have influenced a fight that is still raging today.
As we’re taught by Charlotte Mason herself:
“…it is necessary to know something of what has gone before in order to think justly of what is occurring today.” (A Philosophy of Education, Charlotte Mason)
In these ways, children are building their own unique record of history in a way that not only makes sense to them but also demonstrates how events and time periods relate to each other. Children develop an intelligent sense of time and the evolution of mankind.
Where to buy your own Book of Centuries
Now, I’ve been where you are before. I completely adored the idea of using a Book of Centuries in my homeschool. I grabbed a blank notebook and started adding dates to the top of each page, each double spread representing 100 years.
However, this is time-consuming, and it was incredibly confusing trying to manage the time span of 6000 years! Plus, as a Muslim homeschool, it was important to me to make acknowledge the Islamic calendar and its place in the history of our world.
Because I know how tricky designing your own Book of Centuries can be, I have developed a book for you with the dates and setup already done.
When you purchase the Our Muslim Homeschool Book of Centuries, you have a blank notebook all ready for your child with:
- Islamic dates alongside Gregorian dates at the top of each page
- Lists of key Islamic dates
- Further reading suggestions
- A page of profile cut-outs for you to get started
- A page for your chid to record their own family history
This Book of Centuries will help your child engage with their Muslim Homeschool curriculum and enjoy History lessons in an exciting way. No matter the age of your children, having a book they can add to themselves, without the work being done for them, will provide a satisfying sense of achievement, inshaAllah.
Purchase your copy straight from Amazon here: Amazon UK | Amazon USA
Rufna30/11/2021 at 11:22 am (1 year ago)
Assalamu alaikum sister. I’m very poor when it comes to history and so I’ve not introduced this subject to my kids 4/5 as a lesson. However, I am willing to teach them but would need massive help and guidance Inn shaa Allaah. Will you be able to give me a few ideas where to start and how to accomplish this Inn shaa Allaah?
Dr Gemma18/12/2021 at 6:00 pm (1 year ago)
Walaykum assalaam, It doesn’t need to be anything complicated Rufna. In fact, simple things work the best! Find some good history-story books and read them aloud to your children. Watch good documentaries and talk about them together. Make regular entries into your Book of Centuries or on a timeline, so you can see how all these events “fit together”. And as you do these things, you’ll be learning alongside your kids, and your knowledge and confidence in the subject will grow. When your children get older, they can start reading historical fiction by themselves or working on written projects.