I realized I forgot to add a list of potential topics for the history co-op in my previous post, so here it is. Of course this list is not exhaustive, but it’s a good place to start. Let each child choose his or her preferred topic area. I personally think it’s best to encourage everyone to choose different areas, so the audience doesn’t get bored having to listen to the same topic twice, but that’s up to you. If a couple of kids are both interested a big topic such as “culture,” it’s not a problem since there is enough to divvy up. More discrete topics (drama, architecture) might be more difficult to divide up. I suggest having each child write down a 1st and 2nd choice, then working with them to make sure everyone is happy with the topic assigned. They’ll be working with the one topic for the whole year, so they need to be invested in it. Alternatively, if they both really, really want the same topic, let them work together on their research and presentation, or have them talk before each research period and divide so that they are not both covering the same subject (for instance, if two kids have “famous people” just make sure they are reporting on different people each time; or if they both have architecture, have them agree to talk about different structures for each time period).
This is probably a good place to point out that when guiding the students on how to prepare their history presentations, they can either give a broad overview, or focus on a single point. So someone doing the topic “famous people” could give a list of people and a brief mention of what each one did, or pick one person and give a more in-depth presentation on that person’s life. A lot of our students do a combination of these two approaches; for instance our “inventions” student generally runs over a list of things each civilization invented, then focuses more in-depth on one or two interesting inventions. You can read more about how to create your painless homeschool history co-op in the previous post.
Animals & Agriculture
Archaeology (who discovered what, how, etc, about the culture we are studying)
Culture (marriage & death customs, superstitions, dance, food, ETC)
Drama & Theater
Economics (I’m sure someone wants to jump right on this one, yeah?)
Environment (how humans interacted with the environment, the effects of it)
Exploration & Explorers (how this culture explored new areas)
Fashion (clothing, hair)
Holidays & Celebrations
Industry (trade, exports/imports)
Literature (oral stories, folk tales)
Music & Instruments
Sociology (law, politics, rulers, social hierarchy, psychohistory [motivations for historical events])
Technology & Inventions
Timekeeping (calendars, clocks)
Transportation & Travel
Warfare & Weaponry
Read my previous post, How to Homeschool History Painlessly, for what to do with this history topic list!