Why Biographies Are So Important In Homeschool History

I want my daughter to feel connected to history, but teaching it can sometimes feel overwhelming. Using living books, books that are engaging and encourage her to dive into the subject, are ideal for homeschool history. That’s why I love using great biographies to craft our homeschool history lesson plans and unit studies.

I focus on great biographies that tell real-life stories about the people who have made history. Biographies help bring history to life by making the people and places feel real to her. 

Want to learn how you can incorporate biographies into your homeschool history lessons? Keep reading to discover my favorite homeschool history biographies and unit studies.

Using living books, books that are engaging and encourage her to dive into the subject, are ideal for homeschool history.

Homeschool History And The Power Of Story

Stories are very powerful things and they’re the secret to making history come to life for your kids. History becomes interesting and memorable when we tell stories about real people and events instead of just giving a list of dates and figures. You can use picture books and biographies to take a literature-based approach. It’s a fun way to immerse your kids in an adventure in a different time period. 

For example, we recently read about Eugenie Clark, a pioneering ichthyologist. In the book Shark Lady: The True Story About How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist, Jess Keating tells the story of Eugenie Clark with a beginning kids can relate to and bright colorful pictures throughout.

After reading about Eugenie Clark in Keating’s book, our daughter Emily was inspired to learn more about sharks, marine biology, and even take a trip to Clark’s Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. Learning about Eugenie Clark didn’t just teach us about the history of marine conservation, it also led to fascinating lessons in marine biology for our whole family.

Biographies Bring History To Life

Including history makers in our lessons and homeschool history unit studies helps our kids to see history through the lens of experience. Learning about it in that way gets kids invested in remembering and understanding history. You can use biographies in your homeschool lessons to bring history to life. 

Biographies come in lots of shapes and sizes. It’s a great idea to expose kids to non-fiction books as well as fictional books based on historic events. Choose books with great illustrations and engaging stories.

Some of our favorite biographies to use in homeschool history lessons include the Who Was book series from Penguin Randomhouse. These books are great at drawing kids into the time period or historical event and making them feel like they’re in the story. Plus, they’re filled with important historical facts told in a story format your kids will enjoy.

Check Out 40+ Of The BEST Picture Book Biographies For Your Homeschool

The Best Way To Incorporate Biographies Into Your Homeschool History

Over the years, we have incorporated biographies into our homeschool history lessons in lots of ways. However, my favorite way and the way that seems to work best for us is through unit studies. I love building homeschool history unit studies around the Who Was book series. 

One of our favorite books from the series is Who Were The Wright Brothers? It’s a fascinating story all about the history of aeronautics. For this book from the series and many others, I’ve build a mini unit study filled with writing prompts, custom coloring pages, copywork, timelines, game lists, videos to watch, and a whole lot more.

Our daughter Emily really enjoyed learning about Orville and Wilbur Wright, so we spent two weeks covering all the topics in the book. These mini unit studies are a great way to introduce history in your homeschool or an easy way to enrich your existing homeschool history program by adding them. With so many to choose from and the flexibility of being able to complete them at your own pace.

Want to deep dive? You can do that too by exploring more with all the extra resource lists provided in these unit studies: crafts, games, videos, and extra reading suggestions too. 

Ready to get started? Check out all of our immersive Who Was mini unit studies for homeschool history. Get ready to learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Wright Brothers, Abraham Lincoln, and all kinds of other amazing historical figures too. Let me know which ones you’re most excited about adding to your lesson plans in the comment section. 


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