Pre-History is the study of the world before there was written language/documentation. By its most basic definition, it is secular – although I have seen some religious bloggers use religion to teach PreHistory. However, because we teach from an evolutionary point of view, it was important that not only do we focus on Pre-History for a full year, but that we combine it with much of what is the foundation for study history: questioning, exploring, sorting through fact vs fiction, and understanding scientific reasoning.
When we decided to homeschool with a full curriculum, The Tornado was 4. She would be entering Kindergarten, and I was desperate for a curriculum that would take us through Pre-History without any religious interference. It was virtually impossible to find one. Seriously, it was virtually impossible. But then I found a Pre-History curriculum from someone named “Raising Scientist” at Lulu.com. It, unfortunately has since been removed. Truth be told, I thought it was lacking in a lot of areas, but it did provide a basis for what I would ultimately plan for my daughter. Below is how we taught Pre-History and the activities that we did to help further understanding.
This post uses affiliate links. Only items I have used personally are linked here.
What You Need
(B) = Book (A) = Activity (M) = Movie (NM) = Netflix Movie (APS) = Amazon Prime Streaming
- The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History (B)
- List of areas to study
- Giant Evolution Timeline: Poster (A)
- World Prehistoric Illustrated (A)
- Discovering Prehistory (How it Works) (B)
- Evolution Revolution from Darwin to DNA (B)
- When Fish Got Feet, Sharks Got Teeth, and Bugs Began to Swarm: A Cartoon Prehistory of Life Long Before Dinosaurs (B)
- I Dig Bugs: Amber Fossil Excavation (A)
- From Lava to Life: The Universe Tells Our Earth’s Story: Book 2 (The Universe Series) (B)
- First Dinosaur Encyclopedia (B)
- Our Family Tree: An Evolution Story (B)
- Walking with Dinosaurs (M) (NM) (APS)
- Prehistoric Coloring Books (Chose the ones you want to use)
If you need more to choose from, Check Out SatoriSmiles.com. Her resources are invaluable.
Other Cool Tools (Toobs)
- Safari Ltd. Prehistoric Life Toob
- Safari Ltd. Galapagos Toob
- Safari Ltd. Dinos Toob
- Safari Ltd Ocean Toob
- Safari Ltd Insects Toob
- Safari Ltd. Ancient Fossils TOOB®
- Safari Ltd Dinosaur Skulls TOOB®
- Safari Ltd Toob Prehistoric Sharks Toy Figures
- Safari Ltd. Prehistoric Mammal Skulls Toob
- Safari Ltd. AMNH Feathered Dinos Toob
- Toobs: Prehistoric Crocodiles Toob
- Safari 681004 Prehistoric Life Miniatures Toob- Pack of 4
The easiest way to do this is to follow this pattern, ensuring not to continue any longer than what your child can handle. For us that was just under 30 minutes.
- Read – You know your child. Start with the Encyclopedia first. It provides the most basic of info. The books above are all picture books and are written to hold your child’s interest and to provide a simplistic, yet accurate (as far as science can tell), depiction of Pre-History.
- Activity – Choose an activity that includes something your child likes doing. My daughter LOVES coloring so the coloring books came in handy. Make sure it matches the reading some what and don’t make a big deal about it. Keep it low-key and interesting.
- Review and Read: Review what you did before. Have your child retell what he/she remembers assisting if needed. Then read the next chunk of info.
- Activity: This should be an activity that reinforces or furthers your child’s understanding. Again, keep it light and fun.
- Make a Volcano
- Make Fossils
- Go on a Fossil Hunt
- Use the Toob to identify dinosaurs. Just use your Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs to match them up and learn about them. Do two a day.
- Make a Lapbook. I drew the cover images myself and have the file somewhere, but you can find great Pre-History lapbooking items here.
- Grow and watch Sea Monkeys
- And here is another blog post at Dottie’s Homeschooling Universe which also shares some really great ideas for teaching Pre-History.