Starting Year 8 – History Ideas

History is probably my daughter’s favourite subject so we cover it in quite a lot of detail and we do end up watching lots of documentaries and reading lots of extra books just because she is so fascinated by it. But for this post I am going to focus on our key resources that we will use and then during the year as we progress I will write about the extra books and activities that we do.

Our main book for her Year 8 History is going to this one – Revolution, Industry and Empire. It is part of the Oxford University Press KS3 History series (they have three different books for KS3 so we are working through 1 a year).

Revolution, Industry and Empire. KS3 History book by Aaron Wilkes

We actually started my daughter’s year 7 using the Collins range of History books but we found that they did not have enough detail and I was constantly feeling like I needed to supplement them and spent ages searching online for extra pages and activities. So we switched to the Oxford book and both my daughter I were thrilled with it. (Just to note –  The Collins and Oxford books do split the time periods slightly differently between the KS3 years so if you switch between the ranges you may need to do a small catch-up.  We found that switching books meant we did not cover as big a time period as we had initially planned but we definitely covered it in more detail and with a better understanding.)

She thoroughly enjoyed working through the Oxford book and I loved all the extended questions that they have at the end of each chapter and really appreciated the way they help the kids work through the extended questions step by step. So for us it was a no brainer that we would stick with this range for Year 8 History. And she has actually already read it cover to cover and informed me that it is just as good as the first one.

The one thing I think we are going to do differently this year is I am going to buy myself the Teacher’s Guide – I did not use one for Year 7 and really I could manage without it for Year 8 but I am very interested to give it a go and see if it adds more to the subject.

So using this book as our base we are going to be starting at the Tudor Times and then work our way through to the Victorian times.

And like we did last year we are going to be adding in some of the Oaka Book Topic Packs. We like having a bit of variety in the different learning resources that we use and we actually quite like using these two together (the Oxford Book combined with the Oaka Topic Packs).

My daughter especially loves the learning maps with comes with these topic packs. (I must admit I also think they are brilliant – one of the best methods I have come across to revise a history topic).

Tudor themed Topic packs from Oaka Books

I have these three topic packs already  – Henry VIII, Elizabeth 1 and The Spanish Armada but Oaka also have The Dissolution of the Monasteries, Thomas Wolsey and the Battle of Waterloo which would link in nicely.

My son who would be in year 5 if he attended school actually works through his sister’s history topics with us. I know it may sound a bit strange to some that I do the same history with my year 8 and year 5 kids but it actually works really well. My kids enjoy learning about the same topics, I find it much easier to focus on 1 history period at a time with both kids and actually I think History is something which you can extend and challenge an older kid with harder questions while still involving a younger sibling with the topic. So one of the ways we do this effectively is by using the topic packs.  I have found them excellent when you are covering a topic with different aged kids. 

I also actively look for KS2 books for him to read. I really like the BIG CAT reading series for this. They are brilliant little summaries of historical events/ people perfect for my younger kid and also an excellent introductory read for my older. (In the picture beow are Crime and Punishment Through the Ages, Hard Times and The Story of the Suggragettes).

Historical BIG CAT readers perfect for home learning

My son has actually already read the Crime and Punishment one and has been telling me lots of interesting facts from it.

reading Crime and Punishment through the ages

I really like finding good Historical fiction books for my daughter to read.  We have made a point of doing this for about 3 years now and it really brings the time period to life and makes it a lot more interesting. (I also personally think it reinforces a lot about everyday life, things like the houses people lived in, the food, jobs, transport – all of that is normally covered in Good historical fiction).  I am still searching for extra Historical fiction books but two that we already have (both of which I have read and think they are excellent) are Lady Mary  – perfect for Tudor times and The Austen Girls.

That sums up our starting point for History.  But as we progress I will add in some extra items and will share those as we use them.

Admin Bit – The books used are a mix of books that I have bought and some Free press copies which have been given to us.

I do include Affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and go on to purchase that product, I will be paid a very small commission, however your cost will remain the same. I only include affiliate links for products that we use and love.

For those of you looking for the books mentioned on Amazon here are the links

KS3 History 4th Edition: Revolution, Industry and Empire: Britain 1558-1901 Student Book

Henry VIII: His Wives & the King’s Great Matter: Topic Pack (Tudor Series)

Elizabeth I: and the Elizabethan Settlement: Topic Pack (Tudor Series)

The Spanish Armada 1588: Topic Pack (Tudor Series)

Crime & Punishment through the Ages: Band 18/Pearl (Collins Big Cat)

Hard Times: Growing Up in the Victorian Age: Find out what Victorian life was like for children in this enthralling non-fiction book. (Collins Big Cat): Band 17/Diamond

The Story of the Suffragettes: Band 17/Diamond (Collins Big Cat)

Lady Mary

The Austen Girls

Year 8 History resources

About ofamily

Home educating family based in the UK. We try to make learning fun
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1 Response to Starting Year 8 – History Ideas

  1. Pingback: Starting home education | ofamily learning together

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