Using Squaducation to support History education at home
I have a degree from Cambridge, achieved all my GCSEs and A levels with A grades, but I have a weakness. History. I didn’t enjoy it at school and dropped it as soon as I could. However, Freyja seems to have taken a particular interest in History. She loves to ask questions and wants to find out more, and I feel a bit lacking in that area. I usually fall back on “Let’s find out together.” but I am frustrated by how little I know about History. However, unlike when I was at school, there do seem to be plenty of resources available. Horrible Histories – the books and TV programme – have been a real help. So also has Squaducation.
Squaducation is basically an online library of 60 second History clips. There are over 270 films covering a huge range of different eras and topics. All the clips are linked to the National Curriculum. I am absolutely clueless about which eras get covered throughout the different Key Stages at school. However, the Squaducation site makes it very easy to search for different eras, topics or even historical figures.
In Year 1, Freyja had been learning all about The Black Death. She has been borrowing books about the plague from the library, and these books have been our bedtime reading. I must admit, I do miss enjoying a good-old story together, but it is nice to be led by Freyja’s interest.
Having had an initial browse on the Squaducation site, it was great to see a few clips about the plague on there. Freyja found them really interesting. The fact that they are short bite-sized clips means that they hold her attention. The clips also have little multiple choice questions at the end to test if they have been paying attention. Freyja loves these, and they have been a real motivator for her. The videos are fairly simplistic. The actor presenting the clip, is dressed is an appropriate costume, and is accompanied by simple pictures and words. As a result, the content of the video is conveyed to children (and clueless parents) really effectively.
It’s really been great to see Freyja getting interested in History, and I am actually enjoying learning more too. After our trip to the Olympic pool in London last year, Freyja has become interested in the Olympics. As a result we looked at the Olympic-related clips on Squaducation, which then led us into more clips about Ancient Greeks. This is what I love about teaching. I love when a topic captures the imagination and it leads you on to wanting to find out more. This is what learning should be like. The great thing about the Squaducation site is that there are teacher notes and lesson plans which come with the clips. They guide you through using the clips in a really meaningful way with lesson outcomes. I can imagine these being a real timesaver for any teacher or homeschooler using Squaducation.
I will be using Squaducation with the girls over the coming year to support their learning in school and with any other historical topics that they become interested in. However, there are topics on there that I want to introduce them too. In the year marking the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, granting some women in the UK, the right to vote I want my girls to understand what this meant, and empower them to do their part in making the world a better place for all. I was really excited to see lots of videos covering the Suffragette Movement. They will make a great entry point into the topic.
We love Squaducation so far, and thoroughly recommend you try the free 2 week trial to discover just how great it is for yourself!
Disclaimer: We were given free access to the Squaducation site for a year in order to see what it has to offer, however, all thoughts and opinions are our own. We genuinely love it!