My new book The Catholic Educator’s Guide to Teaching History from Cruachan Hill Press is now available for purchase!
The idea for The Catholic Educator’s Guide to Teaching History came from scores of emails I have received from parents and teachers over the years asking for advice on every facet of historical education: What books do you recommend? Do we need to be memorizing dates? What’s the best way to take notes in history class? What do we do if we run into biases sources? While sorting through these sorts of emails back in 2020, one mother told me, “You should just put all this into a book!”
I thought, “That’s a great idea!” So here we are!
The Catholic Educator’s Guide to Teaching History crystallizes my 15 years of historical teaching experience, combining theoretical observation with gobs of practical tips to help you optimize your student’s historical education. All of it is broken down by grade level, so whether you are dealing with elementary, middle school, or high school, you will have a game plan for your history class!
I want to highlight the book’s lists: over 450 book recommendations spanning ancient Egypt to 9/11, historical dates for memorization by grade level, and sample grading rubric templates for presentation projects and research papers.
I should mention, too, this book is not only geared towards homeschoolers, but those teaching in classroom and cooperative environments as well!
The Table of Contents is as follows:
Why Should We Learn History
History at Different Age Groups
Delivering a History Lecture
Taking Notes in History Class
Incorporating Primary Sources
Dealing with Historical Bias
Memorizing Dates (with lists)
Reading Lists and Resources (obviously, with lists)
Scope and Sequence
Teaching History as a Catholic
The Catholic Educator’s Guide to Teaching History is paperback, 107 pages, $15.95 + shipping. To purchase, use the Paypal button below. Expect delivery within 10-14 business days.
Because of Covid-19, the regularly scheduled slate of annual Catholic Homeschool Conferences around the country were all cancelled this summer.
However, the good folks at Homeschool Connections have worked their tails off to put together a fairly impressive online homeschooling conference. Called “The Catholic Homeschool Conference,” this entirely online event is featuring over 30 speakers, including giants of Catholic homsechooling such as Kimberly Hahn and Laura Berquist, as well as some other very eminent individuals like Fr. Mitch Pacwa, Dr. Edward Sri, Jason Evert, and Anthony Esolen. The full line-up can be viewed here. Oodles of Catholic businesses sponsoring the event will be giving away freebies, offering workshops, and much more.
At any rate, somehow I got invited to present in the company of these greats. I am going to be giving a talk entitled “Recognizing and Confronting Historical Bias,” which is a very important subject for anyone serious about history. Every day it is getting more difficult to trust the information that is presented to us. This has always been an urgent problem in historical studies, where data can be manipulated to suit political narratives. In this talk, I will offer some strategies for identifying bias in historical writing and confronting it. This will help you and your students to build critical thinking skills and approach historical texts with greater confidence.
The conference goes live on June 25th and the content of the conference will be available for an entire year afterward, so there’s no need to actually do anything on any specific day—you can view at your leisure. Attendance at the conference is 100% free. However, for $47 you can get a VIP Pass which gives you recordings of all the talks (much like when you buy the talks at a physical conference). VIP Pass holders also get a few bonus items such as eBooks. The VIP Pass goes up to $97 after the conference is over, so make sure you get it before June 25th!
In your charity, if you would like to register, please use the link below. Speakers are being compensated by how many people register using their affiliate links, so using this link to sign up directly helps me:
In my thirteen years teaching history in Catholic institutions, I am often asked how educators—whether teachers or parents—can most effectively give their students history “from a Catholic perspective.” Teaching Catholic history in this day and age can be daunting. Secular methodology typically proves inadequate. For one thing, the standard approach of secular education is typically not equipped to deal with religious history. But even when it does, secular education is often hostile to the role of the Catholic religion in the development of civilization. These tendencies have led Catholic parents and educators to sense that a correction is needed in mainstream historical studies—something that will convey a detailed, accurate, objective assessment of the Catholic Church’s place in history. Hence the desire for history “from a Catholic perspective.”Continue reading “History “From a Catholic Perspective” (Part 1)”
Here are all the courses I am teaching for Homeschool Connections in the 2020-2021 academic year. This year my focus is going to be on medieval history, both general and specific. I am offering two Middle School courses and two High School courses. Registration opens April 1, 2020. Visit www.homeschoolconnections.com to register; registration codes can be found below in each class description. I recommend registering early; my courses tend to fill up quickly. Continue reading “Mr. Campbell Classes for 2020-2021 Academic Year”
This month I have been reading through the voluminous work The European Discovery of America: The Northern Voyages (AD 500-1600) by Samuel Eliot Morison. It is a stunningly comprehensive account of the northern explorations of New England and the Canadian coast by the Portuguese, French and English in the years prior to 1600. The breadth of the scholarship is astounding; consulting the journals of men like Cartier, Frobisher and others, Morison gives an almost day-by-day account of every extant northern voyage of discovery.Continue reading “The Richard Amerike Theory”
Of the many inaccurate pieces of information that we often hear about the Middle Ages, one of the most often repeated is that the average medieval person only lived to be about 35 years old. The myth of the short medieval life expectancy is not inaccurate so much because it is false, but because it conveys a false impression of medieval life to people who do not know what life expectancy is. Clearly, most medieval adults lived well past their 30s. If they didn’t, it would be difficult to see how there would have been much time to accomplish anything. A civilization whose adults could not expect to live past their 30s would scarcely be able to produce the marvels that came out of the medieval epoch. Continue reading “Myth of Medieval Mortality”
The Story of Civilization series from TAN Books provides an excellent introduction to lives and events that have shaped our world, using a historical fiction approach to immerse students in the era they are studying.
For families who wish to go deeper into historical study, I present the following recommended book list for Story of Civilization Volume I: The Ancient World. Please note this list may not be appropriate for all ages or families. Stories or videos may contain references to sensitive topics, violence, etc. Please preview everything before assigning anything to your children. Continue reading “Story of Civilization Volume I Booklist”
Prior to the modern age and the ubiquity of textbooks, it was common for students to learn history by the reading of primary sources. It was taken for granted that the best way to educate oneself about what the ancient Greeks thought was to actually read the writings of the ancient Greeks. If one wanted to learn about the reign of Charlemagne, the best way to do so was to actually dig up and study the royal charters of the Carolingian kingdom. Not only was historical study based on primary sources common, but it was inconceivable that it should be conducted any other way. Continue reading “Drinking History from the Font: Primary Sources”