60 Second Histories – a review

My Miss Seven is joining in with history lessons this year, but our tried and trusted methods of studying history up to this point were never going to work well enough for her.  History is not her favourite subject.  She doesn’t want any more to do with it than she absolutely has to.  And as a visual learner, she was going to need a lot more picture and video resources than we had ever used before.  60 Second Histories from Squaducation is one such additional resource we’ve been trialling this past month.

Pros and cons

Squaducation is honest about 60 Second Histories being a great way to introduce or review a topic.  These videos are a resource, not a curriculum.

We have found these short videos perfect for distilling and cementing essential facts from our (significantly reduced!) reading.  The videos are less entertaining than Horrible Histories and more like video diaries from historical characters.  They are still language-based, but the costumes and drama and main points reviewed at the end (usually just 3 points) do seem to work for her.

I like using their Virtual Classrooms to make short ‘playlists’ of the videos using their Support Notes’ suggested order.

Squaducation provides Support Notes for each of the eras they cover.  The Support Notes suggest an order to watch the videos in.  They also include discussion questions and suggestions for projects and individual research.  If you’re the sort of family that likes a loose, rabbit-hole style of history study, you could probably make this into a curriculum!

The bottom line

A subscription to 60 Second Histories costs just £25 per year for Home Educators.  If you could see yourself turning this into a curriculum with a bit of time and creativity then this is a bargain.  As an additional history resource, I really appreciated that I could test-run the resource for free for two weeks before deciding whether this would adequately support Miss Seven’s learning.

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