- topicHomeschoolingtagged by slbrooks, 1/20/14
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Teaching History on my Weekendspost #1 of 71/20/14 at 12:07pmThread StarterHi I am a noncustodial mom and only get to see my kids every other weekend, once during the week and speak to them on the phone twice each week. They are 6 and 8 both daughters. Anyway I've decided to start with the basics of black history this weekend. I have them the coming weekend. It's going to be on slavery in America for 250 years and the fight for freedom. How much do I have to do in preparation for this. I am reading 8 great books I got from the library on it. One got a little too specific describing how a master made a slave girl eat worms! The book has good pictures which is why I got it but I won't be reading the exact content to them anyway. I'm just going to show all the pictures to them and explain as I go through it. I managed to get a few recommended books on the topic as well that they might be able to read for themselves. I'm excited about this and hoping that this will stop the technology overrun that has happened the last couple of weekends. Meaning they are on my computer, my iphone and my kindle! Not good. I am not happy with what the school is teaching them thinking it is not enough. I want them to learn American History because they are American children! My older daughter did not know what a slave was a few weeks back and I am happy to be able to explain it all to her this weekend. It's exciting but at the same time very nerve wracking. Any tips or tricks appreciated? There are some great things to look at on the computer as well when doing this. They have things on the underground railroad and what the slave/free states looked like on a map. If you have homeschooled this topic that would be helpful too. I'm just going to do all the talking and show them the books and answer questions. Hopefully that will hold there attention for a few good hours.post #2 of 71/20/14 at 1:32pm
I guess I'd suggest taking a long view and not necessarily expecting to come up with a well-organized lesson plan that will "hold their attention for a good few hours." I know that with big topics there's a point at which the eyes tend to glaze over and kids don't take in anything because they simply need time to process the new ideas they've encountered. You've got years of weekends ahead of you. It's good to have a few resources on hand, but I'd just try out one or two that you think might pique their interests, and then let their responses guide things from there. And by that I mean that if they don't seem the slightest bit curious to learn more, you have to be prepared to let it drop for the time being without feeling hurt or frustrated. A lot of what homeschooling parents do is to plant seeds. Sometimes they germinate right away, sometimes they wait ages to do so, and sometimes they're just blown away like dust.
With my kids it was often a piece of historical fiction, a real-life experience or a video of some sort (dramatization or doc) that got them interested in history topics. What about starting with reading aloud the first of the American Girl Addy stories? That would be age-appropriate and engaging for most girls of 6 and 8. If it catches their interest and attention, there are all sorts of places that could lead, but you might find inspiration in this accompanying 'curriculum.' (I would never use questions like this in written form, but some of them could be useful discussion points between parent and kids.) Honestly in your situation I'd plan only something like the readaloud, and let anything else happen only if my kids wanted to go there. Plant a seed. See if it germinates. If not, plan to plant another different seed the next time you have a weekend with them. Maybe a trip to one of these sites?
Mirandapost #3 of 71/20/14 at 3:34pmThread StarterI'm learning a lot myself. I'm reading Heart and Soul by Kadir Nelson and it is very good. I would not read this to my children because it is too long but an awesome, lovely book. I found a good book called The Underground Railroad by Raymond Bial and I'm going to read most of the story to them if I can. It's interesting but hoping it will hold their attention.post #4 of 71/21/14 at 3:22am
At 6 and 8, I would use mostly historical fiction. There are some beautiful picture books that depict how the underground railroad worked. I would also tell them about heroes of the time-- Harriet Tubman, etc. I think it would be easy to overwhelm children of that age with the nasty details of slavery, so I would be cautious about that. You want to educate them, not give them nightmares. Also, since February is Black History month, you might check and see if your community is having anything for it. Sometimes museums, libraries, etc. will have family friendly events for things like this.
We are spending the next few weeks on black history in America too. I have a child that will be turning 8 this next week. We are discussing slavery briefly. We will find Africa on a map and find America and look at that journey. However, I am mostly going to be focusing on the 20th century (segregation, integration, Rosa Parks, MLK, etc). I am doing this for two reasons. One, my children are fairly sensitive and I don't need the horrors of slavery keeping them up at night. Secondly, I think they can relate to the more recent history. They understand what "fair" means, and it is easy to see how it isn't "fair" to not be allowed a drink/seat/education simply because of your skin color.
My older children will go deeper into the various time periods.
Amypost #5 of 71/21/14 at 8:37am
I would definitely recommend using historical fiction as well-the first two books that come to mind were The American Girl series about Addy and I believe the Magic Treehouse series has a book about the Civil War as well. Start reading the books together, and try to find some art projects that tie in for them to do while you talk about what you read. The Magic Treehouse books also have a nonfiction companion to their books with lots of extra facts, pictures, etc .
I think that expecting this to hold their attention for a few hours is probably unlikely (though certainly not impossible depending on the kids interests). My dd is 6 and she loves history lessons, but she's into it for 30 minutes max outside of me reading her the stories.
Good luck and have fun :)post #6 of 71/21/14 at 1:50pmThread Starter
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