mexican americans - how will you teach LOs about the "real" history of USA? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 34 Old 05-03-2010, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Although what I learned in school about the constitution and columbus discovering america and all that good stuff isnt particularly wrong, I find that, being of mexican decent, my dh and I want our ds to know that that information is not entirely correct. we want him to know that mexicans became foreigners in their own country almost overnight. we say, "the border moved, not us" alot lol

how do you "teach" your children something when school will teach the same thing only slightly different?

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#2 of 34 Old 05-03-2010, 08:17 PM
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First, I want to clarify that I am not of Mexican descent.

Are you talking about the Mexican-U.S. war when you mention the borders moving? I'm unsure as to how you're connecting Columbus and the Constitution to Mexicans becoming foreigners in their own country.

Anyway, "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn is a good read. Also, "Lies My Teacher Told Me" and "Lies Across America" by James Loewen. Believe me....there are many of us who want our kids to learn real History, no matter our ethnicity.
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#3 of 34 Old 05-04-2010, 05:26 PM
 
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The book "Don't know much about (American) History" is really good. In fact I read it like a novel on my honeymoon (I am such a dork).

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#4 of 34 Old 05-04-2010, 05:42 PM
 
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i am not mexican, but i will chime in to say, i have no interest in just allowing my dd to believe the history taught in mass education. can't do that. it would be a disservice to my ancestors who toiled in fields that they would never own and kissed babies goodbye that they would never again see. nope. no way. now how.

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#5 of 34 Old 05-04-2010, 06:43 PM
 
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Thought better of it.
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#6 of 34 Old 05-04-2010, 09:37 PM
 
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It is complex. There are different situations.

There are people who immigrated from Old Mexico to the United States and people from areas that used to belong to Spain and Mexico like New Mexico, California, Arizona and Texas. These people have lived in the same place for hundreds of years only the borders changed.

OP, is this what you are referring to?

My mother’s family is from New Mexico. They have been there since the
1600s. The border just changed on them.

A good book is the Lost Land by John Chavez.
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#7 of 34 Old 05-05-2010, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i wasnt speaking of any war in particular, or any event in particular, really. my dh and i have just been having conversations recently about how our history (that our not-to-distant relatives lived through in Mexico) is a bit one sided, and we were curious as to how to give our ds info that the texbooks in school dont include. i dont want to suggest to him at such a young age that his school is "wrong" because i could just see that turning against me lol ... so we were wondering how to include this other, left out info for when it does become an issue...
i mean, it wasnt until college that my dh and i realized that history books are a bit one sided ...

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#8 of 34 Old 05-05-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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Can I also recommend A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki? Awesome book (he died recently, sad). I also recommend talking to your kid's teacher/s as they age. The type of unbalanced history instruction you mention should not be all kids get! If it is than teachers are not doing their jobs properly.

Great thread for May 5th LOL!
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#9 of 34 Old 05-05-2010, 04:41 PM
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I also recommend talking to your kid's teacher/s as they age. The type of unbalanced history instruction you mention should not be all kids get! If it is than teachers are not doing their jobs properly.
Not to hijack the thread, but a lot of teachers aren't doing their jobs properly....because their hands are tied. Many teachers have strict limitations on how far they can deviate from the curricula their district has chosen.

The answer, IMO, is not to chastise the teachers for following school requirements, but to be an active part of your child's education. A child's education shouldn't be 100% school-based, anyway.
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#10 of 34 Old 05-05-2010, 04:49 PM
 
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this is a v. tough road for us. how do i teach my dd about the true history of America relating to the Native Americans. Especially during thanksgiving time and Colombus day. how will i manage 4th grade when they teach teh missions from the total eurocentric perspective.

i dont have any answers. we go to museums, events and i tell her the stories.

technically each reservation is a different country requiring papers.

what am i going to do after Arizona SB1070 which has its impact too.

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#11 of 34 Old 05-05-2010, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great thread for May 5th LOL!
oh dang, i didnt even notice this! lol

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#12 of 34 Old 05-06-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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Tell stories at the dinner table. The younger you start, the better. By the time they get the "official" history in school, they will already know the other side.

Dd is 1/2 Vietnamese, and my dh and I know she will never get any Vietnamese history in school (except the Vietnamese-American war, but even then I don't expect the school textbooks to be terribly accurate). So we tell her all the wonderful stories we know of Vietnamese history, the myths, the battles, etc etc. Actually I don't limit it to Vietnamese history, I tell her all sorts of world history/myth/etc. Heck, she knows more Bible stories than most of her churchgoing friends and we're not even Christian LOL.
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#13 of 34 Old 05-06-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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There is so much you can tell your children that they will never learn in school. Stories are good ideas.
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#14 of 34 Old 06-25-2010, 03:31 PM
 
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I am a high school history teacher as well as the wife of a Mexican immigrant. I will be the first to say that the history generally taught in schools is woefully inaccurate, and it bothers me as a mother, an American, and a teacher! There are some teachers out there who really do their jobs well, and are really talented at teaching to the curriculum standards and still getting the truth out there. I like to think I am one of them. But the best thing to do is for parent's to take charge of their children's education in the home, not necessarily in a formal manner such as homeschool, but through family discussions, reading, movies, or however you can get information across. Encourage an open but critical mind!

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#15 of 34 Old 06-25-2010, 03:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bad Mama Jama View Post
i am not mexican, but i will chime in to say, i have no interest in just allowing my dd to believe the history taught in mass education. can't do that. it would be a disservice to my ancestors who toiled in fields that they would never own and kissed babies goodbye that they would never again see. nope. no way. now how.
This! I also recommend the Howard Zinn book and Lies My Teachers Told Me. There's the Young Peoples' Guide for the Howard Zinn book I got from the library for my kids. I really cringe at mainstream American history. It's sooooo wrong. My mom taught me at a young age the truth behind what I was told in school. I'm glad she did.

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#16 of 34 Old 06-25-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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We read a lot of books, watch History channel, and some PBS when it's relevant. There are some really great movies on Netflix that are interesting and accurate. Not just Mexican/American history, but whatever subject the kids are learning at the time.

There's only so much time in a school day, it can't all be taught, so you need to add your own.
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#17 of 34 Old 06-25-2010, 03:49 PM
 
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First, I want to clarify that I am not of Mexican descent.

Are you talking about the Mexican-U.S. war when you mention the borders moving? I'm unsure as to how you're connecting Columbus and the Constitution to Mexicans becoming foreigners in their own country.

Anyway, "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn is a good read. Also, "Lies My Teacher Told Me" and "Lies Across America" by James Loewen. Believe me....there are many of us who want our kids to learn real History, no matter our ethnicity.
I LOVED A people's history. I read it for a class either in HS or college, I can't remember which one but it's amazing!

DH is not Mexican but is Latin American. We're planning on doing more of Montessori/unschooling/free school approach so the plan is that DD wouldn't be taught something like that (more that we'd discuss or hand her a book like A people's history when she's interested). If it did come up, we'd tell her the rest of the "story".
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#18 of 34 Old 06-25-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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Not for young kids, but I'm reading '1491' by Charles Mann right now and it is *amazing*. Highly recommended!

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#19 of 34 Old 06-25-2010, 04:46 PM
 
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I won't teach my children that the history they are taught is wrong instead I will teach them that that is one perspective but that there are other perspectives as well.

So basically I will take something like the US acquiring parts of Mexico through any number of means by building upon what they are already learning. I will probably discuss it through open ended questions such as - "Why do you think the united states wanted more territory/country? Do you think anyone already lived there? What do you think they thought? Do you think their story about the same thing would be different? Why do you think we hear the story from this perspective?" We'd talk about what they thought, what I thought, and what we know either through alternative literature, family history or whatnot about what other groups may have thought about the other side of the story.

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#20 of 34 Old 08-06-2010, 01:54 AM
 
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My husband and I are Mexican-Americans and we educate our boys at home and in the world, not at school. I cannot allow my kids to feel that they need to repeat the lies they have been taught just to get a good grade. It's very hypocritical. Yes, it is someone's perspective but usually it is the winner's boastful exageration. When my older son went to a traditional public school, we were vey fortunate that the teachers handpicked the curricula and taught about a different indigenous people every grade. That's the way it should be and it won't happen until there are enough parents who stand up for what they believe in and make sure whoever is teaching their children has accurate retellings from all sides.

I also love the Zinn books and own the "Young People's" editions for my kids.

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#21 of 34 Old 08-06-2010, 09:31 AM
 
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I don't think that it is helpful for the OP to discuss history in a framework of "real" vs. "not real" with her kids -- it fact that seems frequently dangerous to me!

There are historical facts we know (as much as we can know anything) to be true. For example, the date of the Declaration of Independence.

There is historical information that we can deduce, for which the "trueness" is dependent on the strength of the deduction and the historian's analysis. For example, a historian might attempt to deduce the relative wealth and standard of living of the colonies of Mass. and VA from 1710 to 1750 by compiling and reviewing probate records of that time period.

There is historical opinion -- what did the people of Mass and VA (based on their letters and diaries and newspaper articles, etc.) think of their relative wealth and standard of living from 1710 to 1750? What weight such opinions should be given in trying to analyze that issue is, of course, open for interpretation.

Then there are historical interpretations made from such historical facts, deduced historical information, the opinions of people living at the time, information provided by archealogical findings, etc., etc. Some of these interpretations are sounder and/or more broadly accepted than others. Kids should understand the broadly accepted historical interpretation, and then that there are many other interpretations that take those facts and come to a different result and then look at a couple of the sounder alternative historical interpretations.
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#22 of 34 Old 08-06-2010, 09:43 AM
 
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Why not teach them your family story as it relates to the border moving?
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#23 of 34 Old 08-06-2010, 10:01 AM
 
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We live in a city that is bilingual and our culture in this city has a lot of Latino flair. Maybe your perspective is influenced by where you live. I'm a teacher myself so I certainly don't think that the school curriculum is designed to mislead students (at least not here or in other places where I've taught) or something like that. And since the 90s there has been a huge movement in many schools to present a view of history and the world around us (if that's what you are talking about), a huge push for multiculturalism. Is it enough? no, but the public schools are full of leaks. One plug at a time. I do "correct" things my children learn in school, of course. I do encourage them to look beyond textbooks, to question constantly -- but I would do that regardless of our heritage, because I am naturally skeptical and believe it's a healthy approach to life in general.

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#24 of 34 Old 08-06-2010, 11:32 AM
 
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I don't think that it is helpful for the OP to discuss history in a framework of "real" vs. "not real" with her kids -- it fact that seems frequently dangerous to me!

There are historical facts we know (as much as we can know anything) to be true. For example, the date of the Declaration of Independence.

There is historical information that we can deduce, for which the "trueness" is dependent on the strength of the deduction and the historian's analysis. For example, a historian might attempt to deduce the relative wealth and standard of living of the colonies of Mass. and VA from 1710 to 1750 by compiling and reviewing probate records of that time period.

There is historical opinion -- what did the people of Mass and VA (based on their letters and diaries and newspaper articles, etc.) think of their relative wealth and standard of living from 1710 to 1750? What weight such opinions should be given in trying to analyze that issue is, of course, open for interpretation.

Then there are historical interpretations made from such historical facts, deduced historical information, the opinions of people living at the time, information provided by archealogical findings, etc., etc. Some of these interpretations are sounder and/or more broadly accepted than others. Kids should understand the broadly accepted historical interpretation, and then that there are many other interpretations that take those facts and come to a different result and then look at a couple of the sounder alternative historical interpretations.
I have to agree with. Things like the American revolution looks differently from the British point of view. Which one is right? There are hard facts -- dates in history. Then you have peoples point of view.
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#25 of 34 Old 08-11-2010, 05:25 PM
 
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I am Native American and I do teach my dd history with that viewpoint added.

We haven't gone over the Mexican wars but I do intend on including the viewpoint of the Mexican natives.

I second the recommendation for Howard Zinn.

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#26 of 34 Old 08-11-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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I have to agree with. Things like the American revolution looks differently from the British point of view. Which one is right? There are hard facts -- dates in history. Then you have peoples point of view.
I agree, from the British viewpoint the taxes were being levied in order to pay for the French and Indian wars and they were only being expected to help pay the costs of keeping the colonies within the Empire.

There are layers to every tale.

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#27 of 34 Old 08-11-2010, 05:57 PM
 
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We are part Native American and my children are also the children of someone born in the Soviet Union. Besides that, yes we are also hispanic, here since before the Mexican-American war (so hiya, Sister!). I will not have my children believing lies--and frankly, some textbooks DO print outright lies, pure and simple. But yes, at times they are just different perspectives. I plan to be frank with my kids: To the victor go the spoils, including history books. None of us was there. Here are some things that are backed up with fairly solid evidence even though some may say they are not true, because they believe it would justify actions they don't agree with.

The tests in school ask you about what the book says, not about God's absolute truth, and you need to be able to explain that you know it. You don't have to believe it.

Mambera... that book sounds so interesting, even though you only gave the title. But what a great title!

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#28 of 34 Old 08-11-2010, 06:01 PM
 
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EdnaMarie I completely agree, some textbooks do print lies and I am not ok with that.

I homeschool now so it is easier but when dd was in school I am sure I was a bit difficult. I tended to send notes. "My dd has colored Columbus' hands red because he has blood on them "

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#29 of 34 Old 08-11-2010, 06:17 PM
 
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EdnaMarie I completely agree, some textbooks do print lies and I am not ok with that.

I homeschool now so it is easier but when dd was in school I am sure I was a bit difficult. I tended to send notes. "My dd has colored Columbus' hands red because he has blood on them "
HAH! Awesome. I wonder how that would go over at a Department of Defense school overseas.

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#30 of 34 Old 08-15-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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"I homeschool now so it is easier but when dd was in school I am sure I was a bit difficult. I tended to send notes. "My dd has colored Columbus' hands red because he has blood on them."

That would have been subversive. In maybe 1971.

I'm not sure that it should be a matter of pride to have traded instilling in your child one unnuanced view of a historical event for a different unnuanced view (just of a different political persuasion).
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