Both of my children walked into high school with a strong working knowledge of American history. No, they do not know the dates of every battle in the Civil War or the names of every single Civil Rights leader, but they do know a great deal about American history, including the timeline of events, many famous leaders of different movements, the presidents and many of their accomplishments, and tons of social events that have shaped our nation. They also know the most important dates and have a working knowledge of how our government works. So I realized I was just going to bore them to death by repeating it all again. What should we do?
Travel... That is the answer I came up with! Now, we are not made out of money and have a very rigorous schedule that keeps us close to home for most of the school year, but I hope to explore America much more in the coming years. If it takes us three years to fill this credit, that is fine with me.My kiddos have seen 32% of America and I hope to add as much as I can to that in the coming years. We just returned from our Deep South tour in which we explored a swamp, the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans, the Civil Rights movement in Montgomery Alabama and rode a steamboat on the Mississippi River. It was fantastic and they learned so much.
We also live in an area of the country which is steeped in history and are blessed to have relatives who live in the Washington, D.C. area who we have visited often through the children's childhoods. Just this past weekend we visited a small town about 30 minutes from us that we had not explored in years. We visited a small, living history pioneer fort from 1776 and a man-made geyser which was created to greet tourists to the mountains. We also explored a Civil War battlefield. We had some great discussions and reviewed some key points in history in our area.
The kids learned so much that it inspired me to come home and compile a list of all of the small towns around us and what they have to see and do. We should be busy for months exploring the towns on weekends.
We will still hit the books a bit. I am compiling a list of biographies and a few unit studies to sprinkle into our learning, but mostly we will go out and explore.