Sunday, September 18, 2011

It is For Them

Why do it?  Why spend hours in preparation, drive half way across the state, sleep outside in 45 degree weather and not shower for days?

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I suppose all reenactors have their own reasons for doing it, but for me it is all about the kids. What better way to learn history? Not just the kids doing the reeacting but those visiting. Every kid that walks by my laundress setup wants to try their hand at using the washboard. They are drawn to it like bugs to a zapper. They WANT to do laundry.

Did you hear that mothers? We’re doing it wrong! Give those kids a bucket and a scrub board and let them do their own laundry! Sure they’ll get tired of it, but what will they have learned in the process?

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One of the most important things I learned when homeschooling was that not all children learn the same way. Sometimes you have to throw everything at them and see what sticks. If they can see, smell, hear, touch and taste history they’ll be more inclined to appreciate it. Which do you think the kid below will remember tomorrow, the date the Civil War started or what a fox’s foot feels like and how and why the furs were processed?

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If you told a kid to go outside and beat two rocks together they would think you were crazy. Show them how to make arrowheads, however, and suddenly you’re elevated to hero status.

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Any art, any craft has the potential of sparking that interest they never knew they had.

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“You mean cheese doesn’t always come in individually wrapped slices?”

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Live history and you teach history. That’s why I do it.

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My son had the honor of guarding President Lincoln during his speech. I doubt there will be any questions about how that is done on the ISTEP test. I wonder if I send this to his U.S. History teacher if he could get some extra credit? Or do they even bother with extra credit in the schools anymore? Probably not, it doesn’t fit neatly on a computer graded form.

christinesig

14 comments:

Historical Ken said...

This is a very well thought out (and very true) post!
What we can show the kids as living historians will stick with them for a lifetime.

Karen Patrick said...

Wow. Impressive.

Alex said...

I love your blog!

melanie said...

What a great post!

MilkMaid09 said...

I always wanted to work on a living history farm - that would have to be my all-time dream job. How cool would it be to go to work doing the three things I love most? - history, critters, and kids! Alas, I'll just have to settle for waitin' 'till the kids are a bit older, I think when they can pitch the tent for me will be a good age ;}.

I'm gonna tell Mom! said...

AMEN to all of that!

kim

Nancy K. said...

AWESOME post Christine!
Your son is a lucky young man to have such a creative Mom...

Milah said...

It sure beats sitting at a desk 7 hours a day reading about it in books, if it's still in the books!

Betty Lou said...

Great post Christine. I love Civil War history and when we were back in Fremont, Ohio (home of President Rutherford B. Hayes) last year there were several families of reenactors staying in the same hotel. It was wonderful to see the children so involved. I love CW history because my Dad loved it, and I remember him taking me to different battlefields, etc.

Christine said...

They don't even have books anymore, Milah. Now the have ipads.

Amish Stories said...

Always great to see how we lived so long ago. Richard

Marilyn Robertson said...

Hands on learning is always more fun than just reading about it. It sounds like a good time was had by all! Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

Lori said...

I love it! When I was homeschooling we went to as many living history events as we possibly could. Thanks Christine!!

Bonny said...

Do you go to the Feast of the Hunter's Moon Festival in KLafayette, IN?? We were there last weekend. Good stuff.