Tuesday, October 9, 2012

History Update and a teaser

History is a challenge.  I am still not 100% sure it is the right place for Grace right now.  I am not totally sure she will make it through the whole year, but I think she will survive the entire 10 week semester.  
Grace has met a 12 year old girl that she likes to learn with.  This is a big deal.  Grace loves to learn with other children.  She likes to raise her hand and contribute to a group discussion.  Of course this would be easier for her if she had a better understanding of the material and we are working on that every day.
We have been using some fabulous resources like The American Spirit (read aloud by me to both Lilah and Grace).  We watched episode 1 of  America: The Story of US and loved it.  I had to fast forward through two violent disturbing scenes (of a burning at the stake and an Native American longhouse ambush) but I adore how prominent Americans such as Rudy Giuliani, Gen. Colin Powell and Donald Trump (to name just a few) speak to the events in our history and reflect on how they helped shape our American Spirit and character.  
We have read the Declaration of Independence and we are reading the Constitution of our nation.  It has been years since I read this document and now I get the opportunity to dig through it with Grace.  We cut out the questions, paste them into her journal and write out the answers.  It is slow going, but she understands what she is learning.  
We watched the debate together.  She is learning that history is one big story told from many points of view.  Two diametrically opposite men stood at a podium and told us their viewpoints on how to best lead our nation.  Each had a different story to tell.  It is up to us to decide whose story we believe and who we feel is best able to lead our nation to prosperity and greatness.  I found it fascinating that my child who has never studied economics commented to me that she cannot understand how taxing people will create jobs because there is less and less money left to pay people and spend in the marketplace. My 12 year old is a budding conservative!  
Throughout the debate I was constantly peppered with comments beginning with “my teacher said....”.  He said this, and he said that, and I learned this, and I learned about that.  I looked at her and made her realize what she was doing.  Here she thinks she is swimming underwater, unable to keep afloat with the work required.  Despite the fact she cannot keep up with all the reading and she cannot keep up with the paper homework, she is absorbing so much information and she is reciting it with passion and applying it to real world events.  
I can’t wait to hear what she thinks about her first trip to Plymouth Plantation....

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