Thursday, November 02, 2006

History Buffs

Much unlike either of their parents, my daughters are history buffs. Caitlín especially likes the Oregon Trail, Colonial and Medieval periods. Laurel's favorites are the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Civil War eras, but she also likes the medieval period. Browsing some old e-mails tonight, I found this one of interest:

Out of curiosity, a few weeks ago I gave Caitlín an oral "test" on the history SOLs for 6th grade (which are rather lofty, and highly unlikely to be achieved in a public school setting). She already knew everything included--except for the terms "speakeasy" and "fascism." When I asked Caitlín if she could explain the influx of immigrants, the reasons they came, the hardships they faced, and their relationship to the rise of industrialism, she floored me! She has a very clear understanding of it all. Her knowledge was across the board, from the end of WWII through the Civil Rights movement. And nobody "taught" her a thing; she learned it because she found the books interesting. Caitlín didn't study history in chronological order, but bounced around, starting with 1847 on the Oregon Trail, then to 1777, forward to 1912 aboard the Titanic, and when the "Royal Diaries" came out, she went all the way back to 57 BCE, to Cleopatra's youth.

We don't do tons of hands-on activities for history. Caitlín sometimes will want to try a recipe or activity found in one of the books, but most of our "real life" history studies focus on the Colonial and Revolutionary periods, as there is a wealth of historical sites in our area. But she is asking for help finding historical sites of other time periods, such as the Victorian or Great Depression.

My daughters' enjoyment of history has far surpassed what I wrote just over 5 years ago--to places I could not have imagined at that time. I will post more about that soon.

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