Note to reader: I don’t think Black Lives Matter is political per se, although I do understand that the movement itself has political consequences as well they should. I hope that this is about as political as I’ll get on the blog but also felt it was important to share how or homeschool allows us and encourages us to dig a little deeper into current events and learn about how our history shapes our current political and social landscape.
I’ve never been good at memorising facts or dates, but history has always been important to me. History is the context by which we make incredibly important decisions and history is a window to understanding other cultures. This is why history will a very significant part of our homeschool.
I’ve mentioned before that I feel that raising young men is a great responsibility. Raising any child there is responsibility of course, but raising boys that become white male allies is important, and the privilege that comes with being white and male creates it’s own hurdles. One of those hurdles is that it is still too easy to learn history through a white male perspective provided in many of our history books.
I also found that as I was answering questions about Black Lives Matter they had little historical context… What they had learned went something like “Slavery, Abe Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr has a dream, everything is great because black and white kids can be friends.” I think this lack of context is why (white) people seem so surprised by the Black Lives Matter movement… as if it came from nowhere.
This is why we’ve decided that we will be studying American history from the first slaves landing in Jamestown in 1619 to the current #BlackLivesMatter movement. We’ll end our period of study with at trip to the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington DC.
I know, my timing is off because it’s not black history month. Why start in November and not February? Because I intend for this study to take much longer than 28 (or 29) days. In fact, I have no end date for this particular theme. We’ll spend as long as we need in order to make it through. When we study African American History, we study American History so we’ll learn about a few notable white men along the way too.
Of course, we’ll still be taking hikes and playing in nature, that never stops, but if you are following our adventures on the blog and on Instagram you’ll likely see many trips and activities related to this subject as well.
Current events have informed our study and our recent trip to Jamestown was a perfect jumping off point. I feel very fortunate that we have the freedom to learn history this way.
Here’s what we’ve checked out from the library to begin our study:
(Amazon affiliate links below if you don’t find these at the library or cannot find a local bookstore which carries them. If you cannot buy locally, please consider purchasing through my link to help support this blog.)
Chains (The Seeds of America Trilogy) by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Underground Abductor An Abolitionist Tale about Harriet Tubman – Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales
Frederick’s Journey The Life of Frederick Douglass by Doreen Rappaport
Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
Dear Benjamin Banneker by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate
Phillis’s Big Test By Catherine Clinton
I’ll keep an updated list of books in posts every so often as we go along.
Please feel free to leave us recommendations of places to go or books to read on facebook, instagram or on the blog as we go!