Traveling through History

Learning history is part of most school curriculums. But teaching your child to enjoy learning it and remembering can be a more difficult tasks. I find that there is no better way to teach or learn history than through travel. There really is no comparison between reading about something in a text book and seeing it with your own eyes. There are a lot of historic landmarks spread throughout the word full of history. When you visit these historic places, you get submerged into the story. You can feel what it was like back in the day, you can hear the stories from a tour guide, or you can get an idea of the dimensions that were at play. Things like the Alamo when read about seem huge and powerful but when seen in person, it takes a new life and makes the stories more easily understood.

Visiting living museums are also very memorable experiences. It almost feels like being transported back in time to a historic event. In these museums, the tour guides will often embody the stories they tell. Also, they are often well educated on the topic and can answer an array of questions that you would not be able to ask a text book. And as you walk through these places and learn, lots of questions tend to pop up as your mind is triggered by new sights. Topics like slavery can be taught by visiting a plantation in Northern Louisiana where they will walk you through the process of picking cotton and seeding it, show you the quarters and clothing the slaves wore during those times, and even sing for you songs written by slaves to cope with life. You are completely emerged in a world of decades past, and can hear stories passed down by different generations.

Speaking with locals is also an amazing way to learn about history. When you visit new town exhibits most people working there usually have either a personal connection to the land or have heard stories about the events all their lives. Places like the Edison museum have many volunteers that are descendants from actual employees that worked in the factory. The stories they tell are not based on history books but rather on firsthand accounts of people that shared space with the man himself.

And these are just a few! Using different media when traveling is not an option is also helpful to get children excited about learning history. There are a large number of movies, videos and articles. These can add a degree of connection between the child and the subject matter. No matter what the lesson or the way is presented, the key is to make it memorable so it draws them in and captures their attention.



Karen Matamoros is a homeschooling coach helping parents transitioning to home education, homeschooling, unschooling or worldschooling to create flow in their daily lives and cultivate the relationship with their children. She is also the founder of Project: KAring, an alternative education portal for kids focused on the body, mind, and soul. She created this community to make free form education easily accessible to every child, though a directory, forums and scholarships. A few years ago, she decided to sell her 6-figure business to start unschooling her two daughters on the road full time and has been traveling the world ever since.


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