He grew up a student of the school system. History was little more than a series of titles and dates mixed in with social studies. It wasn't until the sixth grade that a teacher read a well-written story from history to him. In that moment, history became interesting.
He's a history teacher now. He's passionate about the subject. He clearly loves research and tying themes together. That's great.
Tragically, his history courses are mostly about social studies. As I reviewed the DVD he sent me, I kept waiting for him to share a story. I desperately wanted him to give me the same thing he experienced as a 6th Grader. But after two lectures, I had nothing more than a few compiled facts and opinions about a society. Not a single story. Nothing to hook me. "History" was boring.
Key words flashed on the screen. "These are important," I was told. "So be sure to write them in your notes."
I'm not against note taking. If writing something down helps you remember it, fantastic! I dutifully fill in the blanks on the sheet provided with the sermon each Sunday. But learning history is not akin to recalling terms like "the people of the mountain" associated with a particular people group. Telling me that slaves were of little importance means nothing either. But if you shared a story about a slave who lived among a people on a mountain, I'd get all that. More that than, I'd be interested.
Give your students a powerful advantage in their studies with a literature-based curriculum. Allow history to come alive for your children. Give them an education that encourages them to find history interesting. Please read books instead.
By all means add media and other resources to your schooling. But continue to use great stories as the basis for your studies. A great story sparked a passion for history. Imagine what an education based on great literature would do.
You don't have to imagine.
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Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester
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