Monday, October 13, 2014

Big History

History is always a big thorn in our side when it comes to schooling. Every year when we turn out stuff into the state, we are acutely aware of how we could be doing so much better and vow to do it differently the next year. Of course, when the next year comes around, we blow it off with much regret. This year we seem to be a little more motivated, and part of that is due to mom's increased inspiration. A is on the verge of high school and we can't really play games anymore. Plus, given a little structure and guidance, she can be incredibly inspired and motivated. It's very cool to see.

With this in mind, we decided to focus a little more energy on history, though truth be told, learning history as a kid is a bit of a joke because you have no concept of what you're learning or for that matter, frame of reference. Like a lot of schoolwork, it's a lot of busy work that you makes you hate history and you never retain it. At least, that's been my experience, and I don't think I'm alone. Personally I think young children are too young to learn history and it's better taught at a later age, or through personal experience, i.e. travel. Either way, we need to comply, so we found some interesting stuff online.

There is a program out there called Big History that tries to teach history in a different way. The creators are two historians that felt that traditional history is not being taught correctly, and that there might be a better way. These guys were innovative enough to win a multi-million dollar grant from the Gates Foundation, and their lesson plan is available online for free. We decided to check it out, figuring at this point we have nothing to lose.

We all take part, though A is the most involved, and so far, it's been interesting, though we haven't delved deeply enough to grasp the significant differences. At least I haven't. What's different is they start at the Big Bang and move forward from there. They really reach back to the beginning, though I learned some cool stuff.

Who knows where this will lead, but at least we're all learning some new stuff, and maybe by the end of the school year we'll actually be ahead of the game. We shall see.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Tyler for the pic.

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