Resource of the Week: Living History
A recent post by Alfie Kohn backs up what most homeschoolers already know - that the best learning takes place when the student is interested. True passions are almost always student-initiated, but exposure to a wide variety of experiences leads to a wider array of interests that might resonate with a child. Exposure to living history interpretation was one such experience for me and one I recommend for children and teens. Although history was my least favorite subject in high school and college, it is now my passion because as an adult I encountered it in a non-academic environment.
If you have a child interested in history, consider letting them pursue that through historical societies or volunteering as historical interpreters at historical sites. For one young woman I know, such volunteering turned into a degree in historical preservation and an internship at a local historical site associated with George Washington. This week's resource, while linked to an individual historical site in Virginia, is really just a link representative of the vast number of historical sites around the country that offer similar programs. Check out volunteer opportunities through the National Park Service and other historical sites in your area. In my area, we have a group specifically for kids called George Washington's Young Friends. Your area might have something similar, or you could look into attending a Civil War reenactment, which can be an interesting way to expose kids to history. Historical interpretation is a great way to get kids interested in history and to give a sense of time and place to the history that they read in books. (Just remember that if they aren't interested, pushing harder doesn't make it more interesting!)