Sorry about the dearth of posts lately, I’ve spent the last 2 weeks either traveling or preparing to travel, so…
Anyway, we went to Gettysburg — or “Mecca” in my husband’s vernacular. It was the annual fall muster of the Military History Online group. So many good friends, so much fun and so much to learn.
Ten years ago on another visit to Gettysburg, Chris & I noticed a father, mother and 2 teen daughters standing near the Albert Woolson monument behind the cyclorama building. The father was expounding on the Union line and the 2 girls were patently not interested. They had the slouched shoulders, the hands on the hips and the gum-chomping “so” attitude going on as dear old dad tried his best. Then mom started, “your father is trying to teach you something — act like you’re interested!!” All I could think was, “you’ll enjoy Wally World even if it hurts.” Since we’ve had children (daughters, no less) my recurring nightmare has been “OMG, you expect ME to be interested in THAT!”
So, I was thrilled, ecstatic and absolutely joyful at the number of kids with their parents at the muster. Our girls, 2 babies, another darling girl, and 2 boys made up their own contingent. They listened in spurts while running and playing and clambering over the rocks and through the meadows. Afterwards, we got questions about shot velocity, flag bearers, tree-clearing and “one weird dude.*”
In conversations at the muster, I started toying with the idea of creating a website for kids and history — there are a few good resources, but they need to be more easily accessible to kids on the net. My older daughter has been writing for the school newspaper, working on a “this week in history” column and finding the materials in a way that she can interpret for elementary school has been a challenge.
You see, I think if you teach kids to love history (or any knowledge) early you won’t end up with the disengaged tweener, bored and intellectually stagnant at 14 — or at least that’s the premise I’m working from!
Music to drive to: Kasey Chambers, KT Tunstall, Mark Knopfler, and Kay Kyser —
“Be bold. If you’re going to make an error, make it a doozey and don’t be afraid to hit the ball.” –> Billie Jean King
* one weird dude is Daniel Sickles — my daughters christened him with the title, and thus it stuck!