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cokers4life
09-16-2013, 10:25 PM
History is one of those things that is subjective and sometimes completely distorted to suit the needs of others. I am interested to know if there are any alternative stories in history that your family will be teaching? Or giant holes that you will point out that exist in history? Interesting facts that are often not mentioned because of the society you live in?

alegre
09-16-2013, 10:59 PM
Great question!

One of the main messages we hope to impress on our children is that Native Americans are not just something of the past, but vibrant, alive, diverse, active!

It's amazing how many books and curricula, while occasionally paying lip service to the fact that Native peoples are alive to this day, overall relegate them to the past. Just recently I've found examples of these types of portrayals of Native Americans in theteacherscorner.net and Moving Beyond the Page.

Heidi M
09-17-2013, 05:15 AM
We tend to expand on almost anything you would find in a history book. They might dedicate a page at most to things we feel warrant a deeper discussion. One year, after noting that The Holocaust was given a half page in one text, we decided a year long Holocaust Studies course was indicated. It was one of the best things we ever did. From then on, we used most texts for any subject as a jumping off point. I love the native people idea! I think we do tend to relegate them to history rather than recognizing them as a current and dynamic population. I think I'll look into it more too :) I think a writing exercise will tell me what they think they know already and where I need to begin. I feel a Myth/Reality research project coming on!!!

inmom
09-17-2013, 07:49 AM
My kids studied US history over 4 years while middle school aged. Now that they are a sophomore and junior, we're doing the "official" year for high school. Since they already have learned and studied it so much, we're using Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" as our spine and the website "Reading Like a Historian" to examine original documents. (Home | Stanford History Education Group (http://sheg.stanford.edu/home_page)). Just this month, they've examined passenger lists, different maps of early VA, and two documents written by John Smith 30 years apart and looked into WHY and HOW documents differ. They are taking into consideration who wrote these things, why, who the target audience was--all to determine how much weight they should attribute to the truth of the documents. It's been an eye-opener for them.

halfpint
09-17-2013, 02:35 PM
We will be teaching that an advanced civilization existed on earth pre-egyptians. The Great Pyramid and some others around the world were built by this civilization - things built with stone blocks so big that we today would have a hard time moving them. We don't know who they were, or what technology they had, but we've lost it.

Yes, we are a family of conspiracy theorists. We will give time and thought to many "wacko" ideas and are happy with coming to the conclusion that we just don't know. We also believe that Sasquatch/Yeti stories are based in some kind of reality (we don't know exactly what), that 9/11 was NOT a terrorist attack (and many other false-flag events in US history), that there was pre-Columbian trade between the old and new worlds... lots!

One of our family mottos is "all we know is that we don't know". We like to study something enough to disprove the pat answer, even if we don't come up with a new one.

cokers4life
09-17-2013, 11:09 PM
We will be teaching that an advanced civilization existed on earth pre-egyptians. The Great Pyramid and some others around the world were built by this civilization - things built with stone blocks so big that we today would have a hard time moving them. We don't know who they were, or what technology they had, but we've lost it.

Yes, we are a family of conspiracy theorists. We will give time and thought to many "wacko" ideas and are happy with coming to the conclusion that we just don't know. We also believe that Sasquatch/Yeti stories are based in some kind of reality (we don't know exactly what), that 9/11 was NOT a terrorist attack (and many other false-flag events in US history), that there was pre-Columbian trade between the old and new worlds... lots!

One of our family mottos is "all we know is that we don't know". We like to study something enough to disprove the pat answer, even if we don't come up with a new one.

I love your family motto. I am so on board. I love a good conspiracy, and my children will definitely be watching the documentary on 9-11 by the Architects and Engineers for truth.

Half my problem with teaching history is my love for a good conspiracy. I love ancient Egypt theories too. That will be lots of fun too explore the architectural unknowns of the temples around the world. My favorites are the ones in South America. Glad to see a fellow conspiracy family.

Gummers
09-18-2013, 01:02 AM
Hm... I think teaching young kids things that are blatantly untrue would be more confusing that illuminating.

ScienceGeek
09-18-2013, 01:43 AM
We actually ran into a Native American Storyteller at the Archery range one day and we invited him to my science class to tell stories. The kids loved it so much we'v had him come to our 4H community club meeting twice and to another group we're in. We also just watched a short clip on the Navaho Code Talkers today while talking about codes (Bravewriter) So I sure hope they realize Native Americans still exist.
Horrible Histories are pretty good for showing the 'myths' in history and we do talk a lot about 'different' versions of history.

Starkspack
09-18-2013, 05:18 AM
Interesting thread. What other resources are you using to find alternate narratives for history? Besides Zinn and Horrible Histories mentioned above....

halfpint
09-18-2013, 12:03 PM
An important point: We don't teach What Happened. We only teach What Didn't Happen & What Might Have Happened. We absolutely refuse the idea that *anyone* can say What Happened - they weren't there!!

Mind you we're talking older history/prehistory here, not the Civil War :P

cokers4life
09-18-2013, 09:01 PM
Conspiracies and alternative views on history are great opportunities to practice fact checking and that is how we will be handling them. There is nothing more fun then challenging yourself with different ideas and theories.

cokers4life
09-18-2013, 09:04 PM
We will definitely talk about the history of Eugenics in the US, Canada and Europe.

JenRay
09-19-2013, 12:29 AM
9/11 was NOT a terrorist attack
I don't mean to be inflammatory, I am genuinely curious - If it wasn't a terrorist attack, what was it? Who orchestrated it and why?

I don't spend a lot of time on the news in any case, and I haven't spent any time on conspiracy theory. We draw on many sources for history education, talk about why there are different versions, etc. In this case, we haven't studied it yet, and while I have heard that people have conspiracy theories, I don't know what they are.

CrazyCatWoman
09-19-2013, 12:45 AM
"History My Teachers Never Taught Me" is a good stepping stone for examining a lot of the holes in History. We tend to watch a lot of PBS, which also fills in holes. Things like the Computer of Ancient Greece, Mystery of Chaco Canyon, and such.

We have read aloud the book "Kon Tiki" and it is VERY evident to my kids that the Ancients all around the world were much smarter and more capable than most moderns give them credit for. We also live down the road from where the Kennewick man was found - an apparently at first glance, Caucasian/Asian man who is so old that no one is sure how he got here. Me, I am pretty sure he sailed, and then met up with people on the Columbia River which he traveled up until the time of his death.

I do want to do more with Helen Keller, and just in general give a better overview of history than what modern history (dull) books do.

cokers4life
09-19-2013, 01:17 AM
I don't mean to be inflammatory, I am genuinely curious - If it wasn't a terrorist attack, what was it? Who orchestrated it and why?

I don't spend a lot of time on the news in any case, and I haven't spent any time on conspiracy theory. We draw on many sources for history education, talk about why there are different versions, etc. In this case, we haven't studied it yet, and while I have heard that people have conspiracy theories, I don't know what they are.

I would check out the Architects and Engineers for 9-11 truth. I found their documentary eye opening. They do not speculate on what they think 9-11 was about. They only focus on their expertise which is on the architecture and engineering aspect of 9-11. They go into great detail on the holes that exist in the official story. ARCHITECTS AND ENGINEERS FOR 911 TRUTH (full unreleased version) - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-V1CiuGMJo)

halfpint
09-19-2013, 10:26 AM
Conspiracies and alternative views on history are great opportunities to practice fact checking and that is how we will be handling them. There is nothing more fun then challenging yourself with different ideas and theories.

Yep! Calling something a "conspiracy theory" makes it easy to dismiss. We try to fact check everything - the original story, the "conspiracy" theory, and any other outlying data. We ask "what if" and "who said that", and look at who's got which irons in the fire. In the end, we may decide the theory is a crazy conspiracy, or we might decide it's true, or we might decide we don't have enough evidence to know for sure. Often we end with "the popular explanation is faulty, but we don't really know what's right." That's how we see the Egyptian Pyramids - they're definitely not tombs built by slaves with rollers, but we don't know how they were built. We like to talk about possibilities :)

In the case of 9-11, you can start by asking "what doesn't make sense?" in regards to the official story. It'll take itself from there...

cokers4life
09-22-2013, 12:47 AM
I just came across this great Ted Talk about giving back the Black hills. Since Native American history was mentioned earlier in the thread, I thought it would be an important addition to the thread. It is truly moving. Aaron Huey: America's native prisoners of war - YouTube (http://youtu.be/8tEuaj4h8dw)