Wow, have we had an exciting week! I know Monday was a holiday, but we didn’t take the day off. Instead we spent the day reminiscing about our trip last year to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, Georgia. I have to admit that trip was an eye opener for me.
Born several years after the climax of the Civil Rights movement and born and raised in the North, I don’t remember really learning much about this turbulent and disgraceful time in American history. And against my better judgment I will admit that I had always pegged Martin Luther King, Jr. in the same category as Malcolm X and the Black Panthers. Was I ever wrong- I learned just how so when my daughter and I visited this National Historic Site dedicated to the great man that Martin Luther King, Jr. was. A man who strove peacefully for equality and dedicated his life to what he so rightly believed in, “that all men are created equal.”
After our trip to Atlanta we did a full blown study on this tumultuous time and spoke at length with my grandmother and my dad to hear firsthand accounts. My dad made a statement that I think rings true, if Martin Luther King, Jr. would not have been assassinated, he would have changed things. Sadly, that was not to be. On Monday, my children and I watched a YouTube clip of his famous speech “I Have a Dream.” My children commented on what a charismatic and well spoken man he was, if you haven’t already done so, you can watch it for yourself:
Taking the holiday as a chance to dive back into the Civil Rights era, we began reading The Watsons go to Birmingham, especially since we are planning an upcoming trip to the city in the next month or two. We haven’t finished this yet, but this book is certainly one that will keep your attention. The very first chapter had us laughing so hard that tears were running down my cheeks! There are many online sources if you’re ever interested in reading this and developing it into a full-blown unit study, but we haven’t completed and additional activities yet. We’ll probably begin working on some notebooking pages and completing a couple activities that I found in the websites below when we really get into the more historical aspects of the book. I’m not sure what the age range is for the activities I ran across, but I wouldn’t think you’d really want to read the book with kids much younger than the 6th grade, the reading level it’s written at. Because of the content of the book, I wouldn’t rush to place it in the hands of a younger child and though my kids are older, we have paused a few times to discuss the book as we go through it. Before you hand it over to your child, you should know there are a few swear words as well.
You'll find teaching guides from Random House ideas listed under the Teacher heading here.
This website is basically a public school unit study, but the ideas can easily be adapted for homeschools.
This pdf study guide seems to be for younger children, but could probably be adapted for older children as well.
I also found some great ideas here that I will incorporate now and with other books that we read, especially the biopoem.
Well this is turning into a much longer post than I’d anticipated so let me just add that my son spent the afternoon talking to the campground manager hearing all about his tour in Vietnam- I count that as history, and who better to hear it from?
My oldest is still reading the history encyclopedia and my daughter began an online newsletter writing class that she is thrilled about. She has spent the remainder of week completing her assignments.
Oh, and did I mention that we had some other excitement? Last night we had a tornado touchdown nearby. I don’t know about you, but a motor home is not the most desirous place to be in adverse weather. We spent the morning reading the local news channels online and watching YouTube videos of the very same storm, just from different areas and angles.
Wanna see what other homeschooling families are up to? Just click on the button at the top of the post to read more Weekly Wrap-ups.
Until next week….Happy Homeschooling!