This is a blog about resources adults can use to help young people connect with history. We write about books, videos, websites, museums and games that we’ve found, as well as our experiences exploring history with our own child. We’re particularly drawn to stories about people who usually get written out of history, and angles on standard topics that challenge conventional ideas and interpretations. We’re hoping to connect with other parents, caregivers, teachers, historians, and friends of young people around these interests.
These are some of the ideas about history that we try to convey to our kid, and that we bring to this blog:
- History is interesting, engaging and moving. It’s exciting, funny, enraging and sad.
- History matters to all of us. It shapes our lives and our societies. It can help us grow and learn how to move forward.
- History doesn’t just happen to people. People — all of us — actively make history all the time.
- History isn’t just about wars and presidents. The stories of everyday people and everyday life are just as important.
- History is connected with other interesting subjects, like literature, science, math, geography, music and art.
- History has multiple perspectives and interpretations. It’s better to learn how to gather information and ask critical questions than to learn the “correct” interpretation.
WHO WE ARE
I have been interested in history since childhood, thanks largely to my parents, grandparents, and the public alternative schools I attended, and I love being able to pass that on to my own kid now. I work as an archivist, so I deal with the raw materials of history every day. Outside my day job, history also informs my political writing about right-wing movements and systems of oppression.
I’m a freelance writer, book indexer, librarian, and longtime collector of children’s literature. My favorite way to learn about history is to read novels set in different places and time periods. As our son gets older, I’m always looking for things we can do together that we’ll both enjoy. History has become a major focus in our household because it excites all of us.
HEADER PHOTO CREDIT
“Colonial Costumes — Gaynor Park,” [1913 Dec. 20], Bain News Service. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Call Number LC-B2- 2951-3.
All images featured in History Matters for Kids are either in the public domain, available under a Creative Commons license, or used with permission.