Monday, November 2, 2015

Welcome to Moving West!

Moving West is a project designed to capture the attention of a self proclaimed history hater. I say self proclaimed because my child doesn't really hate history, she hates the idea of history. 

She believes history is flat and full of boring facts to memorize that have nothing to do with her. 

Despite this I have spent countless hours walking the display cases in the The Daughters of the Utah Pioneer's museum as she smudges the glass with her nose inspecting every tiny artifact.

She happily sat through all the Little House books and several different television versions.  She also has a passion, shared my her mom, of old places and abandoned rusting things. 

Over the past few years certain historical people namely Anne Sullivan, Harriet Tubman, Harry Houdini, and Annie Oakley have managed to break through her history hater's wall and grab her attention. 

These particular historical figures & their stories helped her explore her own feelings and challenges. And that was the key. My child is not a passive learner (who is?!) she needs to actively feel herself inside the shoes of the people we study.

I designed Moving West to play to her strengths. It is built to use her imagination and creativity to lead the learning. 

You should know right up front there will be historical errors. Some will be in concession and others flat out ignorance. I am not a historian and part of the adventure is discovering what was and what wasn't way back when. We will make mistakes. Some we will catch as we learn more but realistically there will be those that we do not. This is about learning and exploration not perfection.

Moving West is designed as a unit study meant to incorporate multiple subjects and activities (history, science, math, art, writing, reading, etc) The Unit also has a few field trips built in.

Although I used the greater Salt Lake Valley any geographic location could be used.

As part of the magic the assignments are snail mailed. The letters come addressed to her historical character care of modern day Beach.

Because of the high demand of Beach's gymnastics some assignments may take longer to complete than others but I am hoping to be able to do about one a week.


Welcome to the wild west feel free to play along! All post can be found under the label: history for history haters.

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