High School U.S. History
In our class this week, we talked about post World War II America. We discussed the baby boom, television culture, car culture, McCarthyism, the Cold War, and decolonization. We also discussed that not all of our citizens were able to enjoy the prosperity that came with the military industrial complex that was a boost to the economy. This is setting us up to begin our discussion of the Civil Rights Movement next week and the feminist movement a little later.
I always enjoy the weeks that I can a little personal element to our classes. We are getting close to the era that is no longer "history" for me, but a part of the world that I have lived in. Mamie Eisenhower pink was a popular color in suburbia in the 1950s. I found a video that showed the pink kitchen appliances that were in my great-grandmother's kitchen.
World History I
This week we reviewed the tenets of Buddhism in the light of the conversion of the Mauryan Empire's Ashoka the Great. We read a translation of one of his edicts and my students were able to compare the engraving on one of his pillars with the Rosetta Stone. I always enjoy helping my students to discover cross-cultural connections in history. We also had a great discussion about the Ashoka artifacts that are under the jurisdiction of the Taliban in Afghanistan and discussed the controversial issue of removing historical objects from their place of origin to Western museums in the name of protection.
We also examined the origins of the Great Wall of China and the finding of the terra cotta warriors of Emperor Shi Huangti.
Finally, we read a bit about the meticulous order of Roman military encampments written by Josephus. There just never seems to be enough time to cover everything.
Pillars of Ashoka - Wikipedia
World History II
This week, we examined the origins of the official Kingdom of England. We took a look at some of the elements of the British Coronation Ceremony, which hasn't changed much since its inception, and we took a look at the Viking colony that established itself on Greenland.
I love including elements of art history in our classes. We took a close look at an ivory plaque fragment that showed Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (so named because his mother gave birth in the purple chamber of the royal palace) being crowned by Jesus Christ. It was carved in the royal workshops of Constantinople around 954 CE and is housed in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. We couldn't help but laugh at all the steps that a Kievan Rus princess Olga took to exact revenge on the Drevlians for the death of her husband Igor but it's all good because she obtained sainthood later. LOL
Given that Kyev has been in the news of late, my students were most interested in the churches that have been standing since the 900s and are hoping that they survive this devastating war.
Middle School U.S. History
This week, we completed a unit so my students were able to show off their projects. One of the students did a family tree of the Roosevelt family. I encourage them to use their imaginations to extend their knowledge of history. We also had a slide presentation on the Great Depression and an original poem on World War II leaders. We talked about the bombing of Pearl Harbor and analyzed a photo of an aerial view of the attack from a Japanese bomber.
Photo from the Library of Congress
In class we discussed Japanese interment camps, the Navajo Code Talkers, and the African American Double V campaign.
National History Day
I am very proud of my NHD student and the paper he submitted for the Alabama History Day competition. He is not going to advance to finals this year but hopefully he has had fun and will try again next year.
African American History
We are taking our time walking through the Civil Rights Movement. In our homework, we examined the philosophy behind many of the later protests. This was another class where I was able to add a personal element. My husband's grandmother was a co-plaintiff in an early NAACP test case in Trenton, New Jersey, Hedgepeth Williams v. Board of Education of New Jersey. It was actually the subject of my daughter Brandice's first National History Day competition entries.
We also examined the law school desegregation experiences of Heman Sweatt and Ada Lois Sipuel, as well as the sad case of the blinding of Isaac Woodard. My students were saddened to know that after risking their lives in World War II, the African American soldiers were treated worse than they had been in the war.
Weaving in the Ends
Registration is now open for next school year's classes.
Also, I’d be honored if you'd join me at The Liberation of Education Conference–a four (4) evening, fully virtual, school choice summit set-up by entrepreneurs to introduce parents to an entire range of educational solutions outside of the traditional public school model. You will hear about accessing funds, homeschooling, virtual schools, microschools, charters, hybrids, curriculum, individual education plans, high school, higher education, career tracks and much more.
I’ll be speaking on Monday, April 25th about Helping Your Children Discover Their Passion, which will focus on the ways in which we as parents can create pathways that enable our children to maximize their gifts and talents.
You can buy your tickets here https://www.liberationofeducation.org/.