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Weekly Wrap Up

Before sharing what we discussed in our history classes this week, I would like to encourage you to follow Warp & Weft History on Facebook and Instagram. This week, I shared a proud Mama post as our youngest homeschool alum prepares to graduate from college and spread her wings.

Don't forget to join me for The Liberation of Education conference coming up on April 25th.

US History

I start every class asking my students about what fantastic adventures they are having in their lives when they are not in class. Getting to know them and learning what they about their hobbies and goals helps me to adjust my lesson plans to their learning styles and interests. Last week, on of my students shared the link to the independent film she is in that was featured at the SXSW film festival in Austin. It is called Apollo 10-1/2 and you can watch it on Netflix. Although it is set in the 1960s, almost every piece of information I had included in my lesson plan for Post World War II America last week was covered in the film. I told her she could have saved me time from lesson planning. I would have just assigned the class to watch the movie. LOL

World History I

We cover three chapters each week and sometimes it is difficult to find a common thread running through all three, but I found one this week. We discussed what different groups of minorities have to give up in order to assimilate into the dominant culture. We saw evidence of this in the 2nd Century BCE when the Jewish population of Egypt were granted full citizenship rights, but were permitted to practice their religion unmolested, but the Jews of the Seleucid Empire were forcibly expected to acculturate to Greek culture. A Greek gymnasium was set up next to the Temple and citizens were forced to attend at least once per year. Mothers who circumcised their sons on the 8th day, as the Torah commands, were forced to carry their infants' dead bodies hung from their necks. This led us to learn about the history of the festival of Hanukkah. We then discussed how the citizens of Cumae, in an effort to assimilate into Roman culture, were willing to give up their native tongue so they could adopt Latin as their official language and become cīvitās sine suffrāgiō, citizens without voting rights.

World History II

One thing that we enjoy doing during our class period is comparing similarities across cultures. This week we compared the ornately carved Hindu temple at Thanjavur with the Cairo mosque commissioned by a mentally challenged Fatimid caliph named al-Hakim. We discussed how in the time of the Prophet Muhammad, Christians and Jews enjoyed life without persecution because they were People of the Book. This was not the case in the Fatimid caliphate. Not only were Christians and Jews persecuted, but Sunni Muslims were made to publicly curse Muhammad's first three successors.

Finally, we braced ourselves to view an oral history narrative of a Chinese woman with bound feet talking about her ordeal and its aftermath. The practice of footbinding began in medieval China during the Song Dynasty as a means of social advancement through marriage. Having a wife with bound feet meant that you were wealthy enough not to need your wife's help in the fields.

For historical fiction reading (or viewing), see Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.

MS US History

This week we reviewed the Supreme Court case and discussed the differences between civil rights, political rights, and social rights. We also discussed the difference between diversity and inclusion. Then we watched a social science experiment about what happens when you treat one group of people with social privilege and the other without.

The students astutely pointed out that racism hurts both those who are on the giving and the receiving ends of it. With that discussion as a base, we explored the significance of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line in Major League Baseball in the 1940s.

We spent the rest of the class learning about the rise of suburban American culture, car culture, and explored ads for selling television, and the subliminal messages the ads were sending by establishing social norms for every member of the family.

African American History

As we begin to examine the Civil Rights Movement in light of Brown v. Board of Education, we looked at the wording of Plessy v. Ferguson and how it established the doctrine of "separate but equal." We worked on defining the differences between civil rights, political rights, and social rights. We also were able to get a visual understanding of the difference between diversity and inclusion.

We discussed Brown v. Board of Education and as it was the first U.S. Supreme Court case to consider scientific evidence, we watch the following video on the Doll Test experiment created by Kenneth and Mamie Clark.

With that as our backdrop, we analyzed some photos of African American and white classrooms in America in the 1940s and how that lead to some of the early desegregation cases. We learned about the mysterious disappearance of Lloyd L. Gaines and how his banner for desegregation was taken up by Lucile Bluford, the great-aunt of astronaut Guion Bluford, Jr.

Finally, we watched a video explaining the Doll Experiment designed by Kenneth and Mamie Clark. Brown v. Board was the first Supreme Court case to utilize scientific evidence in its argument. #homeschool

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