Because of security issues, we were not allowed to bring bags into the conference center. The whole time I was thinking, "I wish I had a notebook to write this down, I hope they are taping this, I want my kids to see this."
Here's some quotes by David McCullough in the local newspaper.
"I've never known much about the subjects I've written about when I started. Each book was a journey, a hunt, a detective story. That has been the joy of it, the compulsion of it," he said, noting that everyone can share in that joy.
"Curiosity is a wonderful thing. It is accelerative. The more you know, the more you want to know. It's what separates us from the cabbages."
McCullough talked of phrases that should be excised from our vocabulary, such as "self-made man" — "we are all shaped by other people," he said; "foreseeable future" — "there's no such thing. People back then had no more idea how things would turn out than we do." And, "living in the past" — no one lived in the past; they lived in their present and to understand them we have to understand their times."
And, he added, "we should never say 'gone, but not forgotten.' If they are not forgotten, they are not gone. They created the society, the values, the experiences we all live by. We must not lose sight of them."
McCullough talked of visiting Normandy with a Jewish couple, who placed pebbles on the grave of a Jewish soldier. "They said it was their way of staying in touch. That's what we all should be doing. History — whether you call it history or local history or family history — transcends time, transcends nationality, transcends geography. It reminds us that we are all part of the human family. We must stay in touch."
McCullough spoke at length about the "inadequate job of educating our children and grandchildren on the history of this country." He added that, "students are not being prepared for college, let alone for citizenship."
This presentation has got me thinking about how we study history in our homeschool. We are doing a lot of things right, like personally visiting historical places. But, there is more we could do to make it personal for our children.
For example, Henry was born in Alaska in 1961. I'm thinking about doing a unit study on Alaska history and then on what it was like in the years 1961-1964 (the years Henry lived in Alaska.)
Henry's parents and grandparents homesteaded in Alaska and our family could focus on that time frame too.
We could work our way down the family tree, state by state and year by year, country by country. We could put a name and even sometimes a face with our studies. [My mother's family has quite an extensive collection of family portraits going back to the 1850's.]
I'm excited to get home and get to work.
Here's a link to the opening segment of the event I attened.
Tags : homeschool , home education , public school , family history , parenting , education , David McCullough