Archive for June, 2021

National History Day Gets Kids Excited About History

June 10th, 2021

National History Day is a drive to get students involved in real history study disguised as a contest. The tagline at the National History Day website reads It’s Not just a Day, It’s an Experience! In this event, the contest is downplayed in favor of the process and the learning. Students are encouraged to delve into primary history sources, seek out the facts for themselves and analyze complex human situations.

I agree with the aims of the National History Day as expressed at their website:

History education is the cornerstone of a quality education. National History Day, Inc. is an education organization that is transforming the way history is taught and learned. National History Day, Inc. helps teachers meet educational standards; disseminates high quality curriculum materials; and sponsors challenging contests that teach students the critical skills they need to be effective
citizens in the 21st century. National History Day, Inc. improves education EVERY day.
The initial information came through a local homeschool list and I immediately got excited about it. I bribed my history loving son into doing a project by promising it would also count for part of his english credit this year since there is a 500 word process paper involved. Advanced homeschool mom tactics in action. My son’s project will naturally include some aspect of military history which won’t be difficult to fit into this year’s theme of Conflict and Compromise in History. He is already scheming to use this as an excuse to build a diorama of trench warfare in WWI.

You can get involved as a student, a parent or a teacher! It is open to all students, public, private or homeschooled, in grades 6-12. You can get more information from your state coordinator who can be located at the website. Projects can be started by teams or individuals and the final presentation can be in a variety of forms as shown in the introductory video.

Students can give their creativity free reign in drama, displays, websites and other media forms. This is ideal for students who are visual spatial or right brained learners and who enjoy presenting their learning in unique ways.

Learning history is an essential part of a excellent education. If we provide settings that create the spark of interest and then give students the tools to fan that spark, more students will develop the life long love of history that will serve them well. National History Day is an excellent way to do just that.

Karen Davis is a homeschooling mother of four,

I Dream of a Nation!

June 10th, 2021

I Dream of a Nation…

I dream of a strong nation!

I dream of a unified nation!

I dream of a loved nation!

I dream of a compassionate nation!

I dream of an educated nation!

I dream of a rich nation!

I dream of an energy independent and clean nation!

I dream of a nation in which all of these qualities exist and I believe that this is our nation, The United States of America. I love this nation and I do believe that it is a great nation, but also that it can be much greater. We must all admit that we have fallen a bit and it is time to pick ourselves up, dust off the mistakes that we have made and continue building this nation as we have in the past. We are capable of so much more. Before we can accomplish any of this though we must first be willing to admit that we have made mistakes so that we can then learn from them and move on. One of our biggest problems in this country is that many of us are unwilling to admit that we have made mistakes. We have grown up watching all the great things that this nation has accomplished and in the process become a bit too arrogant or at least say drunk on our own strengths. I do not think there are many people left in this country that will not admit we have problems. The problem is most of us want to blame those problems on someone else.

We can no longer keep doing this. We all have, to a certain degree; help create the problems. If we were not directly involved we were indirectly involved by turning our backs, tuning out and believing that everything would be ok. We literally grabbed our ipods, put the earphones in and hit play! We have had an active part in all of this just by not playing a part. I am guilty of this as anyone, maybe even guiltier, because for many years now I have been promising myself that I would change this and I never have.

I know this may sound a bit weird right now, but I believe what is happening right now with everything is a blessing in disguise. If this was going to happen and I am certain it was, the sooner the better. It could not be a more suitable time to change things for the better. Its seems that we Americans have to have our back up against the wall before we do something and we always do our best work when things are tough. OK everyone our backs are up against the wall and times are tough! It is time to show the rest of the world what we can accomplish and prove that we can be greater then ever before. Before we can accomplish this though, we must first put aside our differences and work together. I really believe that the vast majority of us share much more in common then we think. There are many things that we all want and it is time to quit arguing over our differences and work on those things that we all agree on.

We all want a strong nation. We all want a strong military. But we want it used as a deterrent to others that would harm us and we want it as a defense for those that are weaker than us and being threatened by injustice and tyranny. We want it used only after all other diplomatic means have been exhausted.

We want a unified nation. I believe deep down that we would prefer to get along. We want to love one another. We want to care for one another and look out for each other. We want this because we know that nothing good can be accomplished if we don’t work together and we know that it is much easier to love then it is to hate! We all share a common goal in seeing this country succeed and become greater then ever before.

We want a loved nation. We want to be loved as much as we want to love. We want to be respected and we know that to accomplish this we must lead through example. What ever it is that we expect out of other nations we must first be able to do ourselves. We must do unto others, as we want others to do unto us!

We want a compassionate nation. We want to look out for others that are weaker then us. We want to stand up against injustice and tyranny because it is the right thing to do. We want to help others so that in return they can help us.

We want an educated nation. We want a nation that has an educational system second to none. We want everyone to have an education because we believe that the more educated we are the more capable we are to solving problems and helping others. We believe that education is the answer to all the worlds’ problems. We believe that the more educated we are the better off everyone is and the richer we all are in so many ways.

We want a rich nation. We know that the richer we are the more problems we can solve and the more we can afford to help others and ourselves. None of us want the crushing debt we owe others and none of us want to leave our kids with this debt. The richer everyone is the richer we all our. We all know that to accomplish this we have to create more jobs and create or manufacture more goods. We have to bring jobs back to our own shores.

We want an energy independent and clean nation. The key ingredient to accomplishing all of the above goals is to become energy independent. We have to however become independent in a responsible manner. We have to commit ourselves to clean safe energy. We have to use the most abundant of our resources to do this and we have to use those resources that are safe and clean. I am not saying we must immediately rid ourselves of coal and oil, but our goal must be to wean ourselves off of it and commit more and more to abundant alternative energy. We will always need oil it is used in many different things we just have to get to a point where we no longer need it for energy. We do not have to argue over global warming either, we can all agree that we have to quit polluting our environment for many reasons, just one being we want to breathe clean air. We have the technology to start building a whole new energy infrastructure that takes advantage of solar, wind, and geothermal and we know that if we did so we could create millions of new jobs. To do this we need to invest in it. Just imagine a nation where we ran our cars and homes off cheap, abundant and clean energy. This could be our greatest legacy and one that we could sell to the rest of the world.

Yes I know I am a Dreamer or Idealist, we need to drea