The academic year is in full swing at my house. This is our second year homeschooling and I feel much more confident about the process. We do our own thing, mainly using the Socratic method. EVERYTHING is a discussion.
I avoided US History last year because I couldn't find a textbook I liked. We talked a lot about MesoAmerican empires and Native American history. This summer, I was lucky to discover A Different Mirror for Young Readers. This book tells a multicultural and honest history of how this country was built. It does not downplay pain and suffering but it also details conflicts between people of color (POC) and between POC and people trying to earn their whiteness. It is honest and thought provoking. It demands nuanced thought and lays out complex motivates, conflicting interests and intertwining fates. It is saturated and intricate.
Some portions of the book are difficult, the truth is uncomfortable but unlearning historically inacurrate information / decolonizing your mind later in life is more uncomfortable, sometimes impossible. This election year has made it abundantly clear that historically inaccurate information puts us all in danger.
For contrast and to supplement for things A Different Mirror lacks, textbook stuff, I found Everything You Need to Know to Ace American History in One Big Book. Both books aim to teach American History which makes them great for discussion. If I need too, I ask:
- What do you think the authors intentions are for telling you this information? Why?
- What questions do you have after reading this?
- How does this information make you feel?
- How does this books narrative compare to ----- narrative .
So far this has been working well. Although it is slower than just going thru the book.
I am also supplementing our social studies with library books and field trips to introduce more information about things only briefly mentioned in the book.