We are a Charlotte Mason based homeschool. I have chosen resources which best aid me in our journey in gaining a living education. However, this post is not about our homeschooling methods, but about our study of history.
The children should have the joy of living in far lands, in other persons, in other times–a delightful double existence; and this joy they will find, for the most part, in their story books.
(Vol. 1 Part IV–Some Habits Of Mind – Some Moral Habits, p.153
This year, we have decided to use Sonlight’s World History Year 1 as our core. Browsing through the books, I am excited by all that we are going to be digging into. I’m even more excited to be living in a country who’s roots my be considered ‘ancient’, and being such a strong and cosmopolitan country I am even more thrilled to have access to some of the worlds best museums! I feel privileged to be able to lead my children to such places that truly make their learning living! For them to be able to observe for themselves other people, from other lands, in other times. For a brief moment, their paths cross and I hope that the meeting is deep and memorable.
I had planned in my head to do a couple of weeks of the Sonlight Core and then make a trip to London to visit The British Museum as they have quite impressive collection from the ancient world. It seems that instead of doing things that way, our studies were to be launched by a visit – all down to presented opportunities and so forth. With another warm day promised, we set off for this impressive museum…
I have to say that the building itself is just breathtaking!
It is vast, and light, and a wonderfully inspiring place to be. With it being such a warm day, I have to say that the magnificent glass roof did not make it the coolest place to be! Still, as we walked around the central reading room, the heat was forgotten as we gazed upon this magnificent totum pole and this Easter Island statue.
With limited time before having to catch our train back up to the Midlands, we targeted a few areas that were a must. Ancient Egypt, Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome – with a quick run through Medieval Europe.
By far, the Ancient Egypt display touched and captivated my children more than any of the other displays. As we walked through the displays of mummies, coffins, paintings and so much more, I watched Miss Masons ‘Science of Relations’ principal unfold before my eyes.
I left them to it, walking slowly on, not lecturing or prodding. They each had an interactive media tool which they could tap into at will to learn more about a certain object if they wished. I found the girls coming up to me and telling me all about a display that interested them. I have refrained from posting pictures of uncovered mummies so as not offend sensitive viewers – but my girls found them fascinating!
As the heat began to sap our energy and work on fraying nerves, we quickly rushed through the other displays. At the time I remember feeling quite grumpy about having to do so, thinking to myself how much we were NOT appreciating. But now, as I record our trip, I realise that my children formed a relation today, they took a peek into another world and were engaged. I am reminded now by Miss Mason…
In this way: give your a child a single valuable idea, and you have done more for his education than if you had laid upon his mind the burden of bushels of information.
(Vol 1, Part V Lessons As Instruments Of Education, p.174)
Yes, I do not need to stress that we did not see it all, enjoy it all, or even engage with it all. The single valuable idea was enough. After all, the museum will still be there when we choose to go back and perhaps ‘meet’ with another person, from another civilization at another time.