Sunday, January 23

Teaching Boys About Women

B and I are doing a little overview of history right now.  It's a loose and interesting unit with a few goals:

  1. To give him a sense of being part of something bigger.  As we work through our timeline cards he gets a real understanding that the world was already in process long before he arrived and, God-willing, it will be different as a result of his being here.  
  2. To open up a sense of his own purpose. We're putting his personal timeline alongside the significant events of the past decade and we're doing a little talking about how those events may have affected how he lives.  When we put ourselves among important things we begin to share in that sense of importance. 
  3. To give him an introduction to just a few of the major players of the past.  Really, we're just scratching the surface here.
As we go through this little survey I'm taking the time to tell him stories of strong women in history.  So many of the curriculums focus on the ingenuity of men and only highlight a few women.  While men have been busy driving the bulk of humanity's advances, their wives - at the very least - were raising the next generation of history makers.  That's no small deal.  Many women did more than that and while the vast majority of their contributions went unnoticed, there are many whose stories can be learned.

So, I'm teaching them to my son.  I want him to see men and women as intellectual equals and not as competitors.   By excluding women from our history telling we teach through silence that the future is left up to the men.  I'm not comfortable with that silence.

I'm taking him through two books that are appropriate for his age:
They Led the Way: 14 American Women (Scholastic Biography Series) by Johanna Johnston.
The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh

We're also talking about some men:  ;-)
Men of Science Men of God by Henry M. Morris

But mostly we're talking about B, his family history, how the world changed during the lifetime of his grandparents and will continue doing so during his own.  The question is, what condition will he leave the world in and how will he treat the people around him?

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