PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY EMIL LENDOF/THE DAILY BEAST
I’ve been looking forward to studying the Civil War with my kids. Now that they’re old enough to understand tougher issues like conflict among nations, human rights, and even death, I have to prepare myself to go to those places, too. I guess it began when we did the Sacagawea Tipi Project and discussed how the Native Americans were often treated unfairly, or even how pioneer culture and Manifest Destiny perpetuated the belief that the dudes with better weapons got the land.
The Civil War poses one of the major conflicts and tragic issues in United States history: slavery, and on a larger scale, racism. A problem we continue to see today, across nations and societies. I pray that as I attempt to do justice to such an significant subject, that my kids at the very least catch how fear, pride, and injustice can impact others. That they would chose love, grace, and understanding because they’ve learned from history and the effect our choices have on others. How the tide of a nation can change because of the strong leadership of one man, or fall because of pride and selfishness.
We are the influencers of the history of our children. We have the power to speak life into the stories passed on through generations. Teach them that history lessons are life lessons, that our choices matter, and when we have a healthy fear and trust in God, and a genuine love for people, He leads us to victory. The mistakes of our past are never too big to overcome the grace and healing our Creator holds.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. I am blessed to suggest our family’s favorite resources for this unit and hope you will share some of your favorites with me! Leave a comment below or connect with us on Facebook. Sending big hugs to you and prayer for a wonderful school year.
History Pockets: The American Civil War
Unit study all on it’s own! This is pretty much our cornerstone piece that we’re supplementing with other videos and hands-on building projects. The kids own their experience by cutting out and pasting seven different lessons into their own pockets. This book calls for 12×18 construction paper, but you can really use any material you prefer to make a more sturdy booklet. I like card stock, but for their first go-around, construction paper works. You could even do presentation boards instead and work in the public speaking presentations. Today we acted out a basic understanding of the Southern states seceding from the North. You can watch it below 🙂
Soldier Uniforms | Color Reference
Adventures in Odyssey® 314: The Underground Railroad, Part 1 of 3 [Download]
By Focus on the Family
A stranger tells Jack the story of the Ross family, and their courageous run for freedom to escape slavery. Theme: God in history; the sanctity of life.
The Bloodiest War in History
As referenced in our Memorial Day article The Men Who Gave Their Lives for Mine, the Civil War saw more casualties than most other wars combined. This chart depicts statistics collected by the Departments of Defense and Veteran Affairs.
Also, see our Independence Day article: I Want to See You Be Brave.