THE holidays seem to be taking longer than usual this time around, thanks to the Ministry of Education.
It is a huge blessing to some of us, but unfortunately for the parents, prolonging the holidays means escalating their pains.
Alternatively, this can be a great period for parents who did not get ample time to home school their kids to start teaching them right away.
There are quite a number of activities that involve you and your kids. Like we said teaching is a lifelong process, it can take place elsewhere depending on the environment.
I believe history has a great impact on our lives. Why don’t you carry out a history class with your children? We don’t have to wait for teachers to make wonders in the classroom.
Start teaching traditions that make your child feel comfortable and those that fit your parenting styles.
Traditions are known to provide children with an important sense of belonging towards their culture.
Talking about history; how many of us groan when we think about history classes in school? I personally hated history and I really didn’t care who did what, and on what date. The events had no meaning for me, and even the people didn’t seem real.
History was nothing more than cramming dates, names and events. I hated it with a passion.
Now that the time has come to teach my own children, I have to teach them history by using an effective non-traditional approach.
Sometimes teachers fail to deliver due to poor teaching approaches, as a result MINEDUC year is for organising refresher courses for teachers this. Sooner than later, all teachers will have embarked on new learner-centred strategies, which I believe will provide a bigger landmark to the teaching profession.
Already, the kids love it and are more enthusiastic about historical events than before.
For example I approach the history lessons by highlighting a specific person every month or two; in this case we study not only what the person did, but also the details of their daily lifestyles and community settings.
We also learn about major inventions during that person’s life, and how those inventions affected their daily life.
We study the clothes the person wore, the music they listened to, and a few books that were written during that person’s era.
Incorporating projects that highlight interesting facts about that person are amazing. This has greatly enabled us carry out practical lessons such as building model houses that existed in history.
One favourite activity that kids love doing is to cook a typical meal from history, served just the way it was. This approach brings life and reality to history.
Another favourite activity is to write a play or story about that person. Include something about the person’s personal life and what they may have been thinking or feeling.
Eventually, they learn to gather information about a topic, they read as many biographies as possible, and then at the end of the study period, they write their own biography about the person.
This requires visiting a nearby library or alternatively, you can consider having your own home library.
Unlike before history lessons don’t mean memorising hundreds of dates which only encouraged parrot learning that affects learners negatively. What’s important is that children understand the meaning of history events and the impact a certain person had on the world.
This approach requires a lot of time and sacrifice, but its one way of effectively parenting your children.
I never got anything out of my lessons because I never understood anything. But it’s never too late for us to make our children understand historical events better than we did. Teach them.
The author is a teacher at Kagarama secondary school