Have you realized that the education you received excluded a lot of people?  Have you had a moment of teaching your children history and wondered what the women of the time were doing? Not many of their stories made it into my history books. I also wondered why my public school education covered so little about Asia, Africa, and South America. The list of things I didn’t learn would obviously fill a library.

Teaching Differently

When I set out to homeschool my own children, I looked for curriculums that included all the things I hadn’t learned. I wanted to discuss with my kids that women were there The. Whole. Time. I wanted to learn about all the people who had been routinely excluded from the typical history education.

This isn’t an easy goal. How do you go about teaching your kids things you don’t know? I tried using lots of different curriculums over the years. Some were better than others. However, I didn’t find what I really wanted. So I started writing curriculums myself because I realized I couldn’t be the only one who wanted this.

What to do?

Last summer, I wrote a post about Social Justice and offered free lessons which used stories about African Americans, people from China, and Native Americans. These lessons were already part of the curriculums I’ve written. I also wrote up a free lesson plan for George Takei’s book They Called Us Enemy and you can get a copy of it here. 

My first US history curriculum focused on Native Americans and Indigenous People because I had a passion for teaching my kids about the people who were here first.  I spent this past winter working on a new US history curriculum that includes more voices of Native Americans, Black and African Americans, and women. All told through picture books because it is never too early to start teaching your child about all the people who live in our country. My goal with these programs is to help parents who want to help their children learn a more honest history than they did.

If your child is ready for chapter books, I also have a unit study based on a book about a Mohawk brother and sister, Children of the Longhouse.

What’s Next?

Don’t fear, I’m not done! I’m still writing curricula to share more stories with our kids about the people traditionally excluded from history. More stories about people from outside the sphere of Eurocentric history. Stories about women and children. Stories about Americans who are historically excluded from the complicated story of the United States. Stories that share beautiful cultures, diverse world views, and unique perspectives.

About the Author

Laura Sowdon, OTR/L is an occupational therapist, writer, speaker, educator and creator of the Five Senses Literature Lessons homeschool curriculum. She has worked as an occupational therapist with children in public and private schools, as well as private practice. Laura has taught and managed homeschool co-ops as well as homeschooling her own three children. Laura is dedicated to the idea of educating children at a pace that aligns with brain and physical development milestones and respects neurodiversity in all its forms.

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