Gaslighting

Kids Must Learn History to Avoid Being Gaslighted by Media

3 ¼ min

Growing up, history was one of my favorite school subjects. This might come as a surprise to some. After all, history class is traditionally thought of as the domain of the high school football coach who has very little interest in the subject itself, and therefore, passes little enthusiasm or knowledge of the past along to his students.

Perhaps that is why The Nation’s Report Card finds that only 12 percent of high school seniors are proficient in American history. Perhaps that is why we see the 1619 Project push an alternative history curriculum. Perhaps that’s why we see young radicals destroying historical statues without rhyme or reason. If one has little knowledge of history, or if that knowledge is limited to a narrative that paints our predecessors as evil aggressors, then why would there be any need to revere heroes of the past, the ideas they advanced, or the progress they made?

My story is different. As a child, I learned history through historical fiction, which portrayed the subject as the story it is meant to be – fascinating, intriguing, and even relatable to our day and age. Even the dry history textbooks I encountered in high school and college couldn’t remove the love of history that historical fiction instilled in me as a young child.

I now realize what a special privilege it was to learn history this way, and I wonder if other students would appreciate the past more if they had the same opportunity.

We suddenly have a chance to find out. Gallup reports that 10 percent of parents are choosing to homeschool their children this year. That means that 10 percent of parents now have the chance to make decisions about what their children will read and study, while many other parents, forced into quasi-homeschool through distance learning options, also have the opportunity to direct more of their child’s education.

Might I suggest that parents try the path that I was blessed with in my history lessons?

The beauty of this plan is that learning history doesn’t have to be a chore. It can become evening entertainment as families come together to read stories out loud. The reading lists at Beautiful Feet Books are wonderful places to start in finding titles based on ancient, medieval, and early and modern American history.

So why does all this matter? I’ll let the great author and thinker C.S. Lewis answer that question for me. In an essay from The Weight of Glory, Lewis exhorts:

Most of all, perhaps we need intimate knowledge of the past. Not that the past has any magic about it, but because we cannot study the future, and yet need something to set against the present, to remind us that the basic assumptions have been quite different in different periods and that much which seems certain to the uneducated is merely temporary fashion. A man who has lived in many place is not likely to be deceived by the local errors of his native village; the scholar has lived in many times and is therefore in some degree immune from the great cataract of nonsense that pours from the press and the microphone of his own age. [Emphasis added.]

We’re living in a time where we are hit with huge amounts of information. If you’ve been paying attention lately, you may have noticed that what your own eyes see and what the media reports on are two different things. As such, we need to make sure we, and our children, know how to relate the past to the present in order that they can have a bright future. If we can teach our children that history is enjoyable, they will be more ready to dig into it on their own, and in so doing, they will be more apt to discern what is true and what is false in “the great cataract of nonsense that pours from the press and the microphone” of our time.

--

Image Credit: 

Pikist

Annie Holmquist

Annie Holmquist

Annie Holmquist is the editor of Intellectual Takeout.

Add a Comment

 

Join the conversation...

You are currently using the BETA version of our article comments feature. You may notice some bugs in submission and user experience. Significant improvements are coming soon!

or

George Leroy
-
The parents who will be homeschooling are the children who were awarded participation trophies for merely existing. These are the people who will teach history?
 
 

or

Mommastrong1
Not so. The parents in my community (myself included) are the ones that do not want our children to wear masks 6 hours a day or learn that they are racist just by being white!
Dr
Generally Home schooled kids do much better than public schooled kids on standardized testing & into college. Most do better in the workplace as well because they have learned to prioritize their work & study without distraction. They are also better socialized as they tend to have more time for it & they must go out to make friends. If they choose to participate in sports they are not as distracted by the plethora of sports to play but concentrate on just one or two.
Dr
-
Boy have times changed. My HS Football Coach was my Physics teacher. History was my favorite subject because of a highly animated teacher presenting it, my Dad's love of it & because the Vietnam War was live on TV at the time. We lived History with the beginning of space travel, the murder of a President, race riots, the resignation of a President, the building of the Wall, the war & much more. We were a generation raised by people who valued history because they too had lived it during the Great Depression & WWII. What THEY valued we too learned to value. Today parents simply do not spend as much time at home & when they do it is less quality time with their families instilling the values which they had passed on to them; they tend to take these values for granted. TV's, computers & cell Phones tend to steal valuable time from the family as well (distractions which tend to be learned from the time a child can hold a C. Phone or tablet. Homeschooling puts the emphasis on family & allows family values to be passed on rather than socialized curriculum's like 1619. It allows parents to control time spent & teach things like helping around the house. It provides more one on one learning of spelling, reading & writing which are the basis for all learning. It allows parents to teach basic things like sewing or cooking, tending to the yard which is time spent learning a work ethic which will be needed later to excel. Homeschooling it the fundamental educational system which made this nation. It is living History!
 
 

or

DuaneBSmith
-
I hated history, but then I had poor teachers. I have since come to see how valuable understanding history really is. What adds insult to injury is learning that so much that was taught in school is false and there is much valuable history that is completely omitted. With revisionists changing the narrative, we must be even better at ensuring our children understand the truth. If you want to begin engaging in it, I highly recommend the presentations Stephen Pratt gave. Here’s a sample: https://youtu.be/R0bMmR4m--M https://youtu.be/FfJWRtdgcXU https://youtu.be/vaIX-RxEhBM
 
 

or

dennis
-
Today, Wisdom is in short supply but Information floods and overwhelms the emotional hoards.
 
 

or

Account Photo
Versengetorix
-
A fine essay young lady. The destruction of history was a core feature of the Frankfort School. Their efforts to subvert its teaching was, they reasoned, the fastest path to public acceptance of oligarchical oversight in all matters of life. As nefarious as their plans were and are - their reasoning was accurate and they are harvesting the fruits of their efforts today. They can be seen on the streets of major cities across America - Seattle and Portland are the best examples.
 
 

or

X