Guest Author - Claudine Williams
Do your children respect people of different heritages? You do not have to rely on a history lesson taught in school to make sure that your children understand some of the struggles and challenges that people have experienced. You can also incorporate a history lesson about your own family heritage into the lesson. Travel offers you the opportunity to provide your children with authentic interactive learning activities.
Traveling abroad or simply traveling in diverse communities can help your children understand how other people live. You should also consider taking your family on trips to visit homogeneous communities that differ from your own. Visiting an area where you are open to eat unfamiliar foods, be surrounded with people who speak a different language, wear different styles of clothing, perhaps, and have differing cultural beliefs, might prompt your children to ask questions. You can also raise points about some of the observations that you make during the trip and discuss these points with your family. For example, discuss the languages that are spoken by people in the community that you visit. Discuss some of the different religious practices. You can also discuss customs that might differ from your own.
Take your children to museums that celebrate and explore people of differing cultures and values. You do not have to wait until Black History Month to present your children with opportunities to learn about the contributions of African American people to society. Seeking out museums in your city, might yield surprising results. You are likely to find permanent and visiting exhibits in colleges and universities that focus on various cultures or people from different regions in your own country. A museum about the lifestyles of people in the West and people who were influential during pioneer days will give your family a richer experience than merely listening to a lecture in school. There is nothing like viewing artifacts and artwork work in-person rather than seeing depictions of the art in a book.
Walking tours are also great for providing your children with rich learning experiences. You can opt for tours in your own community to learn about some of the history in your area, or you can choose to participate in tours in the areas that you visit. Guided tours are great, because a trained guide is there to answer your questions. Self-guided tours give you the chance to explore at your own pace. There might be some observations that you come across during your self-guided tour that raise questions among your family. When your children ask questions that you cannot answer, you can offer to write the questions down, research them, and answer the questions at a later time.