Sunday, November 8, 2015

History Beyond America

Throughout my own education, all the history was very America-centric. We had 2 years of required World History in high school, but how can you cover the entire history of the world in 2 years, while spending WAY more time on just the 200 years of American history?

With all the emphasis on the American Revolution that we've done for our schooling the past 2 months, I felt we were missing the bigger picture of what was going on in the rest of the world. French was on the verge of their own revolution, and who knows what was happening in Asia and Africa and South America!

Well, we wanted to find to round out our history, I started reading aloud from George Washington's World by Genevieve Foster:

This book is divided into 5 sections-the time periods of whe George Washington was a boy, a soldier, a commander, a citizen, and a presidents. For each time period, it tells the story of what is happening in Prussia, or in Africa, or Tahiti...everywhere else. There's stories about explorers, musicians, kings, inventors, etc, each one maybe 2-3 pages on- a glimpse into the lives of the many people who lived during these time periods. Genevieve Foster also has other books for other time periods, including Augustus Caeser's World, The World of Columbus and Sons, the World of Capt. John Smith, The World of William Penn, and Abraham Lincoln's World, which I have not yet read, but plan to incorporate into our reading in the future.

We also read from Story of the World Volume 3 by Susan Wise Bauer:

This covers a much broader time period, roughly 1500 to 1850, so it gives a bigger overall picture of what's going on, and fewer stories about individuals the way George Washington's World does. (There's also Volumes 1, 2, and 4 which cover other time periods.)

I'm really hoping this will give my kids a more global perspective as they look at history, and ultimately to think more globally as evaluate the world of today.