Every year in the past, I've always felt like I wasn't doing my part to remember this important day in history. So this year, I decided to be proactive. I organized a small 9/11 memorial with a few other homeschooling families so we could teach our kids what this day is all about. None of us have children old enough to remember what happened on that day. So as one of my friends put it, we're making sure that the next generation doesn't forget.
We began with a prayer and a pledge. Then the other moms and I took turns telling the kids what we were doing on that day when we heard the news of the attacks. I knew I was going to cry. And I did! I will say that I felt very supported by the other moms as I listened to their experiences. It's the first time that I've actually been able to share stories about 9/11 with other adults and it was healing for me to hear that their emotions and experiences were not so different from mine.
We moved to the couch to watch a 5 minute video on Youtube. Of course, I cried all through that as well. Here's the link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPHnadJ-0h
I hope the point came across that even though it was a horrific event, a lot of good came from it. I think our humanity was strengthened. We felt united. I can't think of a time before or after (in my lifetime) when the country was more closely knit than on that day and the days shortly after.
Then we dug into our 9/11 lapbook. I used the one from In the Hands of the Child. We only had a total of 2 hours, so I had done a LOT of legwork ahead of time to get the lapbooks all folded, and all the components cut out and ready to be glued into the books. I had also assigned 5 of the older kids topics to research and report on to the group so that I wouldn't have to do all the talking.
Of course, we didn't have time to do it all. I had already picked out the most important points I wanted to cover, and even then we didn't get to all of it. It was time consuming for the younger kids to write down the information on their various entries. To facilitate things more, I had used a white board at the front of the room to take notes as the kids gave their presentations. These notes were then copied by the kids into their lapbooks so they wouldn't have to spend much time asking, "What do I write?" or "How do I spell..."
Since I was busy teaching, I tasked my 10yo with being photographer of the day. She did a fair job! Here's another shot she took:
And below you can see she took a picture of her lapbook as it was coming together. :)
I was so impressed with our 3 little girls that kept themselves very busy and quiet with puzzles, doll houses, kitchens and playdough!
My own little one became so tuckered out that she curled up with a blanket and took a nap behind the droning fan. It was a very warm day here!
By attending the 9/11 memorial and doing the lapbook, the kids should be able to earn their Frontier Girls/Quest club badge for this event, which may in turn help them remember this day even more.
I felt like I didn't really get a chance to fully impress the significance of this day on their little minds. So much I wanted to say. But then there's always next year I suppose. It becomes increasingly apparent to me that teaching the next generation to remember and conserve values and important events is a very daunting task. Over time, there are more and more important things to remember! And I wonder how our war veterans and historic patriots feel when they see younger generations trampling on memories, events, and causes that are so dearly significant to them. Do they feel their efforts were in vane? Lives lost for no cause when history does not perpetuate their memory in honor? Maybe so. But not if I can help it.