This is another question my daughter Teagie has been asking lately and another chance for some exploration. We’ve decided to create our own timeline that we can use to fill in events that happen in our lives. But, to allow for the growth of interest and exploration of the past we’ve created our timeline to go back several thousand years into the past. We haven’t talked too much about those distant past times yet but it’s there to fill in when we want to.
At this point, we have such major events as her date of birth, mommy and daddy’s dates of birth, grandparent’s dates of birth.
I’ve always had the idea that history could be studied by working backwards from where we are now to the recent past and then on back to the more distant past. And examples abound in everyday life to introduce the concept of “back then.”
We watch color television now but television wasn’t always in color. In fact for us this topic came up as a result of watching some old Andy Griffith Show episodes which are in black and white. Now, when we talk about ‘a long time ago” Teagie likes to ask “was that when there was no color?”
It continues to amaze me just how many ways there are into various educational topics if you look for them. I should point out that I don’t look upon everything we do as an excuse to provide a “lesson” or a “lecture” on a topic. I am careful to keep our talks conversational and when she’s ready to move on to something else, we move on. Many times, though not always, she’ll ask about what we were talking about later thus opening the door for a little more information.
The concept of time and a sense of history are so fascinating and fun to share! We talk about her first Christmas. “Was that a long time ago?” We talk about dinosaurs and that they are now extinct. “Was that a long time ago?” We talk about how people used to get from here to Europe by boat. “Was that a long time ago?” We talk about who built the pyramids in Egypt. “Was that a long time ago?”
So many opportunities for interesting conversations and learning built into that one question.