Our History isn't Sanitized

In our study of just the American history for the past few years we have learned that our history is full of woes as well as wonderful and pleasant things. There is no way getting around the brutality of human struggles and their nasty outcomes.

There is no way you can sanitize what really happened. People murdered each other, fought amongst their own, enslaved them too. When you add "mother nature" into the mix it can get even more nasty.

There was an email I read from another homeschooling mom who was mortified that when she watched a documentary about Colonial America there was a rather violent accident shown in graphic detail. She is very upset that her young children saw it and wanted to know if there was a place to go and read previews that would tell you how violent a documentary is. Of course there is not such website that I have found that does something like this, but if we want to sanitize our history then we need to stop teaching truth. What she needs to do is to preview the DVD before she shows it to her children.

There is no way that you can sanitize our history; what happened, happened. When we go about changing things then we run the risk of repeating history because we don't know history and therefore can't learn from it.

Right now my children and I are studying World War I and the times that surround it. The United States had a huge influx of immigrants during the late 1800's and early 1900's. Many of the families who came were extremely poor. Throw that into the industrial revolution and you have a recipe for disaster and that is exactly what happened. America had small children working, terrible housing conditions, poor wages, sweat shops and unsafe work conditions. This all was awful.

About this time photography was booming and so today we have a lot of pictures from that era. Film was just coming into its own and so we have moving pictures that we can watch as well. As my children and I are watching what really happened back then, I'm glad the movie producers and book editors have kept real life in the documentaries we have seen. I want my children to know about child labor, how awful war can be, how awful life without an education is and how hard many of the immigrants had to work just to put food on their table. I want my kids to really know what history was so they don't repeat the bad stuff and learn from the good stuff.

After all the Bible is full of pretty violent and "icky" stuff and yet, we are asked, if not commanded, to read. Why? So we can learn from the good and bad stuff. Life isn't sanitary, it is messy, but we all need to know about reality. As Miss Frizzle says, "