Putting new ideas in front of our children can be scary, but why are we afraid of diversity and seeing other’s points of view past and present?
This February I challenge each of you to teach your children some history; specifically, Black History. From this I hope that you feel like expanding your children’s (and possibly you own) minds to be open to learning about many different cultures, races/ethnicities, and ways of life.
It is easy to think that teaching history to children younger than five years old is way over their heads, but it’s not. Just like all concepts you find ways to teach your children in ways that they will understand; same thing applies here.
The best way to start off would be by reading some age appropriate books; that will give you an idea of where to start, some vocabulary to use, and figure out what you want to focus on. Reading a book first will give children visuals; which most need because they have not learned any other ways of learning yet. They need the visuals and hands on learning. Which is not what you think of when you think of teaching history. You’re going to have to stretch out of your box. Buy some of these books and music to make a part of your permanent collections. Here are some fun ways to experience Black History and diversity:
Crank up some tunes by:
- Michael Jackson
- Stevie wonder
- Ray Charles
- Whitney Houston
Talk about famous icons like:
- Harriet Tubman
- Martin Luther King Jr.
- The Obamas
A couple of great books and authors for young children:
- Vashti Harrison has written Dream Big Little One, Little Legends, and Little Dreamers
- All the Colors We Are by Kate Kissinger
- Black is Brown is Tan by Arnold Adoff
- How my Parents Learned to Eat by Ina R. Friedman
While having these experiences and learning allow your children to ask any questions that they have and give them answers. Explain how people were once separated from one another by the color of their skin. Tell them about the people that had the courage to stand up and say it was not fair. How strong women and men have fought hate to make equal rights for all people. The more you open your hearts to all people into your homes the less drastic conversations will have to be about diversity. Making it a normal part of your daily lives will grow kind and loving adults in the future.