About three months ago we pulled up roots in Hartsville, SC (we miss you, Mayor Pennington) and moved to Rock Hill, SC (hello, Mayor Echols!). My husband, the librarian and IT guru behind much of SCLENDS, received a wonderful opportunity to manage the Rock Hill Main Library. If you stop by, make sure to let him know you read our blog!!
Luckily, since I work from home and we homeschool, the move was not a big deal. We took some time off and did some half days, but we were almost finished with kindergarten by the time we moved. We are starting to gear up now for first grade and 4 year old kindergarten, and are looking forward to experiences with our secular homeschool support group, Rock Hill Area Homeschoolers. But, most importantly, we’ve found a new city to explore! We need field trip fodder, after all!
Not long after moving here, the local Children’s Museum welcomed a new director and they had a party where everyone was free to come by and check them all out. The little ones loved it (I think the big one did, too). In fact, we enjoyed it so much, we bought a family membership. Membership includes the Children’s Museum, as well as admittance to Historic Brattonsville, Museum of York County (including their Planetarium) and McCelvey Center. So we have lots of new places to visit and wonderful learning experiences in store at all the locations!
I am especially looking forward to Historic Brattonsville’s Living History Saturdays. You get costumed actors from life in the 18th and 19th centuries and learn about farm chores, such as the harvest, cooking on a hearth, spinning and cloth weaving. I can hardly wait to weave a history lesson into these trips! Next month they have an event called By the Sweat of Our Brows: The African American Experience, where the girls will learn about slavery on the plantation in 1843 (plantation records show 139 slaves at that time in history). I am planning to do a lesson before we attend that particular event, so they are prepared and able to deal with how horrible a thing slavery was (I am sure the place will not show the torture and ill-treatment of slaves, but they need a little forewarning that slaves were considered property and not people).
The enslaving of people was a shameful time of our history and something our children need to learn more about in their education (my own public school education seems to gloss over the subject, barely mentioning it in a blub in our history books). Slavery is still happening today (an estimated 12-27 million internationally), though not openly as it was then. White slavery, forced-prostitution, indentured illegal workers…the list goes on. If our children do not learn about this horrible, horrible thing there will be no incentive for them to fight against it when they are adults.
History is an important subject for me, personally. As the (paraphrased) quote goes, those who do not learn their history are doomed to repeat it. This is why I believe museums are so very important (and why we support the Arts). Sometimes you need physical reminders (the objects themselves or paintings/photographs/sketches, even recreations of objects) of the past, otherwise you are tempted to believe it wasn’t as bad as is told.