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Teach Your Kids About Black History

Teaching your kids about Black History

Teach Your Kids About Black History

By: Chelsea McLeod

February is Black History Month, also known as African American History Month. Black History is an essential piece of the puzzle that makes up our world because it is World History. By learning about it, we can promote diversity and bring unity within all backgrounds and cultures. Black History month provides us with an opportunity for listening, learning and acquiring a new understanding of the importance of celebrating the contributions of the African American Community of the past, and understanding the history and where we come from is essential to building a better and more inclusive future for all. 

What is Black History Month?

Black History Month originated in the US and is an annual celebration of the achievements of African America ns, recognizing their role and contributions throughout history. Much of the curriculum, both homeschooled and traditional, presents a very Eurocentric view of history. This is, unfortunately, a very one-sided and often whitewashed view and gives children a biased and inaccurate perspective of all races’ involvement in history. While Black History is something you should be teaching and acknowledging all year round, this month, there are several things you can do to bring it into focus.

“Much of the curriculum, both homeschool and traditional, presents a very Eurocentric view of history.”

Here Are Several Ways to Teach Your Kids About Black History:

1. Supplement Traditional Texts with Other Resources

Many of the resources used in the past to teach history are often focused on the European point of view and don’t take into account other influential figures and events. Therefore, while using these resources as you have before is okay, seeking out things that will supplement this subject specifically is essential. So, use your regular American or Canadian History text but do so in conjunction with a well-researched Black History text. This way, you will be able to get a more well-rounded perspective. Finally, this can happen at any age; so many children’s books address this subject, so there is no excuse not to explore it age-appropriately.

2. Choose a Curriculum that Highlights Black History.

Some great homeschooling lessons are explicitly created for this purpose because the traditional lessons leave students needing more. It is essential to get history from all viewpoints. And if you didn’t experience it or have a cultural connection to what happened, then you need to be intentional about finding resources that give alternative perspectives. For example, Black History is American History for kids ages six and under provides a rich and age-appropriate introduction to Black History. This resource was created by Danielle Slaughter, a mini monthly curriculum that teaches children and their parents about Black History all year long.

3. Teach About Africa’s History, Using African-Centric Resources.

Honestly, without Africa, there would be no Black History in the United States or Canada. Africa has a rich and vast history that you can study and explore together. Black History didn’t begin and end with slavery or the underground railroad. There is so much more to it, and it is crucial to teach the whole story. Black History starts from ancient civilizations and covers the achievements made by African people. Also, there is trauma that cannot be overlooked and needs to be addressed appropriately.

4. Highlight Famous Black Women such as; Rosa Parks With Black History Month Crafts

Craft ideas are everywhere for every topic, so take some time to look into things you can create with your kids to recognize the contributions of influential African American figures. All it takes is a search on google, and you will come across more craft ideas than you will know what to do with, from art projects to research pamphlets to colour by numbers. Learning accompanied by creativity is often the best choice for some not discussed topics. So get out the construction paper, makers and paints and create a learning opportunity that is also fun.


5. Make Learning About Black People in History a Continued Priority

Make it a priority to teach your kids about Black History and to learn about it. Black History Month provides an excellent opportunity or jumping-off point to recognize and appreciate the accomplishments and contributions of Black people. However, this month should be one of many times you focus on this in your learning journey. Black History must be a key piece of your continued homeschooling curriculum. Black History is History; it is not a separate or special entity. It should be a natural part of your learning journey and not just be focused on for four weeks of the year and then pushed aside.

6. Black History Awareness Cannot Be Overemphasized

Black History awareness and exploring important forgotten information about African American figures and their integral part in history is critical to changing perspectives about Black History in the US and Canada. It should always be considered and integrated into every subject as naturally as European History. In this way, today’s homeschool parents can make a difference in how the next generation views the often forgotten chapters of history and help to create a more accepting and diverse world tomorrow.

7. Incorporate Texts written by Black Authors into All Subjects

Not just in history class, it is essential to read and examine texts by a diverse range of authors in all subjects. So make sure that White scholars do not solely write your readers. Take the focus away from just Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and William Shakespeare in English class and integrate works by Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, or Toni Morrison. All students should be introduced to texts by Black authors that speak to Black experiences, Black perspectives, and accomplishments.

This makes it easier to develop a wider lens through which they look at the world. If you only see one perspective in your studies, it is tough to adjust that when introduced to something else. And as stated previously, there is no reason not to start young because so many excellent Black-authored books are written for all ages.

Black History Month

When you teach your kids about Black History, remember that you must also be open to learning.

So as you decide how you and your family will approach your learning this month and in the coming years, remember to be open to learning yourself. You do not have to have all the answers but be open to discovering those answers. Sometimes learning with your kids is just as important as teaching them. Black History Month is a time to spread awareness and learn more. February is also a time to seek a future free of racism and discrimination. And to work toward the day that this future will be a reality. 

Check out these Black History Month Resources


Teach Your Kids About Black History


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