Fear Itself: And FREE History Lessons

So, I was thinking if what I could do to help people out in this difficult time, and it occurs to me that there are a lot of people out there who have kids at home, who are being turned into homeschoolers against their will (NOOOOOO!!!), or who ARE kids at home and who suddenly have all this history homework, probably being presented in thick wads of text with no context.

So I’m putting on my history teacher hat, now. I’ve been teaching history for about 13 years. Right now, my school is closed indefinitely, and I’m about to start teaching courses online. I can do that. Many can’t.

The problem with history is that it’s all about context, and a lot of times, the people who write it will say things that are RIGHT, but don’t explain WHY it matters, or they leave the most important things unexplained. I remember I taught from a textbook that would laboriously explain things like “rebellion” or “king,” which almost ALL of my students understood, but would present words like “diplomat” and “tax base,” which NONE of them had ever heard before, like it was nothing.

So, I’d like to offer my services to any teacher, any parent, any student who feels overwhelmed by all of this and needs help understanding anything that a book or assignment or a teacher is throwing at you. Bring me your questions. You can comment on this post, or use the contact form up above. You don’t have to subscribe to the mailing list (but if you do, that would be cool, too). Just ask your questions, and I’ll do my best to answer them. Hell, ask a good enough one, I may even do a whole blog post dedicated to it.

Finally, while I in no way wish to minimize the severity of the situation we find ourselves in, I’d like to remind everyone of the words of FDR: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” A healthy respect for what this virus can do and sensible precautions are a good thing. Panicking and doomsaying isn’t. Too much fear can push us away from sensible measures, and that never helps. As much as you can, be good people, and stay strong and calm for those who need you. And let’s all help each other out as best we can.

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