Friday, March 3, 2017

African American History Tours for Kids in Their Hometown

Tour of Peter Hammond Cemetery
Unknown Slave Boy Grave
There is a part of history that African American people must face and that is the history of slavery. My ancestors on both sides of my family were slaves in the Florida Parishes. While teaching my grandkids about their family, history we had to discuss slavery. They raised many questions about slavery, especially for children their ages. Of course! They can relate to kids because they are kids. They wanted to know what did they eat? Did the kids go to school? Did they have toys? Were they made to work?

They have been touring lots museums and saw many artifacts of that time and period. While visiting the cotton fields in the Mississippi Delta my granddaughter asked, "Did little girls have to pick cotton too?" The look on her face expressed many thoughts that were going on in her little mind. There's one person old enough to remember the cotton fields: her great-grandmother.

Recently I took them to the grave site of a grave marked (Unknown Slave Boy) in the cemetery of Peter Hammond.  Hammond, Louisiana founded circa 1819 by Peter Hammond. As they read the historical marker in the cemetery and learned that the little boy didn't have a name. "They wanted to know why?" Why he didn't have a name? Who were his parents? Where was he from? How old was he?

We will continue to visit museums and libraries this summer. Our schedule is planned for summer 2017. After each lesson and tour, I give them a pop quiz to see what they learned and open the floor for discussions and critical thinking. It's a great way to make history come alive for your child.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Educational Family Field Trips for Kids

Infinity Science Musem, Mississippi
My grandkids had one week off from school for the Mardi Gras holiday. They just came off a two- week long break for the Christmas holidays. They'll soon be approaching a spring break. I didn't want them to be home for one week without anything to do at all. Although my schedule was busy with doctors appointments and everything else I could think of. I cleared my schedule to give them my undivided attention. 

We talked our plan over and made plans to visit NASA science museums in Mississippi. They were so excited to visit the museum and go to the beach in Waveland as a treat. We packed our lunch after breakfast and headed out the door for our field trip.

They also toured the Sweet Home Baptist Church Museum Black History display in the Kentwood Community center. Our last field trip for the week was soon approaching. I wanted them to visit the gravesite of a little boy known only as "slave boy" in Hammond, La. He belonged to a man named Peter Hammond. 

Peter founded Hammond, Louisiana about 1818. Hammond was from Sweden. Three of my grandkids live in Hammond and I wanted them to tour the historic landmarks in their own hometown.   During the Christmas break, I took them to tour the African American Heritage Museum. 

I took them to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN and the Slavehaven Underground museum to learn about the civil rights and the underground railroad. They learn so much about history by visiting museums. They have so many questions to asked and I welcome the questions because I know they are paying attention and learning. 

Cajun Swamp Tour, Laplace, Louisiana
Family field trips do not have to be expensive at all. All you have to do is make the time and make it a family project. "Get them involved by looking at what's available in their area, visit the website to learn more about the museum or site you plan to tour." The kids can be very helpful and learn while planning. 

Last summer they wanted to take a swamp tour so they decided to sell fresh blueberries to pay for their own tickets. Every morning they would get up early before it got too hot outside and pick the fresh blueberries. They sold enough to purchase their tickets for the Cajun Pride Swamp Tour. The field trip taught them how to earn money and save money to accomplish their goal. They were so proud of themselves and I was proud of them also. The kids had enough money left over to go see a movie. Family field trips can help them in my academic subjects. 

Whitney Plantation, Wallace, Louisiana
From Whitney Plantation in Wallace, La., to museums and parks in New Orleans, the kids enjoyed themselves. We are planning our summer fun time at grandmother's house. I created the Facebook page to document and blog about our journey together. It's a great way to share photographs and videos with their parents who work and can't join us for the fun. While driving to our destinations they learn about the direction they traveling. "Whether it east, west, north or south!" Meeting new people, exploring new places and tasting new foods is educational within itself. Matter of fact is it the best education one can ask for.  I'm enjoying the family field just as much as they are. It's our quality time spent together as a family. It's important to remember that the quality time spent together is more valuable than money. I make the classroom come alive for them. Well! Our Mardi Gras break is coming to an end and they are ready to get back to school. They've already asked me to come to school and have lunch with them. "How can I tell them no!" I can't and I won't. I hope this blog article inspire you to take family field trips with your grandkids, kids or any child in your family. 

Audubon Zoo, New Orleans, LA