Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dorothy Sayers and TLTOL (part fourteen)

Time for another installment from "The Lost Tools of Learning" by Dorothy Sayers:

The grammar of History should consist, I think, of dates, events, anecdotes, and personalities. A set of dates to which one can peg all later historical knowledge is of enormous help later on in establishing the perspective of history. It does not greatly matter which dates: those of the Kings of England will do very nicely, provided that they are accompanied by pictures of costumes, architecture, and other everyday things, so that the mere mention of a date calls up a very strong visual presentment of the whole period.
Geography will similarly be presented in its factual aspect, with maps, natural features, and visual presentment of customs, costumes, flora, fauna, and so on; and I believe myself that the discredited and old-fashioned memorizing of a few capitol cities, rivers, mountain ranges, etc., does no harm. Stamp collecting may be encouraged.

I want a world history timeline. I really do. I just can't decide where in our new house to put it. Also, I can't decide how exactly I want to do it. I'm leaning towards stringing up multiple colors of yarn to signify different parts of the world. Maybe Pinterest can help me in the quest for an aesthetically acceptable (but doable for a mom who doesn't do crafts well) timeline. Whatever we end up doing, it needs to be where the children frequently see it yet out of reach of the destructive fingers of the smaller ones.

My mother bought my children a great flannel world map for Christmas. It has country names, labels for major rivers and geographical features, and flannel animals such as camels and polar bears for them to put in the proper regions. We already put it up in one of the bedrooms on a prominent wall, so hopefully the children will learn all the information on it over the product's lifetime.