Our kids ask us all the time, “What’s so important about learning history?” It’s a good question. Why is history important? One major reason might be to learn from the horrible mistakes that have been made. Unfortunately, the less emphasis we put on caring about those around us, the less inclined we are to make a positive difference in our world. We’ve conditioned our children to expect things to be handed to them without having to work for them. And this reflects directly in how they learn things.
“What’s so important about learning history?” – Most School Children
What Can We Do?
Field trips are an excellent way to give children a tangible view of history. We take them to museums of all kinds, from art to military to local history museums. This time we chose to visit the Tupper Museum in Jennings, LA. Upon walking into the gift shop door, we were warmly welcomed by the staff and directed to the doors of the museum. Mrs. Elaine was our informative and pleasant guide throughout the general store part of the museum. She taught us about the history of the store itself, and about all the different items which would’ve sat on the shelves during the many years the store was open. Our girls had the opportunity to gain a hands-on perspective, as well. We marveled at old tins of syrup made by one of the most well-known breweries in the USA and bottles of skin and hair care products made with coconut oil. Some of the items have been donated to the museum over the years but many of their displays are filled with original stock.
The back rooms of the general store house a museum where you can listen to and see the history of the telephone. This part of the museum is more hands-on. There are play areas for younger children and two old phone booths which have been connected so two visitors can speak to each other inside them. The story of the telephone unfolds as you walk through the area displays. Each booth has a push button which tells a part of the tale in English or in Cajun French. For me, the most interesting parts were the dress made of actual telephone book papers and the information on how hurricanes and floods affected the phone service back then.
In the gift shop, you’ll find Louisiana-themed items and local Louisiana products, art, and artisan crafts. They also sell old-time candy and toys. There’s a wide range of prices, so everyone can find something they like to bring home. And don’t forget to ask about the military discount if you are in the armed forces!
I created a handy pdf field trip planner for you guys today. Just click on the link to download your own copy. I know my post is late but with the field trip yesterday, it left little time for us to do anything else. I hope you find the planner useful.
“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost.” — J. R. R. Tolkien
Proverbs 1:5-6 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
5 Someone who is already wise
will hear and learn still more;
someone who already understands
will gain the ability to counsel well;
6 he will understand proverbs, obscure expressions,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.