Historians we are not

There is a reason that US History is not a kindergarten social studies standard.

We learned about holidays that are specific to the United States yesterday, including Independence Day and Presidents’ Day.

One child kept raising his hand, scratching his head and saying things like, “Wow, I never knew that the 4th of July was America’s birthday!” I don’t remember his other “I never knew” comments, but he for sure had a few others.  Finally I told him, “Well, I’m sure glad you came to school today!  You sure are learning a lot of new information!” to which he said, “Yeah, I sure am!’

The other children though, I’m not sure what they walked away with.  Their questions and comments included things like…

So, Lincoln and Washington are friends??

  • Washington.  Like Wash!
  • Miss K, you are like the president of our class!
  • Hey, George Washington is on the dollar!
  • Hey, Lincoln is the on the dollar!
  • But I thought Barack Obama was the president.
  • So… Lincoln and Washington are friends? brothers?
  • I’m not scared of him!  (looking at a picture of Lincoln)
  • Miss K, when we are all grown ups, you are going to be an old woman!
Lets not even start on how I explained the Revolutionary and Civil wars…. (ok, let’s say it started with “Some states said, ‘We don’t want to treat everyone nicely, so we don’t want to be part of your country anymore.’  But President Lincoln said, ‘No, we need to be nice to everyone and we all need to stay part of the USA, so…”)

Although, I was impressed when today we were using pennies and a child recognized Lincoln on it. She had no idea of his name, but she knew his face!

While we are not historians, perhaps geography is where our strength lies.  Several children, when given a coloring page with the United States on it, colored Minnesota a different color than the rest of the country.  My little geography geniuses.


3 thoughts on “Historians we are not

  1. Well, we spent some time on MLK Jr. Day….boy oh boy did the convo go south. I breezed over the part where he died (never mentioned how). Of course I have a few observant ones who had time to look in other books on the shelf and noticed there was a gun! Every time Martin was mentioned the gun/dying/being shot/dead/etc was mentioned. I finally banned talking about his death- we could only mention the good he brought about. Ugh. And yes, we call him Martin now.

  2. Awesome! Love that they knew where MN was! I grew up on an island, so was extra confused about the state…was it the island’s name? Or the town’s name? And the country name was just so far out there that I didn’t get it at all. All very confusing.

  3. The fact that your 5yr olds know where MN is a major feat….I’ve had more than a handful of fourth graders that don’t have a stinkin’ clue where it is or that it is even a state!

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