History? Yawn.

Paprika Furstenburg wrote a very intersting blog post about a class of young people not knowing what their Thanksgiving holiday was all about. Go and have a look, it’s good, if a little bit sad  – you’ll know why when you read it.

Then I got to thinking about my own schooldays (when I bothered to attend) and how boring I thought it all was. Drone drone, date, drone, king, divorced, beheaded, died, divorced beheaded survived (see I did retain something she said brightly) drone drone drone.

Could I name all the Kings and queens of England, never mind in chronological order? Could I heck – and why would I even bother?

History? What’s the point of that? It’s gone, finished, kaput, pointless subject.

Oh, the arrogance of youth, if only I’d known then what I know now.

Fast forward to today.

On our way home from the clingons’ dance lesson on Saturday, I took them because Gembolina is still well and truly incapacitated., we were singing silly songs in the car.  Both kids started to sing a song from a tv programme called Horrible Histories. It has really captured their imagination (and mine, it’s brilliant!)

The song was about the Kings and Queens of England – in chronological order and the clingons know every one of them. it goes a bit like this:

William, William, Henry, Steven, Henry Richard, John. Oi!

Not feeling it?

Have  a look at this.

Those kids know more about history than I ever did- and they know about the relevance of various events to modern day. I’m amazed!

Anything that can cut through the advertising, hype, eroding of values and general commercialising of modern life that Paprika was discussing and and get some edukayshun into a young person’s head has got to be good.

So what if it’s in a song? Facts is facts.  Even I now know who the first seven Kings of England were because of this song. Give me time and I’ll know the rest,  I haven’t learnt all the song yet – and these seven names have been spinning round my head all day. Now I’ve learnt it I need to forget it- and fast before it drives me mad!

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One thought on “History? Yawn.”

  1. Thanks for the link, Lesley!

    You make a great point about the relevancy of history from a younger person’s perspective. It’s very difficult for them to understand why something that happened so long ago has any signifigance in their lives other than to torture them in school. Making history, or any subject for that matter, relevant and entertaining is always the trick to get someone to learn something regardless of their age.

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