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History Habits for Parents

Habits are activities we do on a regular basis. We acquire habits by choosing to make them a part of our life. It is worth the time and effort to develop good habits because they enhance our well-being. We suggest the following history habits to enrich your life experience and your children's.

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Share family history with your children, particularly your memories. Help your own parents and other relatives know your children and talk with them about family stories.

Participate in your community by voting and helping to make changes in areas that interest you. Encourage your children to vote in school elections, to present themselves as candidates, and gain knowledge of history and the values and behaviors that are the basis of their citizenship.

Read newspapers and news magazines, and watch television news programs to maintain an informed judgment about the world. Talk about current events and your ideas about them with your children and other adults, and explore different points of view. Check the encyclopedia or your local library for additional historical information.

Watch television programs about important historical topics with your family, and encourage conversation about the program as you watch. Get library books on the same topic and learn more about it. Check to see if the books and television programs agree on significant issues, and discuss their differences.

Read with your children about people and events that have made a difference in the world, and discuss the readings together. The list of publications at the end of this book serves as a support to you for choosing materials.

Help children know that the makers of history are real people like themselves, who have ideas, work hard, and experience failure and success. Introduce them to local community leaders in person if possible, and national and world leaders via the media and biographies.

Make globes, maps, and encyclopedias available, and use every opportunity to refer to them. A reference to Africa in a child's favorite story, or the red, white, and green stripes on a box of spaghetti can be opportunities to learn more about the world.

Have a collection of great speeches, and written documents to read from time to time with your child.

Your own involvement in history, in any of the forms referred to here, is a good habit you can pass on to your children.

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