My husband and I don’t have kids, but I got to thinking today how, if we did, what a great teaching tool Haunt Jaunts would make. Check out the various lessons that could be taught:
Some kids find history dull. Others love it.
I was one of those somewhere in between. Certain things I found interesting (both the first and second World Wars gripped me), but battles with Native Americans over land or the Civil War would put me to sleep –until I was older.
When we moved to Florida a whole new world was opened up to me. We made trips to places like St. Augustine, Charleston, up to Atlanta, and saw sites where history had played out –which made it come to life.
I’ll never forget our first trip to Atlanta. We stayed with Bill, one of our friends from college. He was newly arrived to the city and was still exploring it as well. A museum major, he was interested in checking out the Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum. That’s when the Civil War began making sense to me.
The thing that always confounded me about the Civil War was that it happened soooooo long ago. Really it didn’t, but I didn’t have a frame of reference for the dates. (My parents and grandparents both talked about World War II, so it seemed more current to me. And my grandparents were recently married young adults when World War I was raging, so even it seemed not so long ago, but the Civil War? It seemed centuries old!)
However, suddenly, after visiting Cyclorama, 1861-1865 didn’t seem as distant as it once had.
It was also the first time I’d ever taken in a Civil War anything. Maybe if I’d grown up with it I would have had an easier time categorizing it.
But that’s just it: exposure. What better way to help kids understand history than exposing them to it? Not only that, but you also expose them to the stories of real people who lived during those times.
For instance, our recent Jaunt to the Sam Davis house was interesting because Sam Davis and his family were everyday people who found themselves living during extraordinary times. It wasn’t hard to imagine the ghost of his mother, even if it might only be a residual one, haunting the place and crying on his deathiversary.
Or, like Donna Marsh illustrated when she wrote the “Stones River is Murfreesboro’s haunted battlefield,” you get to tour places where battles actually took place, walk on the same ground soldiers marched across. It sparks the imagination better than simply reading about it in a book.
GEOGRAPHY TEACHING LESSONS
Geography was easily one of my lousiest subjects in school. And I’d say this goes for most kids. But another great way to use a Haunt Jaunt as a teaching tool!
You can mark out on a map where you’re starting from, where you’re going, and give kids a perspective of place. Helpful for learning the layout of their own city, state, region, or country –or even if you journey overseas!
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY TEACHING LESSONS
Very few travelers venture out without a camera, but I bet few view them as technology teaching tools. But what a great way to teach kids about how cameras work (and maybe learn a few things yourself while you’re at it).
And if you happen to also be a ghost hunter who brings along devices like digital recorders, mini DVs, heck even EMF detectors…well, think back to your youth. Wouldn’t learning about science and technology have been a whole lot more interesting using a hands on approach like these devices offer? Your kids can learn about electromagnetic fields (all the things both natural and manmade that emit them), how things are recorded (not just EVPs but our regular, old average human voices as well), and then there’s all the lessons they can learn about nature, advancements in technology (like indoor plumbing and electricity since many Haunt Jaunts, especially the historical ones, lack such modern day conveniences)…the opportunities for learning are endless!
And the exposure to such outside-the-box thinking? It just might lead to inspiring the next generation to find new devices to invent –or perhaps new ways to conduct paranormal research.
RELIGION/SPIRITUALITY TEACHING LESSONS
It’s hard not to wonder about “The Beyond” when you talk about ghosts. What a great opportunity to introduce your kids to different beliefs from different cultures about ghosts, death and dying, and our purpose for being Here. Or to explore your own spiritual roots a little deeper and understand your denomination’s take on such matters.
I’m sure there are even more teaching tools Haunt Jaunts could be used for, but these were the ones that sprung immediately to my mind. Can you think of other lessons Haunt Jaunts could teach? I’d love to hear about them!