let kids watch beauty and the beast

How do you teach Columbus Day?

I’m just curious.  Do you teach Columbus as the evil conqueror who brought disease, death and cultural annihilation to the New World?  Or as the hero and great explorer who discovered the New World and brought civilization to it?  Or something in between?

We studied Columbus a few years ago using predominantly his own journal which was rather interesting.  We looked at him as a man with great ambition, great opportunity and great faith who unfortunately became a wee bit obsessed with gold, corrupting all the potential of his mission.

We are actually studying how horses have affected world history at the moment, and this week we are supposed to be finishing up the Huns.  It would be a good time to begin our look at how horses affected the colonization of the Americas, but that is a bit too much jumping around on the time line for me.  For those interested however, he are some Columbus Day resources for the horse lover.

The Native Americans Columbus encountered feared the horse, making it possible for very few men to intimidate large numbers of natives.  This proved very important to colonization for obvious reasons.  Cortez was later quotes as saying, “Next to God, we owe our victory to our horses.”  Once the Native Americans got hold of horses, however, their cultures were changed profoundly, unsettling some of the “balance of power” between the tribes.  White Americans would later find some of these groups, such as the Sioux and the Apache, mighty warriors who could strike swiftly and fiercely upon their mounts although a few centuries previously their power would have been severely limited.

Some good information about the descendants of some of these first horses:

The Wild Horses of Shackleford Banks

An outline of some of this history (word document)

And the book we will be using when we get there:  After Columbus:  The horse’s return to America

Happy Columbus Day!

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Home School Talk will be canceled today due to the fact that the host has no voice.