Thursday, 3 August 2017

Not So Horrible History - Why kids absolutely LOVE learning about 'the olden days' - A ReadItTorial

We've just come back from a three week jaunt around the Scottish Highlands, and as well as soaking up the amazing scenery (and surprising Scottish sunshine), we spent a lot of time digging into Scottish history.

Starting off in Edinburgh, a place absolutely steeped in the stuff with so many fascinating stories, so much culture, so many links to books (not just the sheer volume of Harry Potter references and cash-ins we saw just about everywhere), one thing that really made the holiday for both my wife and I was Charlotte's interest in it all.

She loves History, and I think it's probably because from an early age we've used history as an extension of storytelling. We're very lucky at home to have an equally amazing breadth of culture and some of the best museums in the country, so it's always been something we've done when we need a rainy day activity, or when we've fancied a day out in another city or town.

We are very very lucky in this country in fact, that we have so many and even the ones that charge for entry are usually well worth the entrance fee.

Of course, this interest in history always spills over into books - and at home we have probably an equal amount of shelves devoted to non-fiction (with the emphasis on history books) as we do to fiction. Not just the usual 'icky funny stuff' like Horrible Histories and the superb Tony Robinson books, but a ton of different non-fic, which seems to be enjoying something of a golden age thanks to some truly innovative and hard working publishers really pushing the non-fic format in tons of interesting directions.

Charlotte loved learning about the Jacobite Rebellion and Bonnie Prince Charlie's attempt to overthrow the government, seize back the crown before the equally thrilling story of the Jacobite defeat and his eventual rescue from the Scottish Highlands, thanks to a plucky young lass named Flora McDonald.

As the holiday was actually Charlotte's suggestion, we really hoped that she'd find it fascinating, stimulating, interesting and fun - and we're so glad to see that she absolutely lapped it up. When we moved on from Edinburgh (host to one of the best national museums in the country) and up into the Trossachs and then on to Loch Ness, we always found so many hidden delights off the well beaten tourist trails that summarised the pluckiness, strength, ingenuity and charisma of the Scottish people. In every case, we found people to be friendly, accommodating and fascinating to listen to.

If you've never been, definitely make plans to, particularly if (like us) you're a history nut!