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I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure.  I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Black and White, Blue and Gray

The trip to Charleston was the conclusion of our unit study on the Civil War. One of the most important things I learned is that, truly, war is hard to discuss with children. Especially a second grader who still sees things in such an absolute black and white. As we read different books he kept asking, "Are these the bad guys or the good guys?" You can't answer that question. Over and over I tried to explain to him that they were all American's. They disagreed, just like he and his brother sometimes do. They let the fight get ugly - and he needs to make sure he learns the skills to help prevent that from ever happening again.
 Andy tried to keep it light, making a joke out of it. He is a southern boy, born and raised. I am from a very yankee background. He kept saying that we were from opposite sides, and that his boys would have to remember to follow Daddy if there is ever a fight again.
  What I realized is that I haven't spent enough time really analyzing some of the other major historical wars from the viewpoint of both sides. Everyone fights for a reason. Something they believe in. Sometimes it is just to feed their family. Sometimes it is because their king tells them to fight. Sometimes it is for a cause they feel passionate enough about to risk their life.
 I have always just studied the facts. Years begun and ended, standard political reasons, how it was "resolved" (usually by one of the opposing leaders being killed or captured). I have suddenly developed an interest in the passion behind the average soldier. Not the leaders. Not the men who sat in the throne rooms or conference rooms planning these battles out. I want to see the minds of the men, like my husband, who actually fight, just doing what they are told, when they are told. Because they believe in something. (In Andy's case, protecting the country - which requires trust in the people who run the country - which is why voting is so very important - but that is another entire blog)
 For now, I will try to teach my children to see a little bit of gray. There are lots of black and white areas of life. But "bad guys" versus "good guys" - sometimes that is hard to define.
 In the meantime, how about a few pictures of Lincoln, a Union soldier, and a Confederate soldier?

Meeting for peace talks...
And perhaps a puppet show behind Canaan's head? 

1 comment:

Tricia said...

The War Between the States is a hard one to teach because the good guys vs bad guys are not clear at first or even second glance. If you dig deep enough, it becomes more clear, but that information is hard to find. My girls were older when I tackled it and I have never called it the Civil War since. I know there are different meanings to the word civil, but FigNewTon looked and me and said that the people weren't acting very civil, were they? and why do they call it a civil war?