Historybusters Makes History Exciting for Kids

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Developed by teaching veteran Lynn Marie Sager, Historybusters is an online-community website dedicated to providing both parents and teachers with the tools they need to introduce their kids to history in a way that leaves kids wanting more.

The brainchild of veteran history teacher and author Lynn Marie Sager, Historybusters is an online-community website designed to help parents get their kids hooked on history before their first class. The site features over 1000 historically "accurate" films guaranteed to get kids asking questions and wanting to learn more. Along side these movies, the site offers instructional advice, educational links, test-prep tips, discussion boards, study ideas, as well as custom e-books and movie curriculums designed to give parents a few answers to share with their kids both before and after viewing any recommended movie. The site URL is http://www,navigatinglife.org/historybusters.

With so many of her students rolling their eyes at the very thought of history, Lynn began to look for a way to improve their excitement and understanding. "I remembered how my mother introduced me to history," she explains. "My mom is a historian, and she didn't wait for me to take a history class at school. Instead, she began showing me historical movies at a very young age while I was still extremely curious about the world around me. Before each movie, she would give me a little background to help me understand what was happening. After each movie, she would let me know what was accurate and what was not. Sometimes we would pull out maps or draw timelines so that the story was put into context. By the time I took my first history class, I already knew most of the course content."

As a history and literature instructor, Ms. Sager found herself recommending hundreds of movies to her students, far too many movies for them to view in a single semester. She initially created Historybusters for those students, but it quickly grew into more. "I would find myself discussing topics and wishing my students had seen a particular film. We would be reading a novella together, and I would learn that they had no ideas what "Victorian" meant. Immediately, I would think of a dozen movies capable of bringing that word to life. I put together a list of documentaries that could help them ace their AP and SAT II History exams. I began designing e-books, curriculums, and timelines to accompany my movie recommendations. I also began recommending movies for subjects that I knew my students would be studying in later years, so they could get a head start."

The Historybusters website features these movie curriculums; each designed to help parents provide historically accurate information about historical events. Ms. Sager recommends that parents plan a monthly movie night with their kids and devote it to a historical film. "Done right, even a movie as historically challenged as Zack Snyder's 300 can become a great lesson in geography and history. Most kids adore the movie, and the curriculum provides answers to many of the questions they might ask after watching it...The curriculums allow busy parents to do what my mom did for me, put the story into context and examine what was accurate and what was not…If parents would plan a monthly Historybusters night, by the time their kids attended their first history class, they would already be familiar with much of the material, not to mention interested in learning more. That's a great head start, and one that only parents can provide."

Historybuster curriculums are designed for ages nine through nineteen. The site also offers a pictorial timeline going back over 20,000 years, perfect for putting time in perspective, as well as e-books on the American Presidents, the Space Race, 9/11, and the Iraq War. More curriculums and e-books are added weekly. They can be viewed at http://www.navigatinglife.org/historybusters.

"My goal is to have a Historybusters Club in every school, home, and PTA in America," says Ms. Sager. "I get so sad whenever I hear students say that they don't need to know something because it won't be on a test. I want kids across the country to get excited by history and want to know more. I want them to realize how fascinating the world's stories are. In fact, I've started to begin all my history classes by asking, 'Who wants to hear a good story?'"

Ms. Sager certainly gets passionate when she speaks about awakening her passion for history in others.

For additional information about Historybusters and Ms. Sager, contact Brandon Kjar or visit http://navigatinglife.org/historybusters. American Presidents, Space Race, Historybusters

About Historybusters
Founded in 2005, Historybusters is an offshoot of Navigating Life--the home of Lynn Marie Sager's life changing fourteen-week on-line course in effective living. Base on her book, A River Worth Riding: Fourteen Rules for Navigating Life, this free on-line course is dedicated to providing its readers with the tools they need to Navigating Life.

Brandon Kjar, Manager
Kjar and Associates
info at navigatinglife dot org

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