It never occurred to me that my business would take such an interesting turn. You see, I am writing a history text for a 12 year old student in China. I didn’t set out to do this, but the child doesn’t have a text book.
Here’s the background story on this; I began teaching her history when she was in school in Europe. She had a text book then. So I supplemented whatever chapter or module she was on by teaching, mostly, private life and the stuff rarely covered in middle or high schools. Her text had a chapter on castles, so I prepared supplemental material on all the castles along the Danube, including material on who lived in those castles, and what each person’s job would be. I played music from the era (12th century), and gave a mini lecture on the troubadours.
How many history lectures include the music of the era?
Over the years, I’ve written and published several workbooks, and videos, on historical subjects that have to do with private life. Dance, language, persona building, even books on historical weddings. Developing projects like these is my forte.
My goal is to create a new type of text book for students of history. Something quick and easy to read, with a full picture of the era for them to soak up. An interactive text book, much like the ones the Military Academy at West Point publishes for the study of battles. These books do take a special reader, but one can use video as well to present the material in a way that includes all the bits and pieces of history a text book cannot give you. Like playing 12th century music and marveling at the gowns the men wore, and yes, an animated video showing the reader a blow-by-blow account of a battle.
The future for educational material is really bright and beautiful. I call it 360 history. Wherein the student gets a real sense of an era through the sounds, the visuals, the words of the individuals who lived it. No more dry textbooks that turn students off to history. No, no, no! Because the past is not only exciting, it’s dangerous, which means it is an adventure. It’s an ice cream Sunday, not a dry piece of toast.
Thank you to my student in China. She has got my butt to the chair creating an exciting book on the first 5 Plantagenet kings. Those five guys cover a lot of ground, history wise.
My hope is that my student is allowed to keep up her studies in European history. Once finished with the Middle Ages, I’ll want to move on to the Early Modern era. She is my motivator. And my critic, as she is the end user.
The adult courses are coming along as well. The one, Father and Mother, has taken me 6 months to develop. It’s going in front of the camera soon. At last. It’s such a personal story that covers 1000 years of history. More, if you count the quick review of the Migration Period (500-1000 AD).
Enough of this as it is time to get back to work on those crazy Plantagenet kings. Henry, Richard, John, then another Henry, followed by an Edward.
Love those guys. Love my students!