14 February 2006

Homeschooling Central Asian History

One of the women on a homeschooling site I read put together a Chinese history outline for homeschooling. Since I've never been satisfied with the coverage of Asian history in any world history textbook- homeschooling or not- I've considered doing something like this for Central Asia. I've never been able to find anything like a history of this part of the world for children. Even supplemental books, like a history of one topic or folk tales or craft books are difficult if not impossible to find.

The Silk Road is the most common topic for Central Asia, but even that often focuses on Marco Polo's travels, or on the Chinese or European ends. While the trade routes were vital to Central Asia for many centuries, they are hardly the entire story. I'd like to cover what is now Xinjiang province in China, Mongolia, the Stans, and northeastern Iran.

Here's one book on the Silk Road that looks pretty good. I did find one book of Central Asian stories and another on Silk Road stories (this one actually looks rather promising). Two others I already own and love (and highly recommend) but are only somewhat related to Central Asia are House of Wisdom and Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Battuta, 1325-1354.

But compare this list to the hundreds of similar books you can find on the rest of Asia (and especially China) at Amazon.

This would take some doing, but this might be a fun project to work on. I could include the shagai/chuko bone games, and other games I've learned here, and maybe come up with some projects to do too. I have no doubt that there would only be about 3 other homeschoolers interested in this, but that's okay.

I also found an interesting little website about traveling with children. It's better than the usual one with more interesting destinations (i.e. not just Europe and the US). I thought the section on China had good recommendations based on our short stay there. Egypt was good too, although we've never been there with children. Maybe I'll write to them to see if they want to add Kyrgyzstan to their list. :)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the different links. They look interesting.