Thursday, February 18, 2010

An Unexected History Discussion

I've been posting random things here and there that gives a small glimpse into unschooling in action. Well, last night turned into another one of those interesting evenings and all because I tend to like movies that the others in my home tend to shy from. I had wanted to see the Kit Kittredge film when I had first heard about it, but opted to put in in our movie queue in lieu of seeing it at the movies. Last night it had finally arrived and I have to admit that beyond remembering it had gotten good reviews, I couldn't remember what it was supposed to be about.

So my spouse said we had three movies to watch: The Producers, Kit Kittredge, and a third I can't remember at the moment. We started with Kit and once it was loaded, it was quickly realized that it was rated 'G' and 'An American GIRL Movie'. These things do not bode well in the eyes of a twelve year old boy who's father has asked him to join us watching these films.

Said twelve year old joined us but he also brought his DS and only sorta tuned into the first. As the story began to unfold, he found himself being drawn in as were both my spouse and I. The parallels to our current times of home foreclosures, unemployment, people needing soup kitchens, really gave one pause to see how things were going to unfold in this movie.

The movie allowed you to see the distress of neighbors losing their homes. Of the prejudice of the haves against the have nots. It brought up personal family stories from my spouse as even though he wasn't alive back in the 1932's, his parents were. My spouse's own grandparents had families living in their home, in their barn, so my spouse was raised on many true life stories of the Great Depression therefore being able to reflect the real life facts the movie portrays.

The movie portrayed homeless children, hobos, and how they lived. At one point, the mobile librarian offered a young hobo child a loaner book to read. The child stated that they only knew how to read hobo. Now at this point, I was pondering that the child only read the letters 'H-O-B-O' and was wondering what else this child had suffered when my son whispered in my ear as if he could read my mind, what the Hobo language was. My spouse paused the movie and my son went on to explain the system of symbols the hobos used so other hobos would know where to go and where to avoid. I'll have to ask him again where he learned this system, but I believe he had said he learned it from reading about it in the Warrior Series.

So many other issues were covered in this movie; pride, living frugal, kindness, recycling. I love that they took the time to show the extremes people went to to make do. They even added some positive spins like showing the feedsack cloth dresses Kit's mom went on to make and sell and how Kit preferred selling eggs to moving in with her uncle. That last part, made me laugh as the uncle was not portrayed as a kind fellow.

I would highly recommend this movie just for the simple fact that it's a good movie. If you add in the benefits for it's timely lessons to our country's current economic situation, plus it's an excellent jumping off point for deeper discussion into life in the USA in the 1930's and the Great Depression, one can easily see why homeschoolers, unschoolers, well, every 'schooler' could get something out of this film.


monica said...

brilliant! my girl loves the Warrior books, I've have to ask her if she can tell me about hobos. (kudos to your boy for watching a so-called girl movie)

jugglingpaynes said...

That sounds like a good one! I think I missed that one. I know my mother loved the DVD of Samantha because she remembered her own grandmother's stories of working in the NY sweatshops.

Peace and Laughter!