Modern History and Technology 1980-Present

In some ways it seems odd to be planning on teaching my children about things that happened in my lifetime as a part of their history program, it makes me feel a little old. However, there really have been a lot of important events over the almost forty years that this section spans. There have been great improvements in technology from the average home not having a computer to the average adult having a smart phone, from the giant satellite dish that my grandmother got in her backyard for television to wireless data and cable. There have also been troubling times including the Gulf War, September 11th, and the Global War on Terror.

Last month we talked about finding those people that had experienced the Vietnam War and the Space Race but this month it gets even easier. The vast majority of adults have lived through these changing times and been impacted by at least some of the events that we are going to discuss this month. While many of these things are interconnected we plan to split our month up into three main focuses: technology, President Reagan and his policies and the changes that happened during his administration, the wars of our modern time with an emphasis on September 11th and the Global War on Terror. There are also many important figures from our time and I hope to spend some time reading biographies about some of those great leaders including Billy Graham and Ben Carson.

If you have very young children I highly recommend Fireboat: Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey when studying about September 11th. It is a great way to help them start to learn about that day in an age appropriate way. For older children who want a better understanding of the culture in Afghanistan I recommend Extra Credit. We read it as a read aloud last year and it brought up a lot of great discussion points. I have ordered Science Year By Year (this is a timeline of science and technology in a book. It does reference millions of years) to help the children get a better feel for just how rapidly things are changing in technology compared with centuries past. I plan to start the technology conversation with an episode of The Jetsons. I think it will be a fun way to start the conversation about how technology has changed.

In addition to our reading and discussions we always like to include a little bit of food in our history study. We will be indulging in a few foods that were popular in the ’80s and ’90s as we study through those Eras. Can anyone say Capri Sun and pizza bagels? I also learned that the ‘Hot Sign’ for Krispy Kreme was developed in 1992. That seems like reason enough for a field trip to me. I’ve included several lists of iconic ’80s and ’90s foods in the resource guide.

In our field trip list this month I kept the space related field trips as the space program was still growing and active through part of this period. June is a busy month for us but we would love to make it to see the Airbornne & Special Operations Museum and the Billy Graham Library.

I would love to hear you share your favorite part of this era in history or tell me your favorite resource in the comments. Check out our Free Resource Library for a more complete list of resources and join us as we wrap up this Journey Through History.

Resource Library

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

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