domingo, 7 de diciembre de 2014

More Preschool Dress-Up Days

Mexico celebrated the 104th anniversary of its glorious revolution a few weeks ago.  It´s one of the more important civic holidays on the calendar, so any school in the country would be remiss not to mark the occasion, right?

Right.  However, as the Revolution was a multi-faceted struggle, one that succeeded in some respects and failed in others (and, of course, it depends on one´s point of view exactly where the Revolution succeeded or failed), it´s a complicated story to tell.  Particularly to preschoolers.

So, what should we do?  Gloss over it?  Simply have an extra-long flag ceremony on the 20th?

Nah--let´s reenact it!


Is it just me, or is it true that whenever there´s something to celebrate at the preschool, the teachers ask us to dress up our kids for the occasion.  Independence Day?  Pick a traditional dress from any region in Mexico and sport those colors!  Columbus Day--guess what?  Your little güero gets to be King Ferdinand!  United Nations Day--dress your child up in traditional dress from another country!  Revolution Day--well, let´s all be revolutionaries!

As a mom, part of me is irritated to spend so much time sewing.  (Without a sewing machine, because I did not realize that a sewing machine should be included in a list of school supplies at the beginning of the year.  Those of you with younger kids in Mexico--be warned.)  However, at the preschool stage, history and social studies are tricky concepts to teach.  Given preschoolers´ natural gravitation towards dressing up and pretending, this just might be the perfect way to have them begin to learn about these tricky concepts.

Still, how much solid information are they really pulling out of merely dressing up as a revolutionary?

I have no idea.  But time will tell.

When I was wracking my brain, trying to figure out what clothes we had on hand to turn Joey into a revolutionary, it dawned on me that we had a perfect outfit for him to dress up as Venustiano Carranza, one of the revolutionary leaders.  So I told him he was going to be Carranza.  Fortunately, he jumped on that idea, bouncing around the living room, shouting, "Carranza!  Carranza! Carranza!"
Did he have any real idea who Venustiano Carranza was?

No.
Already being the proper politician and mingling with his constituents.

However, he now can associate the guy with the big white beard (who is NOT Santa Claus) with the 20th of November.  He remembers that he dressed up as that guy.  In the future, when he hears that name mentioned, he might just be a little more prepped to pay a little more attention to find out what that guy did.

Well, it´s worth a shot.

Worst case scenario?  They´re still awfully cute.