Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Using Hamilton, An American Musical, In Our Homeschool

We are currently obsessed with "Hamilton, An American Musical."  I'd heard my bestie talk about it a long time ago, but I didn't listen to any of the music or care at all.  But then I stumbled upon this video of our favorite sketch comedy group lip-syncing to one of the songs.  I was instantly hooked and then started searching out more songs.

I made a Youtube playlist for all the songs that I like that are also clean enough for me to be comfortable with my kids listening to them.

(I included a censored version of The Reynolds Pamphlet.  It does not have the word "affair" or the description of the situation removed.  Long before I added this song to the playlist, the kids and I had discussed that Hamilton at one time had been a really crappy husband.  But I didn't feel it was important to go into details.  Then when we started listening to this song, as a quick explanation of what his "affair" was, I basically told them that when you're married you shouldn't have a girlfriend on the side, right?  Well, that's what Hamilton did.  I'm comfortable with my kids listening to this song, but I can see where other families would not approve.)

Since then, we have listened to that playlist about a million times and we have most of the songs memorized!  As we've become familiar with the words of the songs, we've been prompted to search out the true history behind the man and events immortalized in this musical.

In order to get kids to love history, it has to be presented in a way that's entertaining, interesting, and accessible.  Thank you, Lin-Manuel Miranda for your work!

(As a side note, when we watched Moana in the theater and they heard the voice of Lin-Manuel Miranda on the soundtrack, the girls started geeking out!  I didn't know he was responsible for the music on Moana and so I doubted them but they were so sure that it sounded like "the Hamilton guy.")

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