April 10, 2013

Wednesdays With Walt : Learning Is Always Fun At Disneyland

Walt Disney is quoted as saying, "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children." His deep respect for history and the lessons of the past is very evident to me each time I visit Disneyland. Walt Disney highly valued education and understood that getting our children excited about learning new things and being creative would always be key to our success as a country. Disneyland is proof that learning can and should be fun for both adults and children alike.

As someone who homeschools my own son, I use our Disneyland adventures to teach him about subjects like American history, geography, physics and biology. We listen to the Disneyland Band and we talk about the music and the different instruments. We talk about the animals and plants. We watch the flag ceremony and I teach him about taking off his hat and putting his hand over his heart when the National Anthem is played. We clap for the veterans who are there and thank them for their service. At age six, my son gets excited about trains and always wants to figure out how things work so Disneyland is truly a perfect fit for us.

One of our family's funniest Disneyland memories happened when my son was just three years old. We had been riding attractions all day so we decided to go indoors and visit Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. After we sat down I explained to my son who Abraham Lincoln was and we talked about history until it was showtime. As the loud music began, my son squealed and threw his arms in the air like he was on Space Mountain! The people around us laughed with us and one man nearby said he had never seen a kid so excited to meet Mr. Lincoln before. 

When my son was five, we took him to Washington D.C. for Memorial Day weekend to both travel and to learn more about American history. We spent Memorial Day 2012 at Arlington National Cemetery, saw the President's limo drive by, walked by the White House, visited the Smithsonian Museums, saw all the major monuments and memorials and even stopped by the wax museum. When we asked my son to pose with Abraham Lincoln at the wax museum something clicked in his head and all of a sudden he was at Disneyland! As we took the photo, he threw his arms in the air and squealed just like he had done when he was three.

Yes, learning is fun, especially at Disneyland.

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