Drama and academics seems like a useful combination in the world of children and education. One mom, Ruth Henry, found a way to show history is fascinating while engaging the recipient in a fun way. (It’s a trick many homeschoolers and good teachers learned.)
From New York’s Capitol District Parent Pages History takes center stage – Zan Strumfeld
“You pick up the textbook, it weighs 40 pounds, you blow off the dust, you open to page 2,423 and by the time you get to the third paragraph everybody starts drooling and their eyes are rolling back in their heads,” Henry, of Loudonville, said. “I just thought, ‘Gee, there’s gotta be a better way to teach this.’”
She didn’t know it at the time, but Henry was about to introduce a new way of learning to dozens of homeschooled kids.
Successes on the stage playing out various histories such as the Erie Canal, Thomas Edison and westward migration stories created the established program-DRAMAcademics.
Though Henry didn’t keep on homeschooling her own children, the history musicals inspired her to create DRAMAcademics, an educational youth theater, to work with other homeschooled students.
After only a few productions, Henry began writing her own scripts. In 2007, while traveling back and forth on the Thruway to visit her husband’s business in Rochester, Henry said she felt very inspired while continuously passing the Erie Canal. On the drive she would create scenes and characters and record melodies on her cellphone, eventually writing “The Amazing Erie Canal.”
Looks like Ruth Henry is hooked on history and that will bode well for homeschoolers.