Turning my child into a—what?!?!? A picker? A picker of what you may ask. Let’s define the word picker. A picker is a person or thing that picks, especially that gathers fruit, crops, etc… Ah, but there is a new type of picker in town—the junk picker.
Have I lost you yet? I went from making you think of nose picking to dumpster diving didn’t I? What if I told all you homeschoolers out there this kind of picking opens the doors of many fun history conversations and lessons? Does that clench your attention? Read on, my friends! Read on!
The History Channel has a great show out called, American Pickers. It features two pickers, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, and their hunt to find America’s lost treasures. This show I would recommend for Middle-High Schoolers but the idea can be implemented into an Elementary aged child. (Just to cover all bases, I recommend the parents watch the show beforehand to establish that all content is suitable for their young viewers.) Mike and Frank set out to find treasures they can clean up and then turn around and make a few bucks on but they are also finding things for their own personal collections because they love history.
America has an amazing history. It is a short one compared to other nations, but the story plays out as if it were on the silver screen. We’ve been through innovation after innovation and the history of these “things” get forgotten until they are discovered in some barn under piles of boxes, at a garage sale, or in an estate sale. You’ll find yourself saying, “I remember these!” or “My grandmother used this when I was little”. Do you see how not just American history comes into play but YOUR own history does as well? What an amazing thing to pass onto your children.
I’ve never met a child who doesn’t like to hear their parents or grandparents stories of when they were younger. I know the older they get, they will pretend not to care, but their interest is still there. They are still listening. Children have a natural desire to know history. It is just all the monotonous book learning that has taken the joy out of it. They need to see it, touch it, and experience it to gain appreciation for it.
I’m setting up a challenge for you (and for my kids as well). Yard, garage, tag, and estate sales are all gearing up for their busy summer months. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. You don’t need a lot of money, just a keen eye for a good deal. Go out to these sales and look for pieces of American history. These can be found if you are diligent and widespread in your effort. Learn their history from the seller or if they have no clue—start scouring the internet.
Lastly, you are going to want to know what on earth to do with all your treasures. You can keep them and display them, start your own collection, clean up and consign them to antique dealers, or even sell them on Ebay. You may even have family and friends that are willing to buy your found treasures. Your finds can also be turned into gifts if you know that person's interests and history! However, please know your limits!! I do not want you to end up on an episode of Hoarders.