Hey Susan, I have a lot of opinions about this. So, I’ll try to be brief.
I hated history and the humanities when I was younger as well for the reasons you’ve mentioned. I was a science student.
Ironically, I ended up doing a minor in history in university. One thing I’ve found out is that our conception of history is very wrong. Schools don’t do a good job of correcting this.
We think history is regurgitating facts and dates. But it isn’t. It’s about telling stories about our past. And the job of historians is to tell and retell these narratives. History is a contest between stories.
In university, we learn about the plasticity of these narratives and how we can argue for an alternative narrative. We barely need to memorise facts at all.
But this way of doing history requires a certain level of intellectual maturity, and some basic understanding of the past. If you are assigned to teach a 15 year old what a 19 year old is expected to learn, how are you going to do it?
My contention is that we shouldn’t start with history, but ‘thinking’ itself. I’m a philosophy major, and history somehow found its way to me.