homeschool tidbits … :)

October 9, 2010

i am feeling really excited and energized about the learning happening in our homeschool! this year has slowly “grown”; we started out with a unit study on bodies of water plus crafting, then moved in to some bible, math, language arts, science (with our new microscope!) and finally are getting to add history and reading. finances limited us purchasing “all” the curriculum i wanted at once, but that challenged me to be more creative and resourceful with what we have and with free resources … and i am grateful. 🙂

the bodies of water unit study felt intimidating at first (how to put it all together? what resources to use, what projects, experiments, etc?).  but, i really GOT the appeal of a holistic study approach: focus on one area of interest and bring all subjects of learning in to that. it just feels good and connected as opposed to tangential, fragmented learning parts. i can definitely see doing more unit study “modules” in the future.

here is a sample of the learning that happened in one day:

:: maddie read aloud a sheet i’d printed called “the deep sea” and highlighted, discussed, really processed the (interesting) info it taught (bioluminescence, and specific fish that live in the deep sea) with me.

:: “how big are the oceans” sheet was reviewed and we did a project: i’d printed a map of the world with the continents/oceans; maddie identified them all (we’d learned key features of each a previous day), then she cut squares representing relative size of oceans, colored and placed on a blue colored sheet … smallest to largest. it was a great visual and a fun chance for her to color – always a bonus!

:: writing assignment: in neat handwriting on lined paper, 5 interesting facts she’d learned. spelling/grammar/etc was checked and she rewrote for a nice, final copy.

:: experiment: we cut out a fish and hung it within an empty tissue box, cutting holes on the outside and peering in … a semi-successful look at bioluminescence. 🙂

:: we wrapped by reading a verse in scripture about the vastness and beauty of God’s creation.

in other news, our homeschool group is working on an AMAZING PROJECT!! it feels so good, to brainstorm about an idea and then see it coming to fruition! the scope of the project is wildly huge and our kids (and us!) are going to have so many unique learning experiences over these next couple months. i am so grateful!

the gist: our kids will have their own restaurant. over the next couple months, each week a different mama is hosting a piece of the learning for our project … and there is so much. we met yesterday to brainstorm further and finalize our details, focusing on a core vision and key components. we want our children to learn about GOD’s creation; His design for our bodies, for stewardship of our bodies, for healthy eating. additionally, there is desire for our kids to be stretched, to take on leadership roles, to learn new skills, to be exposed to new ideas. we started yesterday at one mama’s house, and she did a phenomenal job teaching (*a LOT!) of kiddos the basics of digestion, complete with hands-on, papers AND real GUTS of a sheep she’d gotten from a local butcher. whoa!

we will be looking more at nutrition, food preparation, manners, etiquette, budgeting and planning; the kids will do craft projects to create menus and favors and invitations; they’ll create desserts; they’ll rehearse their performances  and we’ll go on some pretty cool field trips along the way (grocery store, restaurant, bakery, maybe a farm). this will all culminate in a big night with special guests invited, food prepared and served by the kids, and hopefully all inspired and blessed by the service of our children and the learning that took place.

certainly, not every home school day make the highlight reels. 🙂 lol. but overall, it is good and i am so grateful to be able to be on this journey. there is a lot of learning and stretching for kids and for mama!

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