One thing I particularly enjoy about homeschooling is the approach of child-lead learning. While I’ve decided to order curriculum to make planning easier for me, there are so many opportunities to teach. You don’t have to be a homeschooled family to do it either. For instance, my girls and I read The Boxcar Children before they go to bed. We were reading a chapter about the kids needing to write but they didn’t have a pen to write with. I asked my daughter what they could use instead of a pen given their circumstances. She thought about things they might have at their disposal as orphans living in a boxcar in the middle of nature. She gave me three ideas and we went on to read what they used. She was very pleased she was on the right track when I continued reading. I was pleased that she came up with two completely unrelated ideas that were very creative.
I also use everyday opportunities to strengthen concepts she’s working on in school. Math and science are two subjects that are easily put into practice in the kitchen. She enjoys watching me cook and I’ll quiz her on states of matter or multiplication and division. When we go to the store, she practices rounding, estimating, and other real-life math skills. One thing I’m looking forward to is history! It’s always been my favorite subject although I have to admit it’s because of historical fiction I’ve read not necessarily due to history class itself. Another reason why is because growing up in the military I was fortunate to have been able to travel growing up. Travel is an incredible way to connect with the world as it is and as it was.
We are currently planning our first big family vacation and are looking at going to Italy. It’s a place I remember fondly as one of my own first family vacations as a child. The plan was to research about Italy and plan a vacation around it so we could visit the places we learn about. That’s still the plan, but instead of me being the one to research, I’m going to have my soon to be 9-year-old do the research. Her summer project will be to learn about Italy, teach us what she learns and then we’ll plan our vacation around it to visit those places as they are today. I’ve also been planning a vacation to France for several years after my daughter began her infatuation with it. We learned about Monet and I thought it would be incredible to visit his waterlily pond. It would be a dream come true to take her to France for her 10th birthday and I’m sure she’ll always remember the things we learned about French history and art.
Finding ways to turn learning into a memory-making experience is an incredible way to not just memorize something to pass a test but to create a memory so the information lasts a lifetime. I’m very excited to embark on our homeschooling adventure again this fall but won’t let the summer be wasted. We’ll practice researching by learning the history of our local area and looking for places to visit that we might not have considered otherwise.
I might be dating myself but these are some books I grew up on. If you’re looking for a chapter book series to read with your kids, here are some of our favorites!
Did you read any of these books growing up? What are some of your favorite chapter books for kids and families?
What’s something you remember learning through making a memory? How do you teach your kids by making memories? Feel free to share in the comments!
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Speaking of books, this week’s unit is posted for the Parenting Book Club! If you’re a member, grab your password and click the photo to head over! If you want to join, you can find more details here.