Today we finished our unit study on George Washington. I have to say that we really, really enjoyed reading George Washington: Our First Leader from the Childhood of Famous Americans series. Makayla has read several of this series on her own, but this was the first one I read aloud to all the children. The 5 and 6 year old especially liked that the story began when George was just a child, they were able to relate to him so much better because they could follow how a child like them could grow up to do great things.
With the end of this unit it is time to choose the next study. I am going to continue working through Exploring Creation with Anatomy and Physioligy with the family about 2 days a week. As I have been praying the last few weeks God has brought to my mind repeatedly that I need to be helping my children follow their interests. I began the process when I sat with each child age 3 and up to brainstorm topics they are interested in. I made sure none of their siblings were nearby as we brainstormed, because I wanted to have their answers, not their siblings’. They were able to flip through my files on the computer for ideas as well, especially our lapbooks and Download ‘N Go units.
- Daniel’s list was fun because he asked for characters like Curious George as well as topics (lizards, trains, etc).
- Emma’s list showed a major interest in water creatures(octopus, shark, sea turtle, manatee to name a few) and some of the more exotic mammals (panda, tiger).
- Joseph’s list was what I think of as very ‘boy’ – anatomy, the moon/space, geckos, robots, pirates, magnets, electricity.
- Makayla’s had a mix of habitats, animals, and those working with them, such as Jane Goodall.
The next step happened this week. I brought back out their lists and asked them to each choose a topic. Just like before, I did this with each child alone, so that there was no siblings influencing In the end we had 2 topics chosen. Joseph and Daniel wanted to learn specifically about lizards/geckos. They agreed to work together for this unit using the Goofy Gecko Download ‘N Go. I am estimating it will take them 2-3 weeks to do together. Joseph will be the scribe, while Daniel will take turns manning the computer. Emma and Makayla had each looked over the Download ‘N Go units on their lists and independently chose Creation Camouflage. They agreed to work together, but Makayla stipulated that she wanted her own copy of the pages printed, she didn’t want them to share because she wants hers bound into a book when she’s done. They will take turns running the computer.
I ordered a few books from my library to put in a book basket for free reading. I have to say I love that the units include booklists, because it makes my job very easy. I’m sitting down tonight with my husband to look over the family activity ideas as well. We’ll choose one or two things to do for each unit and surprise the children. I also need to check COSI, I believe they have a traveling exhibit right now all about the science of Geckos.
While the children begin these new studies we will continue our read aloud book, Farmer Boy. Math, spelling, and such will not change. I’m also trying to decide which one of the Childhood of Famous Americans books to begin next. We have a few on our shelves that I’ve gotten through PaperBack Swap, and I can get others from my library.
How are your plans shaping up for March? Will you be following your children’s interests in any particular area?