We’ve found ourselves in a rut over the last couple years of reading an assignment, filling in the blanks, and not going beyond that. This type of learning is not how I envision our homeschool. I want my kids to be explorers and to delight in new information, actively seeking out answers to their curiosities! Trouble is, I love books and I lean towards having books as our spine in our homeschool. So, how to move past the words used in the book and to conclusions created in our own minds?
So simple, but so easily overlooked. Talk about the content and what it makes you think about. Does it remind you of something else you’ve learned in a different subject? Oftentimes I find us tying in Islam with Care Bear’s logic course. We can talk about the fallacious arguments people make against Islam, and even fallacious arguments that keep us from living Islam like we should (mob appeal, anyone?). Discussions obviously mean that as the parent, you have to be actively involved in the subject. In many cases as the child gets older, their work gets more independent so this can be challenging to do yourself, but there’s always book clubs, or even just having your child explain to you what they read and asking questions about it.
I have to remind myself of this all the time: get out of the house! Did you just read a book based in the medieval times? Go to the Renaissance festival (if it’s appropriate in your area). Did you just read about a family living on a farm? There has to be a farm you can visit nearby. Almost any place you can think of will do a tour if you ask, or give you further information. For non-fiction books, think about shadowing a professional in the field you were just studying, whether that’s someone who works in an art or history museum, a computer programmer, a scientist, the options are endless!
As kids get older, crafts lose their appeal, but they definitely have their place in the younger years. If I was super creative, I could probably come up with some great useful ideas to be crafty, but at a teen level. Maybe when Little Miss is a teen and I have more homechooling under my belt. Google any books title with the word “crafts” and you should be able to find something. After you’ve done a few, you start coming up with ideas on your own, too!
Literature Based Unit Studies
I’m sure there are many options out there, but Five in a Row is one I know through borrowing Before Five in a Row from a friend. This really gets the gears going, and shows how to integrate books into each subject. Literature doesn’t have to be a subject all on its own! Turn your favorite books into lessons in math, science, religion, life skills, etc.
Go to Plays
There are many theatre companies that put on shows that are based on books. This can be historical biographies like The Diary of Ann Frank, historical fiction that depicts a certain time period, or classics like Shakespeare. Movies are also a great alternative, but I think there’s more of an air of a special event when you attend a play. Movies are such common place, so spice it up a bit!
What books have been your favorite in exploring beyond the pages? What activities have you done?