Friday, April 26, 2013

Learning Outside Textbooks

We don't do much with text books here in our homeschool.  Of course, the kids are pretty young still. But we also only use a few workbook programs.  Instead we use:

Board Games!


We have an (ever growing) collection of educational-type board games, and on our two block-schedule days each week there is a time set aside for "Game Time".  The kids choose what game we'll play.

Documentary Movies

Depending on what we're studying, there could be some great film resources.  When Carbon chose to study World War I and then II, there were so many history channel shows, documentary films, and even old classic fictional movies we could use.  I'd get him a selection, and the rule was he had to give it 15 minutes to see if he liked it or not.

Living (Library) Books


We always have a stack of books from the library - some I have chosen some the kids have chosen.  Besides the bedtime read-aloud that we do every night, we also have "Read Aloud Time" scheduled on each of the Block-Schedule days.  I like to do Read Aloud first thing in the morning, because it frequently inspires projects the kids take on during their unstructured Project Time.  Besides those uses of the books, the kids also read the books on their own, either out loud to me or to themselves.  Carbon alternates Reading and Writing on our more traditional learning days.

Project Time


Time is one of the most precious resources we have.  The kids can't take on their own learning projects if they don't have any time or they're too tired or distracted to do it.  So on our block-schedule days we have "Project Time" or sometimes "Making Time" or "Art Time".  They try a lot of interesting things in their project time (such as this piece of music Carbon wrote and played on the piano after we had read about Mozart), or if they aren't inspired in particular that day they have ongoing knitting and sewing projects, or they could just build legos or so on.

"Playing School"


We don't do it too often, because then the fun would wear off, but sometimes the kids enjoy setting up as if we were at "school" and doing our work on the white board.  After we listened to Matilda, the kids actually wanted to reproduce the scene where the terrible Miss Trunchbull is quizzing children on their times tables and spelling (and then pulling them up by their hair and shaking them if they get it wrong).  We skipped the abuse, but did the quiz and they wrote their answers on the board.

It's an ever-changing mix, and that's part of the fun!

1 comment:

  1. This post makes me wish I had homeschooled from the beginning!

    We are getting more into Board Games and DVDs and living books and away from textbooks and MY agenda of what I think they should learn.