I heard the term “delight directed studies” years ago from Sonja Harris and it stuck with me. For you who already teach this way, please feel free to comment about ideas or topics you have done that have worked for your family. You may teach using all textbooks, which is fantastic! But, I am giving you permission to also add some topics that are not planned. Topics your son/daughter has shown interest in.
This might look like a study of __________ (dinosaurs, the planets and stars, cooking or baking). You can study whatever your daughter/ son has shown an interest in. Things you could do to capture that interest would be to order books online from the library, purchase a science kit, watch a video about the topic, go to a museum, do a unit study, (Homeschool Share) etc. My granddaughter loves cake pops and I am going to go over to her house to make them. We will measure, mix, pour, bake, and decorate cake pops. You see, there is math, science, and art all covered in this one special activity. I think I am just as excited as I know she will be in making them. Look for things that are fun for your child and if you like it, that’s a bonus too!
Step out, don’t be afraid to try. It might be scary to deviate from the curriculum, but trust me, it will be fine. In fact, you might like it so much you find it hard to return to your textbooks. 🙂 One , two, even three units is fine to add to your school year if you have curriculum you are using. I found that by adding something that my boys wanted to learn they were more willing to do the rest of their work to pursue what they were interested in learning.
There can be failure, but don’t give up! Yes, you might prepare all of these great resources and activities and your daughter turns up her nose or your son lets you know he just mentioned it, he didn’t want to study more about it. Go through with the topic of study because s/he might just come back and say they liked it. Yes, I got excited about a topic and thought the boys would like it too, only to discover their interest had fizzled out. Well, you can either finish the study or drop it. It’s up to you. But, I wouldn’t set a precedent that if they complain you stop. (Pick your battles. 🙂 )
I am sure I am not the only person feeling isolated in this corona virus induced climate we are in at present. Yes, you are homeschooling and therefore have your child(ren) with you, but it just isn’t the same as smiling at a person in line at the grocery store or hugging a friend. So, how can we beat this feeling of isolation?
Call a friend or relative. Better still, if they can video text do that! You can set up a time to “meet”. You can even get dressed up!
Change up your schedule. What about starting the day with your kid(s) by playing a “happy song” or reading a funny short story, poem, a cartoon or favorite movie?
Do something for someone else. Do you know your neighbors? Acts of kindness go a long way to let your light shine. The amazing unexplained benefit is you will feel better! Can you shovel your neighbor’s drive; bring their garbage cans close to the house on a windy day, put a chocolate bar in their mailbox? The possibilities are endless. 🙂
Do something that brings you joy. It doesn’t have to cost money for you to find joy. You can work on a project, soak in a bubble bath, read a book, paint your nails, or snuggle with your kid(s).
I went to the library to pick up some Thanksgiving books just as I found out that I had to quarantine due to my youngest son testing positive. I may not have wanted to say out loud in a quiet library, “Oh great! My son has COVID!”, but I did. Oh, well. So, right before I skedaddled out of there, I picked up a couple of Thanksgiving books. That is one blessing with COVID- I found some awesome books that are usually difficult to find.
P is for Pilgrim by Carol Cane- “Across the Atlantic Ocean, a lone ship on a vast sea. Ablaze with new hope, all praying to be free.” From the lives of our early settlers, who established the foundations for American freedoms and ideals, to today’s celebrations, P is for Pilgrim colorfully examines the history and lore of Thanksgiving.”
Giving Thanks: The 1621 Harvest Feast by Kate Waters is one of my favorite Thanksgiving books. It was published in 2001 and continues to be a popular book. “Told by Dancing Moccasins, a 14-year-old Wampanoag boy, and Resolved White, a 6-year-old English boy, a fascinating historical book brings to life the harvest celebration between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people in 1621.”
More books by Kate Waters are:
On the Mayflower “Journeying towards the promise of the New World, young pilgrims William Small, the ship’s apprentice, and Ellen Moore, a passenger, form a bond that helps them weather their long, harrowing passage.”
Tapenum’s Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy In Pilgrim Times “Chosen to become a special warrior prince in 1627, Tapenum prepares himself for the great honor by hunting, fishing, and sharing a day with friends and family, in a story that is complemented by photographs of Plymouth Plantation.”
You can take this amazing virtual tour either through video or slideshow of Plymouth Plantation with Scholastic Books called The First Thanksgiving. They have guides for grades K-8 and additional resources.
As a new venture I began an Instagram in the fall (schoolmarmohio). Please consider following me. I have more pictures of some of the books I featured today.
Thanksgiving lends itself to fantastic Language Arts projects. Poetry, copywork, essays and letters are all fun things to do that don’t seem much like the usual writing assignments. You can use these projects for handwriting and copywork. You can discuss capitalization, punctuation, parts of speech and can incorporate art too with decorating borders or placemats. How about doing one or all of these things as we approach Thanksgiving?
Poetry There are all sorts of poems you can write. Have you heard of a lune? I hadn’t either! There are two types that you can create. One is called Collum and the other is Kelly. If you have a writer who is just beginning then I would do the Collum lune with them.
Collum lune poems have the following structure:
First line: three words
Second line: five words
Third line: three words
Kelly lune poems follow this structure:
First line: three syllables
Second line: five syllables
Third line: three syllables
Here is my feeble attempt at a Collum lune:
Our Thanksgiving Feast
Turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie
Family, blessings, laughter
Copywork Here is a scripture to copy. Here is a Thanksgiving border with lines for your daughter/son to use. CLICK HERE
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
Read books about Thanksgiving and write a summary. Scholastic has a list of books with descriptions. CLICK HERE
Write a list- For what are you thankful? create a running list that each person can contribute. It will be fun to read it on Thanksgiving.
Write a letter, send a card- If you can’t see your extended family this year, what about writing them a note or card? It will be a happy day for the recipient to get a card instead of a junk mail, don’t you think?