Since we had to spend so much time going back and forth to the Mayo Clinic during the Winter and Spring, we extended our school year into July. But once again, the time is coming to get ready to start back up for the Fall, as Fall is right around the corner!
Have created a spreadsheet based on the materials we have for the boys for this coming 2012-2013 school year, as well as how the materials correlate with Common Core, Sunshine Standards, and Virginia SOLs. What it really comes right down to though is what the boys find most interesting. We try to follow their lead, so to speak, and so each year, I ask them to share what they want to know about for the upcoming year. We also try to reflect upon what we have learned and whether or not they still want to pursue any of these particular topics too...
I try to base our family's Essential Questions on a combination of what the boys want to learn and we feel are central themes and pertinant topics for our sons.
As I have done every year, asked the boys for their thoughts on their school year and the upcoming year...they dictated their thoughts to me...I typed verbatim what they had to say but then, have made some of it into bullet points
Here is the list of their thoughts:
- More about these topics…want to keep learning about these topics, as they are still interesting to me.
- More Complex Machines and Inventions, especially ones that greatly changed the world that we live in today.
- Who decided that both South Dakota and Florida are referred to as The Sunshine State? Would like to figure out which state actually deserves that name or if it is a tie.
- How time and space are interrelated…that’s a pretty big topic and should take up most of my time!
- More about people: Want to learn about About Yo Yo Ma and Louis Armstrong.
- Want to read more biographies, because we have learned about so many people by reading about them. Really liked learning about Jim Henson and the Muppets. More about puppets, making shows, and writing scripts.
- I also like to send people letters and to hear back from them.
- Why some fish with bristle teeth actually eat coral and shells and then, it comes as sand in their poop and yet, it is clean enough for us to play with the sand???
- I liked learning how different fish and sea life hunt and want to learn about other predators in the oceans and in the Gulf of Mexico.
- I want to do more with chemistry.
- More about Andrew Jackson and U. Grant, even though we have read about the Civil War.
- The Cold War and John F. Kennedy's role.
- World War I and II and why the wars happened.
- I would like to figure out how we can prevent wars and how there can be more peace.
- What are the rules about ads?
- We have read some folktales from Japan and China and I would like to read more and to learn more about Asia.
- We have read and learned about Exodus. I want to go back and re-read the stories and find more about where things took place and why they happened.
- Are there any phrases from Arabic that we use day to day? How about French, Spanish, and Mandarin? How about Greek?
- As far as other new topics, I want to learn about electric eels and other sea life. I liked learning how they (electric eels) hunt and want to learn about other predators in the oceans and in the Gulf of Mexico.I also want to make more Lego creations.Big Bro's Ideas for Field Trips:(Some of these are more in the dreaming about category rather than what we will actually do, but it never hurts to dream! Who knows...might just get to do all of these filed trips!!! )Different BeachesThe White House to see The White House GardenBack to D.C.Back to Williamsburg, VAA relaxing spa with a hot tubA cruiseMagic Kingdom and also Blizzard Beach and other water parks. Would like to learn about how they design and operate water parks.
- How do they get the bananas and bring them to us?
- What does a banana tree look like? I want to see a banana tree!
- What can you make with bananas?
- When did bananas come to America and who brought them here?
- How do you catch some crabs and shrimp? I want to go on a boat and get some...I want to go with the Grands.
- How did they make Hawaii a state? I want to go there!
- How can you cause an avalanche?
- How did the Titanic crash? How did they make it so that won’t happen again?
- How do they design and build roller coasters and water slides? We’ve been working on designing roller coasters and so I want to do more of this to figure out the best design.
- How did they first make computers? How do they make them now and in the future and more about Steve Jobs and the others...
- How did Ben Franklin work near lightning and did not get struck when he did that work?
- How many different types of crabs are there?
- How do crabs walk that way they walk?
- What are their (crab) bodies like on the inside?
- How do volcanoes erupt? I want to see one in Hawaii.
- I want to know how to play football and baseball and the rules of football and baseball and go see some games.
- I want to learn about the animals in Europe. I also want to know more about which countries get the most snow in Europe and which countries get to be the coldest. I want to see which ones are the closest to the Arctic Circle and find out how they stay warm there.
- I want to know more about reindeer and the people who take care of reindeer.
- I want to know more about Noah's ark and about all of the animals.
- I love board games and want to make some of my own! Monopoly and Electronic Monopoly are my favorites!
- What was the first Lego set and how many sets have been created so far? How do you get them to let you make Lego sets for them?
- What kinds of dogs do best in the snow?
- Since our dog is a Maltese / Shih Tzu, I want to know more about the countries those dogs came from.
- I want to know about snow! How could we make it so that it snows here in Florida?
- Did they have snow fights in The Cold War? Is that how The Cold War got its name?
- I want to learn French this year...
- I want to read about Pablo Picasso, Martin Luther King Jr., and Anne Frank.
Also, wanted to mention that a wonderful friend & homeschool mama, Susan, has lent us her family's Moving Beyond the Page Kit with all of the materials for the year! She is letting us peruse her family's kit to get a feel for the program and so far, I have been very impressed with the content of the program. There are many hands-on activities and they all tie in with Essential Questions.
Much of the kit fits right in with our family's Essential Questions for this coming year. Am very excited to get the opportunity to review these materials and to hopefully use them to some degree as a resource.
Arts & Crafts for Children
Homeschooling Materials / Organization
Lapbooks & Notebooks