Sometimes it’s a bit hard to describe how homeschooling works. Lots of things happen simultaneously and our read aloud time is the best example of this. This semester our read aloud time has been mostly centered around American history (though we also read a book about Isaac Newton). We were studying the American West and so we read the Sign of the Beaver, Little House in the Big Woods, and The Courage of Sarah Noble. The kids loved Little House so much, that we then returned to the second book and are now reading Little House on the Prairie together.
Often I spend time reading while the kids are doing other projects. For example, this semester we went over the land form terms such as island/lake, peninsula/bay, strait/isthmus and so forth. The kids created their own Montessori 3-part cards and then made the landforms out of clay and water. This was a project we did over the course of several weeks — all the while, I read aloud to them.
If you are interested in doing land forms with your 3-8 yr old, you might want to check out our World Facts Packet
What else did the kids do during read aloud time this semester? The kids worked on various country flags. They did crafts like beadings and sun catchers. They built things out of Lincoln logs, pattern blocks or did their Think Challenges while I read. They colored and drew. Not to mention the many, many meals and snacks they ate while I read aloud or the times we simply curled up on the couch together.
As the year draws to a close, I’m thinking hard about our goals and plans for next semester. I’m not quite sure what we’re going to do for history/social studies. We’ve slowly traveled through time these past four years — starting with early pre-history, ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Middle Ages, Renaissance (a little bit) and a bit on American history. I’m thinking about perhaps doing a semester on World Cultures. We haven’t ever studied Africa or the Middle East in much depth nor have we talked much about India. We once did a short unit on China, but I know there’s so much more we could cover. I’ve been reading through this Sonlight booklist which has me excited. I know there are some really great books that would really open the kids’ eyes to cultures much different from their own.
Are you planning for next semester/next year yet or are you just focused on finishing out this year? I’d love to hear how your plans are coming (or not!) — either here or on my Facebook page!