Monday, March 8, 2010

March Units and guide for studying states

Here are the units we are doing for the rest of March: Ireland, Alaska, Vermont, Family History, Florida, and Easter. If I get the chance to tweak the first two units we did, the Iditarod and Dr. Seuss, I will post those as well. You may notice that we study a lot of states. I have included the states as options for the kids during the months they joined the United States. My children have a great interest in other places, so they often choose the states. I figure we will have covered all 50 of them within 2-3 years. Here are some tips for what we are doing in general with the states:

- We will color or make a replica of the state flag. These will be stored in a binder that also has the flags from countries we have studied. On each flag, we write the state name, the abbreviation, the capital and the state motto. If we revisit the state later on, we will probably add the state bird and tree, on the back of the flag. The binder will be divided by continent, with the US states in the front.

- I try to order vacation guides for each state we are going to study, so that they arrive in the child's name no later than the week we are studying the state. I encourage the child to look it over and plan a dream vacation to the state.

- If the state is known for regional food items (such as maple syrup for Vermont), I will include a recipe for the child to make. My goal is one recipe from each state that we will then gather in a cookbook for their "hope chest".

- Unlike when I posted New York state, these are more generic studies. We live in New York and I feel it is most important that they learn the history of their home state at this time and a general knowledge of other states. I encourage you to research your own states history and teach that when that state is studied.

Another change

Due to a change in our personal way of homeschooling, I will be making a change here as well. I will still be listing unit studies, but the entire unit will be listed on one day (1-2 units a week), with product reviews and other information that I find useful as a homeschool posting as I find them.

I have made up lists of 10-15 different topics for each month of the year. Generally, the topics "fit" in during the month I placed them. I then allowed my children to each pick 1 topic for each week. Work is assigned based on that topic and each of the following topics is covered: Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Service (a service related activity or project), Vocabulary/Spelling, Health, Social Studies, Domestic Arts, Art, Music, and Language Arts. We also cover Religion, Spanish, and American Sign Language, but I will not be covering them here unless there is a great demand and I can find a way to do so (the sign language may be difficult). Gym is also covered in our homeschool, but it is usually pretty generic (30 minutes of activity each day), so I will not include it here unless I find something that specifically relates to the topic (such as learning Irish dance steps when studying Ireland).

Also, you will find that I use Enchanted Learning often. This is a subscription website. For those who do not have a subscription, I highly recommend it, but I will also try to find similar substitutes that are free.

With this change, I am hoping that I will be able to post more regularly and cover more subjects for you. I will also include the grade level of the child the topic was prepared for, however, I always caution that you should adjust to the level the child is at. My children may be further ahead or behind than your child in any given area and I want you to get the most out of this as possible. Please let me know if there are any other changes I can make that will help you.