Need a Homeschool Break?

Puffer Fish

Puffer Fish

Question:

We need to keep going with homeschooling, but I sure am in need of a break? Have any ideas, short of stopping school?

Answer:

Have you ever tried doing a “Favorite Subject Immersion Week”? It is really a fun break for everyone!

Rules:

1-No math or workbooks

2-Everybody pick a topic of interest (no stressing over it, just pick one–there will be other opportunities). Mom, you choose your topic too! (you need to have some fun learning about something you are interested in, plus your example will set the standard of excellence for the presentations and show kids how to do this intensive research fun thing.)

3-Buddy up. Depending on how your family is configured, Dad and older kids might have to pair up with younger. This if for the research phase.

4-Monday: Go to the library with your buddy in tow. (Mom, you need a buddy only if you have a baby, so that your buddy can watch the baby while you find your stuff). In the library, you collect all the nonfiction books, all the picture books, all the fiction books, and all the documentary videos, entertainment movies, music CD’s computer programs, etc. you can find on your specific topic. This takes a few hours at the library, buddied up, each taking a turn to help the other.

5-When you get home, brainstorm all the other ways to learn about this topic: neighbors, mentors, museums, field trips, foods, TV specials, etc.

6-Tuesday through Thursday: everyone enjoys reading, looking at picture books, watching videos, etc. on their topic. The plan? To saturate yourself to the point of satiation. When you feel you have learned everything of interest on this topic, then,

7-Friday: do your presentation to share your enthusiasm of the subject in any way you choose: song, needlework, woodwork, artwork, dance, a little notebook with diagrams and drawings, a nature walk, written report, poster, experiment demonstration, etc. It is a celebration of all the interesting things you learned!

So, for example, if I chose “Fish” for my topic, I would get nonfiction books on fish, picture books, look in the encyclopedia, get a documentary on The Ocean, get Mr. Limpet (funny Don Knotts movie about a fish), get the book Call It Courage (great children’s fiction on a boy who conquers his fear of the sea) or Moby Dick or something, get a music CD on water sounds, visit someplace that has a big aquarium (local Chinese restaurant), look up fish on an internet search, etc. On Friday, I will show my labeled drawings of fish, and give a little oral report on the fish I chose to report on: the puffer fish. I have a toy puffer fish, so I’d pass that around and tell the story I read of a guy who was showing off for his girlfriend by grabbing a puffer fish while they were snorkeling. (The puffer fish bit off his little finger. That ended the showing off!) Then we’d all play a card game of “fish”—the one with realistic fish cards while eating goldfish crackers.

You get the idea. It gives you a break, and energizes home school reminding everyone how fun it is to learn!

 

 

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