Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Finishing Geography....on to Decimals

We are finally wrapping up Geography! Yay! So far this has been the most difficult block for me to teach. There are so many perspectives on how to approach the subject. It was hard for me to define what I wanted him to take away. States and capitals? Industries and economy? I researched what the local school system teaches, what Waldorf schools teach, then made up my own priorities. I finally settled on wanting him to understand what defines various US regions: land forms such as the Mississippi River and Sonora Desert, the industries that developed from the natural resources (e.g.,crabbing, lumber, cotton), and  cultures and customs (and how they developed through our immigrant traditions blending with native culture, customs from other immigrants, and necessity.)

Not wanting to fall out of the school mode completely, over the Christmas break the Boy read a few collections of American folk tales. We enjoyed well known stories, such as 'Paul Bunyan' and 'Brer Fox,' and others we didn't know such as the legends of 'Pecos Bill' and 'Coyote and Bobcat.' He so enjoys reading that he never sees it as "school" work. One of the beautiful blessings of homeschooling is that life and learning just blur together.

Some of the books we read:
The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn — Robert Burleigh
Sweet Land of Story: 36 American Tales to Tell — Pleasant de Spain
The American  Story:100 True Tales from American History — Jennifer Armstrong
Big Men Big Country; A Collection of American Tales — Paul Robert Walker
Classic American Folk Tales —Steven  Zorn

His main lesson book is filled with regional maps and descriptions. He learned how to copy an illustration using a grid and make a gestural drawing. He concocted a few foods from various regions, gave a presentation about New England (and fluffernutter sandwiches) to our homeschool group, as well provided fluffernutters for sampling, watched "Stephen Fry in America" series on Netflix, read regionally inspired books and the folk tales collections. We sang a few folk tunes (Remember "Erie Canal," "I've Got Spurs" and "Home on the Range?" To finalize everything, he is composing a retelling of his favorite folk tale (Coyote and Bobcat) and will illustrate it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for the comments!