Public school is behind us and we're free to educate as we see fit. The kids are so excited to start this new chapter of their lives as long as they don't have to do school over the summer. At least that's what they keep telling me. I know it would be valuable to de-school for several months but to tell you the truth I can't wait to get started. When I find a new of approach to a problem they may have or some interesting new curriculum, I just want to dive in and begin. Seems silly to wait for everyone else to start school so we can too. With this in mind I've started summer school.... only don't tell the kids that!
Our first "assignment" is to sit and listen to me read Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly (American History is on the docket this Fall). I've read the book myself but found the battle descriptions somewhat confusing. To remedy this and make the book come alive, I purchased some toy soldiers setting them strategically around the dining room table labeling each battle and some of the main characters. The kids had so much fun that they decided there had to be an Abe Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth, and Lucy Hale character too. Emily and Kat enlisted the help of their Barbies for these important roles and in a stroke of genius, Emily taped a $5 dollar bill around Ken's head to further distinguish him as Lincoln. Each day we make it through two or three chapters of the book which usually leads to all kinds of conversations about war, human character traits, geography (had to pull out the atlas to identify battlefields and rivers), order of events, motivations of people, timelines and dates. So much to cover without doing "school".
Next week Gone with the Wind will be showing on TV. I'm taping it and hoping the kids are old (and patient) enough to enjoy the movie. I think it'll be a nice companion piece to our summer civil war project. Now, if I could just find a way to have this much fun doing math. Perhaps a trip to Justice for a little percent/discount/sales tax lesson is in order. :)