Monday, June 7, 2010

Subject Blitz

Speaking with homeschool parents can be very interesting. It is fun to hear the varied answers to why they chose to homeschool, what curriculum they like or dislike, what their schedules are like and what extracurricular activities they like. It is also fun to know if religion was a factor in their decisions or if they include it in their curriculum.

In our homeschool group we have a wide variety of folks who all homeschool for different reasons and although a lot of us use the same curriculum, we use it in different ways. I recently came upon one family that knocks out a whole year's worth of one subject at a time. For example, they did a "history blitz" last year. They spent about one month and did multiple history lessons per day to knock out the whole year.

This peaked my interest. I asked many questions and was actually pleasantly surprised by the answers. I asked why they did it. The answer was that they had gotten behind in history and really just needed to hit it hard. They did not set out intending to only do history each day but the kids (four of them) all got so engrossed in the lessons and what was happening that they were loved the saturation. It was the topic of many a family discussion (most in fact). They did field trips and experimented with different inventions they learned of in times past.

Because of how this family handled it they were able to focus on one subject, let it be fun for the kids because they couldn't' get enough of the history and having it really become like a live story to them. They were reading for hours a day and loving it. They were excited to write because they loved sharing their thoughts and ideas on what had happened in history. Then they even managed a to throw in some science by reenacting some inventions and trying them on their own or brainstorming on ways to make them better with the tools available at the time.

I was impressed by this family and while my own children have gotten behind in history and science this year I suggested this summer that they do a blitz! They are boys so they love this word and think of football. I challenged them to see how fast they could knock out the lessons but also to see how well they could do at them while being fast about it. I don't want speed to take over quality.

We'll see how it goes and I will keep you updated. In the meantime, remember that it is worth while to talk with other parents and see what works for them, read online about the experiences of others. There simply is not just one right way to homeschool but different techniques and skills can be used as needed to enhance the experience. Enjoy your homeschool day!

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