Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hands On School

 I should be honest right?  This is after all, a blog not written for me to impress the world, but a journal for our family to visit over the coming years.  So..I'll be honest.

I "get it" that hands on school makes things more fun and more memorable.  It makes total sense.  BUT, do I do it?  Do I take the time to make our learning hands on?  Ummmmm...not like I would like to.  Ummmmmm...for the first couple weeks of school I try.  But after the first month or two, my definition of fun, hands on is cutting lapbook pieces.  Now, while lapbooking is interesting and more fun than a boring workbook page, truthfully, I know it does not fit under the category of "hands on learning".  
I have a friend who holds me accountable to the kind of learning I want my kids to do.  She pointed me toward My Father's World and has told me how great it will be.  For the most part I do like it.  I love being able to teach my girls of different ages, the same stuff.  BUT...I think I'd like it more if I would do more of the hands on stuff.

My Father's World does not do to much hands on.  Really, they don't.  My problem is that I schedule so much "other" stuff that I don't feel like we have the time.  That is bad.  Really bad.  I should trust the curriculum that I really do feel God led us to (with the help of a dear friend), but I'm unable.  
SO friends...here is my promise for the 2012 year...I can't stop adding stuff in.  I've accepted that about myself but I will try to do more hands on stuff.

This week we did our 2nd hands on activity.  Last week we made the ships in Christopher Columbus' fleet from tin foil.  This week we did an archaeological dig.  We will start talking about Jamestown next week so I thought it was a fine time to discuss how archaeologists do digs and discover clues to our past.  We have the Homeschool In The Woods Colonial pack (see, me adding stuff in) and it suggested this project.

Take a 2 liter, cut off the top, find various small items around your house (ie. buttons, safety pins, marbles, shells, beads) and begin layering them in the 2 liter.  Your children will then begin carefully digging through the layers of dirt to see what treasures they find.

I bet you  noticed the girls are in their pj's?  Yep..our school uniform.  :)

Each layer of dirt was marked along the side of the 2 liter and the girls had an Archaeological Journal in which they could sketch what they found, tell what hints to the past the item might give, etc.  They really had fun with it.

So, seeing these smiles I am reminded to keep the hands on stuff a part of our day.  It makes for happier kids and hopefully more fun learning.

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