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Book Work v.s. Hands-on Projects

caves stalactites stalagmitesWe all know the public schools focus mainly on book work with the occasional science or social studies project once a year. As homeschoolers we have the opportunity to do as many hands-on projects as we want, whenever we want.

Studying earthquakes? Let’s do an experiment! What about stalactites and stalagmites? Create some! Geography fair time? Let’s do it! The list can go on an on, but it’s also important to find a balance that works for you and your children.

Too many projects and experiments can lead to less broad learning, but much more in-depth learning. In-depth learning is a GOOD thing, just don’t forget to touch on the high points of some other topics as well.  🙂

growing crystals balloon skewer project
We do a ton of book work from August through September when it’s still very hot outside. In October we usually start doing more hands-on learning and field trips. By the holidays we’re doing a combination of book work and hands-on projects, then the cycle starts all over again. When the weather is pleasant we enjoy hiking and outdoor experiments, but when the weather is oppressively hot and humid we do more book work and learning games than projects.

luke & brooke bookworkOver the past few years of homeschooling I’ve learned to try to balance out fun projects with book work (or seat work as some call it). Book work is necessary and not every aspect of homeschooling can be fun all the time.

I find that our children do their best work early in the morning. Once our main written subjects are finished we can move towards the more interactive subjects like music, art, science projects, etc.

What works for you and your children? Do your children have 1-2 big projects each year? Do they complete 4-6 smaller projects? Does what you do vary and just sort of go with what you are studying, the weather, and whatever whim you (or your children) happen to have at the moment? There is no right or wrong answer. 🙂

If your children are learning and you aren’t stressing out then say a prayer of thanks. Keep exploring and learning with your children as you watch the wonder in their eyes when they discover new things.

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My Home – My World Project

Recently I was browsing Pinterest and came across this neat project for children.  It’s a little booklet that starts off with the smallest circle being My Home.  Each page takes things one step further and a bit larger.  The other pages are: My Street, My City, My State, My Country, My Continent, and ending with My World.

This project was a combined effort of both our children and myself.  Our youngest who is only 4 years old placed most of the stickers throughout the book and drew the grass on the My Street page.  Our son who is 6 drew the trees on the first two pages, drew the flag on the My Country page and colored the world.  They both seemed to really enjoy deciding what should go on each page and selecting which stickers to use.

I've edited out our street name for privacy.

What appears as a white spot is a dolphin sticker.

The stickers you can't see are an elephant where Tuscaloosa is and a tiger for where Auburn is.

God Bless the USA

North America

Earth

On the back of each page is a list of 3-5 facts about that page. Some of the pages were easier than others to come up with these facts. For the My State page I listed the state capital, state bird & flower and the state nicknames (Heart of Dixie or Cotton State for Alabama). To the left is the My Street page facts. Overall the project was fun for all of us and I plan to use it as a learning tool in the future. 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2011 in Fun Projects

 

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