This is the time of year my children and I struggle with home schooling. We are all ready to get outside and enjoy the sunshine, but there are still many things that need to be completed indoors. I have home schooled long enough to know that one way to combat this "i don't want to do school syndrome" is to add something different to the curriculm. For instance, we have spent much of our school year studying ancient history. We finished our study of Rome yesterday, and we placed all the history books on the shelf. We will pick up with the Middle Ages when we start school next year. Now, we will spend extra time with science. We have done bits of science all year, but now we are really digging into it. This change of pace excites us all, and I pray it will help carry us until the end of May. Working in the garden also is part of our study of science, and this helps our children learn while they do.
We are also a family of readers. I am a firm believer in reading out loud to children even after they have the ability to read. My older boys and I have shared many wonderful hours spent reading together. We try to find books that go along with the history that we are studying for the moment. For example, when we were studying ancient Rome, my 7th grader read The Bronze Bow, and The Eagle of the Ninth. My 4th grader read Detectives in Toga and he and my 2nd grader listened to other books being read aloud.
Our 4th grader just finished up the book Along Came a Dog by Meindert DeJong. He so loved this book, and I found myself enjoying it too. It was about a farmer who was trying to start a chicken operation, and while he was preparing his farm, this black dog kept coming to find a home. This farmer had such a big heart that he couldn't just kill the dog so he kept putting him in the car and taking him away from the farm. However, the dog kept returning, and found himself becoming protector of a beloved red hen. The book was well written, and my 9 yr. old consumed it quickly. He is the child that we call Chicken Jake because he loves his chickens. As he read aloud to me and I read to him, we had many discussions concerning chickens. Tnfarmgirl or Cheri as we call her here, stirred our interest in chickens about 4 years ago. She gave us a few layers, and Jacob fell in love with those chickens. He has always been the one to feed them and gather eggs. We kept chickens until recently, but after reading this book we put in another order for 25 hens. They are already growing by leaps and bounds. Soon they will be ready to go outside. We have all enjoyed watching them grow, but Jacob has spent the most time with them. He is the one that came upstairs with a cold chick and asked what to do for it. He spent the afternoon giving it water and holding it hoping to keep it alive. (This chick did die, but Jacob knew that at least he tried save her). We enjoyed reading this book because Jacob had experienced much of what the author was describing with his own chickens.
I have a child coming with a book in hand begging me to read so....
Grace and Peace,