If you imagine for a moment that you are really a docent in a museum, and you have all the resources in the entire world available to you - well, you could just wander the museum aimlessly from time to time. But when your kids show a particular interest in one area, that's the time to gather the resources and make the most of the learning opportunity.
Sher Bear wants to know about Egypt. The last three or four times we have been to the library, she has picked out (by the pictures on the covers) book about Egypt to bring home. So based on her interest level, I have been putting together a unit study on the Ancients.
Thankfully, I have amassed a rather large library over the years. I always keep my eyes open a yard sales, at the "dump" and at the library when they are casting off the old books for free. I also never say no to a homeschool friend who would like to purge a bit.
So my big project this week has been to go through all my books, which are now overflowing the shelves, and pick out the resources we will use for this year. I have also decided that I will be putting books that refer to other time periods away for the year. That way, I will have more space, and the books will be much easier to get to.
I am also entering all my books into LibaryThing. It's a free, online service you can use to catalog your books and then to sort them, and keep track of them.
Here's a widget showing my Ancients collection on LibraryThing:
Now, just because I have the books pulled and some projects planned does not mean that I will get all "teacher-y" and make the kids sit down and learn. Rather, I am tempting them into the subject matter. We have spent the last couple of days reading books, and for now they are all still very interested in continuing. We also have some friends who are also studying the Ancients this year (they are using The Story of the World, which I used with Jor Man when he was four). We will be getting together with them once a week to do crafts and other projects around the subject matter. Next week we are going to their house where my friend will lead "Cave Painting". The week after, I will lead "Mummifying a Chicken".
|Washing the chicken|
|Now the chicken, having been dehydrated in spices for 6 weeks, is oiled.|
|Jor Man wraps the chicken in linen strips coated with glue|
|Hiding "golden" jewels in the wrappings|