Homeschooling and Personal History
One (of the many) things I love about homeschooling is the opportunity to tie history or world events to our family and personal histories. Or being able to tie them to experiences that I know Adrianna has had. Not only does it make school more real and fun, but it also helps broaden her world view so she can see how it relates to her personally.
For instance, today in History we discussed World War 2. Part of the discussion was about how the Germans began to bomb London so many of the children were sent away, for their safety, to live in the countryside. Tie in: the reason the kids in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe were in that big mysterious house in the country at the beginning of the story. I love watching the wheels turn in her mind as she puts those two pieces of information together. Another tie in in regards to the Nazis and the Holocaust that I was able to remind her of: the Twenty and Ten story we read a few weeks ago.
In Social Studies today, we had a true story about C.F. Klassen and how, right after World War 2, he helped many Russian Mennonites (who spoke Low German) immigrate to safety to Canada, the U.S. and South America. Tie in: my husband’s family has a Mennonite background, his grandparents speak Low German and his grandfather has done translation work into Low German for Low German speaking people in South America. I was very excited to be able to talk about these pieces of family history right along with our Social Studies story.
Now obviously, not every day has such obvious tie-ins but it is so nice getting a firsthand look at everything Adrianna is learning and being able to point back to school things that come up in everyday conversations. Also today, she was coloring a picture online of a castle that had a moat. I was able to remind her of the castles we learned about in History a few months ago that had moats as a form of protection from enemies and also refer to a book we read (The Magic Tree House: Knight at Dawn) that also had a moat in it. Repetition, repetition.
*If* Adrianna does make it into the charter school down the road for the next school year and *if* I decide to send her, I am going to be sorely tempted to ask the teacher for a syllabus just so I can stay actively involved in what she is learning and continue to look for opportunities to tie it to our everyday lives. (Do elementary teachers even have syllabuses?)