|Posted on August 9, 2011 at 8:25 AM|
A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine.
From the fury of the Northmen deliver us, O Lord.
I always get asked some of the same questions about my free lapbooks/units and I thought I would share a few of the questions with you in case you are doing what I am doing "PLANNING".
1. How do you decide which lapbooks or topics?
I discuss it together with my boys but BEFORE I decide. I throw out topics I know we have not covered. This way it is a "gentle guiding" toward what I want them to choose. This way they have "choices" and are "partners" in their learning but I too guide them to what I feel they need to learn. As ya'll may know by now, I LOVE history and have tried to pass that passion on to my boys because history for me was boring in school. I think the only way I survived history class was because I really did enjoy it. So from that, I want history to evoke passion in my boys and hopefully some of ya'll too. It has to be about more than dead people or dates that even put me to sleep....
By the time we discuss topics, I have already swayed them a tad bit by some discussion or even viewing a documentary. This way I get to narrow down what they truly want to know.
2. How long does it take you to prepare for a unit?
Depending on how much background knowledge I have, I try to take normally about a month (sometimes two) BEFORE I even sit down with them to start the lapbook. I read reference material at night before bed and in my "spare" time (anybody have any?). The reason I just don't flip open books and start reading together is because when you want your kids to have a love of learning, you need to be flexible to feed it. So I feel as the teacher that is my job.
This means you need to have a variety of topics/facts on your "plate" so you can see which one will be the "lure". I don't need to go in so much depth when I read as that is part of what we do together so that saves my sanity. I do need to have enough of a variety of interesting facts to present to them and then it's their job to learn and take off with their research.
I am all for independent learning, but most kids need the spark. It is the "spark" I aim for when introducing a subject.
Let me share the "spark or lure" for each son when we studied the Renaissance Period since we have not studied the Vikings yet.
My youngest was fascinated about anything regarding Robin Hood. That is the costume I had sewn for him and he did the play in our group co-op about it.
My middle guy, his lure was why the castles were gone (didn't really leave just turned into museums) and pirates of the Renaissance. Did you notice his costume was a pirate's one?
and my oldest was completely crazy about Leonardo Da Vinci (did I mention he devoted a whole year to reading and studying about him ..on his own time) and the Medici Family, especially Lorenzo de Medici pictured above. Did you notice how he looked like a "Medici" family member? Yes, even in high school, he liked "costumes" even though I didn't tell you that because the time period appealed to him.
3. How long do ya'll study?
As long as we want to. There are no "rules" in learning what delights you. We have studied some topics one week, but most topics we will continue for two or more weeks. More times than not, I have to say "let's move on". The only subjects we do, besides learning all day about this one topic, are math and grammar. The rest of the subjects are covered in the unit topic just like I will do with the Vikings. Writing, art, geography, vocabulary words and science will come from our study of the Vikings when we study this year.
Why do I do with my curriculum when I come back to it? SKIP IT, skip pages and decide where I want to be on the books now. I refuse to feel "left behind" because we do unit studies then come back to a workbook or textbook. Tear out the pages, throw them away - and then guess what? You're now caught up! (VERY liberating)
So you will see the "model" of a lapbook on our site and then later IF the boys let me some pictures of their lapbook. Too I will do more printables to flesh it out some more as we study along and their interest develops.
Three Steps - In a nutshell.
1. Sit down to brain storm and to find the "lure", but not teach (one day for us)
2. Read on my own. I am guided by what each child showed interest in and then what I want them to learn (1 or 2 months for me)
3. Sit down to do lapbook that is my "skeleton" and unit study (however long we want to)
But I always have something to share with them first and so the picture below is my "skeleton" of the unit.
You can download it on our sister site Dynamic 2 Moms. (Keep in mind, for organizational purposes that our site, Dynamic 2 Moms, stores all of our lapbooks and unit studies and our site, New Beginnings, stores organizational forms)
Hope you enjoy the lapbook as I always, always enjoy doing them!
Hugs from me to you and to my newer followers. I am so glad you are all here as I have so many different ramblings to share throughout the year.
Quote of the Day:
History is life; he who has not lived, or has lived only enough to write a doctoral dissertation, is too inexperienced with life to write good history.