Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Jamestown Gathering is Done...Olders, Youngers and Mom (and lapbooking talk)

I and I both know that the word "done" in my vocabulary is just a filler sort of word.  I'm never really done with a unit...I tweak repeatedly.

However, for the most part, should I never touch another computer search bar, we are way beyond prepared for boarding a ship to Jamestown here.  The Paths of Exploration curriculum is already complete as it stands, but for fun, I started searching through all the goodies offered up along the trail, and we put together some resources outside of what they offer.  That's the fun of homeschooling anyway, right?  Of course, this is all just extra work for me...because as of this week, they have their lapbooking packs available for the Paths volumes as well.

So, really, I've just pulled resources and lapbook goodies together for nothing....but I had fun. Even if I am a bit bug-eyed and carpal-tunnel-ated from all the computer roaming.

I have not pulled together pages for all the various mammals, birds, trees and such that are discussed, or would be fun to search out during this lesson.  The list is just too full and my arms are just too tired :o)  I will hunt for those as we come to them.  I will share a bit of what we are researching as we go along each week, starting toward the end of this month. I will be posting things at least a week in advance of our actually using them, and if you have any resources, interesting pages or book ideas that we don't cover, please let me know so I can check them out before we are ready for them.

With the Paths unit, we are really only working math and English from our Rod & Staff curriculum.  Reading is amply covered in Paths, as well as the various resources I am pulling in, so aside from our Word Mastery or Learning to Read/100 Easy Lessons for the youngers, our full school day is Bible, Math, English, Spanish and Sign Language (a couple times a week) and Paths of Exploration.  Geography, history, writing/copywork/narrations/reports, arts and crafts, science, nature study....these are all well-covered with Paths.  I would like to incorporate some "outdoor survival" skills into the studies as well (we are planning to read Sign of The Beaver as our pm reading...maybe even do Robinson Crusoe or Swiss Family Robinson again, though I thing SFR would work in better later, history-era wise).

The olders will come into the picture from a wider view, reading additional resources focusing on the governmental and civic issues, as well as the religious foundations of the era, besides just main points of American History itself.  There are several resources available through Vision Forum I would like to get for this. I would really like to get this set of American History lectures from them, but we'll see.

The youngest of the group will be worked in with their own lapbook work on alot of the same topics as the "targeted" grade levels are, but honestly, I have a wide variety of ages/grade here with 8 children schooling and no one set of lapbook/notebook units is going to fit everyone across the board.  So, we tweak.  The littles (almost 6yo, 4yo) will be working on the same nature and science goodies, they will get coloring pages and card game fun with Jamestown, pilgrims, Mayflower, Indians etc. to do, they will have similar lapbooks to do, just geared a bit differently than the layout of the curriculum itself.  We love reading, so they will enjoy a coloring page while we read our chapters.  The lapbook "pieces" can help with motor skills like cutting, they will do some printing and lots of coloring.

I have some lapbooks here aleady, and we will see what elements we can pull from them...most of them came free or very inexpensive, through CurrClick and the like.  We have a 17th and 18th Century Life unit, several History Scribes, ideas from Squidoo, HomeschoolShare, a Wordpress blog on Lapbooking (I really like this will be a definite go-to resource!), Lapbook Lessons at Ning, Lapbook Lessons blog, and Homeschool Helper Online, among others.

I know there are alot of folks on the Lapbook bandwagon and I'm merely a late-bloomer with it all, but I'm excited.  If you have children who like projects, hands-on schoolwork, and so on, I don't see why you aren't already lapbooking.  There doesn't have to be a great deal of money spent on fancy unit kits, lapbook bundles, clipart and so forth.  There are just too many free units already laid out, and far too many resources available online to say you can't do it.  And lapbooks are a great way to incorporate several age groups together on similar topics.  Look at us -- we have 17yo, 14yo, 12yo,10yo, 8yo, 7yo, 5yo and 4 yo (give or take, as everyone is about to change-over with a birthday...) all schooling together and we'll be doing alot of notebooking and lapbooking with our units coming up!!

What are you waiting for???

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