We don’t stop schooling during the summer, but we do school a little differently. a little lighter, and a little more learner led. We keep up with math and phonics (reading or spelling, depending on whose lessons we’re referring to), but the rest of our “school day” is led by the children’s interests. This summer we’re spending our days studying the presidents and birds, both topics chosen by Joseph and happily followed by William. Here’s a basic overview of our plans:
Each day we’re studying a new president. After reading all about the president of the day, Joseph makes a timeline page to add to his President Book. Here’s what we’re including on each page: The President’s Name; Years in Office; Vice President; # President; 5 Facts; President’s Nickname; Birthplace; Born and Died Dates; First Lady; a star sticker to symbolize the president’s party (gold for federalist, silver for democratic-republican, blue for democrat, red for republican, green for whig); a sticker portrait of the president; and a quote from that President. Some days we complete just one, other days we complete more. All last week, Joseph was up by 6:30 am (he who usually sleeps til 8!) to work on his President page. After all the pages are complete, we’ll laminate them and have them bound into an official book.
The books we’re using for our research include the following: So You Want to Be President; Don’t Know Much About the Presidents; The Scholastic Encyclopedia of the Presidents and Their Times; DK Eyewitness Presidents; Wit and Wisdom (for the quotes); The Look It Up Book of Presidents
Some of the other things we’re supplementing our Presidential studies with include: Melissa and Doug President puzzle; The History Channel’s Presidents; Men of Destiny board game; Jingo American Presidents and First Ladies game; Meet the Presidents board game; Mr. President (and old time radio show); Sing a Song of Presidents (book and CD); President Activity book; Presidential Cookies (as soon as I’m back to baking, we’ll add a cookie recipe each week to supplement our studies); Dover President coloring book; Dover First Ladies coloring book
For our bird study, we’re spending a lot of time outdoors with our binoculars looking for birds and learning to recognize them. To do that, we’re using a Bird Log; Backyard Birding for Kids; and our Birds of Texas Field Guide.
Here are the extra resources we’re using for studying birds: Fifty Favorite Birds Coloring book; Birds Alphabet Coloring book; Bird Mazes; Learning About Birds; Your Backyard DVD (this is what sparked their interest and got us started on this unit study!); Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing the Birds; Crinkleroot’s 25 Birds Every Child Should Know; The Bird Alphabet Book; Baby Birds and What They Eat; Reading Rainbow’s DVD: Birds of a Feather; Blues Go Birding; Tea with Lady Sapphire; Adventures of Sammy Jay; rubbing plates of birds; Bird Toob; Common Bird Songs; Bird Fun board game; Bird Watching Trivia board game