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Homeschooling Comment

A good friend of mine emailed this great comment about homeschooling that I wanted to add here for my reference later. Trisha teaches elementary school and shared her thoughts on finding topics to study.
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So this is what I imagine......
If I were to homeschool,  part of a way  I would make it better than public school is I would make it themed.  Some schools actually try this, but you would have more freedom.  I think I would mostly choose from science because there is the most to do there and children love science.  So say for a month or two we might study the rock cycle, minerals, soil, erosion, weathering, all the geological stuff.  We would read (everyone on their own level, possibly) passages about the topic.  We would research it on line and look up their questions.  Then they could write.  If you give them enough resources they will come up with good questions which will give more resources and then their writing is powerful.  With writing, then mini lessons on grammar and how to write a paragraph are easily taught as they write and then edit.  I would look for field trip opportunities and go explore. Some might be going to look at rocks, others might be jobs that have to do with it.  Maybe someone will be written to and communicated with to find more answers to questions.  Usually math somehow falls into it all too, but if not you can create...or find...tasks and word problems dealing on the subject. Even social studies is weaved into by looking at the history and economy and all that.  So much of that can be leveled, but yet all be taught at the same time.  And you can make pet rocks or create toothpaste or paint with soils.  Then the learning is powerful and engaging and if you can apply it to them, wow!  I truly believe that is the thing I can't figure out as a teacher, but what is most powerful is when it isn't about teaching each subject separately, but it is about exploring it all together.  That is real life...right?
If you need some fairly good sites for leveled passages that really can be interesting, they are FYI for kids ( just type that in and it will come up). And readworks.org ( you have to sign up, but it is free)
Anyway, really that is just my own personal vision....that I can't seem to make work at school because they require us to use certain materials...and to really make it all mesh is a talent, I do believe.  It might not mesh or work for your vision at all
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Thanks for your thoughts, Trisha!

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