I teach a class called "Amazing Places" to a group of homeschooled 5-8 year olds. While I was preparing last week to teach about Paris, France, I stumbled upon the official tourism website for the Eiffel Tower. From there I started digging around and found the materials for teacher's to present to their class in preparation for a field trip to the Eiffel Tower.
Because Parisian schoolchildren would, of course, take a field trip to the Eiffel Tower!
My mind has been reeling for days about what other bucket-list worthy landmarks schoolchildren are begrudgingly being dragged to in the name of education...where were your favorite school field trips as a child?
In addition to "Amazing Places" I also teach a Utah History class to an older group of homeschoolers. Our first lesson on native peoples happened to fall during the week our family was in Albuquerque for Balloon Fiesta, so I had another parent introduce petroglyphs and the Anasazi cliff dwellers. It just so happened that at about the same time as they were finishing their worksheets and reading their stories, we were hiking around in the Petroglyphs National Monument.
While I did give that a passing thought while we were there, it wasn't until we returned and were reviewing what the class had learned while we were gone that it really struck me. We travel (and we homeschool) so my kids can get an up-close hands-on education. Later on during that class period we were learning about the Navajo tribe in the 4 Corners Area and B & P kept interrupting to ask questions relating what I was saying to things they had just seen a few days before. They'd driven through the Navajo Nation, seen Ship Rock and other sacred rock formations, and remembered seeing a hogan in the yard of every Navajo family.
It was world learning by being out in the world.
|Comparing hand prints, but not actually touching.|
I don't remember reading Little House on the Prairie as a child, which is odd since I was a voracious reader and catalogued our rather large book collection for a 4th grade project. I am reading the series now to B & P and we all are absolutely LOVING it! I didn't fully understand how much they enjoy it until our recent trips back to This Is The Place and the Tinkertown Museum. Over and over as they discovered new relics from the past they would stop and ask, "Mom, is that what the claim shanty looked like?" "Is this like Ma's cook stove?" "Did Laura write on a slate like this?" What a privilege it is for me to provide them with the means to not only learn new things, but to see them, feel them, and create a living memory with them.
What hands-on application to learning have your kids had recently?