Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blending into a new peer group

Coming home from our last outing gave us a great chance to talk to our own first grader about what summer parks and rec program she might be into. With little surprise we were informed Dance of course had to be on the schedule, but Gymnastics and Art as well. These are outside of the Co-op's spectrum and give her a chance to interact with a different peer group.

Meeting new peers is always a bit nerve-wracking for all involved, but fun and exciting. After all, who knows what this summer group of friend might have to offer that the regular group doesn't. For us as a homeschooling family no matter what curriculum we are using the learning never ends, and there's no reason for it to do so. Some new friends might have different cultures we've yet to be exposed to, some might integrate lessons we've learned in our co-op group into every day life in an unexpected way. Take the French class that the Co-op did this year... well if your little one finds him or herself exposed to a french speaking family (not difficult to do in our region as Quebec is just north of us) it gives your child a chance to actually use what he or she has learned. On top of this of course is the opportunity to make new play dates with public schooled kids and spend many days at the park. Something my own First Grader would never turn her nose to.

These Parks and Recreations programs can be quite affordable and give you a chance to expose your child to things you may not have had an opportunity to do so with otherwise. Give it a look-see for your self, you might find that it is a great addition to your own personal home school curriculum.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Homeschooling Day at a museum

I wrote last month about getting over to the local living history museum. It's a great way to spend a day outside, getting exercise and learning in one fell swoop.

Traditionally over Memorial Day Weekend our own troup takes a Saturday to go to Sturbridge Village, where we learn about hydro powered mills, tin smithery and of course my personal favorite – fiber processing into cloth, from shearing to weaving.

They have a number of sheep there and they hand shear them, and then clean the wool with amonia and water in large boiling water tubs in the sun. Of course as they are in costume, the women are wearing long dresses and aprons, as well as bonnets, and on a hot day this can be pretty rough, so my first grader gets to see firsthand that she has it pretty cushy when she doesn't have to do this hard work to get her clothing.

They have a mill powered carding machine there that is pushing 300 years of age, there are no synthetic parts on the belt, and the wood of the mechanism is held together with pegs instead of nails. This provides an excellent opportunity to teach about construction methods of long ago, and has amazed many.