Saturday, January 15, 2011


My son is starting to learn about Geography. Every Monday afternoon we go to the home of another homeschooler. Each week she brings in a speaker from another country. He or she talks to the kids about the country they were born in. Usually they bring maps of the world and maps of their country. Often they have pictures of the people who live there. When the speaker came from Poland, he brought pictures of his birthplace. And the farm that he grew up on. The kids are able to ask questions of the speaker and they usually do. “What do people eat where you come from?” “When was the last time you went home?” “Why did you come to America” They always ask very good questions considering the ages of the students range form 4 to 10. I think the favorite part of the class is when the speaker brings out the cookies or candy that they loved when they were children.

Last week the organizer of the event told me that next week would be on Belarus. Well, I didn’t want to appear totally ignorant so I did not ask her where Belarus was. Instead I came home and looked it up. Oh you think I’m going to tell you. No, you have to look it up yourself.

We have also been studying Geography by joining in a postcard club. This is a yahoo group which is made up of homeschooling families who trade postcards with each other. If some one on the list is looking for a postcard from our state, I send them an email letting them know that I have postcards from our state. They send me their address and we mail a postcard off to them. Usually we write a few short facts about the state on our postcard. Then in a few days we get a postcard back from them. We then look that state up on a map to see where it is. We talk about the capital of the state, the state bird, the state flower and what the state is most famous for. Then we put the postcard in a notebook to keep so we can look at it again and again. My son has a small map of the United States. For each new state that he receives a post card from, he colors that state in on a map. That way we can look at the map and tell which states we still need. We also have a few cards from other countries. Sometimes people will want a specific type of card, such as one with the state bird on it or one with a map of the state on it. Then we go searching for a postcard that has the information they are looking for. This has been a great way to learn about Geography.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Homeschooling In THe Garden State

I love homeschooling. Most of the time. I often wonder why they call it homeschooling. Take this week for an example. On Monday we went to Lego Engineering Class. We spent a total of 3.5 hours in the car that day. On Tuesday we had a play date. We actually only spent about 40 minutes in the car that day. On Wednesday we did stay home. On Thursday we went to Homeschool Soccer. We spent 3.5 hours in the car that day. And on Friday we stayed home. On Saturday we went to visit the Potter which has nothing to do with homeschooling exactly. But my son had a birthday party to go to right after our trip to the Potter so he went with me. We spent 3 hours in the car on Saturday. So we have spent 10 hours in the car this week. Looking at next week’s schedule, it looks like we will spend about 10 hours in the car again next week. Maybe we should call it car schooling instead of homeschooling.

So what do we do during all those hours in the car. This week we spent a lot of time going over times tables. My son does not really like multiplication. So it is a lot easier to work with him when he is captive in the car. He is really interested in the Greek and Norse gods and goddesses right now. So we talked about some of them. Sometimes we do spelling words. Other times we talk about the different countries we have studied in our Geography class. He is really excited that his friend’s mother is coming to speak to Geography class next week.

We don’t work on his online program when we are in the car. We don’t read books in the car. But we do read traffic signs, road signs, signs in store windows. He is getting really good at reading directions from the GPS and helping me navigate when traffic is heavy.

I think I like car schooling. I know we will be doing a lot of it in the future.