What does a 1930’s newspaper and the new “google now” have in common? Homeschooling of course. Even if your children also attend school, homeschooling fun and learning moments can be enjoyed by your family. Keep reading to see how we recently “seized the day” with both old and new technology.
As part of our home business building barn wood furniture, Rustic-Horses.com, we have been recently harvesting antique wood from an early 1900’s log home and outbuildings. As the home was improved upon over the years they added layers of newspaper for insulation. This was a common practice back then and a real treat to find when you are working with old buildings. Often there is wallpaper over it so it isn’t always easy to salvage. This time however we have been able to salvage some pieces as old as 1928 and as recent as 1962. It has stirred up a real interest in all things local history for my children. We have found that ground beef was once 49 cents a pound and sirloin steak was 79 cents. That was interesting and opened up a whole lesson on economics. We put things in place timewise, one paper was printed during the depression, another they year momma (me) was born. The engagement notices were called betrothal notices, (vocabulary, spelling and culture) . And so on.
Just to take it one step further we put to use a feature on our new phones called Google Now. Using a pre programmed option on my phone I can ask my phone to accomplish certain tasks and answer questions, much like the Siri on iphones, ( I am a loyal Android user). So when studying these old newspapers questions would arise like, “we know the first world war was before the depression, but what year did it start and end?” While one child, my studious one, ran to check the back pages timeline of her big children’s dictionary, another said, “Mom ask your phone.” So I did. And then they thought of another question and another. Which stirred up a whole new interest for other things that happened during the mid 1900’s.
Homeschooling doesn’t happen when you force it. It happens when you let it. Yes we do all the standard things, but whether it is homeschooling, private schooling or public schooling, facts and lessons go in one ear and out the other unless a child has an interest. So seize the day when an interest is stirred. Park on it, wear it out. Study it. Until that interest leads to another, and another. And don’t just do this during school hours, do it all day as questions arise. I have often said, “it is easy to homeschool, just answer the questions that arise” and now with today’s technology that is even easier.
I would love to hear how you find natural learning moments.