I know I’ve said this before, but we change a lot of the way we deal with the kids’ education because, well, they change.
Well, every homeschooling parent knows it’s not easy.
Today, I’m gonna share one thing we’ve been doing for a while now and that’s been fun, educative, and it’s working.
Make a project.
That’s it. Some times, I let them choose what they want to do. Some months, I choose what’s gonna be. Sometimes it’s Angelo.
It’s usually something that takes a bit longer to be done, so we give them a few weeks or months to finish.
Like their ‘One Year’ project, or the ‘Questions and Answers’. In Colombia, the boys chose to make a Scratch game while Melissa wanted to draw something. Well, I asked the boys for a detailed plan of their games before they actually made it and asked Melissa to draw somewhere we’ve been to as background.
These are both the things they struggle with, yet, I believe them important to know. The boys do need to work more on their planning capabilities – and not relying on trial and error all the time. Melissa, on the other hand, needs to draw more than people, learn perspective, and shadowing, so I told her it could be somewhere like Machu Picchu and she took the challenge. The games didn’t end up too well, but they’re still working on them while Melissa’s drawing has been posted on their blog. You can see the details she put on, like tattoos, cameras, accessories and clothing items, they’re all the things we actually own.
This project is usually something that makes them work on and offline, and most of the times, require a bit of research and learning new things, even though they don’t really feel it as a chore. Well, by the deadline, they’re usually working 24/7 and a bit stressed out, but they’re becoming better at doing a bit everyday and scheduling stuff to do than the do it all at once they were doing before.
There are so many options, really, and they usually come out with something, but for when they don’t, I have a few waiting in line.
Here are the projects I have in mind.
It can also be something like a 30-day photo challenge, but not just random photos. Ask them to choose a theme or color, or even make a list like ‘Day one, tree. Day two, dog. Day three, pencil’. If they’re old enough, ask them to add more challenging stuff, like movement, of change of matter (like the ice melting or water boiling, whatever, but let them figure it out), chemical elements, the feelings evoked by a song, poem, book, movie, whatever that’s not very objective. If they’re learning to recognize letters and numbers, maybe finding shapes that remind of a letter (H in a ladder, A on a roof, or something like that).
This is something we’ll try next time, and they’ll be able to post them on Instagram, which is another incentive as they get to connect with their friends and talk about it.
I also think that making a book is perfect. They’ll write it, illustrate it, edit it, and at the end, publish it if they want to. It’ll be a lot of work, but then we can give them more time to do it.
Then there’s the documentary on their chosen subject, where they’d have to interview people, or research and recreate something, or well, who knows? A 1 or 2-minute thing video is what we aim for.
I believe that it’s important to challenge them and keep it fun and engaging. That’s why we usually let them choose their project, so they can steer it towards what their interests.
We do need to be present like when they have questions or they want an opinion, we try to help them as best as we can with as little interference as we can.
You can also make it individual or in groups, so they can learn to work as a team more efficiently.
Lots of times, some things are way too hard, so we learn all together, and it’s also great.
It’s also important to learn to accept failure is a great thing, as long as you don’t give up, so let them be ambitious.
Give it a try and let us know how it went!
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