26 July 2011

Another geography lesson

A few days ago, my husband and I impulsively decided to go to a Border's store that was closing.  Everything was on clearance, and although finances are crazy tight, Sean said I could spend $15 on whatever I wanted. My first thought was to get the Ishmael trilogy by Daniel Quinn, but evidently it's a popular book series - it was already gone.  I wandered the fiction and non-fiction areas but nothing jumped out at me.  I considered getting a couple of puzzles for the kids, but nothing just seemed to click...

I found a book called "Plunge into History" that looked interesting, and I thought the kids might enjoy reading it as well, so I picked that up.  Left me with about six dollars, and nothing was really looking good.  Then Sean pointed out the maps.

I've been wanting to get a map of the U.S. for a while now, and this was a nice big map - three feet by five feet.  It was two dollars more than my six remaining dollars, so I went to put the book back.  But Sean stopped me and said he'd  be willing to pay the extra two dollars since I had chosen something educational. The kids were thrilled with their new map, and spent about 25 minutes pouring over it when we hung it up.  But I knew it would become a boring, everyday poster if I didn't use it regularly. During the school year, that won't be so hard, but how to incorporate it during the summer? 

That's not as hard as you might think.  This year, we had to order new backpacks for all three kids.  I pulled up the shipping details this morning and discovered that Jacob's backpack had already shipped out from Lexington.  So I showed him the online shipping details and then asked him "How far away do you think Lexington is?"

He went STRAIGHT to the map, and found it in seconds.

Jacob points to Lexington, Kentucky
He's excited - he discovered that the backpack is now in Itasca, IL (about twenty miles away).  It will probably arrive today, and so he keeps running to the windows every time he hears a vehicle drive by.  "Is that my package? Aw, drat, it's just the neighbor's car."

I'd love to homeschool, but I know it's not the right step for me at this point in my life.  But that doesn't stop me from encouraging learning at home!  My kids are at the top of their classes, mainly because Sean and I have taught them that learning is fun rather than a chore to be dreaded at all costs. 

How do you encourage education at home?

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