Homeschool History Fun

We have had many opportunities through the years to get together with other families for special project days. I realized early on that one of my limitations was getting science experiments, art projects and other hands on work done. It seemed that by the time I got through the reading, writing and arithmetic, not to mention laundry, gardening and home care for my growing family, there was little time left to dissect a cow's eye or create a 3d model of the pyramids.

Enter homeschool co-ops. Since I also rarely had an expansive homeschool budget and really wanted to stay independent from government resources, I usually pulled together a group of moms who I enjoyed being around and we would meet one day a month to do all those projects we had wanted to do but never got around to.

This year I have two fun groups to meet with. One group is all about science. Our family, along with a few other families are meeting to do an Apologia elementary science book. This year's choice is botany and it has been an easy and fun group. Each month a different mom hosts and plans the projects. Simple and fun.

I am also meeting with a couple other moms and their kids for history. When our family lived in El Dorado County we had a little more formal group. We met before the school year started and mapped out projects and categories for the whole year. This year as we study the Middle Ages each of the moms brings one food item from the time period and one project (art, game, notebook, geography).

Ezra's Illuminated Manuscript
The topic for this month was King Arthur. He is not my favorite character, too much magic and immorality in the story, but the activities were sure fun. One family made a delicious kettle of wassail, I brough some yummy gingerbread and another family brought a beef and barley stew. The children made salt dough maps of Great Britain, learned about Illuminated manuscript writing and made a notebook page on the class structure of the Middle Ages.

The other thing I love about our group learning days is the opportunity to do oral reports. This is an important skill in life and business and I want my kids to have the chance to practice speaking in front of people. Add the fact that one of my children struggles with a serious communication difficulty and having a kind crowd to listen is very helpful.

Our group learning days fulfill so many needs in our homeschool, I am thankful we have continued to find families who are willing to learn with us!

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