Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Bundle of Learning

Tips for home schooling or those that love knowledge.

Materials for schools do not have to cost very much. The local newspaper is a goldmine for learning. The newspaper can be used for all subjects and should be used for all subjects.

Research and fact checking- a story can be read and them followed to sources to make sure that the news is reliable. It also can be compared to another news agencies interpretation to confirm the facts. Am I implying that the media spins stories? No, but I am suggesting that learning is not being spoon fed information. No it is all about understanding how to find information.

Editing-believe it or not, even after the newspaper has been printed, one can still find grammatical errors or spelling errors. And also one can look and see if the title matches the article. It is amazing how much one can learn by teaching and hands on methods.

Weather patterns- The weather is listed every day. So the children can plot a storm or a weather front until it dissipates. Weekly records of temperature can be recorded then the weekly average can be calculated. By following the storm, one can learn geography, local, state, federal and internationally. Safety, by understanding the implications of weather and its potential for havoc, one can appreciate tornadoes, hurricanes and major storms. Learning about hurricanes is a great unit study that can begin using a newspaper. On-line newspapers for Florida, Hawaii, and the Eastern Seaboard truly will give an exacting understanding of a hurricane, the naming process, and its incredible magnitude.

Obituaries- Math is here too. Calculate the exact number of days the person lived. Get a map, locate where they were born and where they died. This is also a way to learn about the variety of occupations that are available to be filled. And finally a way to pray that the person had salvation, and that the message in Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost...
A person's time is numbered, and we should take it quite serious that we may be the very person that completes the link in their chain. This also is a time to understand that not all will receive Him.

Sports- the statistics can be followed, and a daily health regime can be implemented. Sporting events also can be studied following the money. Who sponsors the big teams, and the power of advertising can truly be delved in to. Chart a teams winning and losing schedules. Chart the mileage a team has to travel each week and compile average miles traveled.

Opinions and Editorials - this is a great way to *see* what is bothering the citizens of the community. Study the issues addressed and compile a response. This is not to be mailed, but to see if there is a solution or not. This is also important to learn about the right to speech and the forums one uses to implement change. Create an Editorial Day for your home. Have the children write a column once a month about the issues in the house . Then you respond in like. Then switch the roles, because you want the children to learn of resolutions and problem solving.

Comics-such a way to get the kids started in reading. Notice aside from Sunday that the comics are in black and white. It does not need to be all glitzy to be funny! Have the children identify if it is a political satire, or not. Is there a message in the comic or is it for entertainment? Have the children create a single storyboard comic. This is so amazing for creativity, and to allow the child's humor to come through.

Advertisements-excellent, so many uses. Have the children see if they can create a menu for dinner using a store flier. Give a budget and see if they can still create this menu. Do comparison shopping by using several fliers. This is an amazing way to learn budgeting.
For fliers from clothing stores same process, just with clothing, same with toiletries.

The classifieds - so much to study. Take an item or category, then see how many things are for sale. Such as exercise equipment. Then create a chart, and plot several categories and the prices, showing the variations. Find the most unusual thing for sale. Calculate an average between the lowest priced home and the highest price. Find apartments in the northern, southern, eastern, and western parts of your community. Begin a car graph. Graph how many Fords, Honda's, Chevrolet's and other brands. Calculate interest on a 5 year note. Discuss why it is so much more financially responsible to not have a car note.

Police reports- using a city map plot the crimes on it. Color code the pins and keep this running for a year. Then write a report as the safest and most dangerous areas in the city. Do the same for auto accidents. Use this opportunity to meet with a local police officer/department and discuss safety in driving, using seat belts.

Spotlight on events in the community- these are great because they usually list events that are family friendly and low cost, so attend and have the children be reporters and report about the event that they went to. Because of the computer, the kids can do this and take photos and not wait for developing. We do live in incredible times.

Well I could go on and on, but I wanted you to realize that this is all done with little or no expense and yet the knowledge acquired could be vast. For my readers that do not have children or their children are too young, or they are moved out, remember these tips can work for you too. Keep the mind going or cater this to a smaller child. Learning is so awesome and wonderful that you will benefit all your life.


Penless Thoughts said...

You never cease to amaze me, Jennifer. You are one awesome educator!!!!

Jackie said...

Those are some really great ideas, Jennifer. My oldest daughter is having to turn in weekly articles for Biology and Algebra. Honing skills through printed media can be a great learning tool.


Excellent Idea!! connie from Texas

Momma Roar said...

You know I'll be printing this post off!!

jennifer said...

Susan thank you, but really necessity is the mother of all invention!!

Jackie- I have seen her scores...she is doing awesome!!!

Connie -Yes it is!

Leigh Ann -of course use this and live to learn and learn to live!

MightyMom said...

hey there, great ideas. Did you mention following the stocks?
My economics teach in HS had us all pick a stock and graph it's progress throughout a specified time period then give a report...I don't remember allthe details, but it's learning to mind your Ps and Qs (and knowing what that phrase means!)

jennifer said...

Sarah- I didn't not because I didn't think of or have use, but because I felt like I was running on and on!!

did you notice how many things you can learn from something that cost around 100.00 per year? Cool huh!

MightyMom said...

100.00 per year???!!!, we pay 54 every 3 months!!!!!!

that's it! I'm moving!

Just as soon as I learn to spell Alamagonzo!!

It went out in the mail today.....