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Interactive Stories

Come with us on a science expedition! Sterling, Christian, and I are going to spend the night outside on the trampoline. What can we learn from that? We plan to find out! After dark, we drag our pillows, comforters, flashlights, and notebooks out the back door.

"The crickets are chirping everywhere," Sterling notices. "I don’t think I can sleep through that."

I remind him that we are here to learn, not sleep. "Write in your notebooks: "Crickets are chirping everywhere."

"The sky is so bright I can hardly see the stars," Christian comments.

"Why do you think that is?" I ask. It’s light enough for me to see the blank expression on his face so I continue, "In the city, man-made lights and smog make it hard to see the stars. Stars look a lot brighter in the dark country skies."

"Look!" exclaims Sterling. "You can see the ground through the trampoline." We all look. Sure enough, we can see the grass and everything.

Time passes quickly as we note the sights, smells, sounds, and feelings of the night. This is only one of many projects that can make learning fun.

Do you love school? I always did. My first school was a three-room country schoolhouse in a small town twenty miles outside the city limits of San Antonio, Texas. The best part was when we got to ride into the city and buy bright new clothes and supplies. It felt like Christmas! Now I’m a grandmother, and I’m teaching my grandsons, Sterling and Christian, to love school.

We have an extended family home. Our daughter and grandchildren live with us, and I teach the children while their mother is working. Christian is six years old and in the second grade. Sterling is a nine-year-old forth grader.

On Fridays, they go to an enrichment program at Dominion. Dominion is our cover school. That is where the school records are kept, and the kids are tested. I hear that home-scholars generally make higher test scores than classroom students, but Sterling and Christian test out average for their grade. At Dominion, they learn what it is like to be in a classroom. That’s fun once a week, but they like home-school best.

A typical home-school day begins with a short devotional. I dictate a memory verse for them to write in their notebooks. Any misspelled words become spelling words for the day. Then I read a little bit from Special Times with God, and we pray a short prayer for God to help us learn.

Sterling and Christian can hardly wait to do The Body Book so we do that next. Every day we cut, color, and tape together a paper model of a different part of the human body. I teach them anatomy while they work. It takes about an hour.

Reading is next. This year we are learning about America. Christian reads a short story, out loud, from his Across America reader about a child who lived in a certain state in early America. When he is finished, Sterling reads some exciting facts about the same state from a book called Kid’s Learn America.

What about math? Can you add seven 3-digit numbers while holding your breath and get the right answer? We can! Math-It is a game that teaches tricks and rules of learning math facts. Christian says that Math-It is the easy way to learn math. It’s really not easy, but it is fun.

Most of their learning is through games, songs, projects, and art; however, we don’t want to miss anything. The Super Yearbook covers all the bases for their grade and shows me where the children need extra help. We use reference books every day. This is the foundation of their learning. Workbooks are more fun when you have page contests. I keep a jar of Jolly Ranchers on the table to reward the winners.

Christian and Sterling are very clear about who they are and what they want to do with their lives. Sterling will tell you in a second that he is an artist. He has already written and illustrated seven comic books, including commercials. None of them were printed of course but it’s a start. We have some good books on art.

Christian is a musician. He sings night and day. Music theory and keyboard are among his daily subjects, but we also use music to teach him other things. There are songs about the states and capitols, countries of the world, bones of the body, and many other useful facts.

Why are we doing this? We are trying to make some good memories for one thing. I also hope that the kids will learn to love learning as much as I do. Anyway, school is more fun this way, at least for us.

Update: The boys now have their own websites with original artwork and stories.  Check out the DreamsClub and Max's Angels.  These websites were homeschool projects and have won several awards.

1998 ZoeSage

The Homeschool Webring


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