The Importance of Discovering History

When talking about history it seems there are very different types of responses. The response which utterly loves anything about history then the other type of pure boredom. So what’s the importance of history when homeschooling? And how do you engage your child if they aren’t quite fond of it?

First, understanding that history is learning about real people who lived in before us with real emotions and thoughts.

The more you can help children understand that these stories from hundreds or even thousands of years ago really happened, the more relatable and influential history becomes. When I was studying Ancient Studies, I remember the time my professor spoke about his student writing on women’s sandals in the ancient world. I remember thinking “Wow these women back then cared about their style just like we do today!” A great way to have students engage with history is to have them focus on something they love but find it in history! If your student loves to go hunting with their grandpa or dad, have them research about hunter/gather societies or find out how important hunting was to different civilizations! All people must eat – food was not readily available like it is for the majority of the world today! If your student loves drawing, have them research a famous artwork from that period! Although this art may not be on canvas but may be on stones or caves – civilizations loved recording beautiful things – just think of Egypt! Ancient Egypt was littered with walls of color and great stonework. You can learn a lot about a culture through its artwork!

Second, explain “the Why”!

Why is it important to study history? Did you know that much of Western thought today can be traced back to ancient philosophers and politicians? Discovering what worked and what did not for those who came before us, helps us to not make the same mistake again! History does not always need to be studying of Ancient Egypt or Greece but should also be the study of family history and your own city or state history. Understanding where your own family came from – your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and so on is a great practical use of the importance of history. I’ve always loved history. Whenever I was visiting my grandma, we would sit down together before anyone else woke up and she always told me stories. Stories of my great-grandpa and his struggles in the war. Stories of where they came from and how they remembered a time prior to cellphones and even cars! We have access to a generation who experienced a lot of change in their lifetime and you can hear about their parent’s and their grandparent’s stories!  I know for me, my grandma would always speak of the day man walked on the moon, and the first time she got her own personal car. She worked at an old Bell company at the switchboard. Can you imagine how much history she saw seeing the changes from a switchboard to the modern iPhone? Even in these stories, there is so much to learn about modern history.

 

Third, history is not just a ton of dates and facts. History should be engaging!

Here at WP we want to help engage your students, allowing them to experience and discover history for themselves! We want them to experience what life was like on a spaceship (Adventures in the Sea & Sky) or to learn how to spell their names in Phoenician letters (Hideaways in History). We want them to be able to understand the hardships which the soldiers fighting for American freedom went through, and to understand the suffering of those awfully sold into slavery. (American History 1&2) The more we understand history, the more we can hope to help our society. History is not always easy to hear or fun to deal with but we need to ensure that we teach our children the mistakes made so we do not continue to do the same!

History has such a rich and amazing influence on young learners. Read the interesting excerpt from one of our digital studies below!

 

 

 

The Akkadians*

Taken from our Ancient Civilizations Digital Study

Near the Sumerians grew up the city of Akkad, probably somewhere

along the Tigris River. Today no one knows where the actual city was

located, but there are quite a few other things we know about Akkad,

because it grew to the be capital city of the Akkadian Empire.

Akkad is mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 10:10, spelled out there as

Accad. It began as a city, and it appears from historical records that

the Sumerians and Akkadians developed a thriving trade relationship,

interacting culturally alongside each other. They mingled enough that

most people who lived in the region in the 3rd millenium B.C. spoke

both the Sumerian and Akkadian languages.

In time, the Akkadian Empire gradually grew more powerful. Rulers of

the city-state began expanding their power. The most famous ruler of

Akkad was Sargon, who defeated the king of Uruk in the Battle of Uruk

and took over the empire ruled by that king. Sargon also defeated its

once-friendly neighbors, the Sumerians, but Sargon wisely appointed

over 5,000 Sumerian men to help him rule over his empire, so that

there would be less chance that Sumer would revolt in the years ahead.

In time, only the Akkadian language was used throughout the kingdom,

and Sumerian was not used, but the Akkadians did adopt the Sumerian

style of cuneiform script for writing. They inscribed important papers

onto clay tablets or cylinders. The writing on these tablets and seals

was usually drawn among decorative scenes taken from myths or rituals.

The Akkadians also adopted the Sumerians’ religious beliefs.

The Akkadian Empire spread over Mesopotamia between the Tigris and

Euphrates rivers. At its height, it ruled over cities like Assur, Mari, Eshnunna,

Sippar, Nippur, Uruk, Ur, Lagash, and Suse. Sargon was able to

expand the empire under his rule so that it reached the Mediterranean

Sea on the west, the Persian Gulf on the east, and deep into the Arabian

Peninsula to the south.

Trade routes were established that allowed for safe travel of trade

goods throughout Sargon’s lands and along the Euphrates River.

Sargon used these trade routes to gain access to further lands for

expansion, and brought back booty from his conquests along the

established roads in the kingdom. While agricultural products were

produced in Mesopotamia, the area lacked other natural resources.

Wood, building stone and precious metals were required by Akkadian

rulers. They were traded and imported, and floated to Akkad on the

Euphrates as well.

The empire was so well organized that it had a regular postal service.

Akkad’s ruler did a survey of the land, and began naming the years

from the year Sargon began to rule. Sargon appears to have established

a library that took and collected astronomical observations.

After Sargon’s death, his sons and descendants ruled his empire for

several generations. Sargon was considered a model for later

Mesopotamian rulers, later great kings in Assyria and Babylon, who

looked back at Sargon as the first dominant ruler in Mesopotamia.

These kings looked upon themselves as heirs to the empire that Sargon

had begun long before.

The Akkadian Empire lasted from 2334 B.C., when Sargon took over

control of Akkad, to around 2193 B.C.

I remember when I first met Charlotte Mason

Okay, not really “met,” but got to know.  I was immediately struck by Charlotte’s intuitive understanding of children and how to educate and train them.  I was also hugely impressed by how counter-culture Charlotte’s ways are in today’s world.

If you haven’t gotten to know Charlotte Mason yet, and you are hoping to be a good homeschooling parent, a great “Parent-Teacher” — or at least aiming that direction :), then you should “meet” Charlotte, too!

 

There are a lot of summaries of Charlotte’s ideas online, but here are the basics:

Charlotte Mason was a British educator who worked with children for years. She believed in exposing children to great ideas, wonderful literature, God’s Word in liberal amounts, and beautiful artwork, and she called for challenging them in a way that gave them a love for learning. She believed in teaching history, getting children to tell back what they know, and — most of all — Charlotte believed in joy!

As a Momma myself, this is what perhaps convinced me that I wanted to be a “Parent-Teacher” like Charlotte.  After all, if I couldn’t bring my children joy, and teach my children the joy in curiosity, in exploration, in discovery — what was parenthood for?

As I delved into Charlotte’s methods and thoughts, I found new ways we were kindred spirits.  It was a thrill to hear from someone who did not believe that raising your children meant teaching them to cram for exams, run around to endless extracurricular activities, and fall into bed exhausted at night.  Charlotte’s ideas were freedom.  Freedom to develop a lifestyle that was not at all like school, not at all over-busied, and above all — not self-focused.

The freedom we found was like finally breathing again.  It meant so much more, you see, than just that we’d found a homeschool method that worked for us.  In fact, we’d found a lifestyle!

We’ve had a chance to live the Charlotte Mason lifestyle for a lot of years now, and we’ve just seen our lives change so radically from what they were before.  Here’s what I’ve learned along the way:

  1. I have never spent one moment thinking about how I wish I done things differently.  Our lifestyle works for us, and it works for our family.  It is a servant to, not a master of, our souls.  It supports our family — it does not “run” our family.
  2. My children have had enough free time to think big thoughts on their own, and that has allowed each one to blossom and develop in their own unique way.  They’ve had to time to explore the world their way, to be curious, to investigate, and it has made all the difference in how they relate to the world.  They reach out to the world and experience it, a true contrast to how many children have to depend on “packaged” experiences in classroom or sports arenas.
  3. The time we’ve had together that wasn’t “overplanned” and “over-scheduled” reaped so many more benefits than I could have imagined.  As my kids have grown up, I can see each day how much that has meant to their development.  They are comfortable with conversation, deep relationships, reading, and self-improvement.   We’ve had so much time together, time we used to mold our kids’ character and develop their relationship to Christ.  We’ve had time to teach them skills and common sense, courtesy and manners, and simple leadership skills like timeliness, follow-through, accountability, servanthood, and working as a team.

I really could go on and on.  In short, I am thankful every day that Charlotte’s simple wisdom traveled across time to whisper to me the things for which my “Parent-Teacher” heart was longing.  She pointed the way to a Christ-centered, family relationship-focused lifestyle that changed our lives.

So, when God gave us the opportunity to create a curriculum that would allow homeschoolers to really enjoy their journey, it only made sense that we build it the Charlotte Mason way.  We’ve included many of the concepts that Charlotte Mason advocated, and added a few we fancy Charlotte would have if she were living in this century!  We’ve made it easy to do yourself, without having to pull a bunch of things together on your own, so there’s still plenty of time to invest in the character of your kids.  Plus, we made sure to include the kind of life learning that so benefitted our own kids, and really stuck with them as time went by.

So, now, I whisper all of this to you, too!  Don’t wait!  Go out there and get some Charlotte Mason in your life!

It may be that WinterPromise offers you a start on that lifestyle, and we’d love that!  But be sure to meet Charlotte Mason in any case, so that you can develop a lifestyle that suits you as “Parent-Teacher,” and develops the promise in your own family!  You’ll never be sorry that you did!

Kaeryn

 

Curious to learn more specifically about Charlotte Mason?

Check out our blog Meet Charlotte Mason & Her View of Education!

Who is Charlotte Mason and what are the basics of her education?

Charlotte Mason was a British educator, who, in the late-nineteenth century, published books on education that were both down-to-earth and practical. Her book, “Home Education,” was innovative and influential to other educators of the time.

She fostered the idea that children could be inspired to learn and explore with joy the world around them. Today, many homeschoolers find her ideals are very relevant to their everyday lives and her ideas are practical and inspiring to both parent and child.

Charlotte Mason’s Fundamental Ideas

Charlotte Mason based her philosophy of education upon nine fundamental, practical principles. There are five “DO’s” and two “DON’T’s.”

DO’s:

  • DO provide intelligent reading in abundance.
  • DO introduce your student to culture and things of beauty — music, nature, poetry, and the arts.
  • DO teach your children to narrate, telling you back about their learning experiences in their own words. Notebooking is a part of narration.
  • DO build habits that shape your child, and teach the discipline of self-education for joy’s sake.
  • DO allow free time to develop as a person instead of a heavy homework load, especially in the younger grades.

DON’T’s:

  • DON’T teach your student to succeed for the sake of a grade; instead, introduce them to things that capture their interest and they will try their best.
  • DON’T plan on lecture times of teaching; instead embrace learning together with discussion, experimentation, and narration.

How Do We Measure Education

Charlotte Mason summed up her ideals about education into the phrase, “bringing up” a child. Karen Andreola, in her marvelous book, “A Charlotte Mason Companion,” sums it up this way:

We all wish our children to be well brought up, and when we have come to understand what that means, we know that we need to go beyond simply fitting the child with the basic skills to make a living . . . First and foremost in importance is the power to live the life God has given in the way God intended. In order to have this power, a person must be at his best in his heart, mind, and soul. He must know how to choose good and how to refuse evil.

We, as persons, are not enlightened by means of multiple-choice tests or grades, but rather by the other people in our lives that we have come to know, admire, and love… Children are inspired by relationships, and this helps form their personalities. And so, throughout their educational life, we put them in touch with persons, places, and things…When you give your child a Charlotte Mason-style education, you will be endowing them with the substantial things of our culture, and their interest in these things will naturally spill out, like a cup running over, into their leisure activities, even as they enter adulthood.

Children have the same needs as an adult — to have meaningful work that excites and motivates them to achieve more and more. Charlotte believed that traditional educational systems — designed for demonstrated success through testing — denied children the opportunity to grow in their souls. Education should strive to introduce a student to that which expands their knowledge and understanding of the world in a way that shapes them to be the person God intended them to be.

So lets dive deep into some of CM’s ideas!

Wonderful Books

If you talk to anyone about Charlotte Mason, the first thing they’ll mention will be her advocacy of — in her words — “Living Books.” Charlotte believed that a child needed to read books of quality that were written by people who loved their subject matter and brought their subject alive through action and character development. She felt that stories communicated to readers in a way that would excite, be remembered, and induce them to further interest in self-education. You’ll find the wonderful books we’ve chosen will help you toward these goals!

Culture
Introduce your student to the finer things of life, things of beauty and grace, and you will develop in them a taste for these things and a distaste for things that degrade and sully their lives. Our programs attempt to draw in these aspects to your students’ education, and our four-day schedule allows you time to delve into music and art as a separate pursuit.

Narration
Narration is the art of “telling back.” To some extent this ability is inborn in our children. From their earliest childhood they tell us what just happened to them, or what their best friend just told them. Often we as parents are guilty of stemming their enthusiasm for relating to us in this way, when in fact, this skill, if encouraged to blossom and disciplined to be a part of their education, becomes an integral part of their understanding and an opportunity for reinforcement. Parents are encouraged to integrate narration into the program along the way as a habit, and we’ve even included different narration ideas for greater variety.

Notebooking
A great way to “narrate” is in written form. Notebooking has become popular among homeschoolers as a great way to reinforce student studies. Our “Make-Your-Own” history series and “Timelines in History” are exclusive resources designed to help your student learn the joys of notebooking.

 

Discipline & Free Time Fundamental to Charlotte’s approach is her belief that education needed a proper balance between the discipline of good habits and free time to enjoy. Our daily schedule will help you implement the daily discipline needed to acquaint younger students with the necessity of a habit of study. As students progress, our independent study schedules will allow you to make them accountable to complete their work according to a list for which they are responsible. Finally, high schoolers also have an independent study regime that will build the skills needed to easily move on to more education. And, all of the schedules we’ve created, allow, we believe, plenty of the free time Charlotte advocated.

Learning Together
All of our resources are designed to keep you interacting with your student for much of their studies. Time spent cuddling on the couch, reading together, contrasts well with the times you’ll work together to complete hands-on activities, or, as the student grows older, research activities. Watching an educational DVD, listening to a music CD together or preparing historical recipes all involve family time … and family memories. WinterPromise is committed to bringing together the perfect balance of resources to keep your family excited, interested, and sane!

About 1500 years ago, a game called chaturanga began to be played in India. This game was complex with many different pieces with various movements – endless possibilities! This game became so popular it began to spread via Persian traders to other people groups! Soon Europe took to the game, though the game did change a bit from its original chaturanga form. This game was so popular, it was called the game of kings as it made its way up to the highest position in the land. Can you guess what game I’m talking about yet? Chess! The game of kings and endless possibilities!

Chess has come to the forefront of the public’s mind more now than in a very long time. There are many reasons for this, but the two main reasons that chess has exploded in popularity in the last couple of years are due to the visibility of online chess during the pandemic and the TV mini-series “The Queen’s Gambit”. So, what is the big deal about chess and why does WinterPromise have two introductory programs about it?

 

The reason we have two introductory programs about chess (and one reason many are excited to see more interest in chess from the general public) is because of the incredible educational and developmental benefits of chess! Chess is a unique game that teaches so many incredible skills that are key to success in school and more importantly in life.

 

A list of the benefits will be seen below, but before we see the list, I wanted to talk about why chess is such a good way to teach these skills! First, chess gets them away from a screen, away from technology, and engaged in problem-solving from the get-go. Second, it gives them a fun and challenging game to teach those things. Third, it will develop unused or underdeveloped areas (focus, determination, problem-solving, grit) of their minds while having fun!

 

 

In conclusion, here is a list of benefits of chess for students:

  • Focus
  • Problem-Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Teamwork and Coordination
  • Determination
  • Mental Fortitude
  • Overcoming Adversity
  • Logic and Reasoning
  • Reading and Writing Improvement
  • Improved Math Skills

 

All of this is packed into a game that has captivated millions and in a game that is never exhausted! Check out our Chess programs to see if your student would be interested in learning how to play!

Join Hawk, our friend from our Adventures in the Sea & Sky program, as you go on a time-traveling adventure as you witness the birth of Christ.  You will spend 3-weeks (12 days) learning about Roman and Jewish culture, as well as observing the birth of Christ and learning about all that it meant for us.  This study is rich with learning opportunities but also for new family memories. You will experience our “12 Deers of Christmas” activity, watch videos that will take you into the world around the time of Christ, make Jewish food, learn about Roman accomplishments, make your own ornaments and much more! Spend this month learning about the true joy of Christmas and making new memories as a family.

Read a Snipbit from the Study below!

“One of the primary reasons that Rome could expand to the size it was, reaching its peak in 117 A.D., was because of the strength and size of its military. During the reign of the current and first emperor of Rome, Augustus Caesar, he had twenty-five legions at his command. What is a legion? A legion was a grouping of ten cohorts of 600 men each. This meant that a legion had 6,000 soldiers total. Legions made up the backbone of the Roman military. Roman soldiers had many parts to their uniform.”

Tunic

“The tunic was worn underneath a soldier’s armor. It looked like a long shirt that reached down to the middle of the thigh. The tunic was made of rough wool and left the soldier’s lower body unrestricted for marching and fighting, or even working on the empire’s roads.”

Caligae

“A soldier’s shoes were called caligae, sandals that allowed soldiers to march for long distances. The sandals were strong and well-made, well-ventilated and good for marching along quickly. The sandals often had metal studs in the sole, which gave the soldiers grip on rough or wet terrain and made the shoes last longer.”

Gladius

“This short sword is made for stabbing an enemy. Its short length made it perfect to use in close quarters in battle.

 

Click here to check out The First Christmas Digital Study!

3 Things to Get You Ready for the Holiday Spirit!

 

Looking for things to do to get your family in the holiday spirit? We’ve got you covered!  

If you’re like me – I’m already planning for Christmas well before Thanksgiving. Actually, I even start listening to Christmas music as early as September! The snow begins to fall and all around us smells of cinnamon and cedar – or for some roasted chestnuts! I just can’t help but get in the holiday spirit, but not every one is quite as eager to get ready for this years festivities! So if you’re family is like mine with some who love the holidays and others who don’t – we’ve got you covered for both! Activities that will engage both views of the Christmas spirit.

 

#1 Children Around the World Program – Christmas Section

Spend this holiday season celebrating Christmas with unique traditions from all over the world! You’ll spend 4 weeks discovering celebrations and holiday traditions from countries such as Thailand, Guatemala, Ethiopia and more! Children Around the World is designed to be able to jump in whenever you’d like! You can start on week 13 go through the holiday season then jump back to week one or just continue on through the end then go back to the countries that are in the beginning! Discover more about Children Around the World here!

 

#2 Classic Christmas Stories

Another great way to get ready for the holiday season is our Classic Christmas Stories! These stories are taken from traditional Christmas stories told in different countries at the holidays, with one fun little addition written by our author!

Here’s a list of included stories, and their countries of origin:

  • A Folktale from Russia – Papa Panov’s Special Christmas
  • A Tale from Ireland – The Christmas Cuckoo
  • A Story from England – The Christmas Carol
  • A Quiet Tale from Scandinavia (Denmark) – The Little Match Girl
  • A Traditional Story from France – Little Piccola
  • An Animal Story from the United States – Christmas at Mole End
  • The Nativity Account from Israel – The Christmas Story
  • A Cautionary Tale from the United States – Christmas Every Day
  • A Story of Mexican Traditions – The Poinsettia That Meowed

This is found in our Children Around the World program, but it can be added to any of our other programs! Click here to go to Classic Christmas Stories!

 

#3 First Christmas Digital Study

Our First Christmas Study is a 3-week unit study of the background, events, and meaning of the birth of Christ. Join Hawk, our friend from our Adventures in the Sea & Sky program, as you go on a time-traveling adventure as you witness the birth of Christ.  You will spend 3-weeks (12 days) learning about Roman and Jewish culture, as well as observing the birth of Christ and learning about all that it meant for us.  This study is rich with learning opportunities but also for new family memories. You will experience our “12 Deers of Christmas” activity, watch videos that will take you into the world around the time of Christ, make Jewish food, learn about Roman accomplishments, make your own ornaments and much more! Spend this month learning about the true joy of Christmas and making new memories as a family. Click here to get to our First Christmas Study!

From the WP Team to your family – we hope you have an amazing Holiday Season with your family!

If you have any questions feel free to call or text (231) 245-1417 or email winterpromise@winterpromise.com!

 

Does your family love to cook together? In Children Around the World we schedule a number of recepies for you to try making as a family that are found from all over the world. Try making the recipe below as a family!

Here’s a recipe from our Children Around the World Themed Program!

Chicken Curry

 

This recipe serves just four hungry people. If you’ve invited more people to your buffet, or have more famished mouths to feed, increase the recipe as needed!


Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into small chunks

2 Tablespoon butter

1-2 Tablespoons curry powder, according to how spicy you like it

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 cup canned coconut milk

½ cup golden raisins

 

Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over fairly high heat. Add onion and chicken and cook for five minutes or until the chicken is browned slightly on all sides. Remove the chicken and onion from the pan, and set aside for now. Clean the pan with a paper towel, and continue to use it to melt the butter over low heat. Add the curry powder and the garlic and cook for three minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and the raisins, and add back in the chicken and onion. Cover the pan and simmer for 25 minutes. Serve over rice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more recipes from around the world and other hand’s-on experiences check out our Fun & Traditions from Many Lands – part of our Children Around the World!

As we get ready for Thanksgiving, some of us may be thinking “How in the world do I keep my kids busy throughout today?”. If you’re thinking this – you’re not alone! Holidays are wonderful, celebrating with family, but sometimes they can be a little hectic – or maybe that’s just my house!

Here are 5 Tried and True Activities to keep your kiddos busy throughout the holiday!

First, Kraft Paper Tablecloth for the kids table or section!

One of the easiest tips I’ve seen is using kraft paper or any type of coloring paper as a tablecloth! Kids can draw on it without getting in trouble – just as long as they know they can’t do it on any other tablecloth in the future! We don’t want them to be a grandma’s house and draw on their nice cloth tablecloths. Our Next two tips are made extremely easy with this one trick!

Second, Tic Tac Toe

With drawable paper as a tablecloth tic tac toe is a great way to help kids pass the time! Use fun little plastic pumpkins or gourds as Xs & Os. Xs could be orange pumpkins and Os could be the multicolord gourds! If you can’t find two different colors of pumpkins or gourds an easy solution would be to use permanent marker and write X on half of the pumpkins and O on the other! If you’d rather you could make a separate activity with your kiddos and have them paint their half the way they want to! Smaller pumpkins, real or fake, work best for this activity!

Third, Turkey drawing competition – First place gets the first piece of pie!

Who doesn’t like a little pie on Thanksgiving!

Another activity for the cousins to do together is a turkey drawing competition! You could provide various art supplies in a basket on or near the table to encourage them to be creative and maybe use different pieces of paper to create the wings or ribbon to simulate the feathers! If you’d like you can even say that whoever comes up with the most creative turkey gets to get their dessert first!

Fourth, I’m Grateful Journal Page & I’m Grateful Card(s)

Though the holiday is so fun, we want to teach our children the meaning of thanksgiving. A great way to help encourage this is to have each child do a “What I’m Grateful For Journal” page. This asks what grateful means which may be a bit challenging for younger kids but this is a great way to start the discussion! It also asks who they are grateful for and what they are grateful for and why. Then after they complete this activity, they can use the I’m so grateful Cards and give them to all the people they are Grateful for! These cards are created with two on a page to be printed out then cut in the middle. Encourage your kids to give them to as many people as they want! Click here to download the I’m So Grateful For You Journal Page and Cards!

Fifth, Thanksgiving themed picture books!

If you have a kiddo who loves to read, there are so many different thanksgiving or fall themed books for all different ages! For older kids, you could encourage them to help the younger ones read their books! A side note on this – grandparents love reading with their grandkids or at least my parents adore it! There isn’t many other times where my parents are happier than when their grandkids are on their lap or by them reading to them or with them! Here are a few I love!

  1. The Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming and Nicola Slater

This adorable book is so smartly written and designed. The story revolves around a squirrel who is convinced his someone is stealing his leaves! He investigates with his friends and discovers that it’s the wind! The authors also at the end write spread on the change of season and what happens to leaves in the fall!

  1. Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving  by Eric Metaxas

Eric Metaxas shows God had plans for Squanto to one day help the Pilgrims and how God delivered a Thanksgiving Miracle.

  1. The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving  by Ann McGovern

This tried-and-true book has been a Thanksgiving favorite for years! This classic shows the struggles and trials of the first pilgrims and what lead to the historic day which we now celebrate.

There are so many more! We’d love to hear what your family’s favorite Thanksgiving or Fall themed books are!

Get ready to make snowmen! 

Here in Michigan we just had our first snow fall of the year. Even though it didn’t cover the ground that doesn’t mean that we aren’t excited! So many fun activity opportunities open up as the snow starts to fall. I’m sure you all know about the fun activities like building snowmen, snow angels, snowball fights, and catching snow flakes on your tongue, but do you know about all the ways you can tie in snow with your daily educational lessons!

 

Nature Observations! 

If you and your family like to observe how nature changes throughout the year start a snow journal! Record how much snow falls in your city each day and how long it lasts. Keep track of when the trees lose all of their leaves and when they start to grow back. Keep track of the coldest days and how many animals are around as well as when birds and other animals that migrate leave and come back! These activities will be great for students studying in the Animals and Their Worlds Themed Program!

 

Science Expirements!

There are so many cool things you can do with snow! Get out a magnifying glass and look at snowflakes. Draw their patterns down on a piece of paper and see if you can find any that are the same! Snowflakes are so small and there are so many that your chances of finding any two that have the exact same pattern is very little!

Study how snow transforms into water or ice! Place some snow in a glass cup and place your hands around the cup. See how long it takes the snow to melt from just the heat in your hands. Next put more snow in a cup and bring the cup inside. If you have a firplace or a heater, bring the glass near the warm area and see how fast it melts. Remember to make sure you have your parents permission before getting to close to the fireplace or any heat source!

Another science expirement you can try is about finding out how clean snow really is! Try getting a section of snow that hasn’t been stepped on or hasn’t touched the ground so it isn’t so dirty. Either wait for the snow to melt or you can melt the snow yourself in a pot on the stove. Once the snow has turned into water pour it into a clear container and look inside. Make note of any specks you see inside the snow. Because of the water cycle, when water particles up in the sky harden into snow they can sometimes trap other particles in them too. Things like soot, dirt, or anything else that might have traveled up there with them. Any particles that you see might be from the sky or from the ground. Eating snow can be fun, but also sometimes gross! Go ahead and try this out with different patches of snow to see if you find any differences as well!

All of these activities are great for any sutdents studying in any of our Science Programs! Give them a try!

 

Animal Tracking and Fun! 

 

When the snow is covering the ground you can see all sorts of wildlife tracks! The best time to look at animal tracks in the snow is in the morning. Go out and try and see if you can tell what animal the tracks you have found are from! You will most likely see bird, bunny, deer, and possibly cat tracks out in the fresh snow!

If you are studying in our Animals and Their World Themed Program you know that there is an animal of the week each week! Go outside when there is enough snow and build your very own snow animal! You can even create a family of snow animals from your week in Animals and Their Worlds!

 

 

Having fun as a family is important for every family dynamic. Whether or not you are interested in snow activities that will relate to your currect studies, go outside and play in the snow! Have the family get their snow gear on and go sledding in the back yard, create giant snowmen, and fill the yard with snow angels!

Most importantly make sure you drink hot cocoa when you come back inside to keep everyone warm!

 

 

Did you know that your kiddo could have different intelligences? There are so many types that no learner is ever the same as another!

 

Let me explain a little more about multiple intelligences before I tell you the different types! The multiple intelligence theory was developed by Howard Gardner in 1983 to better define the concept of intelligence. His theory questioned whether the methods that were used to “measure” intelligence were scientific and complete. Gardner theorized that the traditional understanding of intelligence was too narrow and only really measured one or two types of intelligence. If two children are taught their multiplication facts in the same teaching style and one of them masters them easily while the other struggles; that does not necessarily mean that the first child is more intelligent than the second. Gardner understood that the second child would most likely learn the same information through a different method of teaching and may understand other topics easier than the first child as well.

Gardner understood that topic and learning style were an important factor in how children learn and how their intelligence should be measured. If you have homeschooled more than one kiddo I am sure that you will agree when we say that no kiddo learns just like another! When we create curriculum we keep in mind Garnders theory of multiple intelligences and make sure we integrate assignments and schedule activities of all kinds to make sure that each kiddos learning style is included!

Below we will explain the nine multiple intelligences and how WinterPromise has included things for each intelligence. While reading through you will most likely find that more than one intelligence sounds like they could relate to your kiddo! Many kiddos actually have more than one intelligence and may prefer learning styles from one or the other. As you read through try to pick out the intelligences that sound most like your kiddo and find the activities they learn best with. Knowing this information you can understand what your kiddos learning style is and be well equipped to pick out the curriculum that fits you and your kiddo each year!

 

9 Multiple Intelligences:

  • Visual-Spatial Intelligence: This intelligence is characterised by the ability to see with the mind’s eye and spatial judgement. Kiddos with this intelligence often learn best from seeing or drawing things on their own. They love drawing activities and probably are pretty artistic and creative! Your own little Picasso!
    • These students learn best from creative activities, highly-illustrated books, seeing physical timelines, drawing, and notebooking! (All things that WinterPromise offers in each one of their programs!)
  • Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence: This intelligence deals with written or spoken words. Kiddos who have this type of intelligence demonstrate good reading and comprehension, story telling, and are also good at writing. If this is your kiddo you probably know that they love reading books or having books read to them, and they are probably pretty good at speaking and narration. These students learn best by reading information, writing down their thoughts, and notetaking.
    • WinterPromise includes colorful notebooking pages with prompts for students, living texts for all students to read from, timeline cards to study from, and discussion topics for families to talk about while they are learning for students with this type of intelligence!
  • Logical-Mathematical Intelligence: Students with this intelligence are good at activities involving logic, abstractions, reasoning, and numbers. These students have great abstract thinking and prefer to figure things out in their head rather than use their hands or visuals to figure things out. While this intelligence correlates heavily with the “traditional” type of intelligence they may not always learn best from traditional teaching. These students benefit from outlining the main points, and activities that rely on logical thinking.
    • WinterPromise includes key fact narration, important information repetition, chapter or lesson information outlines for students to fill in or learn from, as well as logic based activities. These students would excel in the game chess (p.s. if you have a logical-mathematical learner you might want to check out our chess programs!).
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence: This type of intelligence relates to actually performing activities by moving or involving your body. These students love trying things for themselves as well as can often be labeled as too excited. Rather than thinking of them as too excited to stay seated WinterPromise understands that these students learn best when they can experience it with body movement!
    • WinterPromise always includes “Try it yourself!” sections, hands-on activities, and tons of fun experiments for these students to do as often as they would like!
  • Musical-Rhythmic Intelligence: This area has to do with music, rhythm, and hearing. These students often like to listen to and make their own music and often may like to listen rather than speak. Creating little tunes to remember things by or simply listening to a lecture may sometimes be the best way for them to learn and understand something!
    • WinterPromise includes weblinks to videos, musical games, schedules for books that can be read aloud to them, and options to watch certain DVD’s relating to their program in order to help these kiddos learn best!
  • Interpersonal Intelligence: Interpersonal intelligence has to do with learning with others or in a group. Kiddos with this type of intelligence may be extroverted, sensitive to others moods and emotions, and cooperate well when working with others. They may also struggle when left alone to perform certain tasks or may not enjoy doing school alone rather than with friends.
    • WinterPromise includes family projects and crafts, leadership tasks, group discussions, and prompts for discussing feelings or emotions about or related to what they are learning!
  • Intrapersonal Intelligence: As you can probably guess this intelligence is the opposite of interpersonal intelligence. These students would rather work alone than in a group and often are content playing or entertaining themselves. These kiddos are probably also very adept at understanding their own feelings and have a strong sense of self.
    • WinterPromise includes journaling, independent activities, connection opportunities with characters in living texts or books, and tons of other activities that can be done solo rather than in a group for students with this type of intelligence!
  • Naturalistic Intelligence: As the title suggests students with this type of intelligence love nature and the outdoors. They most likely have a strong connection with animals and nature. Kiddos who have this intelligence are probably relatively interested in science and understand it easily.
    • WinterPromise includes programs focused on nature topics, a scientific resource in many of their programs where students will observe and journal throughout the year, as well as outside activities and observation projects! Be sure to check out the programs Equine Science and Animals and Their Worlds if your student has this type of intelligence!
  • Existential Intelligence: This intelligence is a little trickier than the others. It relates to abstract thinking and philosophical questions. While it might be hard to tell if your student possesses this type of intelligence while they are younger, you may still be able to tell! Students with this learning style will often ask questions related to world structures, emotions, and other questions that as a parent might be hard to answer because there isn’t one true answer. These students may also be very connected to their beliefs or interested in the beliefs of others as well. These students learn best from studying questions that they think of as well as asking questions to others.
    • WinterPromise includes abstract questions, topic starters for “food for thought” discussions, as well as facts and questions meant to get students to think deeper on certain topics for students with this type of intelligence!

 

You may have read through these intelligences and picked out each one that your kiddos have, or you may still be questioning a few of them. This is okay! As you homeschool and grow with your kiddos you will better understand their intelligences and maybe even notice that they may start to change as they get older! Knowing what learning methods best suit your student is always a trial and error process but thankfully with these intelligences defined above families can get a better start and what they can be looking for in a curriculum to best suit their kiddo for the year!

If you are unsure about which intelligences your student has, reach out to us and speak with us about your student and we can help you pick out their intelligences as well as find a program that fits you and your kiddo best!

 

Click here if you’re interested in reading more about Howard Gardner’s books.