Unexpected Side of Homeschooling…have you ever experienced it?
*Warning…Reading this could cause you to second-guess unit studies…Continue at your own risk.
One of the great benefits of homeschooling is the mixing of everyday life with school lessons.
When you are on vacation and your mom mentions in a casual conversation that the near-by lake at one time was the largest man made lake. The homeschool mom in you jumps at the chance to tie in your current geography lesson. In 20 minutes you and the kids begin exploring the lake and discussing your World Fact File with North Star Geography.
Oh the amazing way working allows your son to form a relationship with the Postmaster at the local post office. My son often accompanies me when I need to mail packages for work. When Batman stamps came out she made special arrangements to get him a sheet. Of course he had to write a thank you letter for his first writing assignment for the new school year.
But there can be an unexpected side of homeschooling; an eerie side to the unit studies.
Circumstances that make you nervous about what subject to teach next. Might even cause your husband to ask that you strongly consider how the next study will affect life at your house.
When you study electricity and your washing machine has an electrical short and catches on fire. Then you try to move the washer outside and water from the drum dumps on the floor. Now you can discuss how water conducts electricity. Once the machine is outside you have a great opportunity to show a burned circuit board and a chance to take apart the washing machine.
Before you finish reading Old Yeller your kids discover a rabid skunk in your yard. This means you have an opportunity to discuss what to do when nocturnal animals are out during the day. Before you can solve the problem the kids begin discussing the symptoms of rabies.
Then there was the time you would teach the kids about Louis Braille. You found a Braille Slate and knew you could teach the kids the alphabet in braille. You begin reading Louis Braille: The Boy Who Invented Books for the Blind. Before you can end the book you eyes begin to hurt and the only relief is to keep them closed. After a trip to the eye doctor you discovered you have had an allergic reaction and the hives were on the inside of your eyelid, which were scratching your eyes when you blinked.
Teaching Math with Life of Fred–Dogs and the same week you finish the book…you discover you have to put your dog down. Not the best way to end the book.
Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson was the first book we read this year. In the middle of the book my husband had shoulder surgery. Which led my kids making the connection between their Dad and Mark Twain both had to learn to do things with their right hands. Since my husband was diagnosed with a rare bone disorder before surgery we found a fascination, like Twain, with rare diseases.
Have you ever experienced the unexpected side of homeschooling? Was there a time when the unit study topic took an unexpected and added an extra layer of learning?
Tell me I am not the only one!
This week we are starting a unit on forensics science…anyone want to come along?