In previous posts I mentioned how I try to get as much “across the curriculum” learning out of a subject as I can. Why have separate reading, history, art, writing, and science projects when you can take one subject you’re studying and make it work for all areas? This is being frugal with your time and kids can really immerse themselves in the topic at hand rather than having their minds jump from one completely different subject to another.
Another positive aspect of taking one topic and applying as many assignments to it as possible is that you can often let kids work on their own. Whether you choose a certain country, a classic novel, or a time period in history, as an across the curriculum, you can be certain your home schooled children are getting a thorough education.
For example, let’s say that I chose Ancient Egypt to use as this week’s subject. I’d set aside a weekend developing the assignments and gathering any books and supplies we may need. I would then make certain to fit Ancient Egypt into as many school subjects as possible. This is a rough outline of how I would do this:
*History – Spend A Day In Ancient Egypt
*Science – Mummies – A National Geographic Reader
*Anthropology – Discuss ancient burial routines compared with present day burials.
*Art – Hieroglyphics (Use plaster of Paris to make a rough slab then have kids “paint” with cold coffee to make the plaster look aged. Have children paint on hieroglyphics that spell out their name—or close to it.)
*Reading – Gods and Pharaohs from Egyptian Mythology
*Writing – Have children write what they’ve learned. They can either write their own creative writing story of what it would be like to live in Ancient Egypt, or they can copy passages from their reading book. This last method is often used with the Charlotte Mason program.
*Math – Either show the children the Ancient Egyptians’ counting method or simply use a math workbook. I’ll admit, I used math workbooks for the most part since it’s a subject that just about gives me hives.
As you can see, by taking one interesting subject you can offer your children an education that goes beyond just a simple history lesson.