Saturday, March 22, 2014

Our First Book Club - "The Wright Brothers" and "Alexander Graham Bell"

Our homeschool group (LEARN) is simply fantastic.  We are a group of parents that get along really well and each carry a portion of the weight to accomplish all our educational goals for ourselves and our children. One of the great moms in our group has decided to host a monthly book club for the kids.  Since each of our children are on different reading levels this, at first, seemed like a challenge.  We talked through the idea and sorted a way that is working fantastically.  Each monthly book club is focused on a theme.  As a group we're spending a lot of our time talking about ideas, inventors and developments from the historical time of the American Industrial Revolution in many of our play dates and activities.  Book club has naturally become a great forum for talking about the inventors.  Each month a new inventor is the theme.  Our first book club was based on "The Wright Brothers".  By having a theme each child can read or have a book read to them on their appropriate level.  Then they prepare something to share about what they learned at book club.  Each child has a time to share their presentation on the same theme, we can discuss what we've learned and participate in a group activity.  (Simply due to the illness that late winter provides, our first book club was combined with the second scheduled book club.)
Some of the presentations were colored pictures, some where memorization, others were journal entries (the written narration).  I'm sure as we go on the presentations will also take many other forms. CJ is working on finding his voice in a public speaking environment and this is a perfect, small and well known crowd to practice on.
I simply love the way this book club is working out.  We get to spend free afternoons reading and exploring together and then reporting our learnings to the whole group at the end.  For the Wright Brothers we spent days reading small portions of the text and then exploring the concepts in different ways.  None of it was lesson planned, we just went with the flow.  We worked on our lap book, made paper helicopter toys and paper airplanes, practiced flying and tipping our wings the correct way and even measured our wingspans. 
While working on Alexander Graham Bell we watched the Animated Heroes video, worked on our lapbook and learned about using tubes to amplify our hearing.  It was great to then go to book club, share what we learned and then make tin can telephones as a group. 
This format is working fantastically and we're so excited to continue it each month!

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