Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Celebrating the Fourth of July - Homeschool Style!

Ever wonder how history-geeks homeschoolers celebrate the Fourth of July?  Read on. . . . .

 Step One:  Plan a Major Life Event to happen sometime in March.  Said MLE will consume approximately 1 month of your schooling.  Everyone keeps up with math and reading, but fall short on our beloved history curriculum Tapestry of Grace.

Problem?  Not on your life.  Homeschoolers are nothing if not flexible.   The school year officially comes to a close on July 2 (yes, you read that right).  Happily, our last unit involves the founding of our country!  Perfect!  Move on to step two. . . . . . . .

Step Two:  Convince your kids that making a game about the Constitutional Convention is fun!  Thankfully, I have two allies in that battle. . . . . namely, that they have inherited the uber-history geek gene from both parents, and. . . well. . . . .they're homeschooled.  They think history actually is fun.  You know, debating the relative merits of the Connecticut Compromise and the Articles of Confederation, and all that.

Second ally:  Tapestry of Grace.  (Have I mentioned how much I love it?)  I pull out directions for making the game, complete with trivia cards, and my two middle-schoolers have at it.  They're even working on this on weekends, as a matter of fact!

Step Three:  Celebrate!  Yurii & I played in concert Sunday night, and I was flat-out getting ready for science camp, so we postponed our celebration until the 5th (Hey, if the feds can do it, so can we, right?)  We started with dinner, then moved quickly on to the Constitution Game:

Here are the proud game creators:

We had a ball!  Emily basically rated each delegate to the convention on whether or not they had a good nose.  It. was. hysterical.  The kids stumped us at many a turn. . . . really, did YOU know that John Hancock and Sam Adams weren't delegates from Massachusetts???. . . . . . and, honestly, I won, but seeing as how I was their teacher, I think I had an unfair advantage. 

We ended the evening watching an EXCELLENT movie on the Father of the Constitution, James Madison.  Filmed on location in Philadelphia, the characterizations of the men, the passions, the conflict that surrounded the writing of the Constitution are just incredible.

You think our Congress is contentious and partisan?  Hah - wait 'til you see the Federalists duke it out with the Anti-Feds!!!  Fascinating.  (Note to my local folks:  we're willing to loan this one out!  Just ask.)

So, no, we had no fireworks and no parades.  Just a good family time, wrapping up our final unit of history, enjoying the fun of learning together and making memories. 

Time for a month off of school.  And then - 1800s, here we come!!!

Civil War re-enactment, anyone???  ;-)

1 comment:

Tina said...

That sounds like a riveting and wonderful 5thof July...coming from another history geek and lover! I can't believe I dislike history in school. Well, I suppose the textbooks and the lack of TOG will do that to a kid :) Enjoy your summer time!