Sunday, February 24, 2008

Teaching Ideas #1

Newspaper School

One year I had the Daily Oklahoman deliver a newspaper for each child in our family every weekday morning. The Oklahoman offered a school-rate and honored that rate for our Meadows Lifeschool. While this project required quite a lot of quick, daily preparation on my part, it was a great learning time for us all.

I would go over the newspaper while the children were doing other activities. Since I was teaching five levels of academics at the time, I would decide what we would read together, and then assign varying projects according to each child’s ability. For the youngest, I might have them circle a certain alphabet “letter of the day” or find all the verbs, nouns, etc.. For others, an editorial, with instructions to look up any words they didn’t understand and tell, in writing, whether they agreed or disagreed with the writer’s point of view.

I remember one of my upper level kids doing a report on Iraq (a country just becoming more news-worthy at that time). We followed the stock market, (with Dirk's help) each child having a small portfolio of his own. We would read the paper for 30-45 minutes, then meet together to share our discoveries.

Some days, I was overwhelmed and the newspapers would remain tightly wrapped in a rubberband. Most days, we enjoyed keeping up with current events and sharing funny or touching stories we would read.

It was a fun time. Maybe I need to try it again with my two boys.

What are some fun teaching activities you do with your children?


Theresa said...

I don't home school. But I have taken out reports that I had done in school and given them to the kids. I asked them to read them, research the subject on their own and then write a report with all new information that I didn't cover. It was interesting to see all the stuff that I didn't know about Platypus' in 5th grade. :)

deleise said...

I love this idea Robin! This kind of stuff is so valuable and effective.

Cindy Beall said...

What a great idea.

When Seth and I are playing a game, we'll see numbers and letters. I'll ask him to find a 2 or a 7 or an S. I'll also have him pick out the colors.

Kinda fun.

Anna said...

I remember that! Those were some of the best lessons I learned! Seriously... that was actually one of the most defining moments in my academics... not sure why... I just vividly remember learning a whole lot that year...

I say do it again with Kody and Jacob!

Scott Williams said...

I need more newspaper lessons for myself; I used to be a current event junkie pryor to full-time ministry. I am gradually getting back to the newspaper lessons.

Kim Heinecke said...

We play "2 Numbers" in the car. I give 2 numbers and my oldest multiplies them and the younger one adds them. It's a race that's fun and passes time in the car without fighting about who touched who!

Christi said...

We did some role playing a while back. We split up in 2's and acted out different scenarios. Our thinking behind it would be to teach social skills. The boys loved it and ask quite often to play that "acting game".:)

Christie said...

This is so cool! I may just have to try it...except that my husband doesn't really allow me to watch or read the news! Makes me too sad! :(

Maybe HE could teach newspaper school! :)

SO are you feeling better???

Robin Meadows said...

Hey, some of you guys may not do academics at home, but you are ALL definitely home educating moms! Yay for you!!

Love your ideas--did a little bit of role playing here today ; ).