Along with physical traveling, I like to engage my kids in “mental” traveling in the form of Novel Studies. I love the idea of picking engaging books that will interest my kids and have them do a little deeper thinking while they’re at it. We started this last year. I tried getting them to do one a month. WRONG! That planned flopped pretty hard. My goal this year is to finish when we finish. I’m not going to rush them, because I’m focusing on QUALITY over Quantity. That’s one of the best things I love about Homeschooling, flexibility. If something doesn’t work for us, we try to do it a new, different way or we can scratch it all together and try something else (i.e. see multiple curriculum changes in the first 2 years of homeschooling).
This year my oldest son is in the 7th grade so we’re starting with “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” by Mildred D. Taylor. Unfortunately, I can’t remember where I found the study for this, but if it comes to me, I’ll update this post. We’re going to take it easy and do a couple of chapters a week. I printed out the novel study and glued it to the inside of a spiral note paper binder. I added a tab and labeled it with the name of the book. This novel study only took up 6 pages (front & back) so I’ll have plenty of room in this binder to add more novel studies. I decided to keep all the novel studies in one spiral binder like this for a reason… eventually, the whole binder is going to end up in the “Student Work” section of their 2017-2018 Homeschool Portfolios. (I’ll do another post on that later!) Here are some pics to give you an idea of how it turned out.
My daughter is starting the 4th grade this year. She is a decent reader, but sometimes her brain goes faster than her mouth when processing what she’s reading. Needless to say, reading is a struggle for her and she doesn’t enjoy it. She doesn’t like to slow down and sound out the words. She likes to just guess what the word is when certain letters of a word (or letters from upcoming words) jump out at her. Her brain is definitely more creative instead of analytical like my husband or her brother. She’s a Tinker. Someone who’s life ambition is to turn ordinary things into awesome inventions! She’s SO creative!! Stopping to read the directions gets in her way. That being said, I have wracked my brain and researched for hours and hours trying to find books that might interest her AS WELL AS keep her interested enough to read independently. Still working on that, but the Novel Studies are helping. (P.S. If you happen to know any books that might interest her, please feel free to comment below. I’m always looking for good book recommendations. 🙂 ) This year we’re starting with “Tornado” by Betsy Byars. I found this novel study on Teachers Pay Teachers. (I can not say enough great things about that website! It is awesome!)
So to start our year off, my little wanderers will be taken to rural Mississippi in 1933 and Tornado Alley during a twister! I’m excited to see where they’ll go next!
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