Don’t ever call me completely punctual. We studied early pioneers and settlers of Kentucky at the beginning of last school year. A trip to Fort Boonesborough – the first pioneer settlement in KY – was planned then, but we never made it. My children never fear, though – eventually I tend to fulfill my promises.
Last week we finished up a short, but successful unit on our state. I think all involved liked the change of pace this time around. Mahayla practically completed her readings, worksheets and projects on her own, while Caleb and I tackled his work at our own pace. Here are just a few highlights.
This was fun. Basically, I just wrote down facts concerning our county that I wanted the kids to know. We went to the courthouse, city building and tourism office asking different people to help fill in the facts. Afterward, we visited the cemetery to learn more about some noteable people buried there and visited our local museum.
Find the names of two famous people from ___ County. What made them famous?
What important invention came from ___ County?
Who holds the following offices?
Chief of Police
What is the purpose of the tourism department?
What offices are located in the Court House?
What is ___ County’s largest industry?
What are three natural resources found in ___ County?
Field Trip Journal
We were blessed to take a family trip to Mammoth Cave during our KY study. Here’s a field trip journal entry about the visit.
Native Animal Reports and Dioramas
They each had to learn about an animal native to KY. Mahayla chose the raccoon and Caleb chose the black bear. After preparing a diorama including the animal in a complete habitat, they had to give an oral presentation telling everything they learned about it.
They also had to research a famous Kentuckian and give a first-person report. Mahayla is Jenny Wiley, a pioneer woman taken captive by indians, who bravely escaped. One of our state parks is named after her. And of course, Caleb is Daniel Boone, the explorer who basically paved the way for pioneers to settle in Kentucky.
If you’ve studied KY history, I’d love for you to link your blog posts in the comments!
It’s almost time to get the 2nd half of our school year underway. This semester holds some exciting studies - units on our state, the Middle Ages, earth science and an artist lapbook. First up is a study of our state – Kentucky.
I’m straying from the typical sort of unit study we do around here. This unit will be mostly worksheet-based, with final projects being research-based. Why? Well first, I want the unit to be really quick. Second, Mahayla has covered this topic before at co-op, so it just made more sense to provide them each with worksheets covering different topics. Third, for Mahayla, I want this unit to be independent as much as possible. And fourth, remember, I’m whatcha call curriculumADHD – I can’t help myself from bouncing around! I think it’s good for all of us to learn in different ways. Each type of learning encourages new and varied skills.
So, the plan is to give them each their own notebook full of worksheets on everything from state symbols to government to industries. Mahayla will be on her own to complete the assignments as she sees fit. The only stipulation is that she must be finished by a certain date. Caleb and I will work through his notebook together over about a week and a half.
Each day will find us reading lots of library books together. I’ve found several non-fiction, historical fiction and picture books about Kentucky simply by typing “Kentucky” into the library search engine. I also will be checking out some books by Kentucky authors. We’ll also do a few projects together like a cookie relief map of the state and making a derby pie (yum!)
After the notebooks are completed, I will give them a list of possible projects from which to choose. Mahayla will choose three or four (depending on how hard they are) and Caleb will choose one or two. The choices will range from….
*Research a native american group that lived in KY. Build a model of their home and present information about the group to your parents.
*Choose a famous Kentuckian to research. Create a poster-sized body of your person and cut the face out so your face fits in the hole. You will present first-person information about your famous person as you hold the poster.
*Learn all the words to “My Old Kentucky Home” and sing the song to your family.
And, voila, there’s the unit in a nutshell. Worksheets, books, a few family projects and a few research projects with presentations. We should knock this one out in two to three weeks.
And finally, here are a few things that will be out for free time fun during the unit. Books, nature journals with wildlife and bird guides, a US state puzzle, a KY board game, some US board games and a bird concentration game.
You never know what I might be writing about - homeschool plans, field trips, projects, family life, and so much more. I hope you'll consider using the subscribe button at the top of my blog to keep up with all the happenings at Westward Academy. And, by the way, I love comments!