Holidays are a wonderful time to diversify your homeschool learning experience; providing an opportunity to introduce new ideas, concepts, vocabulary etc. that may not be introduced otherwise.
My son is 4 (Pre-K), we are homeschooling and aren’t following any particular curriculum. At this young age my focus is on EXPOSURE. Exposing Ari to the world around him, sharing facts and following his interests. This adds depth that no one curriculum could.
Conversational Style Learning (CSL)
We learn through conversation, as opposed to using formal lesson plans. I refer to this as Conversational Style Learning. CSL flows naturally and we enjoy that.
4 steps of Conversational Style Learning
- Share: Share the subject matter with you student.
- Question: Don’t assume. Ask your child if they know what ______ is, or what they think it is.
- Present Facts: Provide them with age appropriate facts. I usually search the web for kid-friendly facts.
- Draw out the learning, Make it Real. Make it Fun: Elaborate on the facts you shared. You can do this with books, video’s, documentaries, art and crafts etc.
How To Use Conversational Style Learning to Discover Holidays
Below is Our Memorial Day Conversation
SHARE: Ari today is Memorial Day! (I wait for his response, allowing it to lead the way as much as possible)
QUESTION: Do you know what Memorial Day is?
- is a day that we remember the men and women who fought for our freedom.
- is celebrated ever year on the last Monday in May
- used to be called decoration day because “family members of fallen soldiers decorated the their graves with flowers.”
- Red Poppies are the official flower of Memorial Day
- is known as the official start of summer
- is so special and important that many stores and businesses are closed
- Our National Flag is flown at half-staff (mast) from sunrise until noon
DRAAAAAW IT OUT. MAKE IT REAL & FUN
To do this…
- We looked at a map and pointed out our country. Which led to conversation about our state, city & address
- We read the calendar pointing out the month of May and the last Monday
- We decorated an area to remember the soldiers
- We studied pictures of red poppies
- We reviewed the seasons of the year and studied the season of summer
- We walked to the library to see that it was closed
- We studied our national flag: it’s colors, counted the stripes, drew a flag and talked about Betsy Ross
- We learned the Spanish words for words that related to the facts we learned.
As you can see, we were able to discover so much more than a holiday. Math, Science, Art, History, Geography, Foreign language etc. You can customize Conversational Style Learning very easily
Also, consider continuing the conversation for a few days before and after the actual holiday… draw the activities out over a few days. Do as little or as much as you want. Most importantly — RELAX. Us homeschooling moms need to be reminded of that often!
This is only a snap shot, I can always count on Ari’s interests taking us on an entirely different journey. That’s the beauty of child-centered, interest led learning! Remember, learning happens at all times and in many forms. We as parents have to let go of the compulsory education that we grew up with — then you will find freedom!
Happy Memorial Day! Happy Learning!