Friday, August 20, 2010

YES, We're HOMESCOOLING! History Lesson #1 Family Tree Project

Homeschooling?...Who me?...It is actually pretty funny, in my own head, that I took this on! So you may have these two questions...WHO are you homeschooling? and WHY are you homeschooling LILY? And you may or may not care about the HOW but either way I am going to blog about it just in case you are wondering :-).

I...I mean WE...decided it would be a good decision to homeschool Lily considering two things...she is a young five, birthday May 24th which means she would always turn the next age after the school year ended, being probably one of the youngest of her peers. Second, she did very poorly on her Kindergarten readiness exam, yes they do those in Ohio (not here in South Carolina). There are alot of things I question about Ohio's 'public' academia but this is not one of those things (may I gently mention that South Carolina is not in the clear either).

In all due respect, Lily progressed nicely through two solid years of preschool so I decided another year of preschool would be unfruitful...SO here we are...HOMESCHOOLING!

God blessed and surrounded me with a plethora of other homeschooling parents immediately here in South Carolina, I was kinda intimidated so thank you Lord! So now here I am doing something I once thought imaginable...and I am very serious when I say imaginable!

So here is our staff line-up...I will be teaching Language Arts, my dear friend Donna will be teaching Math, Science and Bible will be integrated through the curriculum, we will be meeting daily for two hour lessons. Once a week we meet with a co-op of two other families both having little girls that are part of the group. At the co-op, Sandy teaches History, myself and Donna will be teaching Girl Scouts and Karen will be teaching Five In a Row. We will also incorporate field trips, hands on projects (art), scrapbooking (art), physical education/sports and the such. More details to come :)!

So our first week was meeting with the Co-Op where Sandy taught the first lesson on Family History, prompting the children (even Lucy participated, how awesome is that!?) to answer questions about their own "history". Such as, where were you born? When were you born? Who are your grandparents? They also did a coloring page. The girls were attentive and engaged in (making an attempt to) answering the questions about who they are and how they got to be who they are today. Also, how do we know about history? Yes, through the written word and through photos! After a solid hour of learning, the girls were ready for playtime!

So, me taking it one step further, as it was Lily was crying and begging to "learn" the very next day pushing me to provide more...I think she is going to push and teach me! I planned Lily's (and my friend's daughters) FIRST Kindergarten scrapbook project...Her Family Tree! Not at all unique as I remember the boys doing it in their "regular" K classrooms BUT I guess I just feel that mine is home-made...special touch added :)! So Lily watched as I planned it all out and we sat and discussed "history". We talked more about what history means, "it is a story of what has already happened" and we discussed different ways that history is documented, "the written word...God gave us His HIStory in the Bible...Historians documented the History of OUR country in textbooks...Mommy takes photos to share YOUR History with you and others..." Fabulous! She's getting it!

So here is our project....(keep in mind...this is the layout...not glued together)...


Supplies needed?

  • 1-Red, 1-Green and 1-Brown Construction Paper

  • 1 - 12x12 scrapbook layout page

  • 1-2 copy paper

  • Printer w/ black ink (or black marker for labels)

  • Photos

  • 16 Apple cutouts

  • 6 Brown branch cutouts

  • 1 Brown trunk cutouts

  • 16 Green stem cutouts

  • 6-? Labels cutouts

  • 6-? Photo inserts (not pictured but labeled in photo)

  • Scissors

  • Glue sticks

I used this apple template to do the cutouts....

I found it HERE and just slimmed it down to size. The trunk is 7 1/2" X 2". The branches and stems are randomly cut ~1/4" width and length as needed. I typed and printed the labels in 20" font of my liking and then cut it free hand...keeping it simple (you can also hand write)! The photo inserts...head shots of each individual will be printed on regular copy paper and cut by the child to place in the center of each apple.

Estimated prep time: 15 minutes
Estimated craft/learning time: 30 minutes



  • FINE MOTOR SKILLS (cutting and gluing)
So I am eager to continue to add to Lily's do you have any suggestions to enrich the learning of family history? Let me/us know by commenting below!

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