A Little House virtual field trip

A Little House Virtual Field Trip ~SimpleHomeschool
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

As I’ve written before, the Little House books have influenced my life since I first read them as a little girl. I’ve read the entire series several times and have always had a dream–a dream that this year is going to come true!

I’ve always wanted to walk where Laura walked, see where she lived, and be inspired as a family along the way. Well, this summer it’s happening!

In June we’ll be heading west as a family–not in a covered wagon, but a minivan–to the Little House sites in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota on a massive road trip.

I’m beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to do this as a family, but then I thought–why not take you guys along with me?

Of course, you won’t all fit in the minivan, but why not put together a virtual field trip so you can take your kids to Laura’s homes from your dining room or coffee table?

Ready? Let’s go!
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How to help your kids fall in love with history

how to help your kids fall in love with history
Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

History is boring!

Okay, not really, but that’s definitely how I felt when I was in school. Now, history is my favorite subject to learn alongside my kids and one of their favorite subjects, as well.

What’s made the difference?

In large part, it’s due to learning history through historical fiction and biographies, rather than a textbook. Nothing puts a reader in a particular place or time better than getting engrossed in a great story.
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Lessons learned from Little House

Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

After several months, my three kids and I recently finished reading all nine books of the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Reading these to my own kids was like a dream come true.

I fell in love with Laura and her life as a young girl myself and have read through the whole series three or four times. But experiencing them as an adult with children of my own gave me a new perspective  than I had before.

Certain parts made me laugh, some parts made me cry, a few parts shocked me, and I took away a few lessons to remember as well.
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Of America and war (2012 curriculum fair)

Ages of my kids at home: 15 and 11 1/2
Educational Philosophy Influences: Literature-based, Eclectic, College-Bound

I am so excited about this upcoming year! I have always maintained that educational flexibility is the highlight of home education, and 2012-13 will be one of those years that embraces flexibility.

Shouldn’t education be crafted by creativity, rather than squished into a box labeled “scope and sequence”?

For me, part of the joy in homeschooling my kids comes with the designing, the knowing that my kids get an individualized education plan that suits them perfectly.

So here is what I have planned for my two at-home kids:
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Don’t Know Much About History Resources (2011 Curriculum Fair)

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Amida of Journey Into Unschooling

Ages of my children: 12, 9, 4, and 5 months
Educational Philosophies I Pull From: Unschooling, Eclectic

History was never my strong point. I blame it on all the instructors who pretty much killed the subject for me, like elementary school teachers who had us read and respond to the social studies textbook questions without a single explanation on how it related to the rest of world chronology.

Plus the grad-school student-teacher who had us studying Machiavelli’s The Prince for a whole semester in high school because that was her dissertation work. And although she was totally enamored with the subject, it just didn’t rub off on me.

Thankfully, there were two teachers who did bring some light into those Dark Ages, and both had one thing in common — they told stories and they told them with enthusiasm.

On days when we probably should have been reviewing declensions, our Latin teacher, egged on by students who knew his weakness, would spend the entire period telling us stories from Roman history.

Another instructor acted as our tour guide to all the must see Wonders of the World — from Pyramids to the Taj Mahal, he shared with us the stories behind all these architectural marvels as we zipped through different time periods in history.
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