Another big advantage of homeschooling (especially in this area) is the opportunity to reinforce your lessons with field trips. We have really taken advantage of living only 35 minutes from our nation’s capitol and used it to our advantage. For example…
Math SOL 1.3: The student will count backward by ones from 20.
On one of the “it-is-too-perfect-weather-to-be-inside” days this year, we headed to DC for a picnic. Since I knew we were focusing on this standard, all day long as we crossed the streets, we counted down from 20 with the streetlights. By the end of the day, this skill was mastered! And we all got a fun break from the daily grind.
Science SOL 1.5: The student will investigate and understand that animals have life needs and specific physical characteristics.
We happened to schedule this just right by going to DC’s National Zoo on that gorgeous 70 degree day in February. For the first part of our time there, we discussed and pointed out habitats, coverings, defense mechanisms (no, not MINE…animal’s….), and life needs.
History SOL 1.2: The student will describe the stories of American leaders (Abraham Lincoln, George Washington) and their contributions to our country.
This one was too easy. Lunch on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (complete with reading the Gettysburg Address) and the National Museum of American History where the exhibit Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life showcased many artifacts from his life including one of his top hats.
I’ll stop there because I think you get the idea, but my kids have visited numerous Civil War battlefields, George Washington’s home and grave, the White House, an art studio in Old Town Alexandria, and many of the Smithsonian Museums. I realize that some people don’t have access to our (free!) National Museums, but I think the world is a classroom and there are many rich learning moments everywhere. A big advantage of homeschooling is getting to show them to your children yourself.