Saturday, February 12, 2011

Beyond Co-op: Thomas Edison #2

We had a impromptu field trip with our Beyond Co-op group.  This lesson just looked like too much fun to do at home, so I thought it would be fun to add a meeting for our group.  These lessons were all from Chapter 7 and we covered them all in one morning in a very hands-on way.  (This wasn't technically our second meeting, but since this one comes first in the manual, I'm posting it first.)

I contacted a local historic site and asked about the availability of using their one-room schoolhouse.  They were very open to doing a brief history of this one-room schoolhouse and the use of these schools in general. 

She then left us in the school to do our own lessons.  How neat is that!  For those that are local, this is the Hughes Academy in Hillsborough.

We started with a lesson on penmanship.  We talked about the importance of penmanship and why it was valued so highly in the time of Thomas Edison.  Each child was given a page with some quotes by Edison.  They copied the quotes using their best handwriting.

Next we had a lesson on paying attention.  Thomas Edison struggled in school because it was hard for him to stay focused on the lessons the teacher was talking on.  It really reminds me of one of my own children.  He is incredibly smart and at times incredibly distracted.  I know that he can do great things and am just trying to encourage and teach him as best I can with God's help!

For the first exercise, I split them into 2 groups and gave them a list of activities to do.  The instructions at the top of the page included "read through all of the items and then start".  There were 12 listed activities.
 Some of the activities included standing in a line from oldest to youngest, doing 5 push-ups, singing the alphabet song, name the capitol of your state and more. 

Soon after they started, I got tickled and realized that they had not followed the instructions.  I had wondered if this would "work" and was somewhat surprised that it did. 
You see the last item on the list said "Only do the first two items on the list".  It prompted good discussion on paying attention. 

We then had one more activity on listening/paying attention.  For this activity, the children worked in pairs.  The partners sat back to back so that they could not see the other person.  One had a piece of blank paper and they were to draw the picture (of various shapes) that their partner described to them.  One of the other moms and I demonstrated this for them.
Then they tried it. 
Most of them did really well with this and seemed to enjoy it. 

It proved to be a real challenge for one of my boys with auditory processing disorder.  I knew it would be hard for him, but thought he would be able to do it.  I tried to help him work through to be successful.  Its hard watching your kids struggle - though at times I think its good for them too.  I want him to learn that he can do some things that he doesn't think he can do. 

Now, school was out so each child took a turn ringing the bell.

A picture in front of the school at the end of our lessons.

Our last lesson was on "how far is 1/2 mile"?  This was how far Thomas Edison had to walk to go to school.  We took a walk to demonstrate.  It was a beautiful day and the walk was easy and pleasant.  We walked to the courthouse and took a photo in front of one of the monuments.

And one of the moms too!  We so rarely are in front of the camera. 
What a fun morning!  We missed the families that weren't able to come to our impromptu outing.  I'm thankful that this worked for some of us though as it's always fun to join friends!

One of my sweet friends let me know that today (Fri) was Thomas Edison's birthday.  We've put off one of the lessons in our manual and it just couldn't be put off any longer.  It was making a cake - one that Thomas Edison enjoyed for his birthday.  We omitted the sugar frosting and it was still really yummy.

We are having a great time with this study and have more fun hands-on projects in store!  Hope you are having a great week too!