I’m feeling rather puffed up with my own cleverness just now. (It doesn’t happen often, so let me have it.) I was casting about for a way to get Sandra to do a book report that wasn’t a book report. She likes Pinterest, which is a visual way to bookmark things. You can use it just as a bookmarking service or as an inspiration board.
I realized that I could have her make a board for a character! It would force her to think about what she thinks the defining characteristics of the character are and then track down images to ‘pin’. She’s reading “Anne of Green Gables” and has to do 2 characters, at least 10-15 pins per character, and include both pictures and words.
She felt rather stumped by this. Because of all of the things that go with needing vision therapy and then needing to get her reading up to grade level, she’s never done a book report or a character study. Our work has focused on getting her to read more quickly, with more confidence and enjoyment. To help her, I helped her brainstorm on one of our runs. (Running with your children, by the way, is one of the great pleasures of life and one of the secret tools of parenting.) I had her think of three words for several characters, three places you’d see them, three things they’d dream of or hope for, and three words to describe their looks. That seemed to really settle her and give her ideas to start the process of searching.
In the end, she chose Anne and Matthew. It wasn’t a lot of work, but she found it gave her a sense of creativity and accomplishment while also pushing her to think deeply about each character.
I’d love to hear other ways that you’re using the internet to homeschool. I know that teachers are doing interesting things in the classroom, and I really wish I had more time to research it all.