Don’t you love it when you witness the light bulb moment when a child finally understands what is being taught? I do! I remember my days volunteering at my kids’ brick and mortar school. I didn’t experience these moments as much as I would have liked to. I often brainstormed to identify what was missing as I observed the classroom life of many kids.
I have been homeschooling now for two years and love the freedom to engage my three kids in different ways of learning. This year, I wanted to engage them in a project that would help them learn in a fun and creative way. For a while, I had been entertaining the idea of building a city. I decided I would implement that idea.
Building a city will accomplish two goals: 1) educate by integrating multiple subjects, 2) provide a creative outlet for the kids and me. I’m very passionate about learning, but I’m even more committed to engaging kids with the learning process. Engagement is important to their academic success now and later as the concepts become more challenging. The message I want to give my kids is that education is all around us. Every day we see shapes, colors and numbers. Stories are told about history. Words surround us in books, titles, and signs. Bottom line, the world is full of teachable moments.
While building this city I will be covering four key topics: Planning, Foundation, Creativity, Inspiration, and Engagement. In Planning, I will discuss why planning is an important first step. I will outline the tasks to be completed in the planning phase of a project. In the Foundation topic, I will emphasize why a solid foundation is key to any building project. The third topic is Creativity. In this topic, we will explore how creativity is used in the world around us. We will also discover how it can help us learn.
Inspiration is the fourth topic. Inspiration will enable a discussion of ways to become inspired as well as how inspiration motivates us to learn. I will end with Engagement. It is important to make kids aware of the ways in which they engage with their environment. We will create stories with characters who populate the miniature city. Stories of make-believe character’s engagement will approximate the engagement of my kids in their daily environments.
As we are building, I will identify academic areas like math, history, art, community and writing. With summer vacation at our doorstep, a city-building project will be a sure way to keep those young minds active and learning. For those educators, parents and/or generally creative individuals who would be interested in creating a city, there is a book in the making packed with everything you would need to know to complete this project. Get updates on our progress as we build at Facebook.com/authortsw. Ready. Set. Fun!
By Taunya S. Wright
[Taunya is nurse, author, director of MAWMedia Group’s Health Literacy efforts, and a home-school mom.. Find her author page at facebook.com/authorTSW]