Every Monday, I answer a few of the questions that my readers send me. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, just leave me a comment here or email me (thefrugalgirl [at] gmail [dot] com) and put Q&A in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!
What are you using for history curriculum this year? I’ve looked over the website and saw how you did your state study but I’m curious about how you plan your year and if you do your own planning, where do you find your book lists?
Well, this year I plan to do a world geography study with the kids. We’ll tackle it sort of like we did with the state study…we’ll take it continent by continent, and we’ll read books, cook foods that are popular in each country (at least, we’ll try!), and for each country we study, we’ll make a page for our geography notebooks with notes and drawings.
I plan to use mostly library books and DVDs (I’ll also browse Netflix to see what’s available for each country), and I also have a geography card game to play with the kids. We’ll probably use some online resources like Wikipedia as well.
When we’re done with our study, I’ll do my best to write a wrap-up post to let you know what worked and what didn’t.
My kids tend to enjoy this type of study more than a textbook/workbook combo, and I think it helps them to interact with and remember the material better too.
Weird question: When Americans say silverware, is it normal stainless steel cutlery, or is it actual silverware? (we just say cutlery and the silverware is silver, just for posh occasions, LOL)
Yep, we’re just referring to regular old stainless steel utensils. I suppose the more proper American term to use is “flatware”.
I definitely don’t use real silverware on a daily basis…that’s way too much work for me! I just grew up referring to it as silverware, so that’s the term that rolls off my tongue.
It is funny how different our terms can be, isn’t it? Long ago, I used to think that British people all had lovely, manicured gardens in their backyards, and I was quite surprised when I learned that garden is just another word for backyard.
Perhaps you’ve already done a post about this but I would love to know how you do your chore assignments with your kiddos. I have a 7, 4, & 2 year old (and a 3 month old but he doesn’t count) and am always struggling with how to assign chores. I think it’s an important part of being part of a family as well as learning how to care for a household and also creates a sense of accomplishment. I’m just not sure how to implement.
I think it’s great that you’re interested in teaching your children how to contribute to the household. Good for you!
Since your children are all quite young, I’d keep things very simple, especially at first. I don’t know what your children are currently responsible for, but we’ve always started with easy jobs like hanging up pjs and throwing dirty clothes into the hamper.
I find that printed chore lists are the best for young children. For non-readers, you could draw pictures of the chores you want your children to do and for readers, you can print out a little list on the computer.
We use three main chore lists.
1. My children each have a printed list on their bedroom walls with chores that they need to do before breakfast (make their beds, hang up pjs, throw dirty clothes into the hamper, straighten up the bedroom).
2. On the fridge, we have a list of mealtime chores with the appropriate person’s initial beside the chore.
3. Each child (except for Joshua…see below) has a printed list of things they need to do before they can go out and play after school (put away schoolbooks neatly, practice the piano and so on, plus they have a small cleaning chore as well).
Joshua is more computer-savvy than the girls are, so an online chore chart works great for him. We use My Job Chart, but there are several other similar programs out there.
Your kids are a bit younger than mine, so they probably don’t need three different chore lists. You could start with something small, like a short list of before-breakfast chores, and as your kids grow accustomed to this, you could then add a mealtime chore for each kid.
Just remember to keep your job quality expectations low at first, since there’s a serious learning curve when kids start chores. In the beginning, it would actually be faster for you to do all the chores (and they’d be done better!), but if you hang in there, your kids will eventually get the hang of it and will be able to manage on their own.
Readers, as always, feel free to add your responses to mine!
Joshua’s 365 post: Swirled