Some programs avoid holiday celebrations in attempt to avoid any complications of cultural differences. Mi Families embraces holiday celebrations of all types – in attempt to learn through cultural differences and celebrate even the smallest “holidays.” We even celebrate different “national days” such as last weeks “National Authors Day and next weeks “National STEAM day.”
Last week we used Authors day to talk about fact vs fiction. Some little ones were frightened by Halloween and we used the opportunity to talk about real vs pretend and how to overcome fears of scary costumes to scary weather. This week we’ll use our STEAM focus of real vs pretend to transition from Halloween costumes to other forms of pretend and make believe… planning and preparing for storms and other seasonal topics.
Students learn best when they are having fun. Finding any reason to celebrate adds to the fun and it’s easy to turn holidays into lessons. Using traditional holidays, National day calendars, cultural appreciation days or other themes can make lesson planning easier. Want a really easy theme based program that comes with the lesson plans? Look into boxed curriculums such as Mother Goose Time!
Mother Goose Time is geared for preschoolers, but can be adapted for younger children to learn new concepts or older students to expand on lessons. Octobers curriculum was “Weather all around us,” which we combined with fall seasonal activities and holidays, such as Halloween. We will now begin our transition to holidays, seasons and weather AROUND THE WORLD – including weather and life in the Rainforest.
Learning about other places and people helps students not only become more culturally aware, but more culturally accepting. Learning about other people and places helps students appreciate their own culture and find a sense of belonging to their place in this world. Teaching through themes helps students connect subjects with the world around them and with topics that they are curious about.
When students are curious about study units you don’t have to try and engage their attention, as they become more focused on the activities and often expand lessons for further understanding beyond the assignment. I have had parents comment to me that their students added on to tutoring homework because they wanted to “learn more” about a specific subject.
Finding manpulatives, worksheets and other theme based activity ideas is easy (especially through social media, such as Pinterest). Letting students take lead on how far their theme will take them or what direction can help you assess their interests and understanding on the subject. I’ve had tots to teens – even adults, ask me to continue on with particular topics beyond the lesson plan – and other times lead lessons in unpredictable directions.
Mi Families offers theme based programs for all ages. We are currently scheduling parent/provider workshops for 2018, as well as homeschool programs for K-12 students, elementary tutoring services and early education opportunities. We currently have a couple part time openings for tutoring AND in our early ed / Adventure Academy childcare. Email Christi@MiFamilies.com for more information about any of our programs.