Starting with January, we are going to allow the "Horse Diaries" series to direct our learning (yes our learning, because there is a lot I will be learning as well). Each month we will read one of the books in the series, and focus on that horse breed throughout the month. Along with the horse breed, we will pull one or two other areas of interest from the book.
January is a little odd, only because we randomly chose the other subjects, but the next 5 months tie in a little more closely to the books.
What will we learn about each month? In addition to focusing on a horse breed, we will focus on one artist, one science concept, and one geographical location/culture. We will mix in some math worksheets (Emma really enjoys these), as well as reading and writing. For the writing, Emma will create a story based on the subjects we are focusing on and work on it throughout the month. Oh, and we plan to keep up with the letters to family and friends.
Let me use January as an example.
The book we will be starting the month off with is Maestoso Petra. The story is a Lipizzaner horse and takes place in Vienna, Austria in 1938. Before I was smart enough to tie in more of the story to our learning goals, we had just randomly decided to learn about Leonardo da Vinci and crystals. So, for January, we will do a bunch of science experiments to learn about crystals (rock candy, borax snowflakes, etc.) as well as recreate some works of art by da Vinci and maybe learn about some of his inventions.
Here is a quick peek at the next 5 months.
Book: Golden Sun
Horse Breed: Appaloosa
Location/Culture: NW United States, Nez Perce Tribe
Art: Native American Art
Science: Horse Anatomy
Horse Breed: Arabian (we have already done a Horse Geography sheet on the Arabian, but we decided to go back and learn more)
Location/Culture: Northern Africa/Middle East, Nomadic Bedouin
Art: African/Middle Eastern Art
Science: Human Anatomy (to compare it to Horse Anatomy from the previous month)
Horse Breed: Thoroughbred
Science: Oil/Energy (not related to the book, but we will be in Texas this month with Da while he goes through some training, so we thought it might be neat to talk about these two topics and maybe try to schedule a field trip)
Horse Breed: Mustang
Location: United States- we will be learning about the history of horses
Art: Cave Paintings
Science: History of the earth, continental drift, geology (we will be in California for most of May and June, so we will begin learning about the ocean as well this month)
Horse Breed: Tennessee Walking Horse
Location/Culture: Civil War/Slavery
Science: Ocean life
Sadly, that is all that has been published for the Horse Diaries series. There is one more book that comes out in the next few weeks. We also need to go back to the first 3 that we have already read and tie them into our new learning system, but for now, I think that is a great game plan.
As I mentioned, there will also be math worksheets, reading, and writing. We still plan to write 1-3 letters a week to family and friends, so if your interested, e-mail me your address and we will add you to the list!
I hope that 2013 brings fantastic things your way!