I can't even remember if I have shared about this before, but I was just thinking how well it has gone this year and how much we enjoy it. First of all, I have to say that I have realised through the years that NOT everything educational needs curriculum or *workbooks* to be a great activity or extra. I actually have found discussions to be a great learning activity in our home.
We have done Afternoon Discussions with another Homeschool Family for years. Some families read books or base their discussions off questions, but we have simply watched a TV season episode (while I wrote down questions relating to what we watched) and then I host a discussion with the youth present. It really is such a simple idea, but so effective.
We watched the entire series of Dr. Quinn together a few years ago and had some amazing discussions. There really is nothing like seeing outright racism (Robert Lee and Grace) to get everyone thinking and talking. We also talked about pioneer days, women being doctors when only men were accepted as doctors, purity and waiting for marriage (Dr Quinn and Sully), and so much more.
The next year, we headed into McGyver (to give the boys a break from relationship *talks*! smile). It had a science and creativity flavor.Â
For the past 2 years or so, we have been working through Numb3rs. It has a mathematic bent and has been very good for the math phobic youth present. (smile/ sigh)
Last week, we took a departure from watching an episode from a TV season and watched "The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler". I had a friend recommend it and I ordered it in through Interlibrary Loan. WOW. What a great movie about real life heroes. Amazing story.
BUT I once again realised how powerful this discussion idea was. . . It really isn't hard writing down questions to discuss - often a movie or episode will have a theme. I try to be sensitive to those who are more shy, but I believe in everyone sharing their thoughts, too. It really was a great discussion and a learning hook for the children present who hadn't studied WW2 yet. (3 families took part and preteens were present.)
*Oh, and when I host a discussion, I always note the date, what we watched and who was present - along with the questions as a record of what we did - as well as any great comments or quotes.