Posted in Homeschool Information, Things to Do, Places to Go

I Hope You Dance!

dance in your homeschool

I Hope You Dance!

I have dance on my mind since my daughter participated in the final dance competition of the season this past weekend. In fact, I got in the act as well and competed in a big studio number on stage with my daughter. Here we are backstage at the competition:

dance in your homeschool

When did you last dance with your children? Whether you are a trained dancer or can only step side-to-side to the music, you can dance in your homeschool day. There are many amazing benefits to dance! It’s also an easy “physical education” activity you can do inside the home, especially on rainy or snowy days.

Here are some ideas for having fun with dance in your homeschool:

  • Pop some orchestral music on and hand your children each a scarf to move with to the music. You can throw the scarf, sway with the scarf, make circles with the scarf, or anything the music moves you to do. The William Tell Overture finale is excellent for this, as is Holst’s The Planets, or even your favourite movie soundtrack.
  • How did people dance from the historical period you’re studying? If you’re studying the 17th or 18th century, try a Minuet. If you’re studying Modern times, have some fun with the twist, the polka, or the bunny hop!

dance in your homeschool

 

 

dance in your homeschool

 

  • Put on some music from your youth and show your children how you used to tear up the dance floor in “your day”.
  • If you enjoy having fun with different styles of dance, pick up or rent a Zumba DVD and give it a try. Zumba is dance as a form of exercise, and incorporates many different styles.
  • Do you have a Wii? Enjoy “Just Dance” or the Wii Fit. Parents can dance too, it’s a hoot and it’s great exercise! (We like to pull Just Dance out for birthday parties and often the parents will dance in the background to some of their favourites while the children play).
  • If worship dance is more your style, put on some worship music and dance unto the Lord.
  • Do you or your children want to explore a particular style of dance?

    dance in your homeschool

    • Check out this series of how-to videos for jazz
    • Whatever the style of dance you’re interested in, there are likely videos and books available at the library or YouTube videos online.
    • Of course, nothing can compare to lessons at a terrific, local dance studio, whether it’s for your children, yourself, or both. Enjoy classes at the studio then have fun practising daily as part of your homeschool day!

“I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens.
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…
I hope you dance,
I hope you dance.”
~ from “I Hope You Dance” – song by Lee Ann Womack

Do you ever dance in your homeschool? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Homeschool Information

Fun Schooling History

fun schooling history

Fun Schooling History

History is often the dry, dreaded class in a public school setting, but it doesn’t have to be in your homeschool! Here are some tips for fun schooling history in your homeschool.

Eat Through History

What did the Vikings eat? How about the Ancient Romans? What were popular dishes in the Medieval period? Many of these dishes are still eaten today in different parts of the world. Have some fun in the kitchen with recipes from a book such as the Usborne Children’s World Cookbook, or look for recipes online. You may even find some of your historical dishes become family favourites! One of our favourites is a Viking fish dish we found on the Parks Canada Heritage Gourmet app

Include Primary Source Material

There is nothing like reading first-hand, personal accounts of wars and different times in history – using primary sources. These first-hand accounts can be so exciting, or at the very least eye-opening! Here is a great collection of primary source material from different periods in world history.

Read Historical Fiction

Historical fiction can really bring a period in history alive! While historical fiction isn’t all true, generally the setting and way of life will paint a good picture of the time period in a very compelling way. The Book of Negroes is an excellent example (for older teens). I thoroughly enjoyed reading it myself and learned so much about slavery in the U.S. and Canada that I hadn’t known about before! Once you read the book, watch the miniseries. It was filmed here in Nova Scotia!

Enjoy Historical Arts, Crafts & Trades

There are so many arts, crafts, and trades that have been enjoyed over the centuries by different cultures around the world. Many of them are simple and can be done with items you already have around your home, such as the fibre arts. Sometimes, you can even find local tradesman and artisans that will let you try a historical art, such as glass blowing or working at the forge, like my son is doing here:

Fun Schooling history

History Through Song and Music Videos

It is so much fun to learn history through music! There are many great audio CDs out there to learn from and sing along to, such as the History Songs from Audio Memory and the Presidents’ Rap and the Prime Ministers of Canada from Sara Jordan. Bring them with you in the car for some “car schooling” fun. I learned more about our Canadian Prime Ministers through that one CD than all my years of public school!

You can find a great example of fun music videos that teach all about history on the “historyteachers” channel on Youtube – for example, learn all about Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia set to Lady Gaga’s Pokerface!

Dress Up Time!

Have your children dress up like a famous figure you have been studying. They can memorize and recite a speech or piece of writing that the famous person is most noted for. You can make it simple and use clothes or sheets you already have around the house, or teach sewing and make more elabourate costumes. Some heritage sites offer a chance to dress up, such as the Fortress of Louisbourg here in Cape Breton:

fun schooling history

Integrated Learning

Another way to keep history interesting, is to study it in context. It doesn’t have to be a separate subject. Learn the relevant geography along with your history. Look at old historical maps and compare with present day maps. These black line maps to print out and label are a great resource. You may even want to use a unit study or an integrated curriculum such as Tapestry of Grace.

History doesn’t have to be boring! How do you make history fun in your homeschool? Please let me know in the comments below.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly