In today’s new blog post, Inga Munsinger Cotton shares her family’s roadmap for at-home learning this summer. We are interested in problem solving and helping families #LearnEverywhere.
Goal setting: Inga is concerned that her kids may have missed out on some content during the school year because of the transition to remote learning, so she is going to continue those subjects at home during the summer. For example, both kids (4th and 7th grades) were learning Texas history. In San Antonio, there are many historical sites that they can visit, like the grounds of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, as Inga talked about on Charter Moms Chats https://youtu.be/Pp9q1kdr6pU
Inga also wants her kids to build habits for lifelong learning, like being good readers. She picked “World War Z” by Max Brooks. They have been reading short passages and then having long discussions about right and wrong, referring to the text, pulling up photos and maps. This builds reading comprehension skills and continues the Socratic seminars that her kids participated in at school. What books would you pick for a family book club?
In addition to the goals that Inga picks for her kids, she wants her kids to speak up about their dream jobs. Inga’s kids are interested in being a YouTuber and a game developer, so she and her husband are going to help them learn photo and video editing. Whenever you learn a new skill, there are moments of frustration along the way, but if you keep the long term goal in mind, you have the motivation to keep working.
Scheduling: In the past, Inga has used checkmark sheets as incentives for her kids to do chores. Now, she is using Google Classroom to stay organized. So far, she has set up homeschool PE and typing classes for her kids. It’s not much more complicated than the checkmark sheets; over time, she may use more features. What tools do you use?
Content: Inga is using the TEKS from Texas Education Agency as an outline. She is also using resources that her kids are familiar with from their school, like Core Knowledge and Spalding Education International. The #learneverwhere website https://learneverywhere.org/ and Facebook group, as well as San Antonio Charter Moms discussion group, are great places to find resources and crowdsource advice from other parents.
Inga is also relying on local institutions like The Briscoe Western Art Museum, as we talked about with Ryan Badger on Charter Moms Chats https://youtu.be/a_A7vr3Q1AI
Along the way, we need to evaluate how things are going and adjust. For family book club, we have made our reading sections shorter. If something is going well, do more of it! My daughter is learning how to cook, so we are using online resources like $5 Dinners https://www.5dollardinners.com/ to meal plan and find recipes.