Need some new ideas for keeping learning fun? I’ll be sharing our favorites each week on Wednesday. To be honest, the thought of committing myself to having one great idea every week is stress-inducing, so I’m going to put it out there in advance that I will probably borrow heavily from all my wise mama friends.
For some reason, I've been overflowing with fun language arts ideas since our homeschool evaluation last month. Jan, our evaluator, suggested using more "authentic" language arts activities and made me realize that many of the projects Noah came up with on his own were great opportunities for teaching on this topic. Already, I've found myself picking up on opportunities I otherwise would have overlooked and also coming up with ideas for projects I know that Noah will enjoy.
So when my friend Jill e-mailed me a link about a student publishing service called Student Treasures, it launched me down yet another path. Although their website doesn't explain exactly how the process works, Student Treasures seems to facilitate book publishing for students and classrooms. From what I can tell, they send out blank templates for students to write and draw in to tell their story, then you send them back to be bound into books. For orders of 20 or more, the price is only $6.95 plus $1.95 shipping and handling, making it a great idea for a homeschool group or co-op. A single book costs more in the $20 range - still pretty reasonable, in my opinion.
However, since I have a knack for reinventing the wheel, I realized how easy it would be to use Shutterfly for this same purpose. After browsing the interactive gallery at Student Treasures for ideas, Noah and I decided on making a cars alphabet book. For each letter, he'll pick a car-related term, draw a picture and write a short paragraph about it. I'll scan and upload each page as a graphic file into Shutterfly and teach him how to make the book. I like that this is a project he can tackle one letter at a time and still end up with a wonderful project at the end of the year.
Have you used book making in your homeschooling before? If so, I'd love to hear your ideas for incorporating learning with self-published books.