A month of teachable moments - and a student journal!
If you're an "Unschooler", or you're developing your own lessons for your children out of the world around you, you know how difficult a job this can be! Here is a fantastic new tool just for you! A TEACHABLE MONTH is a full month of teachable moments. (We'll intorduce a new Teachable Month every month over the next year, until there is one for each month. We're starting with May!)
In each A TEACHABLE MONTH, we've looked at holidays and observances, historical occurrences, births, deaths, scientific developments and art masterworks that were unveiled in that month in history, sporting events taking place during the month - all sorts of activities directly from our experience with the world, and we've turned each one into a fully detailed teachable moment!
A TEACHABLE MONTH is NOT a "list" of things or ideas that you can turn into teachable moments. Each event (and there are two or more per day, for almost every day of the month) is fully described, often with accompanying photos and film. Words are defined, as in all Steps courses, before the student reads about that event, so that the student's vocabulary increases every day and they are able to understand what is read the first time that they read it. Locations mentioned as a part of the event are located on a map, globe or the Internet, developing a better sense of the reality of what's being studied, as well as the student's understanding of geography. The student is often asked to read about the event, and often to do further research, aided in that effort with just enough direction, developing their study and research skills. And the student is always asked key questions to assist their investigation into how they feel about each event, each sport or work of art or historic event or holiday. Critical thinking skills are sharpened every day.
There's more. Each day, the student adds to their private journal, filled with their observations, ideas, and reactions to teachable moments as well as questions they've been asked, put directly to them and meant to stimulate critical thinking. The student also keeps a daily "weather report", observing some weather basics which allows them to get a better feel for the change in the seasons.
Of course, you can and should use only what you want to use. And if you're looking for comprehensive homeschool curriculum. Teachable Months in no way replaces the full Steps program.
But if you're looking for a half-way point between an established curriculum (like the rest of Steps) and you doing all the work - then you've found it! For ages 9-up who read well, and extraordinarily precocious 7-8 year-olds who also read well.
HERE IS A SAMPLE LIST OF EVENTS COVERED IN A MONTH, to provide you a clear idea of the sort of subject matter Teachable Months provides. You'll find history, science, the arts, sports, weather, lots of variety! This is for the month of May, almost 180 pages of May Teachable Moments!
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
MAY EVENTS THAT ARE NOT ON A SET DATE:
The Kentucky Derby
National Teacher’s Day
Armed Forces Day
Monaco Grand Prix
French Open (Tennis)
APRIL DAY BY DAY:
April 1 May Day; The Empire State Building
April 2 Catherine the Great; Prokofiev/Peter & The Wolf
April 3 Bing Crosby; Joe DiMaggio
April 4 Solar Impulse 2 and Solar Power
April 5 Cinco de Mayo; Karl Marx
April 6 Sigmund Freud; Orson Welles; The Hindenburg; Willie Mays
April 7 Robert Browning; Tchaikovsky; The Lusitania
April 8 WW II Ends
April 9 J.M. Barrie/Peter Pan
April 10 Fred Astaire; Ariel Durant
April 11 Irving Berlin; Salvador Dali
April 12 Katharine Hepburn; Florence Nightingale
April 13 George Braque; Stevie Wonder; Clive Barnes & Critics
April 14 Lewis & Clark; Israel Independence Day; George Lucas
April 15 L. Frank Baum/Wizard of Oz; The 1st McDonald’s
April 16 Van Gogh/Record Sale of Art; The Sedition Act of 1918
April 17 U.S. School are Desegregated by the Supreme Court
April 18 Umar Khayya’m; Mt. St. Helen’s Volcano
April 19 Malcolm X; South Pacific (the Musical)
April 20 Charles Lindbergh crosses the Atlantic; Jimmy Stewart
April 21 Plato; Amelia Earhart crosses the Atlantic
April 22 AC Doyle/Sherlock; Richard Wagner; Laurence Olivier
April 23 UNASUR; Cannes Film Festival; Kagemusha; All That Jazz
April 24 Peter Minuit buys Manhattan; Queen Victoria
April 25 A.C. Clarke/Communication Satellites; The Doppler Effect
April 26 John Wayne; Dow Jones
April 27 Buddha’s Birthday
April 28 Thales (1st Scientist); Ian Fleming/James Bond
April 29 Bob Hope; John F. Kennedy; Sir Edmund Hillary
April 30 Joan of Arc; Mel Blanc (Voice over master for cartoons)
April 31 Walt Whitman; Clint Eastwood