Friday, October 22, 2010
Here are the Josefina Lapbooks. Once again, my son chose to do the Mexican-American War rather than a Josefina theme, and his lapbook was not nearly as ornate as his sisters'. I realized, however, that when I said he wasn't "into" the project yesterday, I had short-changed him. It is true that he is not nearly as concerned about presentation as his sisters are. That is a lesson we will have to learn another day, as he does need to learn that presentation is important before he goes to college, writes a resume, and gets a job. This assignment, however, was a history assignment, not an art assignment, and I did not specify that they needed to be concerned about presentation or that their grade would have anything to do with visual presentation. I said that we were doing this project as an alternative to the frequent written report, and that I wanted them to show what they had learned about the period in history. So his project was within acceptable parameters. As I watched the kids work on this second lapbook, I realized that he was doing far more research than his sisters, and he learned a lot of information that we had not covered in class. While the girls took things we learned in class, and mainly things just from the "Josefina" books, and looked up a few items, they basically took what they already knew and started working on making a perfect-looking lapbook. They said the more "flappy" things it had in it, the better! They also learned the required material, worked hard on their lapbooks, and certainly deserve an "A." Meanwhile, my son spent the entire morning that they were working on cutting and pasting to research more information about his topic. He enjoys finding trivia that his audience would not know to include in his report. He learned a great deal. True, he can be a minimalist and did the least amount of work he could get away with on the actual cutting-and-pasting project. He's not the only 10 to 12-year-old boy who is a minimalist when it comes to schoolwork!! But when the kids stood up to deliver their oral presentations, he was a wealth of information, gave an excellent speech, and was able to answer the others' questions. He definitely deserves an "A" as well. In another project, we will talk about the importance of visual aids in getting and keeping your audience's attention, and I will encourage him to spend more time actually perfecting his visual aid. What it all comes down to, though, is that children all have different interests, different personalities, and different strengths and weaknesses. Being able to know them well and to have so much time working with them one-on-one on these things is part of the beauty of homeschooling.