Well there was a huge learning curve for me this semester but I feel like I’ve kept my head above water. I feel like I have a good grasp on what type of work challenges my kids, what is a good match for them, and what is an easy/fun type of activity to do when we all need a break. While I know the nature of the beast working with middle school kids is that there will always be things to learn about their inner workings and drama between the girls and whatnot, I am SO much more comfortable with this age group than I was the day I started with the co-op.
My kids enjoyed the Elizabeth I review activity (the “after” picture is below–in the last few minutes of class some of the girls took some liberty in giving Elizabeth a crown and cloak….and the description of activity is HERE) and we will do it again for George Washington when we get to the Revolutionary War. I have to figure out how to work it into our Music Theory class so that the kids that aren’t in Geography also get to do this.
Our explorer lapbooks turned out great! The parents were really happy with them, the kids want to do them again, and the best part is the kids DEFINITELY learned new material while working on them! (you can read my lapbook posts HERE and HERE). To make sure we do justice to the parents’ chosen curriculum, how the kids respond to the material, and the activities I had pre-planned, we will probably end up doing a lapbook every other big topic (so our next one will be for the Revolutionary War). That seems to be a happy medium for everyone/everything, especially for me since they are a pain in the butt to prep for (no offense to lapbooks).
As much as I’d like to bask in the successes of our first semester, it’s back to reality on Tuesday and I still need to finalize the primary source assignment the kids will be reading to get a first hand look at the English Civil War. I hope you all enjoy what’s left of Thanksgiving break!