Dinosaurs never disappoint.  Any day can be turned into a great day if you pick up a book on dinosaurs and begin to read.  Suddenly, the drudgery of school becomes this fun adventure!  What a great way to start off the year!  This week, we’ve spent an hour or so every morning reading our dinosaur books and working in our community lapbook on dinosaurs.  Puddles now wants to be a palentologist.  We’ve discussed making a trip to a  dinosaur site to see some fossils up close.  

We do a few different types of lapbooks throughout the year.  Sometimes everyone has their own lapbook and we work independantly to glue and paste and write.  Occasionally, I’ll start a lapbook with one of my kids and we’ll learn about something one on one.  These have been some of my favorite lapbooks.  With our dinosaur study, I am doing one lapbook for all of us a family.  I’m even writing the majority of the information down in the minute books.  Technically, I could push them to write, but I find, especially with the boys, that if I let them narrate their thoughts to me, we get a lot more done in a much more positive atmosphere. 

This new year, we are doing quite a few studies at one time.  Dinosaurs (science), Colonial America (history), Geography notebooking and a weekly unit on World Religions.  I’m finding it hard to get in the basics.  English workbooks, spelling workbooks, math workbooks and the like are sitting on the shelf waiting to be taken out.  I feel conflicted about this.  On the one hand, we are emersing ourselves in living books and fascinating subjects.  This is the heart of what I want to give my children as a homeschool mom.  On the other hand, I know the importance of the basics.  I don’t want to neglect the foundations of learning.  I guess what I’ve decided is that I’d like to see a sparkle in my kid’s eyes when we take out the books.  I’d like to hear, “Mom could you read one more chapter.”  I’d like to have thought prevoking discussions and marvel at the world around us.  We’ll get around to those basics soon enough!