Last year we started this wonderful, amazing and fun unit study on the 50 states. I found it here. We were doing two states per week and it was working out quite well because I was only working with Cody, who was in 6th grade then.
Fast forward to September of this year. It’s the day after Labor Day and our official start of the school year. I have planned out two states per week (because we need to get all 50 states in during the school year, of course). The boys work on the sheets and at the end of the week we do an ‘in the kitchen’ project that corresponds with both states. Then, we make little books out of the worksheets. Doesn’t that sound AWESOME! Well, I think so. And it was going well up until the second week of school when it became apparently obvious that Cody was outpacing Chris (duh! they are five years apart, why didn’t I realize that!) and that Chris was needing a lot of assistance completing some of the sheets. So, by the third week of our school year I needed to change things up. We went from two states per week to one (damn! we weren’t going to finish all fifty during our instructional year), and I felt like a failure because of it. Because it was such a beautiful plan and it should have worked out…it should have! Grrr…
Well, at the beginning of November I had to take a hard look at what we were doing for Social Studies. Not because I was down to one state per week and my perfect plan to fit all fifty states in an instructional year was falling apart. No, it was because I had to start bribing Chris to do his word search. I was giving him one piece of candy (small pieces, I swear!) for each word that he found. Now, I don’t think it’s that bad of an idea. That was until I told Dave about it, and this is what evolved.
So, I’ve had to take a hard look at my curriculum. And we are now using text books for Social Studies (long, annoyed exhale). It is what it is. It’s not bad; it’s just not what I had in mind.