When I wrote my last column on using e-mail in our homeschool, I didn’t realize how beneficial one aspect of it would be, so I thought I’d add a little more about that.
What I’m referring to is sending my six-year-old articles that I find on the web that he might be interested in. Sometimes my husband finds them too. Mostly these are science-related articles having to do with animals because at six-years-old, that’s something he can wrap his head around. The articles always have photos, and my son likes for me to read the text.
Sometimes I put it in more simple language, if I feel that is necessary, but sometimes I read it just as it’s written. Even if some of it goes over his head, if he’s interested, it’s a good way for him to build his vocabulary and hear how articles are written. Sometimes he asks me the meaning of a word, or we might do a google search for more photographs of the subject. Perhaps in the future, these articles will spark an idea for a longer-term project!
I should also mention that we watch a lot of educational television, so my son is used to some of this scientific language and imagery. If you want to try this, you’ll have to judge for yourself what you think your child is interested in and ready for. You might want to experiment!
Here are some recent articles that my son received from my husband and me. Feel free to snatch the link and show them to your children!
- Huge, Long-Legged Arachnid Discovered in Cave – This was a great find. Click on the photo of the arachnid to view all of it. We pulled out our ruler, and I explained what centimeters are, and we reviewed how long a foot was too. We also looked on the globe to see where Laos is located. It was a good review of what an arachnid vs. spider is. We get granddaddy longlegs on our porch, so this was neat!
- Mummy with Mouthful of Cavities Discovered – This doesn’t have the prettiest pictures, but we had recently watched some documentaries on Eygpt, and my son is interested in mummies (we saw them once at the Field Museum in Chicago too), so I thought he’d like this, and he did. It was a good way to remind him why we need to brush his teeth too!
- Alien snakes help spiders overrun Guam – My son loves snakes, so my husband sent him this. Again, we looked at the globe to see where Guam is located, and we talked about the effects of an invasive species.
- Endangered Species: 25 Primate Species in Africa, Asia Reportedly On The Brink of Extinction from Deforestation, Hunting – Interesting article my husband found and has a slideshow of animals on bottom of page.
- Bizarre-looking oarfish washes ashore on Cabo San Lucas Beach – My husband saw this article too, and despite all the ocean-related nature shows we’ve watched, this sea creature was a new one on us. My son wanted to do a google search for “oarfish” and see more images of it.
Feel free to leave more ideas on how to use e-mail or other technology to spark a child’s interest in learning. As I come up with more ideas, I’ll be sure to share them with you too. Thanks so much for reading my blog.
3 thoughts on “Post Script: Using E-mail in Home Education”
P.S.S.!!!!! I forgot to mention in my post what helps me FIND some of these interesting articles. (I really don’t have that much time for surfing the web.) I have subscribed to Sigma Xi Smartbrief. It’s a newsletter with links to the most recent science-research-related articles on the web. It’s very interesting to me, and I’ve found several of these articles in that newsletter. You can sign up here: http://www.smartbrief.com/sigmaxi/index.jsp?campaign=launch (Thanks to my Twitter friend @KellyOSullivan for pointing it out to me.) As for my husband, I don’t know how he finds them. I think he’s got waaay too much time on his hands…. 😉