This year R12 has been doing a project based inquiry on Quilting History. It’s evolved over the year, but I think she’s done a nice job with it. I’m excited to see the end product.
Ultimately, she chose to read biographies about famous women and to design a quilt square representing the woman in some way. She’s been reading stacks of books about each one and recording her designs in her project journal. R12 researches the book titles on her own and will read and read. Of course, she quickly deduces which books are best left unread and sticks with the gems.
This form of study is so rich. In the words of Charlotte Mason, “Let him, on the contrary, linger pleasantly over the history of a single man, a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home in the ways of that period. Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age.”
Of course, this much reading takes time and as a homeschooling parent you have to be patient, realizing that a lot of learning takes place when children read! In my experience, something amazing always comes out of letting my students read with abandon- a project, a thought, a new interest, a new understanding. It’s all worth the time.
R12 is also keeping a project journal of her work. At first, it was only for her quilting progress, but it has morphed into anything sewing. I like neat categories, but truthfully allowing her to record her creations in there keeps forward momentum on many projects she has going. I’ll share more about her project journal specifically in another post.
Her project journal records her designs for the quilt squares and it’s where she makes notes on ideas for the designs. For example, she decided on a Bear Claw for the Laura Ingalls Wilder square because that’s the quilt Laura was making in the book, Little House on the Prairie. It appears she’s working on a flag theme for Betsy Ross- clever!
My initial thought with this study was different, but allowing her the flexibility to change course and turn this endeavor into a project based study has brought much fruit- even if it’s slow going!
When it’s complete, she will have made a quilted wall hanging with squares representing each of the women she studied in history. I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished product on our homeschool wall.
What is something you are excited about in your schooling this year? How are you working to give your kids more control over their studies?