The time has finally come! I think we would have meandered through that war for some time to come and honestly I know the kids still have a keen interest in it (and I find that our best learning happens when the kids are really invested in the topic), but I found the fire had died down enough to slow us down too much. Also, it was requested by the school principal to leave American History for a while and search out other cultures.
As a last effort for the unit, I allowed the kids to choose a topic/battle that they wanted to research and give an oral report on. They chose up late last week and on Monday they presented their findings.
E11 did a wonderful presentation on the Battle of Gettysburg- as is typical for E11, he provided much detail and even a story from the battle that involved real people that were there.
R9 chose the Battle of Antietam and I threw in Bull Run. She put together a nice poster and did a nice oral report on what happened at Antietam.
I7 is working on Civil War uniforms from the Homeschool in the Woods History Pak. He's been learning what different soldiers wore from both sides.
All in all, this was a terrific study. It illustrated for me the value of following my childrens' lead and allowing them to enjoy the learning process. It also showed me that our school works best when our children are invested in what they are learning.
This is why I check in with them about our topics. They don't get to choose everything we do, but they do get to come "to the table", so to speak, and offer up their interests and ideas as we go. After all, that is really what we are aiming for, isn't it? Life-long, self-guided learners.
We are already engaged in a new unit- a shorter one. You know I'm anxious to tell you all about it!