With the Covid-19 epidemic still raging across the United States, and even the world, many parents will be teaching their children from home at least for this Fall.
Even I will be homeschooling (something I swore I would never ever do because my kids don’t listen to me half the time) this Fall. And I’m not just homeschooling my 3, I’m also helping out two close friends and bringing their kids to our house to be a homeschool pod of SEVEN. Guess who is the teacher? Yours truly!
Luckily I’ve had quite a bit of experience with education. I have been a Communications Professor for 11+ years. My Father was an Elementary School Principal, my grandmother taught middle-school, and my grandmother taught Gifted & Talented elementary classes for 27 years. So I have some pretty good resources.
Since my mother has always been about finding the MOST interesting way to stimulate smart, and creative brains, I took a page from her book this year and designed most of my Fall curriculum based on a “Theme” for the week. We’re exploring everything from Bees to Impressionist Painters this year, but it occurred to me that you Disney lovers out there could easily build your own “THEMES” based on the interesting things at Disney.
My mother taught me to always try to teach out of the ARTS. So using things like music, 2D art, dance, and even Physical Education to explore a theme/topic is a great way to liven up your week and keep kids from getting bored.
Below are some great lessons you could do with your kids and modify based on their ages and state-wide curriculum. Using things like Disney rides, or Movies will give you an interesting point to jump from. For example:
- Living with the Land: How hydroponics work, how draught affects population patterns in countries/ cultures, why crops must be rotated, backyard gardening, vegetables/fruits and how they impact health, how certain foods affect recipes.
- Coco: Day of the Dead traditions and other holidays around the world, exploring your own “ofrenda” (as an alternative to the family tree), painting sugar skulls, growing your own marigolds, genetics impact on eyes/build/weight.
- Tower of Terror: pulley systems, gravity, random probability of falls, black & white vs technicolor transition in television, making things look old (theatrical design).
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: Mining around the world, American Gold Rush, How to cut and the color is defined in gems, genetic probability towards dwarfism and other health issues, physics and rollercoasters, Grimms’ Fairy Tales, Illustration process yesterday vs today, Poisons in substances, Stranger Danger.
- Soarin’ Around The World: Take a daily virtual vacation to each of the countries in the film try foods, dances, learn the history & traditions of each country. Learning about the 5 senses, Wind currents, Hangliding, and other Adventures Risk vs Reward (another calculating probability things will happen).
- Test Track: How cars are designed and tested, Crash Test Dummy (another good probability exercise), how temperature and corrosive environments wear on metal or rubber, how to change a car tire, aerodynamics in design.
- Mission Space: Inventions that have come out of space exploration, gravity, G-forces on the body, Engineering for the future, all about Mars, all about the Moon, History of the US Space Program, Astronaut Biographies, Stars and their patterns/ makeup, moon’s impact on ocean waves, Draw pictures of the solar system.
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends: Weird creatures of the deep sea, bioluminescence, the levels of the sea, Australia, Sharks, Coral Reefs and their Preservation, Stingrays, environmental impact of the ocean on humans, Sea anemones.
- Animal Kingdom: EVERY! country & Dinoland, How conservation works, Endangered Species, Animals local to your region of the country, Circle of Life, If Pandora were real. Animals Galore!
Obviously there’s like a MILLION other things you could do, but I’m hoping these few ideas will get your juices flowing.
For many of us, this may be the only time in our lives that we are directly responsible for our children’s education. Why not make it fun for you AND them? Find creative ways to “add to” any remote classes and use field trips where possible (and responsible).
What about you? Do you have any ideas of topics families could use to design curriculum around Disney this year? Leave them in the comments below!
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