Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Debney's Summer Curriculum 2013, "Discover SC"

Summertime is coming, and as a mother of three children, I have to have some sort of order and organization in place while my kids are home for the summer. For the past few years, I have done quite a variety of curriculum with my kids, my most "famous" being the "Alphabet Days" where we take a letter each day and explore our area, make something, and practice writing words that start with that letter {example, pick 'B'lueberries on 'B' day}. When my kids were younger, this was GREAT.

Then last summer I realized that my kids were getting older, and trying to convince my 7-year-old that "it's fun reviewing words that start with 'E' while we are making boiled 'E'ggs" was just not cutting it anymore. So I created a themed curriculum and schedule for the summer. See HERE for my "Summer Schedule 2012".

This summer, I am faced with a rising GATE {kind of like honor classes for elementary school} 3rd grader, a rising 2nd grader, and hopefully a rising preschooler. I wanted to do something that would not only teach them through the dog days of summer, but give them something to learn and be proud of. As a proud South Carolinian, and an avid festival-goer, I decided on a curriculum that would teach my kids about the very different parts, cultures, and history of the Palmetto State. I want to share it with you, in hopes that 1. if you are from SC, you will join us in discovering the state, and 2. if you are not from SC, you will either come visit or use this as a springboard to discover your own state.

I spent a lot of time searching my favorite SC website, sciway.net for festivals, activities, restaurants, accommodations  and so on in order to decide what I wanted to cover this summer. At first I thought about going through two or three counties per week, and then at the end of the week we visit one of the counties. Then I listed all the festivals that were going on throughout the summer in our state. There are a TON. And I decided this would be the way to go for this summer. So here is what we Debneys are doing this summer:

Here's my "Organization Door":

Discover SC, Summer 2013 Curriculum

I am giving my children a two week buffer after school gets out and two weeks before it starts again so they get a bit of a mental break. Although, I will do a brief overview of the state flag, dance, song, bird, animal, drink, etc. We also will be working only Monday-Friday, unless we decide to carry the festival over into Saturday as well.

Here's a close up of how I keep up with what we are doing for the month and each week:

Basic Weekly Outline:

Monday: Make something Monday {This will serve as a review of the previous week, and hopefully we will make something after we have learned more about it at the festival}

Tuesday: Teach Me About It Tuesday {This will be the day I introduce the area, theme, culture, etc that we will be learning about that week}

Wednesday: Where are we going Wednesday {This will be our research day. We will go to the library, the internet, and the various books my husband and I already have about SC to learn more about where we are going}

Thursday: Think About It Thursday. {We will make something that represents either the area, the festival, or the culture we are going to visit}

Friday: Field Trip Friday. {To the festival we go}

Specific Weekly Outline: 

June 17-21:

  1. Monday: Review all the state's "things" {flag, birds, drink, etc}
  2. Tuesday: "What is the Carifest?" 
  3. Wednesday: Caribbean Culture in SC
    1. Raggae/Soca music
    2. Dancing
    3. Food
  4. Thursday: Create a "festival" mask
  5. Friday: Go to the Carifest in Charleston, SC
June 24-29
  1. Monday: Caribbean Festival Party for lunch 
  2. Tuesday: What is Carolina Day? 
  3. Wednesday: Revolutionary War in SC
    1. June 28, 1776
    2. Fort Sullivan
    3. Moultrie
  4. Thursday: Create a SC map of all the Revolutionary Warsites
  5. Friday: Carolina Day on Sullivan's Island
July 1-5:
  1. Monday: Make the different flags, especially SC flags, of the Revolutionary War {Make Flag t-shirt for the 4th of July}
  2. Tuesday: Lexington Peach Festival
  3. Wednesday: Research peaches
    1. What is the best weather? 
    2. What types of peaches? 
    3. When is the best time to pick? 
    4. What are the "best" peach recipes? 
  4. Thursday: Create a chart of the benefits of peaches for the human body
  5. Friday: Lexington Peach Festival
July 8-12: 
  1. Monday: Make Peach cobbler, peach pie, and/or peach preserves 
  2. Tuesday: BBQ and Blues in SC
  3. Wednesday: The history of BBQ and Blues in SC
    1. What are the different types of BBQ in the state? 
    2. Where did the Blues thrive in SC? 
  4. Thursday: Make BBQ seasoning and sauce
  5. Friday: Go to the Festival of Discovery in Greenwood, SC
July 15-19: 
  1. Monday: BBQ cookout dinner
  2. Tuesday: Beaufort
  3. Wednesday: Discover the importance of Beaufort, SC
    1. What role did all the waterways play in the history of SC? 
    2. Research the importance of Beaufort's culture
    3. Research the lighthouse 
  4. Thursday: Water experiments {make clouds, rain, snow, and ice}; the benefits of all of it. 
  5. Friday: Beaufort Water Festival
July 22-26: NOTE: this week is still in the works. I wanted to go to The Palmetto Tasty Festival, but still deciding. 
  1. Monday: Create boats
  2. Tuesday: 
  3. Wednesday: 
  4. Thursday:
  5. Friday:  
July 29-August 2
  1. Monday: Can tomatoes and make tomato paste. Use some tomatoes to make pasta sauce for dinner. 
  2. Tuesday: Gullah and Geeche Heritage 
  3. Wednesday: Learn about the Gullah language
    1. Where did it come from? 
    2. Is it still spoken? 
  4. Thursday: weaving and storytelling
  5. Friday: Gullah and Geechee Festival in St. Helena 
August 5-9
  1. Monday: Create a Gullah Cuisine dinner 
  2. Tuesday: Review and reflect on what we learned during the summer. 

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