I Should Have Named it The Gigantor Book of Homeschool Ideas

The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas

A few months ago, I published a book affectionately named The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas.  55 homeschool moms contributed chapters pertaining to their areas of expertise and we ended up with a whopping 103 chapters. It really is a wonder in itself. 560 pages full of awesomeness. To spotlight the book, this month we are going on a tour of some of the author blogs so that you can learn more about their areas of expertise and why they chose to write about their passions. So, every day in the month of October, you learn more about one of the authors of The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas and you’ll get a chance to win some cool prizes and download some great freebies.

My contributions to the book were the chapters Learning with Maps and Genealogy for Kids and I will be giving away a copy of WonderMaps from Bright Ideas Press. Keep on reading…


Why am I passionate about teaching genealogy?

Everybody is interested in the beginning of things.  I wholeheartedly believe that family history should be taught in every home, whether you homeschool or not. Through the study of genealogy, you can develop and enhance skills such as researching, story-telling, cataloging and documenting, fact-checking, and more. Genealogy can be fascinating, especially to a child. Knights, kings, presidents, war heroes, Indians!

Tracing your ancestors will place history right at your feet. This is not the history you read in textbooks, but the personalized history that teaches you about your people: who they were and why they did what they did. Following your ancestors’ footsteps or wagon tracks can teach you more about history than you ever knew.

Imagine the delight in my little boy’s eyes when he hears stories like these:

Once upon a time, over two hundred years ago, the entire northwest corner of Ohio was covered with a dark, nasty, bug infested swamp. It was so scary and dangerous that the Native Americans wouldn’t even go near it. Wolves, bears and wildcats roamed freely among the wooded swamp and many people who ventured near the swamp got lost… never to be seen again. One day, a brave and adventurous man set out to tame that great black swamp. With his own two hands and his trusty ax, he was one of the first daring men to clear out a portion of that swamp, build a log cabin and start a farm. Do you know who that courageous man was? That was your daddy’s great-grandpa’s great-grandpa!

This story really sparked his curiosity and he immediately wanted to know all about the history of Ohio, and more importantly, the history of daddy’s family. He was fascinated with “Swamp Grandpa” as he called him.


Why am I passionate about learning with maps?

I am a map girl. I think this stems from the genealogist in me. Township, city, county, state, country maps… they all fascinate me. I look at a map and start to wonder about the deep history of the land, how it once looked, and why the original settlers chose to live in the exact spots they settled in.

In the book, I share lots of ways you can incorporate maps into your daily homeschool life.

Big Book Blog Tour Calendar

Be sure to stop by all the blogs, which can be found here. Yesterday, Mary Prather from Homegrown Learners and author of the chapter How to Teach with LEGO gave away free LEGO scripture copywork. Tomorrow, October 6, Eva Varga from EvaVarga.net and author of the chapters How to Use Postage Stamps for Learning and Inquiry Science with Middle School Students will be giving away her guidebook Getting Started with Inquiry Science.

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*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.

18 thoughts on “I Should Have Named it The Gigantor Book of Homeschool Ideas

  1. Joan

    We’re actually working on our family tree right now; we’re not a super “geographically diverse” family, but it has been amazing to see how we’ve spread out over the years and to find things like death and military records for people we’ve already been talking about. It’s a project I love, but I never make the time to pursue it in as much depth as I’d like and I wish I could do more!

  2. Kathie Craig

    I have traced both sides of our families through the help of programs on-line. I have also received hints on where to find information from shows like Who Do You Think You Are.

  3. Crystal

    I have traced my family tree and I love it! It turns out I have a lot of pioneer ancestors who crossed the plains to the West in the mid-1800’s. I also have a lot of Scandanavian ancestors, which makes me passionate about all things Norwegian and Swedish 🙂 It’s so rewarding to know where I came from and how I got where I am today. Thanks for the post!

  4. Kim

    This is a GREAT idea! My son absolutely loves history, and I know this approach to “personal history” would be very interesting to him. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  5. Danielle Hull

    No, I haven’t. No one in my family has 🙁 My husband has his mother’s side, but his grandfather on his dad’s side died when his dad was young, so no one has pursued it there either. Thank you for the encouragement!

  6. Carrie E

    Our geography, history, Bible and science curriculum this year is very heavy on maps…and we love it! We have been scouring garage sales looking for all kinds of maps. This weekend we found a huge map of the world with animals placed in their country of origin and it has diet, dwelling, ecosystem, etc in various legends around the map. Needless to say, we like maps, too!

  7. Beth

    I haven’t ever studied my genealogy. I’m adopted, so that makes it hard, but I’ve never studied my adopted family’s genealogy either. Your connection between studying with maps and genealogies is very interesting to me!

  8. Marci Wright

    My aunt is the one who did the work, in all honesty, but I have my family tree on my dad’s side back to the 1500’s. It is pretty interesting!

  9. Gretta

    I have not personally traced our family tree but my great-grandmother wrote all about her family history and genealogy and left it when she passed away. It is a treasure for sure and the stories and information are so valuable and treasured.

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