Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Homeschooling With The World - Review and Giveaway!

I may not be a homeschooler - heck, my children aren't old enough for public school yet - but I know that they will be in the public school down the street when the time comes.  Nevertheless, I love taking lessons from homeschoolers to apply on the weekends and after school.  Obviously, right now they're preschool lessons, but the ideas are the same.

Several years ago, Blogger, Mom, and Homeschooler, Jodi Whisenhunt began homeschooling her kids and using Walt Disney World as inspiration for her lessons.  If you've ever read her blog, the Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, you've probably read some history, trivia, or general Disney knowledge, while also realizing that each post has a "take away"  - a lesson with an assignment related to the topic at hand.

After years of writing such a fantastic tool, Jodi compiled her lessons into a fantastic book "Magical Mouse Schoolhouse; Learn While you Play at Walt Disney World Resort."

When I first received my copy of this book, I was instantly won over - the first lesson, about Cinderella's Royal Table had an amazing takeaway - a recipe for a single serving cake in a cup!

In Magic Kingdom alone, there are lessons based on Cinderella's Royal Table, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Wishes, the Utilidors and so much more.  While the reader gets to learn fun facts and details about the history of the parks or how the parks work, we also get to apply the lesson to something else, whether it be science or home economics.  

Let me skip forward to something that makes perfect sense, but I would have never thought to do this on my own:

Based on Toy Story Midway Mania - Jodi describes the how the movie inspired such a crowd pleasing (and ridiculously long lined) attraction, and turns it into a lesson of Engineering and Physics (two things I can honestly say I never studied.  This particular lesson takes the ride and brings it home, by creating a homemade catapult and analyzing the physics of the shooting to shoot a ball in a cup.  Pretty cool lesson, don't you think?

And, I absolutely adore the lesson on the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT) and Walt's vision of the future.  This particular lesson has several options for different age levels - make a model with legos, discuss Utopian Society, study architecture and city planning, etc...  

So, as a mom of a two year old, how is this book being used in my house?  

Well, there are several home economics projects (baking!) that Noah loves to help with.  He loves to help pour in flour and mix while baking cookies, cakes, or pretzels.  There is also the science lesson that goes along with the section on Disney Junior: Live on Stage that involves 3 different version of making your own bubbles..  and both of my boys love bubbles!

Whether you are a homeschooler, mom of young or school aged children, this book is a great resource.    As a parent who plans, at least for the first several years of formal education, to take my kids out of school for a few days for vacation, this is a great resource to help them learn while on vacation, or put their vacation experience to use in an educational manner, or even before you leave to get excited about the trip in an educational way.   Plus, it offers a lot of fantastic information about Walt Disney and the theme parks!  I'm sure I'll be using this book for years to come.

This book can be purchased at Amazon.com and CreateSpace - OR you can enter to win below (with 2 chances to win!)

**Thanks to Jodi for the review copy.  All opinions are my own!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

26 comments:

  1. Thanks for one's marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author.

    Camping Southern California

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  2. Right now we are doing a whole Disney World theme in our homeschooling. This week, for example, is Pirates of the Caribbean since Wed is Talk Like a Pirate Day. The weekly assignment sheet starts with researching facts about the ride and then moves on to whatever I feel we need most that week and I just make it work with the theme. Pirates will have mapping skills, geography, math (calculating the amount of booty), reading the nonfiction guide that goes with the Magic Treehouse series and learning about pirate history and who some of the infamous pirates were. There's a pirate 101 class at the library tonight. We also happen to be going on a scavenger hunt with the park system on Friday so that fits our theme as well. Each week is a new ride and I have just as much fun trying to figure out how to match the ride theme to our work that week.

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  3. Thanks for this wonderful review, Jenn, and for hosting the giveaway! I hope you all enjoy learning while you play!

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  4. Thank you for the review! We're homeschoolers and a bit Disney obsessed so this would be fantastic!

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  5. We especially enjoy EPCOT as interactive lessons about culture. Such great, kid-sized doses between the films, theming, and attractions.

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  6. thanks for the giveaway, great review !

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  7. We used our trip to Disney to work on Biographies (Walt) and science/engineering (planes) we also worked on social skills (waiting in line, using our manners)

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  8. I'm so excited to check out this book! Like you I'm a mom to a little one not yet in school. But I too hope to take many trips, which will probably include taking him out of class for a bit to avoid peak seasons in the park. This would be a great start in that planning.

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  9. My girls are little, too - a four year old and a one year old. Still, we're always looking for fun ideas for free time at home. Also, your blog is great for Disney-loving moms. Thanks for all the posts!

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  10. We use Disney movies as rewards for certain goals (like reading a book every day together). We are going to go to Disney next year and I have already thought out some Disney thematic lapbooks to do leading up to when we go and then we can take them along to use in the car for the drive.

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  11. We are headed to Disney in December and I would love to do some of the things in the book before we go.

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  12. No, I never thought to before.

    ykatrina at hotmail dot com

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  13. Replies
    1. I think it would be neat to incorporate Disney to teach my children.

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  14. We live close to WDW and homeschool our 7th grader so this book would be perfect.

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  15. I love to work on their map skills using old maps!

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  16. As a current Cast Member and new mom who plans on homeschooling, I can't wait to see the neat ways I can incorporate Disney into lessons!

    Great review!

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  17. We love using the ride Living with the Land at EPCOT to teach my niece about growing your own food and how different growing techniques can be used that can help the environment.

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  18. We homeschool and always turn our annual Disney vacation into a learning experience. :D

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  19. I'm considering homeschooling my little one, and am happy to hear that this book has a lot of good lessons.

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  20. I love to teach my kids while at Disney and especially at Epcot. I believe you can really learn a lot about the different cultures and even at Christmas you can learn about other countries' holidays

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  21. We are Disney Addicts in our house! Since my children are getting older we've moved on to studying how the rides work. It's been a blast so far!

    T.

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  22. We have been on many DCL destination cruises...what a great opportunity to learn! Not to mention any other trip to DL or WDW...the "attractions" lend themselves to learning opportunities...if you stop and smell the roses!

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  23. I write stairs on the steps for math use :)

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