Hi friends!

I trust this newsletter finds you and your learners thriving in the world of homeschooling. This week, we’re set to embark on an exciting exploration of social studies and geography, building on the insight we’ve cultivated from our math (January newsletters) and science (February newsletters) adventures.

I’ve eagerly awaited this newsletter! Interestingly, social studies was my least favorite subject in school, though I can’t pinpoint why. However, as a homeschooling parent, I’ve developed a profound love for history. It’s heartening to see my enthusiasm seamlessly transferring to my children, witnessing their excitement as they delve into the stories of people and places from the past that shape our present. Learning alongside them has become a joyous experience, and our discussions transform history into a living, breathing narrative. Meaningful conversations create a natural and enjoyable pathway for deep learning.

In our home, literature, encompassing both fiction and nonfiction, has become the cornerstone of our history studies, driven by my personal passion for literature and love for reading. However, out of my three children, only one has caught the reading bug I cherish. As a result, we’ve embraced diverse mediums and methods, fostering a dynamic learning experience. For instance, documentaries and videos, abundantly available for streaming, provide us with a rich array of historical content in various formats. Additionally, we leverage resources on our Clever dashboard. BrainPop, Britannica School, and Gale Resources, which includes National Geographic Kids, offer a treasure trove of engaging history materials, ranging from videos and articles to interactive lessons, quizzes, and activities.

Perhaps my love for history has flourished through the experiences I’ve shared with my children. Experiential learning stands out as one of my favorite aspects of homeschooling. Real-world experiences are unparalleled in deepening understanding. Residing in a geographically rich area has been a catalyst for exploration and discovery. Our surroundings, rich in history, provide opportunities to explore landscapes that have significantly shaped our narrative. Whether it’s a visit to a local landmark, a museum, a historical reenactment, or a nature walk delving into the indigenous peoples who once inhabited our region, these encounters bring a richness to social studies that textbooks simply can’t replicate.

You do not want to miss the International Festival!

Please join us as a Tour Guide (or alternatively as a tourist) for our annual International Festival!

As a Tour Guide, you have the unique opportunity to share a country, culture, or heritage with other Cottonwood families and staff members. It can be your own family’s heritage, culture, or a country you’re eager to learn more about. Share information about food, clothing, holidays, and more! You can create your own booth or use the stage for a performance. Simply specify the country you’re interested in on the order form and then let the learning and creativity take flight to that corner of the globe!

Hosted by the Everybody Belongs Department and Leslie Bellini at Cottonwood’s Community Connect Center, this event promises to be an incredible, out-of-the-box, fun way to travel the world. This festival is a fantastic opportunity to tie together our geography studies with real-world experiences, fostering a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of our global community.

The magic of homeschooling lies in its flexibility. Isn’t it fun to tailor your approach to suit your family’s unique interests and learning styles? Continue to enjoy this marvelous journey of exploration and discovery.


Kara Parkins, Parent Support Advisor