One of the great things we enjoy about homeschooling is the flexibility to make a lesson out of anything. And by anything, I mean, any topic that my son latches on.
Since December of last year, after watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens, my son has been enamored with Star Wars. His dad was a huge influence as he encouraged it and we watched the seven episodes together. My husband’s family loves the franchise and it was easy for him to get fascinated with it.
Incidentally, our homeschool was also progressing very slowly, with the new pregnancy and a busy season at work. Admittedly, there were many instances when we had to let Star Wars do babysitting for us—plop him down in front of the movie in the room, and we enjoyed at least two hours of quiet time.
But, praise God, our son Gabbie translated what he watched into many handmade storybooks, which enhanced his writing. And we bought him a Star Wars book which he read constantly. That, in turn, enhanced his reading skills.
Perhaps nowhere is Star Wars more beneficial to us than in developing our son’s character. When he began expressing his interest in the Dark Side’s Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, we discouraged him at first (because, you know, they’re the bad guys!). But after conceding to his increasing interest, we thought why not just teach him through it? So, his dad taught him that we can pray for people and that’s just what we’ve done with Kylo Ren and Darth Vader. Once, I heard him talk to his action figure Kylo Ren telling him that it’s not good to be a bad guy, and then he asked me to pray for Kylo Ren. And so we did.
So now, we “teach” Kylo Ren who “lives with us” to show respect and obey. It’s so much fun watching him “discipline” Kylo Ren as he plays with him.
Apart from the character lessons, we’ve also ventured into other learnings that naturally just sprung up from his love for Star Wars:
- Making books – Staple several pieces of white paper into a nice colored one and let him tell the story many different times over. He has given me different characters, episodes and endings. Sometimes, we do it together. He writes while I illustrate, or vice versa (we both get credit on the cover). Through this, he has explored and extended his imagination, and we’ve expanded his vocabulary, spelling skills, and I taught him how to write the proper way—starting with a capital letter, and then the rest in small letter and ending with a period.
- Using colors to express the scenario – Although we started learning about this skill through our lessons with Five in a Row, we used it also with his handmade books. If it’s a fighting scene, he uses blacks and grays. If it’s a happier scene, he uses brighter colors.
- We watched John Williams and we learned about the orchestra, the different instruments and musicians, what a conductor is, and he enjoyed some fun drumming with his dad, Star Wars-style.
- Role-Playing – Thank God for my mom who so generously, and creatively made him a brown Jedi robe (a sewing machine really comes in handy!), and his Daddy who bought (and made) him a light saber, he regularly engages in role-playing.Sometimes, he’s a Jedi, sometimes he’s Kylo Ren, or Darth Vader (but we always remind him to be respectful). He gets plenty of exercise with his Light Saber pretend fights, too. He has also expanded his role-playing to “making movies”. He pretends to be the actor and we watch him as he “acts out” the movie.
- Writing and Thinking as Inspired by Star Wars – We downloaded some free worksheets to get inspired on our thinking skills. We answered questions like, “If you were to change anything in the movie, what would it be?”
Because of this, I’ve been inspired to get crafty and I attempted to make him a light saber, out of toilet paper rolls.
Not very strong, it lasted just for a day with his intense sword-fighting. His dad made one, too made of cartolina and duct tape. It turned out much, much better!
I’m writing this because I truly did not expect to homeschool with Star Wars. But, knowing how homeschooling and unschooling works, it’s really no surprise. Homeschooling is a wonder because it stems from a respect of natural interests and time spent with parents, and not necessarily on a parent’s teaching skills (my handmade Light Saber was so poor, I could not bear to post a photo haha) That’s a recipe for enjoyable and significant learning in my book.
We love homeschooling and the time we spend together as a family. Star Wars turns out to be quite a goldmine of worthwhile lessons to explore together!