Before reading this book, we found ourselves in a Mom School for the first time this year. (Of course we don't call it that, but after reading DeMille, that's exactly what it is). Every other Friday afternoon we meet to discuss a chapter of Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day. The host mom is responsible for that week's discussion: we have the children do reports, we do the experiments from the chapter, we play games relating to the lesson, we go on field trips. It's amazing! Last week's host mom is a science guru herself, and knowing there may not be time for reports, said it was optional. My girls begged to do one. That's how inspiring this group is (I'll get to the "inspire, not require" part of DeMille's book another time).
Because this group has been so successful - and so much fun - I've decided to start a Liberty Girls Club using the same basic idea. (The Home Companion has lots of ideas for this exact club). We'll read a designated American Girl Doll book, talk about the historical time period, do a craft/project that relates to the book, you get the idea. There's something very important about both the parent and the child being invested in learning together.
"Mom Schools greatly enhance children's education...Through group learning, children share their enthusiasm with each other, strengthen desire for knowledge and enjoy mutual inspiration and encouragement. Adults benefit from combined strength, and we all pull each other up."
A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion