Many students (and parents alike) complain that some of the subjects children study in school don't really prepare them for the real word. While I would definitely have to agree in some cases, I would add that we don't have to be restricted to the curriculum on the shelf and the three R's to give our children a quality education.
We've found in our family that spontaneous discussions can be just as educational—if not more educational with regard to preparing them for adulthood—as their regular three-R's curriculum. Discussing economics, politics, social issues, etc. help our children think critically. But the problem for many families is that those types of discussion can be hard to start.
Discussion Starters for Real-life Issues
If you'd like a little help with some thought-provoking discussions, you might enjoy Stossel in the Classroom, a project by John Stossel (you might remember him from his Give Me a Break segments on 20/20) that consists of short videos, teacher guides, and discussion questions. For years he's offered the DVDs for free—we've ordered and watched several of them—but you can also access his streaming video segments and teacher guides directly on his website. I'm not sure that all the DVD segments are included on the website, so I'd definitely suggest ordering the free DVDs.
Want a peek at what a Stossel in the Classroom segment is like? Here's an example of one about farm subsidies.
Have you used Stossel in the Classroom in your homeschool before?