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Garage Sales–a Fun Learning Experience

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

I don’t know a single Mom that can drive by a garage sale without slowing down and looking to see what’s for sale. Similarly, I don’t know a single child that can go to a garage sale without looking at the toys, sporting goods, etc.

So why not get up early on a Saturday morning, and hit the garage sales together as a family!  Going to garage sales as a family provides a multitude of fun learning experiences.

For instance, giving each of your children a set amount for the day (at our house each child gets $3.00) allows them to budget, learn what constitutes a good deal, learn what you should and shouldn’t buy used (we have a rule in our family–no puzzles or games–because of missing pieces), etc.

As a family, we purchase books, craft supplies, sporting equipment, homemade Halloween costumes, musical instruments, etc.  My kids have purchased boxing gloves, bicycle horns and pictures for their bedroom walls.  They are so happy with their finds!  So proud of their purchases!

Sometimes we go out after wards for a soda or an ice cream cone.  We make Saturday mornings a fun time for the family.

Learning, with a lot of fun thrown in–it’s a great combination!

Ann Simpson

Memorial Day–May 31st

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Memorial Day is the day in which we honor the ultimate sacrifice that many of our soldiers have made for our country.

Memorial Day has been an official national holiday since 1868 when Army General John Logan suggested an annual day of remembrance for Americans to “strew with flowers or otherwise decorat (e) the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion….”.  Of course, the “late rebellion” he referred to was the Civil War in which over 600,000 men lost their lives.

In 1971, during the midst of the Vietnam war, the US Congress declared that Memorial Day should be celebrated on the last Monday of May.

If you would like to incorporate Memorial Day into your curriculum, the following links have information, printables, craft ideas, etc:

After you honor our soldiers, enjoy your hot dogs!

Ann Simpson

Vote for Hannah?

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Hannah Newsom is a 10th grade homeschool student from Arkansas.  She has become a regional winner in the doodle4google art competition.  Voting is now open to the public and she NEEDS your vote.  Since Hannah is a homeschool student she doesn’t have the backing of a large school as do many of the other contestants.  She would like us to be her school.  The winner gets a $15,000 college scholarship.  This is a big deal.

Voting ends tomorrow, May 25th.  It just takes a few minutes to vote.

How to vote-

Go to

Click Vote Now

Click Grade 10-12

Click Region 7

Hannah’s doodle comes up as Dawn of Hope

Click “Vote for this Doodle”

Good luck Hannah!

Tutoring for the Gifted Child

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Often when we think of tutors, we think of the struggling student.  But what about the exceptional student?  The student years above his/her grade level?

Maybe your student is years above YOUR knowledge level (think Calculus or Physics).

Tutors can be the answer.

So how is the gifted child tutored?  Probably with inquiry-based approaches and approaches that emphasize multiple solutions or multiple paths to the same solution (s).  Creativity is stressed, rather than learning by route.

Sit in on a few sessions (or at least keep your ears and eyes open), as you might learn a few teaching techniques that will transfer to your homeschooling endeavors.

And remember–fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson


Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Inspiration is a wonderful thing!

A few times in the last few weeks, I have been totally stumped….and then almost on cue, a wonderful thought has sparked in my mind and lo and behold, the thought has worked!

We need to teach the importance of inspiration to our children.  Great scientists, artists and architects have all been inspired.  Human beings rely on inspiration.

But how do we teach it?  I believe we  1) explain what inspiration is  2) encourage inspiration  3) give our children the time they need to receive their own inspiration rather than answer the tough questions for them  and 4) reward inspiration with praise.

I also believe we exercise inspiration.  The more we use it, the stronger it becomes within us.

That said, there are those times when we draw a blank.  It happens.  We don’t get the inspiration we want or need.  That’s when we turn to others for help.  We should explain this to our children as well.

And remember, fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

June Deadlines for Contests/Scholarships

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

At, we have a section on the left of our homepage entitled Contests and Scholarships.  If you haven’t looked at this, it might be of interest to you and your student, as the winners of these contests/scholarships earn quite a bit of money for their future education.

Contests that have June deadlines include:

  • Eastern Kentucky University: James Larmous Scholarship for Students with Learning Disabilities
  • Future Farmers of America: Collegiate Scholarships
  • Kids ‘n Fishing Photo Contest
  • National Inventors Hall of Fame: Collegiate Inventors Competition
  • Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation: Monthly High School Internet Challenge
  • KIDS Can Do It: Dare to Dream Ongoing Essay Contest
  • American Legion: Samsung Scholarship

For each of these, there are entry requirements, deadlines and financial prizes.

To learn more, visit and click on the Contests and Scholarships section of our homepage.

And remember–fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

What Shouldn’t You Teach Your Children?

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

It’s easy to think that we can teach our children everything they need to know.  After all, we’re their parents!

But at some point, we have to admit there are some things we can’t–or shouldn’t even try to teach our children.  Maybe we don’t have the skills….or the patience….or maybe someone else can do it more efficiently/better than we can.

What are the two things I couldn’t teach my children?  Calculus….and how do drive a stick shift!  Calculus, because I had avoided the subject all together in my youth….and how to drive a shift….because after 30 minutes in the car with my daughter, I realized it just wasn’t a good idea.  When she stalled on an incline and the car started rolling backwards, I totally lost it (not a proud moment for me)!

My husband and a tutor helped with the Calculus and we hired a driving teacher that lived a few blocks away.  After just one lesson, my daughter knew how to drive a stick!  It was easy for her when she had the right teacher.

So….realize your strengths, build upon them….but also realize your shortcomings….and work around them.  Your children will appreciate it.

And remember, fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

Homeschool Pen Pals

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

A homeschooling mother, Jaelle Kaylor has started a homeschooling pen pal service in hopes that homeschoolers all over the world will have an opportunity to write one another.

Not only is there a pen pal program for the children, but there is one for Moms too!

If interested, you can learn more at There is a nominal membership fee ($10)–the fee is explained on the site.

Remember, fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

Thank You So Much!

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Accepting compliments graciously, is a skill we should teach our children.

So often we tend to dismiss a compliment with something like, “Oh, it was nothing” , when really, our response should be an appreciative smile, or a heartfelt  “Thank you”.

A child is never too young to learn how to graciously accept a compliment and we as parents can teach this skill.  If your child is too shy–explain that a smile is an appropriate response to a compliment.  For children a little braver, explain that a verbal response of gratitude is the appropriate response–they should look the person in the eye and say thank you.  You can role play with your children until they get it down.

If they respond incorrectly or are actually rude, politely correct them.

It’s nice to be able to accept a compliment.

And remember–fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

The Most Powerful Force in the Universe!

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Albert Einstein described compound interest as “the most powerful force in the Universe”!  Now that’s something!  As the most powerful force in the universe–or at least one of them–shouldn’t we teach our children about compound interest?

An easy demonstration for kids follows–

First Day–Explain to your child what interest is.  Then explain that compound interest is interest which is calculated not only on an initial sum of money but also on the accumulated interest.

You can visually show your child how this happens by asking your child to put one dollar that s/he has saved into a big glass jar on the kitchen table.  Tell your child that you will pay 50% interest on the money in the jar, on a daily basis, and you will do so for one week.

Obviously, 50% interest doesn’t occur in the actual world, and you should explain this to your child–but it makes the lesson easy for your student to understand.  If you’d like to choose a lower interest rate, feel free to do so.

Second Day–Explain to your child that his/her dollar just earned 50% interest, and so you are adding 50 cents to the jar.

Third Day–Have your student figure out how much you will be putting into the jar today. The answer is 75 cents.

Fourth Day–Again, make this a math lesson.  Your student will start getting excited as s/he realizes how much “free” money is accumulating.  On this day, with $2.25 in the jar, you will be adding $1.13 in interest (go ahead and round up when necessary).

Fifth Day–You have $3.38 in the jar which means the interest today will be $1.69.

Sixth Day–The jar has $5.07 in it.  This means that today’s interest will be $2.54.

Seventh Day–The jar contains $7.61.  When you add today’s interest ($3.81), your child will have $11.42!

Now, explain that if you wait to save, it hurts your wallet. If you only invest for five days, you make $5.49–not $11.42.  The main component here is time.

A similar and fun math project is to then ask your child–hypothetically, if given a choice, would you like this $11.42 now, or a penny doubled every day for a month?  Give your student a calculator (one will probably be necessary), and let her figure it out.  A penny doubled every day for a month comes out to over 5 million dollars!  Again….a lesson in compound interest!

Remember–fun learning is forever learning.

Ann Simpson

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