November 29, 2012
Homeschooling – Reaching the Needs of One
Not every day of the regular “school week” is used for school in our house. In fact, the schedule I keep with my 5 year old Kindergartener is unpredictable and far from typical. Some days we start right at 8am with books, worksheets, flashcards and notes. Other days it’s 3pm and we’ve done nothing but count the number of garments we moved from the washing machine to the dryer. Yet, as I sit and watch my son who is barely a few months into his 5th year of life, I realize how much more I have to offer him than so many classrooms do. I see him for who he is. I know his quirks and his needs better than anyone else. I don’t have to adapt to meet the needs of 25. I only have to adapt to meet the needs of the one. That means that the areas he struggles in get more of my time and attention when he needs them. And the areas he excels in can be rewarded duly. It also means that road trips in the middle of a school week are no problem. His “teacher” and “principle” (aka Mom & Dad) simply go along with him.
Here he is on our recent “field trip” to the United States Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He loves science, math and all things having to do with Rocketry. Not only was this our classroom for the day but it was a reward for his hard work so far in Kindergarten. This met the needs of one.
Katie Hale is the owner/author of the blog You Brew My Tea.
November 27, 2012
The website Online Education Database has recently published an article entitled
50 Educational Video Games That Homeschoolers Love
You might want to check it out.
As OEDB writes, ” Video games often get a bad rap. Some of that criticism may be deserved (many don’t exactly encourage kids to get active), but video games aren’t all bad. In fact, there are a number that are pretty darn educational and can help students young and old learn new things, develop problem-solving skills, and get creative, all while having a really great time.” Yes–while having fun!
And as we all know, fun learning is forever learning!
November 25, 2012
A Homeschooling Project – a Groovy Lava Lamp!
We combined some ingredients we found around the house to make a very mesmerizing and reusable lava lamp. All you need is an empty water bottle with the label removed, vegetable oil, water, food coloring (one color), and an Alka-Seltzer tablet.
Just fill the bottle a little over halfway with the oil, then add water, stopping about an inch from the top. Add around ten drops of food coloring. Cut or break the antacid tablet into quarters and drop one quarter into the bottle. The lava lamp will then come to life! When the bubbling slows, add another quarter-tablet to get it started again. You can keep doing this as long as you’d like!
You can also store this project by letting it sit until all the bubbles have completely dispersed. Then you simply cap it and store it in a safe place until the next time you would like to use it. My boys had so much fun with this project that they did not want to stop.
Sierra’s blog can be found at http://operationruchhomeschool.blogspot.com.
November 18, 2012
Kids love jokes–so why not surprise them with a few Thanksgiving jokes from the website Enchanted Learning. There really are some good ones!
What’s the most musical part of a turkey? The drumstick!
If fruit comes from a fruit tree, where does turkey come from? A poul-tree!
Why did the turkey cross the road twice? To prove he wasn’t chicken!
November 15, 2012
Gobble Me Up – what a cute, fun, healthy snack–great for a mid-morning homeschool snack. Your kids will love it! You can surprise them with the first one–but I bet they’ll want to make one (or two) of their own!
It’s made with apples, pears, apricots, etc.
Fun and healthy–are always a good combination!
November 13, 2012
I wrote last month about a book I REALLY like called Candy Construction by Sharon Bowers and published by Storey Publishing.
Here is her cute Thanksgiving turkey. Not only is it fun to make –but it can be a placecard holder for Thanksgiving dinner!
So it’s a twofer–it’s 1) a fun and 2) delicious homeschool project!
A number of Storey Publishing/Workman books made our 2012 Gift Guide. You might want to check them out.
And as always, fun learning is forever learning.
November 11, 2012
Placemat + Magnets = Homeschooling Educational FUN!
Find a placemat with educational information you’d like your students to learn: states & capitals, U.S. Presidents, whatever you can find. I’ve used both the laminated plastic placemats and the thicker, foam placemats. The former placemat in this photo was a laminated periodic table of the elements, proving that educational manipulatives DO work for kids older than five. Notice the element in the lower right corner that is flipped over to show the magnet on its back. The placemat cost me about $3, which is an amazing price for educational gadgetry of this quality!
Cut the placemat apart into its various components; scissors will usually work, but you may want to use a razor-knife or X-Acto blade for accurate cuts on thicker materials. Don’t worry about leftover pieces–you can throw them away.
Now is a good time to rid your refrigerator door of all those freebie magnets you’ve collected from the pizza guy, hairdresser, auto mechanic, insurance agent, and every politician who marched in last summer’s parades. I always accept freebie magnets when offered (regardless of political affiliations) — they are my favorite homeschool supply! Using your scissors again, cut the magnets into pieces about ½” square or whatever size will fit easily onto the back of the placemat pieces you cut in the last step.
The next step may require a trip to the scrapbooking department of whatever store is near you, unless you are already an avid scrapbooker, bookscrapper, person who documents life events in keepsake albums with pretty papers, ribbons, and all variety of cutesy add-ons. I’m not one of them, but I do recognize the homeschooling value of all those fabulous supplies! What you need right now is a box of the adhesive squares that are used for mounting photos or other items onto scrapbook pages. Stick one of those double-stick-tape squares onto the printed side of the little magnets you just cut up, then stick the other side of the tape to the back of your placemat piece. Don’t go all perfectionist in trying to line things up, just smack it on there and move on to the next one–you’ve got a lot of these to make. When each placemat piece has a magnet on its back, stick them all to a steel cookie sheet, pizza pan, or other flat metal item that will hold magnets and is more portable than the refrigerator door.
BONUS TIP: Let your kids help you with any of these steps and they won’t be able to wait until it’s all done to play with it. Now turn them loose and pretend you really don’t care if they learn what’s printed on this new magnetic educational gadget. Your kids will think they are just playing, but you’ll know they will learn from it, even if they think they are building houses or roads or flowers with the magnetic pieces. [wink]
You can visit Carolyn’s website at http://guiltfreehomeschooling.org.
November 8, 2012
Grapefruit Geography 101 – A Homeschooling Guest Blog Post
She’s just 14 years old!
Hi there all you Homeschoolers. We are the five Trefethens. We cruise aboard the OMARSEA , our 50 foot sailing boat now bound for New Zealand. On board our crew consists of my Mom and Dad, my brothers Ben and Steve, and me Julianna. I am fourteen years old. I love living on a boat and traveling with my family. On board my Dad is the teacher. He is also the sailor and takes care of the boat. He is teaching my brothers and I all about how to raise the sails, steer the helm, navigate with electronics like GPS and also how to use the stars to find out where we are.
We sometimes start the day with an informal discussion. It can lead us almost anywhere and our Dad likes to use this time to get us to “think outside the box”. He will ask some questions like “how far is it to New Zealand?” or “How do we sail to Tahiti?” This can be a little hard on the brain first thing in the morning but it always leads us to a lively project.
Today we were looking at how to determine where we are should our electronic GPS fail. My Dad believes in Low Tech. That’s why we used a grapefruit for a globe. My Dad drew lines of Longitude to explain how it works. It’s awesome, and when we were done we ate the world.
Offshore he keeps paper charts (sailors’ maps) on the counter and we mark down how far we are North or South of the equator (Latitude). Then we mark how far East or West of Greenwich England we are (Longitude). He says it starts in England because the British invented Longitude and they decided where to put the prime meridian. I am from Portland Oregon so if it had been me who discovered Longitude I would have made Portland the starting place. Anyway, we put little x’s on the chart every hour to show where we are. That way if our GPS dies we can go back to using the old fashion way – the sextant. It’s a plastic gadget that measures how high the sun or a star is off the horizon. That’s the easy part though. Then you have to use your Geometry skills to convert the number of degrees from the sextant to your Latitude and Longitude or Lat/Lon for those sailors out there. In our class we have paper worksheets to keep track of all the math so it’s not too bad.
What I learned is that the old ways still work even though they are a little boring. You can use a sextant, a set of tables called sight reduction tables, a stop watch, a pencil and a calculator to find out pretty much exactly where you are on the earth. It’s pretty neat when you stop and think about it. I really like math when I get to do something outside of the books. It makes it fun and I remember more of it when we are done.
You can follow our adventures at www.omarsea.com. Fairwinds to you.
November 6, 2012
I have some very exciting (homeschooling) news. Homeschool.com’s Gift Guide for 2012 will be coming out next week. I have been working on this since the SUMMER! It is truly a labor of love. I am so proud of it. I sure hope you like it!
Toys included in this year’s guide can be found on the Internet, in boutique stores, and in big box stores. They include wood toys, plastic toys, cloth dolls, electronics, green toys, toys that promote physical activity, and a few toys your parents and grandparents might have played with.
We’ve included something for everyone–even a few gifts for Mom and Dad!
And best of all, most of these products can be used in your everyday homeschooling.
Educational…age appropriate…and fun — our Top Educational Gifts for 2012!
Coming next week!!
And as always, fun learning is forever learning!
November 4, 2012
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Math-U-See provides a firm foundation in mathematics for students of all aptitudes — and is a great homeschooling resource. The mastery-based approach allows students to move at their own pace whether they are naturally gifted in mathematics, struggle with mathematical concepts, or have special needs.
The Math-U-See curriculum covers elementary through high school Math, starting with an introduction to Math and progressing through Calculus. There is also a Stewardship course–a Biblical approach to personal finance.
For an overview of Math-U-See , you may view this informative video.
Math-U-See quotes an ancient proverb, “Tell me, I forget: Show me, I understand; Let me do it, I will remember.” And then adds, “Let me teach it and I will have achieved mastery!” This is the goal of Math-U-See–for students to achieve mastery–to be able to teach material back to their teacher.
To meet this goal, they supply all the necessary the tools–the rest is up to you!
Fun–and fun learning is forever learning!