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December 27, 2012

Homeschool Virtual Field Trips

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 9:00 pm

Homeschool Virtual Field Trips

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Susan Calistri Boesger

I thought I’d list a collection I have created of virtual field trips that are available for homeschool kids.  The first three are true virtual field trips, in the sense that they are videos exploring each place, and the fourth is a hybrid of a field trip and virtual exploration.  The remainder are 360 degree views, photo essays and videos which can be used as “field trips” (or collections of field trips by topic):

1. Virtual field trip of the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, NY by author Brian O. Selznik (15 min.): http://www.scholastic.com/teachbrianselznick/assets/video.htm

2. Virtual field trip of Ellis Island (31 min.): http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/immigration/webcast.htm

3. Virtual field trip of the National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C. (self-paced, using stock camera views): http://www.mnh.si.edu/panoramas/#

4. Virtual Egypt field trips (re-creations and modern views) (self-paced): http://www.eternalegypt.org/EternalEgyptWebsiteWeb/HomeServlet?ee_website_action_key=action.display.views&language_id=1

5. Virtual (360 views) of cultural sites from around the world as part of Google’s World Wonders Project: http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/worldwonders/

6. Video series inside various aspects of the presidency and the White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/inside-white-house/video-series

7. Virtual Tour with 360 degree views of Buckingham Palace: http://familyinternet.about.com/od/websites/a/buckingham-palace-virtual-tour.htm

8. Virtual field trips for kids arranged by topic: http://www.areavibes.com/library/online-field-trips-for-students/

9. Collection of virtual field trips for kids (list of internet links, not vetted for accuracy or availability): http://www.internet4classrooms.com/links_grades_kindergarten_12/virtual_field_trips_collections.htm

10. 100 Incredible and Educational Field Trips from onlineuniversities.com.

None of these take the place of actual travel, in my book, but are extremely valuable resources to enhance education!

You can read Susan’s blog at http://www.susancalistri.com.

December 26, 2012

Homeschooling – Fun Pics on Facebook

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

I haven’t posted new blogs over the last few days–but I have posted some fun (homeschooling) pics on our Facebook page–you might want to check them out.

Friday’s upcoming blog is a Guest Blog post from Susan Calistri Boesger about Virtual Field Trips — it’s chocked full of GREAT INFORMATION!

Fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

December 18, 2012

Homeschooling Project – Feed the Frogs

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , , , — dailynews @ 9:00 pm

 

The following is a Guest Blog post–a cute homeschooling project–by Homeschool.com reader Katrina Thennis.

I’m not sure where I got this idea.  I think I saw some other project and revised it to fit what we needed.  If anyone finds that someone else came up with this idea I would be happy to credit this to them.

Supplies:
Cardboard egg carton
Scissors
Single hole punch
Acrylic paint
Googly eyes or permanent  marker
Hot glue gun & glue or craft glue
Small pom-poms or cotton balls

Instructions:

1.  Cut two cups out of the egg carton and even off the edges with scissors.
2.   Look at the cups and find one that has a wider raised spot to choose as the top of the head (you will glue or draw eyes on this wider spot).  Punch a hole in the back of this cup to make a spot for your child to put their finger through.  I punched one spot multiple times to make a spot big enough.  It was easier than using scissors to try to cut a circle.
3.  The bottom part of the cup can be turned whichever way you like.  Punch a hole in that one too.
4.   Paint the outside of the cups.  We used green acrylic paint and covered it with glitter.  I have two little girls who are firm believers that everything looks better with glitter.  Let dry thoroughly.  If your kids are anxiously waiting to try out the frogs you might use a hair dryer set on low.
5.   Draw or glue eyes on.

How to Use:

1.    Fine Motor Skills
Scatter pom-poms on the floor or table and let your child “feed the frog”.  You can use assorted colors of pom-poms and challenge them to pick only certain colors.

2. Math
Again scatter pom-poms but this time make requests such as “Let’s see if the frog can find 3 pink pom-poms.”  I also let the girls pick out certain numbers of pom-poms and my older one adds them together.  So for example, one child might be asked to find 4 green pom-poms and the other one to find 3 pink pom-poms and the oldest then adds them together.

You can read Katrina’s blog at http://thechickenwire.blogspot.com/2012/10/with-changes-of-seasonsfrogs-in.html .

 

December 16, 2012

Homeschooling Calendar 2013

Buying a homeschooling calendar for 2013?  How about this educational calendar?

Each calendar day includes a relevant historical event that happened on that day.  A colorful graphic or photograph is included on each day, along with a quick explanation of the important event or person.  Often activity ideas and trivia questions are included to add to the educational fun.  There’s no extra room on the calendar squares to write personal notes because they’re so full of pictures and information, but an area at the bottom of each calendar page is left blank for writing in important personal dates.

A fun addition to anyone’s homeschooling endeavors–and an item listed in the Homeschool.com Holiday Gift Guide 2012.

Fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

 

December 13, 2012

My Dad Was My Homeschool Teacher

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , , — dailynews @ 9:00 pm

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Katie Hale

My Dad Was My Homeschool Teacher

As a woman who was home educated as a child, I definitely know the lists of pros and cons that go alongside the idea of taking it upon yourself to be a homeschool teacher for your children.  I saw as my Dad struggled to keep up with his job as a pastor and to be the educator I needed.  I recall many times where I missed the routine of a classroom and simply the time spent with other kids my age.  Do I regret being homeschooled?  No.  Do I wish some parts had been different?  Of course I do.  But in the end I wouldn’t trade those times for anything.  My most treasured moments in life are of the years that my Dad was my teacher.  Sitting in the living room eating cereal and watching Little House on the Prairie each morning before Bible Class may not be what the curriculum suggested but it taught me something no classroom could.  My Daddy loved me and he wanted to encourage me to read.  By getting me interested in a TV show, he pulled me into the world of historical fiction books.  He nurtured me as only a father could.  That non-traditional tactic opened my world to a love of books and history that still burns strong as I review authors on my own blog today.

Katie Hale is the owner/author of the blog You Brew My Tea.

December 11, 2012

A Homeschool Lesson – We Want Them to be Bees!

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 9:00 pm

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Mitch Saba

A Homeschool Lesson – We Want Them to be Bees!

While I rarely like or share things like this, a friend sent me this video and thought it needed to be shared:

http://youtu.be/o8limRtHZPs

I don’t normally like this type of thing (it is a waste of time to state the obvious) but for some reason I watched.  In watching it struck me, I’m a Bee.  I was not homeschooled, I am (unfortunately) a product of the public school system, so is my wife.

Through my youth I was repeatedly told I couldn’t do this or that.  I remember in 8th grade, we had to give a presentation on what we wanted to do/be when we grew up.  We were supposed to research our desired future career, which I did.  My presentation was on becoming a Mechanical Engineer.  After I finished my presentation, which I was very proud of, before I left the podium, my teacher ridiculed and laughed at me.  He said I could never become an Engineer given my weak math skills.  I was devastated, humiliated and a bit traumatized as you can imagine.  There were one or two other “excellent mentors” like that throughout my K-12 education though none compare with that.  I was left with a ‘why try’ attitude.

When I graduate high school I did not go to College since I didn’t know what I wanted to do.  I had a successful career in Banking for close to 10 years because I learned faster and worked harder than most of my peers.  Eventually though I quit, went to College and earned not only my Bachelors but my Master’s in Computer Science & Engineering.  That’s right, I became an Engineer!  If only I had been encouraged perhaps I would have become one much sooner.  I have no regrets as I believe everything happens for a reason.  Regardless, my wife had similar experiences, and we vowed to never expose our children to the public school system.  We want them to be Bees!

 

December 9, 2012

Cute & Fun Recycled Crafts – Great for Homeschooling

Last week I wrote about a book in our 2012 Gift Guide that I’m absolutely crazy about. Here’s another one–Recycled Crafts Box, written by Laura C. Martin and published by Storey Publishing, LLC.  What a fun book to go along with your homeschooling endeavors!

Ms. Martin shows kids how to make fun art projects out of the paper, plastic, metal, and cloth we usually consign to the recycling bin or the garbage can.  This book contains wonderful pictures, and loads of educational information.

You can give this book with the promise to do a craft a week/every two weeks–whatever works for your family.

Fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

December 6, 2012

Take a homeschooling break and have some fun!

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , , — dailynews @ 9:00 pm

It’s December and much of the country is covered in snow.  Need to stay inside?  Of course not! Here are twenty plus activities to do in the snow!  Take a break from your homeschooling endeavors and have some fun!

Fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

December 4, 2012

Tickle Monster!

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , , — dailynews @ 9:00 pm

What do little ones love more than just about anything?  Being Tickled!  And that’s what the Tickle Monster Laughter Kit is all about.  Tickle Monster is written by Josie Bissett and published by Compendium, Inc.

The Tickle Monster book is about a loveable monster with big puffy mitts that has just flown in from Planet Tickle. His mission is to bring joy and laughter to Planet Earth. How?  By tickling any child who happens to follow along with this book.  Parents read aloud and do the tickling while their children squirm and giggle with delight. Finger holes in the mitts make it easy to turn pages and tickle, too.  The result is joy, laughter and lifetime memories for your child.

A video of the product can be seen here.  Note the packaging–it’s beautiful.

This product is featured in our 2012 Gift Guide, is DARLING, and would make a great gift for any little one.  I have to admit, it’s one of my favorites!

It’s so fun–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

December 2, 2012

Homeschooling Flexibility and Accountability

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , , , — dailynews @ 9:00 pm

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Susan Calistri Boesger

Homeschooling Flexibility and Accountability


There comes a time in most homeschool parents’ lives that they begin to wonder, “Just how independent should I expect my child to be with regard to his own learning?”  The question may creep up slowly, or come on suddenly, but at some point we have to decide how much to let our children handle on their own.

We are at that point in our homeschool journey now.  My son is 10, entering those tween years where he is not quite a youngster, and not quite a teenager.  He wants to do his own thing and make his own learning choices, but his choices are all over the map: some good, more not so good.  So how much independence is too much?

Independence and responsibility require a gradual transition from parent-directed educating, to child-directed learning.  At younger ages, children need parents to direct their learning, and how much learning might take place in any particular day.  The children are given lessons to complete and once completed the parent reviews them for accuracy and learning.

As children mature, they need to be gradually given more control over their own learning.  This may mean providing lessons for the day which the child is requested to do within a certain period of time, with the child progressing to completing the day’s lessons at his or her own pace in any given day.  Later, as the child becomes more adept at managing their own time, a child can be given a weekly schedule to follow with the parent ensuring that the work is done each day; eventually, it will be possible to give the child all of his or her lessons for the week, and to allow the child the freedom to complete the lessons at their own pace, in their own way.

Sometimes, finding the right level of independence is a matter of trial and error. Children mature differently at the same ages, so the parent needs to monitor their own child’s maturity, to determine how to begin handing over the responsibility of learning to the child.

You can read Susan’s blog at http://www.susancalistri.com/ .


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