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If You Were Me and Lived In….Carole P. Roman

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 7:43 am



Carole P. Roman is a prolific author of educational/fun books that might be of special interest to homeschoolers.  She has written 35+ books, received 100+ awards, and has 3,000+ online reviews of her works.  That’s a lot!

Specifically, she has two series – If You Were Me and Lived in…Culture  – a series for kids 3-8 years old, and If You Were Me and Lived in…History for kids 10 -15 years of age.  The culture series includes books on what it would be like to live in China, Scotland, Kenya, South Korea, Russia, Greece, Italy, France, Peru, and more (so far, 18 have been published). The books cover the subjects of the countries’ food, language, clothes, toys, and more. The history books describe what life was like during different time periods around the world. The time periods include Renaissance Italy, Elizabethan England, Ancient China, Ancient Greece, the Old West, Colonial America, the Middle Ages and more. Covered topics include the political climate of the time, clothes, food, customs, religion, etc.

These books are great for a homeschool or co-op library.  And there are plenty of opportunities to develop lessons/teaching moments around the books.  For instance, you can take trips to the market, practice speaking the language, chart the differences between a child’s life in the book and your own child’s life, etc. Parents can even arrange for pen pals with the culture books.

Things I like about the culture books:

  • The number of books – you can have an entire mini-library with all of the titles.
  • They follow the same format, so a child can anticipate the subject matter that is next.
  • They teach about cultural diversity.
  • They are visually appealing.
  • The subject matter is geared towards young children – ie., what your name might be, what you might call your Mom and Dad, foods eaten, games you might play, etc.
  • Every book starts out with a map of the country – where it is on the globe (very important), and ends with a Pronunciation Page (extremely helpful).
  • You learn new things. For instance, did you know that:  Instanbul has been named the European Capital of Culture (even though it’s not even the capital of Turkey!). Egypt is a transcontinental country (it’s located in both Africa and Asia). The Roman Empire stretched into almost 48 modern day countries (HUGE!). And more.

Things I like about the history books:

  • As these are for an older age group, there are 50+ pages per book – so there is more info than in the culture books.
  • They follow a similar format, covering the topics of occupations, food, clothing, recreation of the time – and of course, pertinent history.
  • Again, you learn new things, such as in Ancient Greece girls didn’t go to school as they were not considered citizens. Thatched roofs, although charming, also housed fleas, rats and other wildlife. It took the Mayflower 66 days to arrive in America, while the Speedwell had to return to England because of leaks, etc. I have to admit, I didn’t even remember there had been a boat named the Speedwell. And more!

In addition to the non-fiction series books, the author has also written the Captain No Beard series (Captain No Beard tackles problems on the high seas and dispenses valuable lessons at the same time), and other books such as Can A Princess Be A Firefighter, Whaley’s Big Adventure, and more.   All are fun – and all are worth a read.

Carole’s books are available on Amazon and Barnes and

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: — dailynews @ 4:00 am




A new early childhood education website with 500 free animated books and songs is now available at The site features animated, read-aloud stories and songs that stress phonics and phonemic awareness. Words highlight as they are spoken or sung. Children can click to hear each word in a story sounded out phonetically. All content can be accessed free of charge with no password or log-in at

Just thought you’d like to know…

Summer Music Lesson Packages Available!

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: — dailynews @ 4:00 am


This is a guest blog post from Forbes Music

Ready for Summer?

After a long winter, we are all excited to soak up some sun and enjoy the outdoors. But it won’t be long before the sweltering heat drives us back inside. And I’m sure you’ve heard “I’m bored.” or “There’s nothing good on TV.” That’s where our Forbes Music Teachers come to the rescue! Give the kids (or yourself) something to keep busy all summer long.

Why Take Summer Lessons?

  • Try something new
    • Music lessons not only keep their minds sharp over the summer, it’s also a great time to try something new. It could be a new instrument or a new style of music.
  • Fewer distractions
    • With fewer distractions than the regular school year, summer is a wonderful time to focus on your instrument. Music teachers can provide inspiration and cultivate motivation with challenging yet fun pieces for any age or skill level.
  • Flexible scheduling
    • Forbes Music offers many scheduling options from ad-hoc (scheduling one lesson at a time) to our summer packages (check them out below!)
  • No need to review in the fall
    • Taking a little time off and exploring the world is not only fun, it’s necessary. But taking too much time off means a fair amount of review time in the fall. Even a few lessons over the summer helps keep everything fresh so you can hit the ground running in the fall.
  • Keep your muscle tone!
    • Remember being a musician is a physical activity! It not only takes coordination, it takes strengthening our fingers, bodies, and for wind instruments and singers, our breath. Athletes train during the off-season. Shouldn’t you?

Check out Our Summer Lesson Packages

Summer Lesson Packages  Registration Fee** Bonus Discount
Four (4) lessons  $25
Six (6) lessons  Waived! 5%
Eight (8) lessons  Waived! 10%

**Registration fee ($25) applies to all families new to Forbes Music Company.

Contact Forbes Music  for pricing details!

The Fine Print:

  • 2016 Summer lesson packages expire August 31st, 2016 (All lessons must be completed prior to this date).
  • Materials (books, instruments, etc.) are not included.
  • $25 one time registration is assessed once per household.
  • Scheduling is done on a first come, first served basis and is subject to teacher availability.


Homeschool Challenge – Go the Day without Electronics


Homeschool Challenge – Go the Day without Electronics

This is just one of the amazing articles in’s virtual magazine Summer Fun


You can see’s Great Summer Resource: 101 Things To Do This Summer list here.

For many kids, SUMMER means freedom. Freedom to sleep in and hang around most of the day. With the way technology is evolving, we don’t see many of them without electronic devices of some sort. It’s easy to see how they can become so involved in them. As adults, we have the same problem with putting down the phone or stepping away from the computer.

Now here goes the “when we were your age” part…. We didn’t have the option to sit inside all summer. I’m not sure about your neighborhood but in mine we were told to go outside. We would wake up, race out the door to see what friends were already out there. You knew when you had to go in b/c the street lights would come on or your parents would yell your name. I would always be jealous of the kids that got to stay out a little later.

Fast-forward life to today. The kids I would sit for in the summer (and even my own) would complain there was NOTHING to do when they were told to go outside. Mind you there were 2 acres of land (including the neighbor’s yard), every piece of sporting equipment you could imagine, bikes and plenty more to do. Yet after 15mins, I would find them sitting on the porch looking miserable with their cellphones in their hands.

After the 1st week of summer, I could no longer take it. The fix… I sat each kid down and had them give me 10 things they’d like to do (less kids, increase the amount) and I sorted them onto colored paper. Categories included places to go, things to make (snacks/crafts/meals) and things to do. I rolled each paper up and picked from them during the week. Everything on the list was also free of electronics and you could not use one during the time. Each day we did a few of the activities BUT they still had video games/TV time.

As the next couple weeks passed, I noticed the kids expressing more excitement about going outside.

Go The Whole Day Outside and NO Electronics

I will admit I did use my phone to take a couple of pics (capture the memory, don’t interrupt it). Some of the things we did outside… set up targets around the yard with different obstacles for a nerf gun target challenge, relay races, s’mores by a fire, water balloon fights, and different sporting games like basketball and soccer. At one point the kids wondered off into the woods to build a fort. Yup I really just said that. The kids were now actually BEING KIDS and not zombies.

In this fast moving world, we tend to loose site of the little things. I can tell you it was just as tough for me to cut down as it was for them.

This summer I encourage you to pick at least 1 day, where you go outside for the day and just ENJOY it without the distraction of any electronics. Make and capture memories to look back on.

One day the kids will be gone and all you will have are the memories.



Puzzle Prime

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 4:00 am




The mathematician Artur Kirkoryan created the website The puzzles have been carefully selected to provide varying levels of difficulty, making for hours of fun for all ages and skill levels. From brain teasers, puzzle crime stories and Sudoku puzzles, to optical illusions, video games and toy reviews, Puzzle Prime has something for everyone.

The website keeps expanding, both design and features wise and some of the planned new sections will include educational articles, quizzes, etc.

There are no ads on the website.

Just thought you’d like to know…


Five Benefits of Taking Summer Enrichment Workshops


Five Benefits of Taking Summer Enrichment Workshops or Courses

Includes several listings from’s 101 Things To Do This Summer list!

 This is just one of the GREAT articles in’s Summer Fun Virtual Magazine!

Summer provides an ideal time for students to grow academically without even realizing it! Enrichment workshops offer the opportunity to engage in interesting, but short term, subject areas that may open up a student’s mind to further study or just allow the student to continue processing academically all throughout the summer.

The Century Foundation, a non-profit think tank and research organization, found that students who participate in enrichment courses, rather than just continuing regular school year subject matter, demonstrated more positive growth in achievement. Students who don’t participate in academics at all throughout the summer tend to struggle with each new year. This appears to be particularly true for high school students.

A number of reasons why summer enrichment workshops are beneficial, beyond learning the content offered:

1. Opening Doors – a year of Greek may sound a bit scary, but eight weeks doesn’t seem so bad. Summer enrichment allows students to explore topics that they might not be inclined to pursue during the regular school year. This exploration may lead to further study, a new hobby or more knowledge.

2. New Teachers – A summer workshop allows students to develop a relationship with a new teacher. This can allow homeschool students to improve communication skills as they interact with other adult educators.

3.  Extra Credit and Honors – workshop subject matter may possibly apply to part of another credit or provide honors for a course. For example, a music history workshop could be combined with music lessons for a fine arts credit.

4. Keeping the Brain Juices Flowing – so, there’s not really any juice in the brain, or I don’t think so, but the benefits of keeping our kids thinking through the summer have been documented many times in many different studies. As well, studies demonstrate that retention falls when students aren’t required to read and think during the summer months.

5. New Skills – learning a new set of skills may be the answer to summer enrichment, especially when those skills can be used for success in full year courses. In Powerpoint for instance, students learn how to create electronic presentations. There are many ways students can put such a skill to good use in their homeschool (and beyond!) classes.

Check out current summer workshops in your area and online. Explore new ideas and topics, and learn something interesting this summer.

Homeschooling at the Beach


Homeschooling at the Beach

Before you go, you might want to make a Tic -Tac Towel  (#69 on’s Great Summer Resource: 101 Things To Do This Summer list)!


This is just one of the GREAT articles in’s virtual magazine – Summer Fun


One of my favorite places to be is at the beach and in the summer it’s the best place to homeschool in my opinion! Having the kids out in the fresh air, bringing a picnic lunch along and enjoying a day in the sun will brighten everyone’s day!

I am planning to spend a few days with my kiddos at the beach this summer, so I’m sharing my top 10 ideas and topics to use in homeschooling at the beach!

1. Tides

  • Spend time studying low and high tides before you visit the beach.
  • Plan a few trips to the beach so that your kids can see the difference between the tides.

2. Currents

  • Use this topic for your kids’ safety and education.
  • Research and discuss currents, the need to always pay attention to how far from land you are and what the water is doing around you.

3. Tide Pools

  • Your kids will find lots of life in tide pools, allow them to inspect and discuss all they see and touch while they’re there.
  • Have them document and take pictures of the things they see for future research.

4. Sand

  • Study what sand is made of and what sand does to glass, shells, etc.
  • Search for sea glass, rocks and shells that have been changed by sand.

5. Plant and Animal Life

  • From sea weed to crabs, and sea stars to jellyfish, life in and around the beach lends itself to enjoyment and study.
  • Drawing pictures of the animals and plants they’ve seen is a great way to incorporate art into your homeschooling day at the beach.

6. Erosion

  • Have your students research the causes and effects of erosion.
  • Take a walk on one of your beach trips and teach them how to identify the erosion around them.

7. Architecture

  • Have your children research castles, moats and bridges prior to your beach trips (#95 on’s 101 Things To Do This Summer list!).
  • Bring along square, circular and shaped containers, buckets, shovels, etc. to create their own piece of architecture in a sand castle.

8. Litter/Pollution

  • Discuss how we handle trash around our home and why we do it that way.
  • Teach kids that we need to have the same attitude about garbage when we’re at the beach.
  • Bring along a trash bag and gloves, have the kids pick up litter on one of your trips this summer.

9. Photography

  • Bring a camera on all of your trips and have your kids capture their architecture lesson, tidal studies, and more (# 44 on’s 101 Things To Do This Summer list)!
  • Teach them to love documenting their lives and studies through photography!

10. Journal, Lapbook, Scrapbook and Report

  • At the end of summer grab your supplies of choice for any of the above and take one last trip to the beach.
  • While you’re there have your students spend some time beginning to create lasting memories of their summer at the beach and all they have learned through your homeschooling days at the beach.

Ensure that you spend some time enjoying the sun and the beach just for fun too! Don’t make all your trips to the beach about studying or your kids might not want to go anymore. Learning at the beach needs to be filled with fun times all along the way!


Written by Misty Leask

From Beautiful Ashes and Year Round Homeschooling

Soaking Up Sun Science


Soaking Up Sun Science—Safe and Fun (and free)!

Includes #46 from’s Great Summer Resource: 101 Things To Do This Summer list!

Never look at the Sun directly—we all know that important warning. But if we can’t look at the Sun, how can we know what our very own star really looks like? The new DIY Sun Science app for iPad and iPhone, funded by NASA and created by UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science, lets kids and adults safely explore the Sun’s ever-changing appearance (# 46 of’s 101 Things To Do This Summer list—learn about the Sun!) and investigate the Sun just like a scientist.

With this app, you can construct a solar oven to melt s’mores (#30 on the list), discover the Sun’s dynamic features like sunspots, use a prism to examine the spectrum of sunlight, and detect solar storms that affect Earth’s technology. You can also measure the Sun’s size from the Earth, design a UV detector to see how the Sun’s ultraviolet light can make things glow, and discover how solar gases rise, cool and sink like air does in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Plus, the DIY Sun Science app includes live images and videos from NASA space missions such as the Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Want to soak up more sun fun? The DIY Sun Science app builds off of’s popular digital library for hands-on STEM activities. You can check out 170 sun science activities from NASA and other sources.

“Nearly all life on Earth depends on the Sun. The Sun’s energy is critical to human existence, from food we eat to energy we use to power our societies and economies,” says Chris Keller, who managed the app’s development. “The Sun is constantly changing, and some solar events can damage the technology we desperately depend on. That makes understanding our Sun and being able to predict these destructive solar events more critical than ever.”

DIY Sun Science is the second DIY app from the Lawrence Hall of Science, following DIY Nano, which lets anyone investigate how nanotechnology can affect our future, with topics ranging from inventions of medicine to how gravity affects tiny objects.  Another free app you can download for summer learning!


Deborah Lee Rose is a writer/editor at UC Berkeley’s Lawrence of Science and helped create the free DIY Sun Science App.  She is also the communications specialist for


Summer Freebie Extravaganza 2015!

Summe Freebie mini 2016


Guess what?’s Summer Freebie Extravaganza is in full swing!

During the event, we offer lots of great information on:

o    Summer learning loss

o    Summer homeschooling

o    Summer bucket lists (fun!)

o    The importance of play

o    Free website trials

o    Summer reading suggestions

o    Summer science experiments

o    Summer math

o    Summer arts and crafts

o    Summer recipes

o    And MORE!

Also of interest – Our Great Summer Resource: 101 Things To Do This Summer and our Summer Fun (Summer Education) magazine!

Homeschooling and Colonial Williamsburg


Susan Gilliam - Present

Mr. Locke, Mr. Wythe, Homeschooling and Colonial Williamsburg

This is a guest blog post from Colonial Williamsburg


John Locke, a contemporary political philosopher of the 17th century, who influenced such writings as the Declaration of Independence, also had many strong thoughts on the education of children. In particular he emphasized using play as a way to educate and using one’s senses to explore and investigate the world, thinking for oneself, with careful observation and inquiry.

 “§ 69…They must not be hinder’d from being children, or from playing, or doing as children, but from doing ill; all other liberty is to be allow’d them.”

  § 181that children may be taught anything that falls under their senses, especially their sight, as far as their memories only are exercised: and thus a child very young may learn…”   [From Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 1693]

Mr. Wythe, like Locke, was a man of revolutionary thought and supported Locke in many of his ideas especially when it came to the instruction of young minds. With Locke philosophy in hand Mr. Wythe conducted classes on the Palace Green at his home in Williamsburg, Virginia and utilized his extensive library, crossed disciplines, and employed “hands-on” learning.

I can only imagine what it might have been like to have been “homeschooled” under the instruction of Mr. Wythe, one who inspired others, was always the perpetual student himself, and acted on what he discovered by serving as a burgess, mayor, and judge to name a few. Using the ideas of John Locke he had his students diligently observe the world through careful experimentation. His students formulated questions, examined the world, and collected evidence, and took action. By taking action one may change the world for the better. This is what Mr. Wythe demanded of all his students whether the young mind he was helping to shape was Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, or Henry Clay.

Today at Colonial Williamsburg every day I see students young and old, many of them educated by their parents, and using the same strategies as Mr. Locke and Mr. Wythe, using play, the world around them, and the many resources the Revolutionary City has to offer. Through play they roll a hoop with a stick, or hit a leather ball with a wooden mallet and discover the ideas of motion. Using their senses they smell the roasted cocoa beans at the Palace, hear the blacksmith hammer a piece or iron so piercing that it is heard down Duke of Gloucester Street, feel the tacky wool from the sheared sheep, or see the flame fly from the barrel of the cannon receiving an education that no book can convey. They take in the past not only with their senses, but with their hands from pulling water from the well, drilling with the militia, dancing, or assisting with a bucket brigade. They read the actual words and discover images of the past from the Frenchman’s Map, to the Virginia Gazette, to Dunmore’s Proclamation, giving freedom to slaves of rebels. They hear the stirring words of men, women, free and enslaved throughout the capital city from Gowan Pamphlet, to Lafayette, to Edith Cumbo, to Martha Washington. And they can do this year round! In addition in the spring and the fall there are special weeks set aside just for the Homeschool audience to really investigate the “living” classroom, opportunities just for homeschoolers to take a journey into the past!

I often wonder when they return from their journeys and to their communities and “home classrooms” how has their time journey into the “past” at Colonial Williamsburg altered how they will interact with the world of today? Has time in the 1770’s transformed their minds, will they take action and change the world for the better? I believe both Mr. Locke and Mr. Wythe would be proud of every homeschooler and what they can accomplish with self-study and guidance from their home educator. The Palace Green (just like for Wythe’s students under the Locke philosophy) and Colonial Williamsburg can provide endless resources for reflection, discovery, and examination. It is a place where I first investigated the world as a kindergartner placing my small head through the pillories, that was an experience that was captivating, and now I enjoy a career at Colonial Williamsburg in the Division of Education, Research and Historical Interpretation.  My hope is that others too will discover the magic of the past in this colonial town.

For more information on the September 10- 25 Homeschool Days at Colonial Williamsburg, visit, contact 1-800-228-8878 or

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