Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Wrap-Up | December 9, 2106

might-be-santa
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It’s been a crazy week for me! Traveled from the East Coast to the Midwest, got to play with all my blood grandkids, but missed the honorary ones ;'( , spent one day in Iowa City where my mom had surgery (she’s doing great by the way) and now I’m at my folks house taking care of my dad. I’m looking forward to life slowing down a bit while I’m here for the next few weeks!

Are you ready for Christmas? I’ve done all that I am going to do. Many years ago I gave up the whole rat race and decided to limit my gifts to homemade ornaments and I’ve got those done for this year!

If you are new to this blog, each week I try to categorize all the posts I do on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest so you can easily find the ones that fit your family. Subscribe in the upper the right-hand corner to get this blog in your e-mail so you don’t miss out!

 

FAMILY VARIETY ACTIVITIES

Good mental health is enhanced by hugs, kisses compliments, and kind deeds. Give each person in your family 7 clothes pins. Have them clip them on their clothes. Set a time period such as one hour, until supper, etc. Whenever they do one of these things for another, they should also give them a clothespin. The object of the game is to be the person with the least clothes pins at the end of the time period!

 

clothes-peg-815979

 

Here are several activities centered on the true St. Nicholas!

http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/activities/

navimg11

 

Are your kids Mellisa and Doug fans? Lots of great toys and games discounted right now! Many have very obvious educational value too! If you buy through the link, you’ll not only bless your kids, but you’ll support this page too!

https://www.amazon.com/b/ref=as_li_ss_tl?rh=i:toys-and-games,n:11757837011,n:11757837011&ie=UTF8&node=11757837011&linkCode=sl2&tag=almostunschoolinggrama-20&linkId=d3d14dacf7860a53064b4a5c76e0d756

 

BIBLE

 

http://homeschoolerpost.com/16103/152073/a/unschooling-hanukkah

hanukkah1_29112015192556

 

Take some time to build a tower with your kids. Build a tower that doesn’t have a good foundation. What happens? It falls over. Then build a tower that has a good foundation. Talk to them about how we need to build a good foundation for our lives. It takes more time, but it keeps us from falling over later. Then discuss what a good foundation for our lives is.

lego-1696427

 

Tape some butcher paper to the wall. Let your kids make a mural about what they learned in church this weekend.

crayons-1639920

 

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Family

 

Do you send Christmas cards? Addressing envelopes and writing on the cards counts as Language Arts! You can add in a little geography by looking up the places you are sending the cards to on a map!

christmas-tree-1036490

 

Preschool

 

Wouldn’t it be great to pretend that your elf on a shelf wrote all over the window when you do this one? You could adjust this by doing sight words or vocab words! Just give clues about what word to erase. 🙂

http://busytoddler.com/2016/11/easy-alphabet-activity/

 

Erase the ABCs: Easy Alphabet Activity

 

 

Elementary

 

Have your kids make up hieroglyphics to represent their vocabulary words!

hieroglyphics-429863

 

 

Middle School – High School

 

Do you have a library? Come on! You are a homeschooler! Challenge your kids to organize it with the Dewy Decimal System. Here’s a video to get them started.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bV_sI8XQdI

 

 

SCIENCE

 

 

WE had so much fun learning about air pressure the other day! Put an Alka-Seltzer in a small container that is filled half way with water and watch! It fizzes and then the top pops off! There’s a whole lot more you can do with this experiment if you have older kids. They can figure out the volume of air it takes for the top to blow off by measuring the water in the container, look up what makes Alka-Seltzer fizz, figure out how much time it takes for the lid to blow, and experiment with different amounts of water and Alka-Seltzer. Your kids might think of a few more!

 

 

Give your kids some materials and watch what they come up with like this mom does!

make-a-magnetic-jingle-bell-tree-fun-christmas-science-craft-for-kids

 

If your kids haven’t made a tin can phone, you’ve neglected their education! :’) It’s something your older kids can share with the younger ones too. Keep them all busy learning about sound waves!

communication-1015376

 

Now this will keep them busy for a while! What cool science activities have you done lately?

http://frugalfun4boys.com/2015/03/10/how-to-build-a-simple-electromagnetic-train/

electric-train-collage-473x1024

 

MATH

 

Preschool

 

http://www.playdoughtoplato.com/preschool-math-straw-match/#_a5y_p=3053062

super-fun-preschool-math-activity-make-a-straw-christmas-tree-628x1024

 

 

Elementary

 

Winter Math: Snowman Fractions

 

 

Middle School and Up

 

Did your calculator come with a set of instructions? Honestly, I have no idea what all mine can do! Give your kids a calculator and challenge them to figure out what every button does and how to use it!

accountancy-1342883

 

 

Honestly, I can’t think of a better way to introduce investing to kids than by playing Monopoly! If you don’t have this game be sure to pick it up for Christmas! If you order through this link, you will help support this page!

https://www.amazon.com/Winning-Moves-Games-1126-Monopoly/dp/B002JSM3KQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1480602902&sr=1-2&keywords=monopoly&linkCode=sl1&tag=almostunschoolinggrama-20&linkId=e23dafe5373cc71d8bc67d32699595f5

monopoly

Do your kids have a Christmas gift-giving budget? Help them plan their purchases by looking at ads. Encourage them to find the best deals, add together their possible purchases. Don’t forget to figure the tax!

present-1871539

 

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

 

Free downloadable game! Some good geography links too! What are your kids’ favorite geography games?

screenshot-geo-terms-download-233x300

 

Our tradition is that Santa flies around the world and leaves presents for children everywhere. But that’s not the way it is. Take some time to explore other Christmas traditions around the world. Don’t forget that most people in the world don’t celebrate Christmas at all, but there are many holidays during the winter months. Explore those too!

santa-31665

 

 

MUSIC

 

http://caldwellorganizedchaos.blogspot.com/2016/11/my-favorite-nutcracker-music-lesson.html

nutcracker

 

ART

 

Fill some spray bottles with colored water. (use food coloring). Then go out and paint pictures in the snow!

aerosol-can-159912

 

PE

 

Don’t forget! Sledding counts as PE!

sledding

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

http://www.toddlerapproved.com/2015/12/christmas-toss-game-for-toddlers.html

christmas-toss-game-square

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

 

Good News!

Armed Forces Finally Accept Homeschool Enlistees on Equal Terms

Long Struggle on Behalf of Homeschool High School Graduates Pays off

http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/2014/201403180.asp

 

 

SPECIAL NEEDS

 

Please read! Especially if you have kids with learning differences!

“Despite having a couple of diagnoses that actually make social interactions stressful and confusing for my son, he was clearly the one most capable socially.”

 

http://simplehomeschool.net/public-school/

schoolpicmo

 

 

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

What Kind of Homeschool Mom or Dad Are You?

 

What is my Child’s Learning Style?

 

I really want to leave this alone, but I just can’t! It came up as the top story on my Google Alerts for homeschooling. Therefore, a lot of people are probably reading this nonsense. This guy is using all the lame arguments against homeschooling that I heard back in the late 80s! And all of them have been proven untrue!

Please, go register at this obviously podunk newspaper and set him straight!

http://www.elgincourier.com/news/article_79d64c22-bca1-11e6-96dc-7398e77f0f8c.html

 

 

What is a Working Homeschool Mom?

 

So sorry that I haven’t gotten around to blogging about the activities I got to do with my grandkids this week.  Things have been really hectic! Hopefully, I will get around to it this week.

God Bless You All!

 ~Grama Sue

Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Wrap-Up | December 2, 2016

chat-for-awhile-ml-me
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Hope you all have had a terrific week! The grandkids got home from Pennsylvania so I got to play with them for a few days. So much fun! I’ll be doing some blog posts about the things we did soon. Now I’m off to Iowa to help my folks out for a couple of months. My mom is having surgery next week, so please pray for a speedy recovery!

If you are new to this blog, each week I try to categorize all the posts I do on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest so you can easily find the ones that fit your family. Subscribe in the upper the right-hand corner to get this blog in your e-mail so you don’t miss out!

FAMILY VARIETY ACTIVITIES

Every year when my kids were growing up, I declared the time period between Thanksgiving and Christmas “ART MONTH”! We cut our formal lessons to the bare minimum and concentrated on making presents. A major activity was making cookies and treats for everyone we knew. I would buy tins at garage sales throughout the year and during “ART MONTH” we would fill them with mouth-watering treats. Are you celebrating “ART MONTH”?

bake-1058836

 

This is geared towards groups, but my kids would have loved doing this right at home. What about your kids? You could use this for review with any book or lesson!

http://ministry-to-children.com/yes-no-sticks/

yes-or-no-220

 

Do you know all of your neighbors? Have a baking day with your kids and then take goodies to them!

bake-1446431-1

 

 

BIBLE

 

King Josiah lesson

 

 

 

Get some party noisemakers and reenact the story of Jericho! If you don’t have any, you can use this link to order some and you can help me out at the same time! I get a small commission.

http://amzn.to/2fZpH3s

61wpq0meuel-_sl1500_

 

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Preschool

 

Your child may exhibit these signs when he/she is preschool age, but if he/she doesn’t, don’t worry! The average age for a child to be physically and mentally ready to read is 4 -12. Don’t push it!

Ready to Read – Reading Readiness Signs and Checklist

 

Elementary

 

Have your kids write a paragraph about how they would want to be decorated if they were a Christmas tree.

christmas-145319

 

 

Make paper ornaments with vocab words written on the backs. Put them on the tree. Then have your kids pick one or two each day and look up what it means.

christmas-1782167-1

 

 

Ask your kids what they would do if Santa were stuck in a chimney.  Have them draw pictures and write a story.

santa-34692

 

 

Name your elves. Then talk about what kinds of characteristics they have. Are they shy? athletic? What kinds of things are they interested in? Woodworking? electronics? Then write a story about a day in their lives.

If you don’t have any elves, you can buy some through this link and it will help support this page!

http://amzn.to/2gyTUDx

elf-on-a-shelf

 

 

Middle School – High School

 

Make a crossword puzzle from words in a Christmas song and let your kids guess which song the puzzle is about. Then challenge them to make one for you!

christmas-carols-37539

 

SCIENCE

 

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bend-candy-cane-science-label

 

MATH

 

Preschool

 

Make a Christmas tree from construction paper or felt. Then make several cards with numbers on them on different colored construction paper. Place these in a bowl. Have your little one draw out one and decorate the tree by putting that number of sequins, beads or pom-poms of that color on the tree. Older kids can pull two and add them together.

conifer-152063

 

 

Elementary

 

How to Play Dice War (Subtraction) Good Math Games

 

Middleschool and Up

Can’t say enough good about this game! It was a favorite at my house for years! If you don’t have it in your house, please consider buying it through this link and help support this page!

http://amzn.to/2gsigPk

91mcnnnh3xl-_sl1500_

 

 

 

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

Is there a National Guard or a military base near you? Call to see if you can get a tour! Great field trip! Find out about how it came to being and where those stationed at that base have served.

veteran-1807121

 

 

 

MUSIC

Free music therory course!

https://www.musiclessons.com/youtube/#6gHEIF0rT2w

 

ART

Have your child pick his/her favorite piece of art you have in your home. It can be a painting, a craft, a figurine, quilt, or whatever they love. Then have him/her describe the piece. What is the medium? What do you like about the lines, colors, textures, etc.? Where is it in your home? What makes that place a good place to display it? And anything else they can think of to describe it. This could make a great dinner time discussion or a blog post for older kids!

mona-lisa-74050

 

 

Something fun to do with all those broken crayons!

http://heatherednest.com/2016/11/melted-crayon-art-diy-christmas-ornaments.html

melted-crayon-craft-diy-christmas-ornament-heatherednest-com-3

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

Sensory Crawl Infant and Toddler Activity {Huggies Little Movers}

 

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

 

Ask Jeanne: Do Homeschoolers Get a Diploma?

 

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

More parents taking kids’ learning into their own hands

http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/education/2016/11/26/more-parents-taking-kids-learning-into-their-own-hands/93925296/

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God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Wrap-Up

circus-308718
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Hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and may the spirit of Thanksgiving envelope every other day of your year!

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

— William Arthur Ward

If you are new to this blog, each week I try to categorize all the posts I do on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest so you can easily find the ones that fit your family. Subscribe in the upper the right-hand corner to get this blog in your e-mail so you don’t miss out!

FAMILY VARIETY ACTIVITIES

Spend a little time studying the history of the circus and go to one if you can. Circus’ tend to have families as performers. Pretend you are a circus family. Figure out what you can recreate and put on a circus with balancing acts, tumbling, clowns, pet, and stupid human tricks.

circus-308718

 

Adopt a missionary! Send them letters, pray for them and do fundraisers for them! This is a great organization!

http://www.gfa.org/

gfa-logo

 

BIBLE

 

 

Read the story about how Jesus created new eyes for a man in John 9:9-12 to your kids. Then get some dirt, add some water (or saliva if you are really brave 😉 ) and let them play in the mud.

mud-70783

 

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Family

 

Riddles are a great way to teach your kids to think logically! Click on this link to find great riddle books while helping support this page!

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=riddle+books+for+kids&sprefix=riddle+book,aps,605&crid=16YSQS3CB735N&linkCode=sl2&tag=almostunschoolinggrama-20&linkId=42caec6440fd4338758ee4deac7e16a2

riddle-book

 

 

Great idea from Mommy’s Page!

15094945_1480280278656634_3269597266363721209_n

 

Preschool

 

I totally don’t agree that all children should write their names before kindergarten, but this post has some great ideas for helping your child learn!

A simple way to practice name writing… before kindergarten!

 

 

Elementary

 

OK, another use for textbooks (There aren’t many 😉 ) … Show your child the glossary in the back of a textbook. Explain that the purpose is to help people with words they might not be familiar with and that it is in alphabetical order. Then have him/her write an instructional article and include a glossary.

notebook-23642

 

Print out a news article, but remove the headline. Let your kids read it and come up with their own headlines. Then compare them to the original. Then look at lots of headlines online. Discuss what makes a headline that encourages people to read the article.

hands-1167619

 

Middle School – High School

 

Choose a book you are reading. Pretend you are a director who is casting the actors for a movie about it. Then choose people to play the characters. These can be anyone! – Friends, historical figures, actual actors, even fictional! Explain who you would choose and why.

clapper-board-152088

 

SCIENCE

 

My granddaughter is having a ball making butter! Bet your kids will too!

Make Homemade Butter Thanksgiving Edible Science

 

Have your kids blow up some balloons. Then have them see how far they can walk with them between their knees. NO HANDS! Experiment by doing the same thing with the balloons between the elbows. Then try different sizes and shapes of balloons. Is there a difference between the balloons that are blown up slightly and those that are blown up taunt? What other kinds of experiments can you try?

balloons-960892

 

How Much Weight Can Your Boat Float?

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Aero_p020.shtml#procedure

foil_boats_img

 

MATH

 

Preschool

 

http://mominspiredlife.com/number-recognition-fall-tree-number-matching/

number-recognition-fall-tree-number-matching-new

 

Elementary

 

This cute bean bag toss is loaded with indoor PE with math possibilities! Challenge your kids to start by tossing into the “5” hole, then the “10”, “15” up to 25 or backwards. You can also add or multiply scores from each round to a preset goal. Make your own or buy through this link to help support this page!

http://amzn.to/2gh71uG

51kszas5uol

 

http://www.123homeschool4me.com/2016/05/ladybug-addition-math-game.html

ladybug-addition-doubles-practice-game

 

 

Do some round robin math. One person writes a number sentence. The next person solves the equation and uses the answer in their number sentence, and so on … Play against a timer, or until someone can’t solve the equation or until the number can’t be read. So many ways to have fun with this!

boy-1126140

 

Middle School and Up

The math you need to manage your money

 

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

Have your kids make a list of questions about family and email it to grandparents, aunts and uncles. Use the answers to compile a family history.

checklist-1643784

 

What are your family’s favorite foods? Do they come from your ethnic background or somewhere else? Can you find out when and where those recipes were first created?

child-1207329

 

You don’t have to live in a state with mountains to have elevation. What is your state’s high point and low point? Mark them on your map and go there if you can!

elevation-841255

 

http://www.123homeschool4me.com/2013/10/homeschool-history-lesson-plan-medieval_21.html

image_thumb1

 

MUSIC

Check out this interesting post on the songs of the Underground Railroad!

http://pathways.thinkport.org/secrets/music2.cfm

african-american-1292905

 

 

ART

How to Teach Art to a Curious Teen (When You Know Nothing About Art!)

 

http://www.firefliesandmudpies.com/2014/11/03/gratitude-stones/

gratitude-stones

 

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

 

Sticker Line-Up

 

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

 

http://www.thegilesfrontier.com/2016/09/entrepreneur-homeschooling-middle-school/

middleschoolentr-1130x570

 

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

Why Grade Levels Do Matter

 

This 19-Year-Old Homeschool Alum Just Became Ontario’s Youngest Ever Elected Member of Parliament

 

http://www.ourgoodfamily.org/2016/02/how-much-time-does-our-homeschool-day-really-take/?utm_content=buffer235fb&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Almost Unschooling Grama Weekend Wrap Up

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What has your week been like? We got to my son’s in Jacksonville, NC a week ago. I’m so happy! Traveling is OK as long as I have my own bed, (and because I live in a camper, I do 🙂 ) but I love staying in one place and having a routine! Unfortunately, it won’t last for too long.  I need to head back to Iowa next month so I can take care of my folks when my mom has surgery. But for now, I’m having fun playing with my grandkids and soaking in the hot tub! Enough about me! On to this week’s posts!

If you are new to this blog, each week I try to categorize all the posts I do on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest so you can easily find the ones that fit your family. Subscribe in the upper the right-hand corner to get this blog in your e-mail so you don’t miss out!

FAMILY VARIETY ACTIVITIES

15036570_1780901298830715_1566077506014293474_n

We made thankfulness wheels! Simple, but the kids really had fun!

 

The Gratitude Game: Pick-Up Sticks

the-gratitude-game-for-thanksgiving-768x1024

 

Thanksgiving is coming! Here’s a whole bunch of crafts and activities to make the day interesting!

image425

http://www.123homeschool4me.com/2013/10/35-turkey-crafts-kids-activities-for.html

 

BIBLE

 

dialog-307798

Print a few copies of this bubble.

Have your kids read Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Have your kids write down or draw a desire of their heart.

Ask how they could tell if this is a godly desire. Discuss how they can “delight themselves in the LORD”.

Encourage them to write down or draw a desire that comes out of their love for God. Then pray about seeing this desire come to pass.

 

 

How creative! Tell me you are going to do this with your kids!

pf-1st-opening-tongue-inside-1

http://www.biblesongsandmore.com/2012/07/20/the-tongue/

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Family

 

torch-2007

Turn off your lights and challenge your kids to find something “yellow”. or that starts with a “c”, etc. with flashlights. Make it harder for older kids by giving clues for a specific object. Have fun building listening skills!

 

Preschool

 

Turkey Feather Name Recognition Practice

 

Elementary

 

img_20161103_141753609

 

 

 

 

 

Make pyramids out of your spelling words by dropping the first and last letter for each level.

 

Do your kids like Arthur? Here’s a cute little game about facts and opinions!

fo_splash

http://pbskids.org/arthur/games/factsopinions/

 

invisible-13955-1

Discuss with your kids what life would be like if they were invisible. Then have them write a story about it!

 

Middle School – High School

 

teen-edit-fb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCIENCE

 

Plant Cell Model Cake

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This post about the Coriolis Effect was so cool! Unfortunately, most playgrounds have taken out merry-go-rounds. Got any great ideas to adapt this?

1024px-tift_park_merry-go-round

http://trialanderrorhomeec.blogspot.com/2016/11/playground-science.html

 

MATH

 

Preschool

 

img_20161114_080853032-1

My daughter-in-love made theses cute strawberries with numbers on them for the redhead because she loves Strawberry Shortcake. They played hide-n-seek with them and then put them in order. Great number recognition game created with the child’s interests in mind! Go girls!

 

Elementary 

Pyramid: Fun and Easy Math Card Game!

 

img_20161116_050042923

How many tools can you find that measure things in your house?

 

Middle school and Up

SOCIAL STUDIES

can-696583

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before it gets too cold, organize a clean-up party at your favorite public place! Volunteers are at the top level of the socialization tier.

 

Make Native American vests out of paper bags!

img_20161112_130800413_top

http://gramasuesrainbow.com/…/native-american-paper-bag-co…/

 

westminster-1209360-1

Have your kids figure out what time Big Ben says it is right now. Then figure out what time it is in Jerusalem, Hong Kong or any place you happen to be studying!

 

fresh-orange-juice-1614822

Have you ever made orange juice from fresh oranges? Many children have no idea where their food comes from. Make it a goal to make at least one food item from the raw ingredients a month. Then find a YouTube video about how that item is mass produced and finds its way to your grocery store.

 

MUSIC

shoo-turkey-45_orig

http://www.makemomentsmatter.org/content/shoo-turkey-a-song-for-november

 

ART

home-272280

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go for a walk and hunt for art. Take pictures of graffiti, murals, statues, architectural art, etc.

 

PE

10-crossing-midline-exercises-for-kids-square

http://www.growinghandsonkids.com/crossing-midline-exercises-for-kids.html

 

img_20161113_134852457

Rainy day PE. Skate on paper plates! Make sure Dad knows what you told the kids to do though. Poor girl got in trouble because of Grama Sue.

LIFE SKILLS


Oh, WOW!!!!!! I thought the way I tied shoes was great, but this is awesome! What do you think?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/millions-of-people-have-watched-this-moms-shoe-tying-tutorial_us_57d1862be4b06a74c9f32628

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

 

I never took Latin, but my mom did and she says it really helped her in nursing school because anything scientific is in Latin. She says it also helps with vocabulary and learning romance languages because many of our root words, prefixes, and suffixes are derived from Latin.

http://familystyleschooling.com/2015/11/12/latin-verb-conjugations-present-stem-worksheets/

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

The conference is the core of my system for individualized education. Several times a week, I sit down for a 15 to 20 minute one-on-one with each student. We look over the work they have done, discuss goals and concerns, and make adjustments. For older kids who can read, this is really all it takes! Younger kids need this plus 30 to 60 minutes of instruction every day.

Several times a week, I sit down for a 15 to 20 minute one-on-one with each student. We look over the work they have done, discuss goals and concerns, and make adjustments.

For older kids who can read, this is really all it takes! Younger kids need this plus 30 to 60 minutes of instruction every day.

conference

 

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Native American Paper Bag Costumes

img_20161112_130800413_top
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Saw the cutest Thanksgiving craft the other day at:

http://justonemomtrying.blogspot.com/2011/11/preschool-thanksgiving-costumes-indian.html

So I thought I’d try it with the grandkids!

 

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The first step was to cut up the front of a paper bag and create a neck hole. Then I cut arm holes on the sides.

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After that we wet down the bags a bit and crumpled them up to make them look like leather. I took an iron to them to get the moisture out and flatten them back out.

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We cut fringe on the bottoms and the kids decorated them.

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Then we made head bands and decorated them too.

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Don’t you think the girls look beautiful in their Native American vests?

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And of course, the Geek got really creative, adding feathers to his head band and a paper bow and arrow.

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I thought they did a great job! Bet your kids would love this too.

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Tennessee People | Friendliest People on the Planet

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Tennessee has some of the most beautiful sights in the country, but this guy right here was the most beautiful sight of all! Every time we’ve been in Tennessee, we’ve been impressed by the friendliness of the people, but this guy took the cake!

When we pulled into our camping spot, we noticed a tire was smoking. When Grampa Tom took it off, he was amazed we hadn’t lost it while driving down the road. The bearing was completely gone! We asked around about someone to fix it and were told to go over to Shade Tree Repair, just a couple of miles from the campground we were staying at in Rock Island State Park.

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We drove over and explained our situation. We were amazed that they agreed to come to the campground to look at it. Most mechanics won’t make house calls. Matt Turner, the owner of the shop came and looked it over. In the course of our conversation, we found out that the shop he runs was originally owned by his father. He loves the area and told us where we needed to go to see the sights. He thought it wouldn’t take much to fix and promised to come back that afternoon. I asked how long it would be until he knew what it would cost so I could be sure to have his money ready. He said, “Don’t worry about it, I’ll find you.”

So we spent the afternoon out taking in Tennessee fall beauty. You really have to go there! The pictures just don’t do it justice.

When we got back, Matt was just finishing up. I asked how much we owed him. I figured it would take a big chunk of change. We were at his mercy, but having someone come to the campground to fix the wheel would be worth whatever he decided to charge. His answer? “Nothing.” He refused to take a dime!

What an answer to prayer! I figured it would take most of our reserve money if not more. I was prepared to call relatives and ask them to wire money! I don’t know how this guy makes any money. He spent most of the afternoon working on our trailer! May God Bless him many times over!

Enjoy the pictures!

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

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Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Round-up November 11, 2016

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Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are awesome, aren’t they? Back when I started homeschooling in 1986 there were 2 or 3 companies that catered to homeschoolers and they were expensive! Today, there’s so much out there it can be overwhelming! But, with a little creativity and help from the internet, you can practically homeschool for free!

Your time is valuable. I post enough educational ideas each week that you could put together individualized curriculums for your kids from them fairly easily  over the course of a month or two, but accessing all of them would take hours of scrolling each week. So, I am going to attempt to do a summary of all the ideas and links I have posted each week, (plus a few extras) all neatly organized according to subject category and age level. Feel free to pick and choose those activities that best fit your children! Subscribe in the upper the right-hand corner to get this blog in your e-mail so you don’t miss out!

FAMILY ACTIVITIES

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Do you know someone who’s been deployed overseas? The holidays can be a very lonely time for them. Get their address and have your kids write to them. Send a care package in time for Christmas. Your kids will learn about letter writing, the military and possibly about the country where your troop is stationed. If you don’t know anyone, I have a son and a son-in-love who are currently stateside in the military. I’m sure they could get you the name and address of someone to write. PM me.

BIBLE

outdoor-bible-verse-scavenger-hunt-1

Free outdoor Bible verse scavenger hunt. Click here!

http://biblebasedhomeschooling.com/free-outdoor-bible-verse-scavenger-hunt/

 

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Challenge your kids to write a story with as many of the names of the Books of the Bible in it as they can.

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Make a cartoon book depicting a Bible story!

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

Family

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Another version of “Mother May I”: Instruct your kids to “run like a turtle” or an elephant or a turkey, but stress that they cannot move a muscle until you say “Go!”. Then count down, 3, 2, 1, but don’t say “go”, instead say “Girl!” Count down again but go back to 2 instead of “go” … Mix it up a few times. Teaches listening skills in a fun way.

 

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Challenge your kids to find a different creative way to say thank you every day this month!

 

Preschool

Preschool Letter Recognition Activities

 

Elementary

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Cut several pictures out of a newspaper, mix them up and have your kids create a story from them.

 

Blogging for Kids

 

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Parts of Speech Hunt: Take an old magazine article and have your kids highlight all the nouns blue and all the verbs yellow. Use different colors for other parts of speech. You can also make this more challenging by circling phrases, etc.

 

Middle School – High School

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Have your teens pick a song that they think represents their life. Have them embed a video of it in their blog or in an email and write about why that song speaks to them. Counts as Music Appreciation too!

 

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Pretend  you live in is a department store universe. What would your life be like? Write a story about the advantages and challenges such a universe would have.

 

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SCIENCE

Flying Pumpkins: A Force and Motion Activity

 

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Love those activities that mix subjects!

http://www.kcedventures.com/blog/popcorn-math-science-activity-for-kids-explore-volume

 

 

MATH

Family Activities

Domino Math

Preschool

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http://mominspiredlife.com/number-recognition-fall-tree-number-matching/

 

Elementary 

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Dump out your change jar. Count the coins. Then sort them by the years stamped on them and stack them together. Count the number of coins in each stack. Make a bar chart showing the number of coins in each year. Then figure out the percentage of coins in each year by dividing the number in a stack by the total number of coins from your jar.

 

Middle School and Up

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Figure out how far you could jump if you were a grasshopper! Click here!

http://handsonmath.blogspot.com/2014/10/proportionality-grasshoppers.html

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

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Have you ever taken a tour of your local post office? Great field trip!

 

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http://preschoolpowolpackets.blogspot.com/2016/09/ancient-greek-architecture-stem.html

History is just full of science! Imagine that!

 

MUSIC

Another duo activity! Music and PE here!

Thanksgiving Songs for Children – A Turkey Dance

 

ART

10 FREE Thanksgiving Coloring Pages

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December is coming! I always declared an “art month” during December. We would only do a skeletal curriculum of spelling and math drills. The rest of the month was devoted to making Christmas presents. The kids really learned to love giving! They were so excited to watch people open the gifts they had made themselves. 🙂

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

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http://www.candokiddo.com/news/carrot-peel-baby-sensory-play

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

I’m working on doubling that again! How bout 10 years this time?

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2016/11/01/number-of-home-schooled-students-has-doubled-since-1999-new-data-show/

 

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5 Reasons Why the Government Should Stay Out of Education

 

How to Motivate Your Kids to Get Their Schoolwork Done

This is where I deviate from radical unschooling. I really think there are some things that require a lot of discipline to learn, like spelling, playing a musical instrument, and math facts. If kids are allowed to work on them for a few days or even weeks and then not use it, they will loose it. I also believe that since I get a reward for almost everything I do that maybe is boring or unpleasant, kids should too. Do you use incentives? What kinds of things work for you?

 

Wow! I learned so much doing this post! Hope it blessed you!

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Throw Out The Math Books!

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When my older two went to the local high school, they did so well in math that the teacher is still certain that I must be a math major. The truth is, I flunked out of math in high school. We are pretty good friends, but this teacher still thinks I’m lying 😉

My secret? Throw out the math books. Until you get into the upper-level subjects like Algebra and Geometry, there is only one of good use for math books – to cut word problems out of to put in a box so the kids can draw them out at random. There may be a few people out there who learn math well the way math texts are set up, but for most of us, they are set up to confuse.

Why they teach addition only for 3 weeks and then switch to subtraction only for 3 weeks is beyond me. Most kids are just starting to catch on to the addition by the time they switch. Then by the time they are starting to catch on to the subtraction, they switch back to addition the kids have forgotten how to do that by then! To make matters worse, the kids have to do mountains of boring calculations every day. Their little brains just can’t digest that much!

Here is the right order to teach math:

  • Addition only until they can add a column of four 4-digit numbers.
  • Then subtraction while doing a couple of addition problems a day. Do not start multiplication until your child can subtract 4 digit numbers.
  • Stop for a bit here. Have your child do one review problem each of addition and subtraction. Get yourself some old math textbooks and cut out addition and subtraction word problems to put in a container. Have your child draw two problems out each day and help them figure out whether it is an addition or a subtraction problem and how to set up and work the problem.
  • Teach place values to a million and introduce decimal places.
  • Teach counting money.
  • Teach skip counting, not only 2s, 5s and 10s, but 3s, 4s, 6s, 7s … all the way up to 15s.
  • Then multiplication with review work on the things they have already learned. Work on these until they can multiply four digit numbers and numbers with decimals.
  • Then division with one review problem for each category of the above. Work until they can divide 7 digit numbers and decimals.
  • Then fractions.

Things like time, measuring and Roman numerals can be mixed in there just about any time, but make sure your children master the basics in the right order and don’t require more than 8 to 10 problems a day on a worksheet. Play games for drill practice and review whenever possible. They will learn it faster and without buckets of tears.

One other secret is to realize that math is a lot like riding a bike. Introduce new concepts by first writing them down as they watch. Then have them write the problem down as you tell them each thing to write. Continue doing this for a week or so. Then ask them to try to do a part of it themselves. Each time you do that concept, ask them to try to do a little more on their own. Be patient, and tell them to be patient with themselves. After a while, they will catch on and ride off without you!

In addition to my own kids, I wound up homeschooling several kids besides my own. Most came to me when they were in 5th or 6th grade and failing. Using this order, I could take them from not being able to add to doing very complicated problems in just a couple of years. You can too! Just ditch the math books!

 

 

 

Domino Math

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dominoes

This is a game the whole family can enjoy instead of boring drills.

 

Spread dominoes out face down.

 

Levels:

 

Counters:

Pick up one domino. Count the dots on each side. Then count all the dots. Say 2 + 4 = 6

 

Adders:

Pick up a domino. Repeat the steps for the counter level and then write the answer on a piece of paper. On the next turn, add your second answer to your first. The person who gets to 50 first wins. When this is easy, add 2 dominoes together and race to 100 or 500.

 

Subtracters:

Pull 2 dominoes. Subtract the smaller from the larger. When this is easy. Put 100 on a sheet of paper. Pick 1 domino and subtract it from 100. On the next turn subtract your pull from the number you got on the previous turn. The first one to get to 0 wins. This can be made more challenging by starting with 500 or 1000, picking 2 dominoes, adding them together and subtracting the result.

 

Multipliers:

Pull 2 dominoes. multiply them together. Add your answers on a sheet of paper. First one who gets to 1000 wins. Or start with 1000 on the sheet and subtract answers.

 

The whole family can play this at the same time. Just set different goals for each player according to their level.

Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Roundup

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Please follow and like us:

Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are awesome, aren’t they? Back when I started homeschooling in 1986 there were 2 or 3 companies that catered to homeschoolers and they were expensive! Today, there’s so much out there it can be overwhelming!

Your time is valuable. I post enough educational ideas each week that you could put together individualized curriculums for your kids from them fairly easily  over the course of a month or two, but accessing all of them would take hours of scrolling each week. So, I am going to attempt to do a summary of all the ideas and links I have posted each week, all neatly organized according to subject category and age level. Feel free to pick and choose those activities that best fit your children! Subscribe on the right to get this blog in your e-mail so you don’t miss out!

Before we get started this week, I wanted to share this great quote that I found this week from C. S. Lewis:

“In those days a boy on the classical side officially did almost nothing but classics. I think this was wise; the greatest service we can to education today is to teach few subjects. No one has time to do more than a very few things well before he is twenty, and when we force a boy to be a mediocrity in a dozen subjects we destroy his standards, perhaps for life.”

It’s something Grampa Tom and I discuss quite often. Most schools (especially high schools and colleges) require subjects that don’t pertain to anything the student will need when they get out into the workforce in an effort to produce a “well-rounded education”. Not only is it a waste of time, but it produces bored kids who are quite willing to just skate by. Let your kids study what they want! If they should need any of the “extras” when they are out there, they will pick it up.

 

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A traditional school is a perfect habitat for competitive, extroverted, academically inclined students. But if you put an angelfish in this shark tank, you are asking for problems. Make sure your child has the right habitat for learning. ~ Grama Sue

~ Grama Sue

FAMILY VARIETY ACTIVITIES

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Most newspaper companies are thrilled to show kids around. Call to set up a tour! Counts as Language Arts or Social Studies!

 twister

Combine the game of Twister (which is PE) with any other subject! Simply print out questions on red, blue, yellow and green stock paper and cut them apart to make cards. Then after the spin, draw a card of the corresponding color. The player must answer the question and then make the move on the spinner.

If you need to buy a Twister game, click on the link!

http://amzn.to/2dSQAX4

 

BIBLE

Experiencing the 10 Plagues of Egypt

 

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Give your kids tubes of travel toothpaste. Have them race to see who can get their tubes emptied first. Then have them try to put the toothpaste back in. Compare this to our words. Oftentimes our emotions will tempt us to race to spill out words that hurt others, but if we give in to that, we won’t be able to put them back in. Encourage your kids to take time to pray before they speak!

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

Family

Remember! Every time you play a board game with your kids they are practicing valuable reading, math and social skills! Have a game night regularly!

Preschool

Winter Crafts for Kids – Marshmallow Names

Elementary

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Surgery to make contractions! Wow! Love this idea from The First-Grade Parade!

http://thefirstgradeparade.blogspot.com/search/label/contractions

Middle School – High School

A vocab game with a purpose!

http://freerice.com/#/english-vocabulary/1478

 

SCIENCE

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Give your kids a ball, a board to make an inclined plane and a timer. Have them time how long it takes for the ball to roll down the board. Then, challenge them to make the ball roll slower.

Build A Hand Crank Winch Simple Machine STEM Idea

 

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Decide on a small terrarium pet such as a lizard or an insect. Study what the pet will need and create a habitat for it.

 

MATH

Preschool

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Print out this dot board. Young kids can roll one die and circle the number of dots they rolled. Older kids can roll 2 or more dice, circle those numbers and add them together.

Elementary

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Make multiplication drills fun with this free game download from Games4Gains!

http://games4gains.com/blogs/teaching-ideas/multiplication-squares-game

Middle School and Up

Cool Math for Kids has lots of brain teasers! Check them out!

https://www.coolmath4kids.com/brain-teasers

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

Introduce your kids to Native American pictographs and encourage them to write a story with them!

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Legos are always a hit when it comes to learning! Study flags with this lesson from Momgineer! http://momgineer.blogspot.com/2014/02/flag-fun-with-legos.html

flag-fun

 

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Spend some time watching the election coverage on networks with opposing bias’. Point out to your kids the wording used that exposes the bias from each of the channels.

 

MUSIC

Because I had a Daddy/Daughter date with my dad at the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony last Sunday! 🙂 Cute video about the kinds of instruments you will find at a symphony!

 

ART

Doing jigsaw puzzles of classic paintings is a great way to study Art!

Pick some up here! http://amzn.to/2esiQvQ

 

PE

DIY American Ninja Warrior Backyard Obstacle Course

 

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It’s time to clean up the yard and put your gardens to bed! Get the kids out there pulling up plants, mulching, raking, etc. Great PE activities!

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

Cardboard Beads Threading Activity for Toddlers

 

PRESCHOOL

Practice using scissors with these free printables from 123 Homeschool 4 Me!

http://www.123homeschool4me.com/2015/02/simple-scissor-practice.html

 

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

I too hear so many kids who want to be homeschooled. Many teenagers are fully capable of educating themselves.

Help! I Want to Be Homeschooled.

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

Homeschool Students SPEAK UP!

 

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If you have a child who is prone to anger or emotional outbursts, give her a pinwheel. Tell her that blowing on the pinwheel when she is angry or upset will help her calm down and think better. Then when the meltdown comes, give it to her and encourage her to blow on it as hard as she can 5 times.

 

31 Days to a Well-Run Homeschool

 

Smart lady! This is where I differ from radical homeschoolers. I believe there are memory skills that need to be worked on every day like spelling and math drills. You can’t work on these things for a day or two and then pick it up next week and expect your kids to get anywhere. And I believe in carrot sticks! A radical homeschooler would not stoop to bribes. 😉

How to Motivate Your Kids to Get Their Schoolwork Done

 

Wow! I learned so much doing this post! Hope it blessed you!

 

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue