Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Wrap-Up | February 17, 2017

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

 

 

State and national parks usually have a huge variety of educational opportunities! Most offer history and science activities in addition to hiking! Call the ones near you for more info!

 

http://something2offer.com/10-projects-to-transform-your-backyard-into-an-educational-oasis/

 

 

Some of my readers’ favorite educational websites!

Enchanted Learning – one of my favorites too. Well worth the yearly fee!

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/Home.html

 

Reading Eggs

http://readingeggs.com/

 

Progressive Phonics

http://www.progressivephonics.com/

 

Grey Olltwit Educational Software

http://www.greyolltwit.com/

 

Answers in Genesis

https://answersingenesis.org/

 

 

 

BIBLE

 

Make some heart shaped cookies. Break a few of them.

Ask your kids about times when they have been heart broken. Then take an unbroken heart. Compare it to Jesus. Tell your kids that Jesus came to heal the broken-hearted. Put icing on that cookie and then place a broken cookie on top of the unbroken cookie.

Cover the broken cookie with icing. Explain that when we join our hearts to Jesus, He covers us with His love (icing) and heals our hearts. Let your kids make their own mended hearts and eat them!

 

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Preschool

 

Backpack scavenger hunt. Start out with an empty backpack that it closed. Ask your child to find something orange and put it in a certain pocket. Make sure they close the pocket when they are done. Then ask them to find something shiny and something soft to put in another pocket. Again, have them close it. Now ask them to find 3 items with different descriptions. Keep going until they can’t remember or they get bored. This activity sharpens listening skills and fine motor skills.

 

Elementary

 

http://www.teach-me-mommy.com/2015/10/subject-predicate-writing-game.html

 

 

Middle School – High School

 

 

Have your kids look up synonyms for love in a thesaurus and write an essay giving examples they have experienced or observed of each.

 

SCIENCE

 

Many local TV and radio stations have classes for storm spotters. Get your teen involved! Even if they never become a storm chaser, the things they learn will help keep them safe.

 

 

Things to do with a magnifying glass:

  1. Investigate coins.
  2. Compare what you can see with and without it.
  3. Look at plants.
  4. Try walking while looking through it! (Be sure to have someone spotting so your kids don’t run into things!
  5. Examine rocks.
  6. Start a fire! (You know if your kids are old enough for this!)
  7. Find out what happens when you look through two magnifying glasses at the same time.
  8. Make some fingerprints and look at them.
  9. Look at bugs.
  10. Try looking through it with one eye then both and at varying distances.
  11. Discuss ways people use magnifying glasses in everyday life.
  12. Research how magnifying glasses are made.

 

If you need a magnifying glass, please consider buying through this Amazon link to help support this page. Thanks!

http://amzn.to/2kTnuXS

 

 

 

MATH

 

Preschool

 

 

Make a counting bug! Draw a lady bug. Have your child color it. Then make some number spots from black construction paper. (I used white-out to paint the numbers.) Have your child pick out a number spot and place that many pom-poms on the lady bug’s back. Do some simple arithmetic by pointing out the number of pom-poms your child has placed on each side of the lady bug’s back saying, “2+2=4”.

 

 

Elementary

 

Throw a pair of dice. Have your kids add them together and then go up that number of steps and then slide back down. Make sure you practice step safety by using the handrail!

 

Middle School and Up

 

http://reliefteachingideas.com/100-word-challenge/

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

 

 

Jesus could trace his family tree clear back to Adam on both His mother’s and His father’s side. How far can you trace yours back? Is there anyone in your family that has done extensive research? Have your kids contact them. Most family historians are happy to share!

 

 

 

Create a calendar tracking the significant points in a historical events such as a famous battle, a presidential election or a disaster.

 

 

http://thepinterestedparent.com/2016/08/egyptian-pyramid-craft/

 

 

 

Daniel’s Place has several ways to create Egypitian crafts!

http://www.daniellesplace.com/html/egyptian_crafts.html

 

 

In most schools, K-3 is basically all about teaching kids to read, write and do math. And so it should be, but there’s no reason you can’t work a little history in there! Here’s a few ideas. Please add yours in the comments!

  1. Read books about famous inventors, sports figures, musicians, leaders, explorers, etc.
  2. Make a timeline. Place pictures of all these people on it.
  3. Locate where these people lived on a world map. Pin pictures of them or something that symbolizes what they did where they lived. In the case of explorers, use a marker to trace their travels.
  4. Have a toga day! Dress up in togas and learn about Ancient Greece and Rome.
  5. Build a pyramid out of sugar cubes.
  6. Create puppet shows about historical events.
  7. Go to museums.
  8. Visit an antique store. Call ahead to arrange a tour. Most owners love to talk about the history of their inventory.
  9. Draw the outline of a covered wagon 4′ x 18′ in your driveway. Try to imagine living in it.
  10. Do some tie-dye and have a 60s day!
  11. Build a tee-pee.
  12. Explore the history of the Olympics. Pin pictures of torches on your map of all the places it has been held. Have a mini-Olympics. Watch videos of the competitions and try to recreate as many events as you can at home.

 

 

MUSIC

 

 

Start a musical instrument file by finding several pictures of different instruments. Past them into a document on the computer. Then find examples of those instruments being played and put the URLs next to the picture. You could also write a little about the history and typical uses of each instrument. Keep adding to your file at least once a week and as you find new instruments.

 

ART

 

http://handsonaswegrow.com/syringe-painting-preschoolers/

 

PE

 

Hive-Five Brain Break: Set a timer for 1-5 minutes. Tell your kids to see how many times they can high-five before the timer goes off. The only rule is that they can’t high-five the same person twice in a row.

 

HEALTH

 

http://www.amomstake.com/kid-friendly-science/

 

 

 

LIFE SKILLS

 

http://www.theottoolbox.com/2015/10/shoe-tying-tips-and-tools-for-kids.html

 

PRESCHOOL

 

5 Fun Ways To Learn With The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss

 

 

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

https://motherhoodandotheradventures.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/peek-a-boo-sensory-board/

 

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

 

http://benandme.com/2016/03/teach-your-teen-to-begin-saving-now.html

 

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

A peek into the life of a working homeschool mom!

https://practicalbydefault.com/day-my-life-homeschooling-working-outside/

 

 

And a homeschooling military family!

http://okinawa.stripes.com/education/home-where-class-look-homeschooling-option-military-families#sthash.ts0g4kr2.dpbs

 

 

 

Check out my Face Book page for the latest activities and plenty of encouragement. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have about homeschooling!

 

God Bless You All!

 

~Grama Sue

Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Wrap-Up | 2/10/17

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

 

Which of these Valentines activities do you like best?

http://ilslearningcorner.com/2016-02-brain-building-valentines-activities-midline-crossing-fine-motor-vestibular-visual-planning/

 

 

Get several booklets or brochures from your local tourist information office. Read them over with your kids. Then challenge them to make a booklet or brochure about something that interests them. While you are at it, be sure to plan to visit any local sites that interested them in the info you picked up!

 

Things to do with playdough:

  1. Experiment with creating new colors by mixing them.
  2. Make a maze to move cars or small toys through.
  3. Create relief maps.
  4. Make letters and write words.
  5. Make impressions of your hands and measure the span between the fingers.
  6. Press items from your nature walk such as leaves, flowers, rocks or bark to make an impression. Remove the item and let it dry.
  7. Cut with a plastic knife or safety scissors.

Make your own or order a 10 pack through this Amazon link to help support this page!

http://amzn.to/2k0qH6G

 

BIBLE

 

 

Play “Guess Who!” Make some cards with the names of Bible characters on them. Put them face down on a table. Have each player take a card.

Player 1 picks another player and asks a question that might help them guess which character that player is holding.

After the question is answered, Player 1 takes a guess as to who it is. If he gets it right, he gets to put that card right side up in front of him. The player who gives up the card draws another and Player 1 gets another turn. If he doesn’t get the right answer, the play goes on to the next person.

The game continues until all the cards are drawn or after a pre-set time period.

The player with the most cards face up wins.

 

 

 

Find a cheap cape at a thrift store or make one by using a large rectangular piece of fabric to tie one end around the neck. Cut off a portion of the back of the cape and then tape it together somewhat loosely.

Then have your kids act out the story about David cutting off the back of Saul’s cape found in I Samuel 24. Have your David rip the piece you already cut off.

After discussing why David didn’t take the opportunity to kill Saul, have your kids turn their backs. Hide the piece of the robe that was cut off and have your kids go look for it.

 

 

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Preschool

 

Oh how I wish I had known this when the kids were little! I wouldn’t have felt nearly so bad about all the broken crayons we had!

Why You Should Break Crayons (On Purpose)

 

 

Elementary

 

 

Cut apart a comic strip and have your kids put it back together in the right order!

 

Middle School – High School

 

Introducing adverbs? Try this twist on Charades for a fun way to help them get a firm grasp on what an adverb does! Create two sets of cards. One set should be action verbs such as run and blink. On the other write adverbs. You can google lists of both if you are having trouble thinking of them.

Play Charades with them by selecting a verb, acting it out and then selecting an adverb and acting out the verb and how the adverb affects the verb. Walking and walking slowly are two different things.

If you want, play in teams. Allow your teams to use props found around the house. For instance, if you want to jump weekly you could get a calendar, point to each day and then jump as you point to each Saturday.

 

SCIENCE

 

Things to do with binoculars:

  1. Watch birds and other wildlife
  2. Investigate distant rock formations
  3. Explore how binoculars are made
  4. Spotting good fishing holes
  5. Watching the night sky
  6. Turn them around backward for a crude microscope
  7. Watching a sporting event from the nosebleed section
  8. Compare your eyesight to others by observing how the binoculars are focused.

 

If you don’t have a pair, please consider purchasing through this Amazon link to help support this page.

http://amzn.to/2ljrZtF

 

MATH

 

Preschool

 

Wooden blocks – They seem too simple to be educational, don’t they? But, experts will tell you that playing with wooden blocks increases hand-eye coordination, develops spatial skills, increases problem-solving skills, increases the ability to mentally rotate 3-D objects, and even increase vocabulary skills! This set has lots of different shapes and colors for your child to explore too!

If you are needing some, please consider buying through this Amazon link to help support this page!

http://amzn.to/2kVZbqX

 

 

Elementary

 

Play hearts Bingo for Valentine’s Day!  Make hearts for each player. Put the digits 0-9 on them. Throw a pair of dice. Add or subtract, then cover the digit(s) in the answer. Then If the digit is already covered or only one is available (such as in the numbers 10-12), that turn is forfeited. Take turns throwing the dice. The first player to cover all of their digits wins.

 

 

Middle School and Up

 

Using a deck of cards with all the face cards removed, deal all players two cards. Each player tries to make the largest number they can by using one card as the base number and the other as the exponent. The person with the highest number wins that round and captures all the other cards on the table. The person with the most cards at the end of the game wins. Play until the deck is gone or set a timer.

Should We Stop Teaching Math? You Might Be Surprised!

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

 

 

When is the last time you went to a history re-enactment? They are a great way to learn about history! Participating in them is even better!

 

MUSIC

 

Clap out the beat of songs your children know well and see if they can guess which song. Then challenge them to clap a song for you.

 

ART

 

Arts and Crafts Heart Project For Kids: Upcycle, Reuse, and Reduce Stress

 

 

PE

 

How many things can you think of to do while jumping?

 

  1. Spell
  2. Recite a poem
  3. Skip count
  4. Sing

 

Kids actually memorize better if they are moving! My kids just loved bouncing on the mini-tramp while doing memory work. 🙂

 

If you need one, please consider purchasing through this Amazon link to help support this page!

http://amzn.to/2jBW3Ee

 

 

 

We made a balance path to follow! Keeping your feet on the line is tough when it comes to those corners!

 

HEALTH

 

 

Show your kids how to feel their pulse. Then have them count how many times their heart beats in 15 seconds. Multiply that by 4 to find their heart rate. Then have them check their heart rate and chart it as they do different activities through the day.

 

LIFE SKILLS

 

 

Learn to sew by making a simple stuffed animal!

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

5 Fun Activities To Do With Your 6 Month Old

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

 

 

Are you aware that there are no universal requirements to obtain a high school diploma? You, as a homeschooler, have the right to decide on your own requirements for graduation and they can be different for each student! Base your requirements on where they are headed in life, not on what someone else has decided is the right box for all kids!

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

This is long, but this Donahue show from 1971 is well worth watching. This was the type of stuff we were still dealing with back in the mid-80s when I started homeschooling. I remember going to a rally for some people who had been put in jail.

http://reason.com/blog/2017/01/27/homeschooling-then-and-now

 

 

It’s a learning process! One of the reasons most people thought I would fail at homeschooling was because I was so disorganized! Homeschooling and working full-time forced me to learn!

http://www.bookshark.com/blog/five-minute-organized/?utm_content=buffer63a4b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

 

 

What If the Kids Want to Go Back to School?

 

 

 

 

 

Check out my Face Book page for the latest activities and plenty of encouragement. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have about homeschooling!

 

God Bless You All!

 

~Grama Sue

Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Wrap-Up | February 3, 2017

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

https://oureverydaychaos.com/2017/01/27/field-trips-on-a-non-existent-budget/?utm_content=buffer09aa3&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

BIBLE

 

Goliath was 13 feet tall. Measure from your floor to ceiling. Would Goliath fit in your house? If you can’t find a place he could stand up in your house, try to find someplace outside to measure, like a 2-story house or an electric pole so you can see how big he was. Use a ladder and practice ladder safety!

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Preschool

 

How to Easily Encourage Imaginative Play Using Felt

 

 

 

Elementary

 

Tuesday was  Backwards Day! Did you challenge your kids to write their spelling words, a sentence or even a whole story backward? If not, consider having a belated Backwards Day!

 

 

Middle School – High School

 

 

Do your kids like comics? Encourage them to make up their own comic strips. Counts as Art and/or Language Arts!

Teaching Shakespeare When You Know Nothing About Him

 

 

 

 

SCIENCE

 

http://leftbraincraftbrain.com/2014/08/14/biology-of-bread/

 

 

 

Boil 3 eggs, put them out with 3 fresh eggs. Have your kids spin them all, sorting them by how they spin. Then crack one in each group. (Be sure to do this over a bowl!) Now have your kids turn their backs while you put the remaining eggs together. Then have them spin each one and predict if it is fresh or boiled.

 

 

MATH

 

 

 

My kids used to love this game. It works better on shag carpet, though. We would put numbers on cups and go number golfing. With little kids, I call out a number for them to find and hit the golf ball into it. For older kids, I call out a number sentence such as 3 x 4 =. Then they had to find the numerals that made up the answer and hit the ball into them in the right order.

 

Preschool

 

 

Things to do with M&Ms:

Sort according to color

Create patterns: red, yellow, blue, red, yellow, blue, red ….

Make shapes

Add and subtract

Create an edible chart

 

Elementary

 

 

Do you have a big stash of pennies like I do? Use them to teach place value! Have your kids count out 200 pennies to place in the 2 cup, 30 to place in the 3 cup and 7 to place in the 7 cup. Dump them all out and choose another number!

 

Middle School and Up

 

I just love the idea of using the door to show angles!

http://middleschoolmathman.blogspot.com/2016/02/angles-triangles-and-start-of-geometry.html

 

 

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

 

 

 

My grandkids occasionally get to go to work with Daddy. If your kids have this opportunity, make sure to count it as Social Studies!

 

 

6 Ancient Civilizations Mistakenly Thought To Have Homogeneous White Populations

 

 

Did you know that playing house is Social Studies? It is children’s role playing of the different family roles that helps them make sense of their world. Count it as “exploratory play”!

 

 

MUSIC

 

How to Make a Rainstick Instrument

 

ART

 

 

Spontaneous art! We were making bread and all of a sudden, the redhead was drawing rainbows in the flour!

Symmetry Sketches

 

PE

 

Give your kids a ball to throw to each other.  Set a timer for 5 minutes and challenge them to see how many times they can throw the ball and catch it. Dropped balls don’t count!

 

HEALTH

 

 

The Redhead and I talked about how an apple skin is like the enamel on our teeth. It protects the softer insides of our teeth. Then we put a hole in the apple to simulate a cavity. Within a couple of hours, it turned brown and started attracting bugs! What a bonus! Not only was the apple rotting inside, but other things were attacking it as well! It’s very important to keep the enamel on your teeth strong!

 

LIFE SKILLS

 

Best advice I’ve heard in awhile. Saw it on Hip Homeschool Mom! A lady was asking how not to set off the smoke alarm while cooking pancakes and tortillas. The general consensus was: Turn the stove down! I needed this! How ’bout you? Anyone else have some great Home Ec tips?

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

Put a small toy, such as a rubber duck, stuffed animal or bean bag on your toddler’s back and challenge him to see how far he can crawl without it falling off.

 

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

 

10 Fun Elective Ideas for Teens

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

Check out my Face Book page for the latest activities and plenty of encouragement. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have about homeschooling!

 

God Bless You All!

 

~Grama Sue

Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Wrap-Up | January 27, 2017

Tired of scrolling? 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

 

 

Have your kids pick a topic they are interested in and give a presentation about it to the family! Counts a Speech, possibly Art (If the presentation involves creating artwork) and whatever subject they are presenting.

 

 

BIBLE

 

 http://ministry-to-children.com/lesson-as-unique-as-a-snowflake

 

 

 

Find out what a cubit is in feet. Then figure out how big Noah’s ark was.

 

 

Give your kids a concordance and challenge them to look up the meanings of all the names in Genesis 5!

 

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

 

Preschool

 

 

Have your beginning writers “write” a letter on your back or the back of an older sibling. See if the person being written on can tell what letter they are writing!

 

 

Elementary

 

http://www.learnwithplayathome.com/2014/10/clever-classroom-trick-for-kids.html?m=1

 

 

http://gramasuesrainbow.com/2017/01/8-steps-to-reading-curriculum-free/

 

 

 

http://gramasuesrainbow.com/2017/01/that-says-a-homemade-phonics-game/

 

 

 

 

Middle School – High School

 

Our High School Reading List (Many Free for Kindle!)

 

 

SCIENCE

 

STEAM activity of the day: Give your kids some toothpicks and packing peanuts and see what they come up with! Wild Woman built a turkey trap. The sharp pokey things are to catch the turkey so she can eat it. 🙂

 

MATH

 

Bingo is a great game for kids who are learning to recognize numbers! Switch it up for older kids by requiring they give a number sentence with at least 3 numbers to come up with the number called. Examples: 1 = 2 – 2 + 1 or 45 = 8 x 5 + 5

If you don’t already have a Bingo set, consider buying through this link to help support this page. Thanks!

http://amzn.to/2jZAlcX

 

 

 

 

Store” was always one of my kids’ favorite games to play! We would use sticky notes to put prices on things around the room. Then one of the kids would be the cashier while the other’s shopped. I’m a stickler for teaching kids to count back change and know how to give the cashier the correct amount.

 

If you don’t have a play cash drawer, please consider buying through this Amazon link to help support this page!

http://amzn.to/2koNtsw

 

 

Preschool

 

 

Having fun counting and sorting pom-poms! Picking them up with tweezer makes things more interesting and strengthens little hands!

 

Elementary

 

 

Do math on your windows with a dry erase marker!

 

 

Play “Guess It”! Cover a coloring page with sticky notes numbered 2 – 12. Each player throws the dice pair and adds the result of the throw. If he/she can find that number on the coloring page, he/she gets to pull the number off and try to guess what the coloring page is. (Hint: Make sure any writing identifying the page is blacked out!)

 

We made a really fancy clock! Bet you can too!

 

Middle School and Up

Free Printable Cheat Sheets

 

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

 

 

Some ideas for studying the California gold rush:

  1. Make a model covered wagon
  2. Pan for gold
  3. Find items in your house that are made with gold
  4. Watch the TV series “Gold Rush”
  5. Make a balance weight

 

MUSIC

 

One of the many reasons why it is a sin to ever throw away an oatmeal box!

http://lessonsbymolly.blogspot.com/2014/11/homemade-musical-instruments.html

 

 

ART

 

 

Beautiful, sunny day? Try some shadow tracing!

 

PE

 

The grandkids are having a blast with the balloon paddles we made with paint stirrers and paper plates!

 

HEALTH

 

http://kidsactivities.about.com/od/scienceandnature/a/Egg-In-Soda-A-Dental-Health-Activity.htm?utm_source=pinterest_sp&utm_medium=sm&utm_campaign=shareurlbuttons

 

LIFE SKILLS

 

Time management is huge! Make sure your kids know how to plan and manage their time!

Time Management for Teens

 

 

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

http://www.parenting.com/gallery/baby-sign-language-words-to-know

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

 

http://sprittibee.com/2013/08/the-ultimate-list-of-high-school-credit-courses.html

 

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

 

Study after study proves that children imitate those they are around most. If we want our children to grow up to be responsible adults who should they be around most? Children or adults?

 

 

3 Ways My Gifted/AP Education Made Me Stupid

 

Check out my Face Book page for the latest activities and plenty of encouragement. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have about homeschooling!

 

 

God Bless You All!

 

~Grama Sue

That Says | A Homemade Phonics Game

Several years ago, I looked into buying “Hooked on Phonics”, but letting go of two hundred plus bucks was way more than I was comfortable with. I decided to come up with a game myself and by involving the kids in the creation of the game, they catch on just that much easier.

Instructions for creating the game:

Use a phonics website like this http://www.phonicsontheweb.com/letter-sounds.php to find a list of letters and sounds. Start with the letters from your child’s name. This is a great way to get them interested. If your child has letters that combine to make another sound like th or eigh, go ahead and use them, but don’t separate them.

Cut index cards in half, width wise. Print “THAT SAYS” on one side of each card. On the other side put one of the letters at the top of two cards. Leave a space for a picture and put a word that starts with that sound at the bottom. Make sure the word is something that your child can draw or take a picture of. Then, have your child draw that picture in the middle of the cards. You can also find pictures in magazines or take pictures with a digital camera and paste them in.

Repeat this process until you have 20 cards for your beginner deck. You will add to this deck later, but let your child become very familiar with these first. When you see that he/she has mastered these, add 2 or 3 more sounds at a time. If the deck gets too large, remove some of the older sounds and rotate a different older sound into the deck each time you play so they don’t forget them.

There are three different games that can be played with these cards.

I like to start out with a simple memory match game. Put all the cards face down on the table. The first player turns over a card and reads it like this: “This is the k that says “k” (making the k sound) like in kayak.” (It is important for the children to say this out loud and not just look for matching cards. The idea is for them learn the sounds. That can’t happen if they don’t say the sounds out loud.) Then the player turns over another card and reads it the same way. If it is not a match, the cards are turned over and the second player gets a turn. Continue taking turns until all cards have been matched. This game can be played as a solitaire game while Mom is listening as she cooks dinner or hems a garment.

The next game is a Go Fish type game. Deal 5 to 7 cards to each player. Put the rest face down in a “draw” pile. The first player looks at his/her cards and tries to make a match. If there is a match, the matching cards are to be “read” as in the memory game and put on the table. If there isn’t any match, the player “fishes” for a matching card by asking another player “Do you have … and then “reads” the card he/she is looking for. If the other player doesn’t have the match, a card must be drawn from the pile. If the card from the pile matches one in his/her hand, the player “reads” the match and places the cards on the table. If the player runs out of cards, he/she must draw one more and wait until the next turn to ask about it. All the players take turns until the deck runs out. The player with the most matches wins.

The last game is a rummy type game for advanced players. The deck should consist of at least 50 cards for this game, with 2 or 3 extra cards for each vowel. Deal 7 cards to each player. On each turn, the player tries to create a word from his/her hand. If there is any question about the spelling of a word, have a dictionary handy to look it up. If the player cannot make a word, he/she must draw 2 cards from the pile and discard one. If the discard pile has more than 2 cards, the player may choose to pick up the pile. He/she does not have to pick up the entire pile, but must pick up all the cards on top of the card he/she chooses to start from. When one player is out of cards, the game stops. Each player counts his/her words and adds that number to the total number of cards he/she has on the table, then subtracts the number of cards he/she is still holding. The person with the highest score wins that round. If you desire to play more than one round, set a winning score to work for and keep a running tab for each player. Scoring this game is a great way to practice adding, subtracting and negative numbers too!

Have fun!

God Bless You All!

~ Grama Sue

8 Steps to Reading | Curriculum Free

 

It’s not all that hard to teach your child to read. Dick and Jane basic readers can be fun, but they really aren’t needed. Throughout most of American history, the only book most children ever had access to was a Bible. And they learned to read.

Our society makes learning to read hard because we push our kids to read before they are ready. To be able to read well, there is a nerve between the eye and the brain that needs to mature. If it isn’t developed enough, teaching a child to read is very difficult and very frustrating. The normal time for this nerve to develop is between the ages of 4 and 12. If a child is potty trained at 18 months we are happy, but if she doesn’t get it down until she is 3 or 4, it’s not really a big deal. We recognize that each child develops differently in this area and no one can tell the difference when they are 30. We actually handicap many of our kids by insisting that they read before they are ready. Read to your child every day. Don’t get all uptight if he doesn’t seem interested in reading. If you wait, it will be much easier.

Signs your child is ready:

Knows what signs on the street or at a store mean.

Expresses an interest in letters

Asks to learn to read.

 

When he expresses an interest, follow these 8 steps and he will be reading in no time.

1st step – When reading to your child, always follow along with your finger.

2nd step – Show your child what a capital A looks like. Have your child find another one on that page. If that is too hard, narrow it down to a line or maybe even a word. When he can identify an A, work on identifying the lower case a. Then do B, b, C, c etc. until he is familiar with the entire alphabet. Play lots of games to help identify letters too.

3rd step – Tell your child what the letter “b” sounds like. Use the letter sound instead of the name and ask her to find that letter. Continue until your child knows all the consonants and short and long vowel sounds.

4th step – Work on diphthongs. “The ch says “ch”. Can you find the letters that say “ch”?

5th step – Work on 2 or 3 letter sight words. Show your child the word “is”. Can he find another “is”?

6th step – Explain basic vowel rules. If it is a vowel-consonant-vowel, the letter sounds like its name. If it is followed by 2 consonants it has a “short” sound. Show her some examples. Ask your child to find other examples. Continue until she can find examples when you ask for each sound.

7th step – Have your child sound out words. Help him whenever he forgets, but make sure he really tires before you tell him what the word is. If your child is reluctant or seems frustrated, have him sound out one word in every sentence with you reading the rest until he is more comfortable. Until your child demonstrates comprehension, always go back and read what they have sounded out.

8th step – Once your child is reading full sentences, stop her frequently and ask questions about what was just read.

Be sure to praise your child heartily every step of the way!

 

God Bless You All!

~ Grama Sue

Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Wrap Up | January 20th, 2017

Tired of scrolling? 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!

 

BIBLE

 

Read Acts 1:8 to your kids. Talk about what a witness is. Have they ever seen a reporter interview a witness? Encourage them to take a little while to think about what they would say if they were asked to witness about Jesus. Then give one a microphone and ask him to interview a witness for Jesus. Pass the microphone around and let each child take their turn being the reporter and the witness.

 

 

While you are reading the Bible with your kids, take the time to find the places mentioned on a map!

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Preschool

 

Name Recognition Soup

 

 

Elementary

 

 

Let your kids play with their food! Tell them they can’t eat their peanut butter until they have written two spelling words in it with a toothpick!

 

 

When doing your spelling drills, put out the alphabet on the floor and have your kids step on the letters as they spell the words.

 

 

To help your kids learn the keyboard, have them arrange alphabet cards on the floor as they are on the keyboard. They can “type” out words with their feet or play a game of “What’s Missing”. While their backs are turned, remove a letter. Then have them figure out which one it is. Start out with a real keyboard for them to compare it to. When they get good at it, take away the keyboard to make it more challenging. Once they learn the letters, have them make cards for all the other keys and continue playing.

 

Middle School – High School

 

Writing prompt! What would you do if you could travel through time? Would you visit the past first or the future? Where would you go and what would you do?

 

SCIENCE

 

http://www.cuttingtinybites.com/2017/01/winter-stem-build-snowflake-tinker-tray.html

 

 

Have your kids test this one!

You can use pinecones to forecast the weather: the scales on the pinecones will close when rain is on the way.

 

 

Use a magnifying glass to examine the frost on your window!  Extra challenge – try to draw it!

 

MATH

 

Preschool

 

 

Do you have a shell collection? Have your preschooler sort them by color, size, type or shape. Have him decide if the gray and white shell belongs with the gray or the white shells. Is it mostly gray or white? Use words like big, bigger or biggest. Do an art project with them making patterns of the shells you sorted.

 

Elementary

 

 

http://luckylittlelearners.com/2016/12/kid-friendly-videos-teach-geometry.html

 

 

Middle School and Up

 This video does a pretty good job of explaining the distributive property!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gw893STHN9w

 

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

 

 

For Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we made Liberty Bells out of egg carton cups, foil, chenille strips and little circles with the word “free” written on them. We talked about what segregation is and how Martin Luther King stood up to unfair laws that kept African-Americans segregated. What did you do for Martin Luther King Jr. Day?

 

MUSIC

 

http://themusicclef.blogspot.com/2013/03/sound-songs.html

 

ART

 

 

Discuss with your kids what “art” is. Drawings, patterns, sculptures, arrangements of colors … what else can they think of? Tell your kids that you want to make a list of all they things in your home that they can find that involve art. Then make a running list, add to it as they find things.

 

 

PE

 

 

My husband’s family has a game they call “Holey Board”. It’s a board with holes in it that they throw metal washers in. Talk with your kids about making up a family game!

 

 

Way to mix PE and Science! Check out this post about the science of sledding!

http://theresjustonemommy.com/2015/01/06/science-of-sledding/

 

 

HEALTH

 

 

Find a little bit of dried animal poo. Now pour some clean water into a container from the tap or your water filter. Ask your kids if that water is alright to drink. Then put that little bit of poo in the container. Ask if it’s OK to drink now. Then dip a little bit of water out and put it in a different container. It doesn’t look like it has poo in it, but it might have germs from the poo that could make it you sick. Talk about why they should be careful about where they get the water they drink from and ways you can clean up water that might be contaminated.

 

LIFE SKILLS

 

 

Do your kids have good phone manners? Make sure they know how you want them to answer the phone and take messages. Role play answering the phone and what they should tell strangers.

 

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

Love these suggestions! Especially the spaghetti and Cherrios activity! You could even teach counting with this one!

http://www.leahwithlove.com/2014/07/mommy-school-playing-learning-with-play.html

 

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

 

I didn’t know the Pioneer Woman was homeschooled! Did you?

http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeschooling/how-i-homeschooled-through-high-school/

 

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

Looking Back 14 Years – My Biggest Homeschool Regret

 

Check out my Face Book page for the latest activities and plenty of encouragement. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have about homeschooling!

 

God Bless You All!

 

~Grama Sue

ADD/ADHD and Other Misunderstood Gifts

Let’s talk about learning differences like ADD/ADHD and other supposed learning/mental disabilities for a bit here. What if they aren’t really disabilities, but gifts that are twisted by improper handling?

You can’t raise a beautiful orchid in the middle of a corn field. As a matter of fact, it’s hard to raise anything but corn in a common monoculture cornfield. God created the world with a huge array of diversity, but man is compelled to simplify. And in simplifying he rejects anything that doesn’t fit into his narrow purpose. That pressure to be a stalk of corn out of the fear of rejection twists and damages our most precious possessions, our kids.

As a child, I was diagnosed with ADD and put on Dexedrine (the precursor of Ritalin and Adderall). To be quite honest, I now believe that most of my problems were due to severe undiagnosed asthma and the raging sinus infection that fed it, but even though those things are mostly under control, I still fit the profile of ADD. Because of that diagnosis, I have followed news on ADD and ADHD through the years.

Early in the 90’s I ran across an article in Times magazine (I wish I still had it), about a study that followed 200 boys who were diagnosed with ADHD and 200 “normal” boys for 20 years. The numbers looked bad. We were less likely to have good grades and less likely to be involved in professions that required a lot of formal education such as doctors or lawyers. We were also more likely to be involved in drug use … BUT one statistic caught my attention! 18% of us as compared to only 5% of the normal population were self-employed. Later I ran across a similar study in which 16% of children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD as compared with 4% of the “normal” population were self-employed. Then, the mother of a little boy that I was babysitting had her child tested for ADHD in Iowa City. The diagnosis was positive and she brought me a list they had given her of positive traits of people with ADD/ADHD. Every single one of the traits listed was a leadership quality!

What if ADD/ADHD is actually a leadership gift? It’s no wonder we don’t function well in school. Have you ever had a day when you had too much to do? You get irritated, don’t you? Imagine knowing deep down inside that YOU are supposed to be the boss and having to go to a place where there are 20-30 kids your age in the room. You spend your whole day, every day trying to keep track of what everyone is doing. You can’t control a thing, and at 3, 4 or 5 you certainly don’t have the social skills to even begin to do what you know you are supposed to do? You would be a little bit crabby, wouldn’t you? ADD kids shut down. ADHD kids act out.

Leaders learn to be leaders by spending time with leaders. The structure of the family is the best place for a leader to grow because it has a natural leadership hierarchy – parents, older siblings and younger siblings. The biggest reason the occurrences of ADD and ADHD diagnoses have skyrocketed is because we keep pushing our kids into unnatural school settings earlier and earlier and at the same time, with two parents working, children have less and less contact with adults even at home.

What if our school systems are crushing our most promising leaders? If you google “self-employment statistics for ADD/ADHD” you will find all kinds of articles that support my assertion that ADD/ADHD is actually a leadership gift. That’s why when people pull their ADD/ADHD kids from the regular school system, they often find that medication is not even necessary.

I don’t have statistics on other so-called “disabilities”, but I’ve heard that autism is basically someone who is extremely sensitive to outside stimuli. Possibly a superpower that needs to be cultivated in a greenhouse instead of a cornfield? Ask Temple Grandin. Bi-polar? Maybe a similar situation? Could those who hear voices and see visions be extra sensitive to the spiritual world and not crazy? Let’s quit trying to “solve these problems” by forcing our gifted children into cornfields!

God Bless You All!

~ Grama Sue

Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Wrap-Up | January 13, 2017

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!

 

 

BIBLE

 

 

Make a video of you talking to your children when they aren’t around. Then show it to them and ask who it is. Pretend to be surprised when they say it’s you. Point out that you are right there with them. How can it be you? Discuss the fact that the video only has 3 dimensions: length, width and time.

Then discuss how the Bible says that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. When He chose to live among us, He chose to limit Himself to the way we and our world are built. He couldn’t be in more than one place at a time. But He was God! We need to “watch” the video by studying the Bible. In that way, we can learn about God and His ways.

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Preschool

 

http://www.123homeschool4me.com/2015/09/free-beginning-sounds-game.html

 

Elementary

 

My grandkids love riddles! Riddles help kids practice their logic and language skills. Here’s a few to try on your kids!

  1. What letter of the alphabet has the most water?
  2. The letter C!
  3. How do you throw a tent?
  4. You pitch it!
  5. What bow can’t be tied?
  6. A rainbow.
  7. Can you name two things that have an eye buy can’t see?
  8. A needle and a hurricane!
  9. Why did the farmer let his cows eat the tall grass?
  10. Because it needed to get moooed! (Mowed)

 

Why self-editing is hard for kids … and how to make it easier!

 

 

 

 

Middle School – High School

 

Grampa Tom loves westerns. One of the things he likes about them is they are often set in real places. He likes to keep an atlas around so he can look up those places as he reads. Encourage your kids to look up the places mentioned in the books and articles they read.

 

 

Writing challenge: Write a set of instructions about how to do your favorite science experiment. Then send those instructions to a friend. See if they can figure out your instructions!

 

SCIENCE

 

http://elementalblogging.com/how-to-record-an-experiment/

 

Both hubby and I have hazel eyes. We have 2 kids with brown eyes and one with blue eyes. What do you have in your family?

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/eye-color-hazel.htm

 

MATH

 

Preschool

 

Draw a number on a cardstock. Let your child color it. Then make it into puzzle pieces to put together. Hide the puzzle pieces around the room and let your child find them and put them together.

 

Elementary

 

Cut out all the ads in your newspaper then have your kids put them in order from lowest price to highest price.

 

Middle School and Up

 

 

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

 

When studying a country, have your kids re-create the famous buildings or landmarks from that area. Tell them, they can draw, paint, sculpt with playdoh, build with legos or other building materials, or use something else entirely!

 

Visit your state capitol! Before going, make sure your representatives will be there. Schedule a meeting with them. Have your kids make a few notes about things they would like to discuss with them (issues or just questions about how government works).

 

MUSIC

 

Here’s a fun twist on musical chairs! To begin with, give everyone a notepad and tell them to start a sentence with 3 words on it. ie. – He went to … Instruct them to leave it on one of the chairs set up for musical chairs. Then have them move around while the music plays. Once it stops they must scramble for a chair. When they reach the chair, they must sit down and add one word to the sentence before the music starts again. Anyone who can’t think of a word is out of the game. But, no chairs are removed. Then do another round. Keep it up for several rounds and then read the crazy sentences!

 

ART

 

Sidewalk chalk art counts as art! Snap a picture and write it down!

 

PE

 

Give your kids frequent “brain breaks”.  They will be able to concentrate better and accomplish more if you do. Some brain break ideas:

Set up some cones and have your kids weave in and out of them.

Jump and down for 15 seconds.

Do 5 summersaults.

Go up and down the stairs 5 times. Make sure to hang on to the rail!

Do 15 squats.

Stand on your head.

Pretend you are a tree on a windy day!

 

 

Do you play Badminton? Here’s some history behind the name!

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/how-badminton-got-its-name?utm_source=GG20170110&utm_campaign=grammargirl&utm_medium=email

 

 

HEALTH

 

Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s January, it’s cold out there. Do it anyway. Human beings weren’t created to sit inside breathing artificially warmed (or for that matter, cooled) air all the time. You and your kids NEED to go outside! The more you stay inside, the less your body will be able to handle the cold.

Your internal thermostat is like any other function of your body. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it! You wouldn’t want your legs to shrivel up and die, would you? Your internal thermostat is no less important. So, GET OUT THERE!

 

http://jouneytojosie.blogspot.com/2011/10/pearly-whites.html

 

 

LIFE SKILLS

 

What things would you add to these lists?

FREE Printable Life Skills Checklist for Kids

 

 

CHARACTER TRAINING

 

Do you find that your kids need a little reminder to use some self-control? Here’s a little demonstration that can help them understand why they shouldn’t fly off the handle!

http://gramasuesrainbow.com/2017/01/self-control-object-lesson/

 

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

How brave are you?

http://playcreateexplore.blogspot.com/2013/01/baby-drums.html?m=1

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

 

Have your teen explore how to write a resume. Have him pick a style and then brainstorm ideas about what he could put on it.

 

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

How to Be the Mom Your Strong-Willed Child Needs You to Be

 

 

Want to meet other homeschoolers? Go out on “school days”! Hit the beach, the library, the Y, parks, etc. If you find other families with kids, ask if they homeschool. It’s likely they do!

 

 

Check out my Face Book page for the latest activities and plenty of encouragement. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have about homeschooling!

 

God Bless You All!

 

~Grama Sue

Self-Control Object Lesson

Do you find that your kids need a little prod to use some self-control? Here’s a little demonstration that can help them understand why they shouldn’t fly off the handle!

For this object lesson, you will need two medicine cups, something to contain the mess, water, vinegar, and baking soda.

First let the kids smell, taste and feel the water, vinegar, and baking soda. Tell them that the baking soda is like our flesh, the water is like self-control and that the vinegar is like things that irritate us.

Fill one medicine cup half-full with baking soda and the other half-full with water. Pour a little vinegar in the baking soda. (Make sure you get enough in it to make it boil over.)

Explain that this is what happens when we put our flesh in control and something irritating happens. We get all worked up and boil over. Talk about how boiling over can cause us to do and say things we shouldn’t.

Then pour some vinegar into the water.

Nothing happens. Explain that when we let self-control be in charge, the irritant doesn’t spill over and hurt others. Let them taste this medicine cup. It isn’t as strong as the pure vinegar is it? Self-control dilutes the irritant so we can be clear headed and figure out how to deal with it.

Everyone gets angry sometimes. Even God! But how we deal with it can make the situation worse if we don’t put self-control in charge.

 

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue