Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Wrap-Up

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!


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.



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






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.








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!,aps,605&crid=16YSQS3CB735N&linkCode=sl2&tag=almostunschoolinggrama-20&linkId=42caec6440fd4338758ee4deac7e16a2




Great idea from Mommy’s Page!





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!





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.



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.



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.





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?



How Much Weight Can Your Boat Float?










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!





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!



Middle School and Up

The math you need to manage your money




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.



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?



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!





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





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







Sticker Line-Up








Why Grade Levels Do Matter


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





God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Round-up November 11, 2016

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!



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.



Free outdoor Bible verse scavenger hunt. Click here!



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


Make a cartoon book depicting a Bible story!





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.



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



Preschool Letter Recognition Activities




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


Blogging for Kids



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


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!



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.







Flying Pumpkins: A Force and Motion Activity



Love those activities that mix subjects!




Family Activities

Domino Math






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


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




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



History is just full of science! Imagine that!



Another duo activity! Music and PE here!

Thanksgiving Songs for Children – A Turkey Dance



10 FREE Thanksgiving Coloring Pages


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. 🙂






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




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

Almost Unschooling Grama Weekly Roundup

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.



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



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


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!



Experiencing the 10 Plagues of Egypt



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!




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!


Winter Crafts for Kids – Marshmallow Names



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

Middle School – High School

A vocab game with a purpose!




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



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.





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.



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

Middle School and Up

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



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


Legos are always a hit when it comes to learning! Study flags with this lesson from Momgineer!




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.



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!



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

Pick some up here!



DIY American Ninja Warrior Backyard Obstacle Course



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!



Cardboard Beads Threading Activity for Toddlers



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



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.



Homeschool Students SPEAK UP!



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

Music and Unity


My vocal cords used to get a work out at least twice a week with a praise and worship session on Sunday morning and another on Wednesday night, but between jobs and traveling the last several years, getting to church hasn’t always been possible. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been blessed to be able to attend church, but boy, o boy has my voice deteriorated! I could really feel the strain!

While I like music, I’m not terribly musically oriented and to be truthful, I find it terribly distracting. If I am talking or writing or even cleaning house and have music on, I’m likely to just stop what I am doing and start dancing! So, I tend to put a low priority on incorporating music into my everyday life. The strain on my vocal cords this last couple of weeks has me thinking I need to change this because music is important!

Several months ago, I was singing in church and I got to wondering why we sing in church. Years before that, I had a vision during praise and worship in which the music being played made up the walls of the temple and we were moving inside these walls. I know the power of music, but why exactly do we incorporate it into a worship service? Until recently, music was something you only experienced if you made it yourself or participated in a group such as church. Is the music portion of the service something left over from the long centuries of no radio or audio equipment? Do we really need it now that we have worship music available 24/7? Yeah, my worship leader friends are probably thinking I’m nuts or some kind of a traitor right now.

This intrigued me, so I started dogging God about it. Soon, I was seeing all kinds of stuff about how music affects the brain. Researchers have found that music has profound effects on the human brain. Memory, speech, creativity, motor control and math skills are enhanced in people who are exposed to music and music training on a regular basis. Unlike most brain functions, music uses multiple areas of both sides of the brain. In other words, it strengthens  the brain through an exercise of unity! That’s the key!

Unity! Not only does music unify the brain, but, in order for people to participate in a group musical experience, they must all get into unity! The musicians, the singers, the dancers, even those who are just observing have to line up their bodies, their minds and their rhythms with each other in order to make the music flow. Music creates an atmosphere of unity that helps people connect to each other and to God in a way that nothing else does. Although I haven’t seen research to prove this, I imagine music acts like a giant magnet on our minds and bodies, aligning them all in one direction. The Bible talks a lot about the power of unity. Someone who is aligned with God can do tremendous things, but when we are in one accord with others, that power is magnified! No wonder we sing in church!

So this weekend or whenever  you gather with other believers to worship, make sure you get there before the music starts. It’s not an optional part of the service. It’s essential to unity! Get there and participate!

God Bless You All!

~ Grama Sue