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 | December 23, 2016

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas! This year, I get to spend Christmas with my folks. My parents have always made Christmas a special occasion and it’s been a while since I’ve had the privilege of celebrating with them. My prayer is that during this holiday season each of you will experience the blessing that comes through honoring your family.

It’s been kind of a crazy week for me. My mom is much better, but my uncle had a slight stroke so I’ve been doing double duty getting him all sorted out and settled in rehab. He is doing amazingly well. Praise God for that! Many of the posts for this week, of course, have to do with Christmas. You may want to file those away for next year, but there are several Hanukkah and nonseasonal posts as well.

Can you imagine being forced to sell your 11 or 12 year-old daughter just so the rest of your family can eat? Yesterday, I learned about an organization that I really want to promote. It is FOOD 4 SCHOOL AFGHANISTAN. This is a small organization run entirely by volunteers so 100% of your donations go directly to poor families in Afghanistan. They save young girls from being sold or being forced into marriages at 11 or 12 by offering food to these families in exchange for sending all of their children (boys and girls) to school. While I’m not a big advocate of traditional schools, in this circumstance, I’m all for it! Please consider donating! FOOD 4 SCHOOL AFGHANISTAN

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

 

The holidays are a perfect opportunity to snuggle up with your family and watch movies! This one looks like a full-length Chronicles of Narnia on Youtube! Are you a Narnia fan?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIFvFquPHoI&feature=share

 

 

Brain Training Activities for Auditory Attention

 

 

BIBLE

 

Hanukkah starts at sundown on Christmas Eve. Why not make it a double holiday in your house? Search the internet for ways to make a homemade chanukiah (the special 9 branched menorah used during Hanukkah) and teach your kids the miracle of Hanukkah.

 

Research the Magi. Start by reading the story of their visit to Bethlehem in Luke. Then talk about how the Bible differs from popular depictions of them. Then challenge your kids to get online and find out as much as they can about them. There are several different theories about who they were and where they came from. Find out about the gifts they brought, their uses in that time period and the symbolism behind them. Older kids can write a research paper. Be sure they understand how to document their findings!

 

Cute Names of Jesus Ornaments free printable!

http://www.biblestoryprintables.com/BibleCraftsChristmasNamesJesus.html#.WFipaOYrLIU

 

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Family

 

Have your kids write a story about a reindeer other than Rudolf. In case you can’t remember them all, here they are: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen

 

 

Preschool

 

6 Tips for Correcting Pencil Grip

 

Elementary

 

Read the story of Christ’s birth from the King James or another older Bible. Point out the differences in language such as openeth, thee, thy or hath. Talk about how language changes.Point out some ways language is still changing today. For instance, when I was young, many words like “pee” having to do with bodily functions or parts were considered taboo.  What differences have you seen in your lifetime? Share them with your kids.

 

 

Middle School – High School

 

Look up Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. What type(s) of writing did he do? Read some of his work. Why do you think he is considered such an important author?

 

 

SCIENCE

 

Don’t read this idea if you are easily grossed out! But then again, you are a homeschooler, you are used to choking it back for your kids!

One of my favorite activities was to buy a beef heart and dissect it. Beef hearts are very similar to a human heart in structure. Find a heart diagram to refer to before starting. Then find the vein that goes into the heart and the artery that comes out. If your kids are really adventurous, see if you can pump some liquid through it by using a syringe or turkey baster to put some liquid in and then squeezing the heart. Then cut the heart down the middle of the side. See if you can find the chambers. What else can you discover about the heart?

 

 

 

Grow an Amaryllis! Plant care counts as science and will bring a little bit of spring into your house this winter!

 

 

Since Hanukkah is all about the miracle of the oil, why not plan a science experiment using oil each day? Just google “oil science experiments” for ideas!

 

 

MATH

 

Preschool

 

This one is from a kindergarten classroom, but you could easily substitute names of your family and extended family!

http://mrsbohatyskindergartenkingdom.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/lets-learn-our-names.html

 

 

Elementary

 

http://teachbesideme.com/gingerbread-house-geometry/

 

 

Middle School and Up

 

Did you know that square numbers actually make squares? Fascinating post!

A Penny for Your Math

 

Make a simple quilt.

  1. Decide how big it will be. If you’ve never done one before, keep it small. A big one will be overwhelming.
  2. Decide how wide you want the border to be.
  3. Subtract the width of the border x 2 from your desired overall length and width.
  4. Decide how many quilt blocks you want to go across and down the quilt. Again if you are beginning, go easy on yourself. Limit it to 2 to 4 blocks.
  5. Divide the width by however many pieces of cloth you want to have going across the quilt and add 1/2 inch to that measurement. (The 1/2″ allows for 1/4″ seams.) Do the same for the length.
  6. From this, you can figure out the measurements of your squares. You might want, to make a trial quilt by cutting squares from paper and arranging them on a table or on the floor just to see how it will work before cutting your cloth. That way if you have made any mistakes you can correct them.
  7. Sew the blocks together.
  8. Add a backing and then a border. Remember, when you cut the border, it needs to be twice the width plus 3/4 inch to accommodate the seams and the thickness of the materials.

LOTS of measuring and basic math in this! Great project for a teen or tween!

 

 

 

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

 

Did you know there are homeschoolers in China? How awesome!

http://chinachristiandaily.com/2016-12-17/ministry/implementing-moore-formula-in-homeschool-2c-increasing-accepted-in-china_3554.html

 

Look up “latkes”. Learn about why fried foods are traditionally served during Hanukkah. Experiment with different latke recipes and serve them each night during Hanukkah.

 

http://gramasuesrainbow.com/2016/12/in-defense-of-christmas-the-roots-behind-the-pagan-roots/

 

MUSIC

 

Free Hanukkah Songs and Rhymes for Circle Time

 

 

ART

 

Food Art! Home Ec and Art all in one place! Challenge your kids to play with their food to see who can come up with the most “you hate to eat it because it’s so awesome” dish!

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

Little ones learn by exploring with their hands and their mouths. Why not make some letter cards by using a marker to make a large letter on a piece of cardstock, then decorate that letter with different sensory items such as pasta, bits of sand paper, chenille, or other items that have different textures each day. You could even laminate them and use foods that they can then eat once you’ve completed the letter.

 

 

LIFE SKILLS

 

Assign one child each week to help prepare meals. make sure they help you plan and shop as well!

 

HEALTH

 

Have your kids keep a food diary for a week. Look up calories, carbs and proteins for those foods. Look up the recommended percentages and compare them to what they eat. Discuss what changes (if any) they might want to consider making

 

Nutrition Activity for Kids

 

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

8 Easy Ways for Homeschoolers to Avoid Holiday Overwhelm

 

Fearing Chemistry? Beginners Guide To Atoms and The Periodic Table To the Rescue!

 

 

Check out my Facebook 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 | December 2, 2016

chat-for-awhile-ml-me

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

 

http://adventuresinmommydom.org/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!

http://thisreadingmama.com/ready-to-read-reading-readiness/

 

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

 

___525837

 

 

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/

41808150001_5223519251001_5223519315001-vs

 

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Spelling!

spelling-998350

Throw out all the fancy spelling programs! The following is an excerpt from the book I am working on about homeschooling:

For several years I tried to teach my children how to spell. Every year I would get a new “curriculum” and follow it precisely, but nothing worked.


Finally came up with my own…

1st day:  Find 2 words they don’t know how to spell. Have them write
those words 7 times. 


A good source of spelling words is a list of most commonly used English words. You can get this on the internet by clicking the link or googling “most commonly used English words” . You can also use words your kids misspell in their own writing.

2nd day:  Test to see if they know yesterday’s words,  if they do, add 2
more. If they know one, find another word and have them write that and the
one they missed 7 times.

Keep adding to the list until there are 20 words, then let your child
scratch out the oldest words while always keeping 20 words on the list.
 
If they are having a bad day, I limit the amount of words they have to
write to the first two that they missed. 
 
Throw in a spelling rule now and then as needed.
 
Seems to simple to be true, but it works!
 
Use the same method to build vocabulary words by adding the requirement that the word is used in a sentence.
 
Math facts can be easily learned using this method as well.
 
Fun games like Scrabble and encouraging your child to use the computer to write, e-mail and chat are great ways for your children to reinforce what they learn in their daily drills. Teach them how to use the spell-check and watch with amazement as they pick it up!
 
Have fun!
God Bless You All!
 
~Grama Sue