Almost Unschooling Weekly Wrap-Up | January 6, 2017


Do you find motion sensitive lights a bit unnerving? I sure do! I mean, you don’t have to do anything to turn the light on. You just walk into a dark room and trust that the switch is going to do it’s thing on its own. The key to it is to just keep moving, the exact opposite of what your natural reaction is to darkness.

Faith is like that. When God tells you to move into a dark and unfamiliar area, you have to trust that He will dispel the darkness. The key is to just keep moving. If you stop and wait for the light, it won’t happen. Homeschooling is like that! When you first go into it, it is dark and unfamiliar. Just plow in and do it! Trust that God will light your way as you go!




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!





At the beginning of each year, create a time-capsule with pictures of your kids’ favorite things, memorable events from the last year and prayer for the new year. Bury your time-capsule in a closet somewhere so you can dig it out and look at it next New Year’s Day.


Tuesday was National Drinking Straw Day. If you missed it, you can still celebrate by giving your kids a bunch of straws so they can build, create art or play games with them. If you need ideas, get on Pinterest and look up “drinking straw activities”. There are hundreds of ideas!


Tired of toys and books scattered all over the place? Give each child a book bag and a “library card”. Let your kids “check out toys and books”, but no more than will fit in their bag. If they want more, they will have to return some items and check out more. Require that they present their library card when they check out items and that they keep their toys and books in the book bag when they aren’t being used. An older child could be the librarian. Keeping track of who has what could be a great record keeping activity!




Game of the Week: Testament Wheels










Even reluctant writers can list a few goals for 2017. Encourage your kids to think about what they’d like to learn or do in 2017 and incorporate those goals into your school plans!


Middle School – High School



Read or watch “Dr. Dolittle”. Then have your kids write a story about how their life would be different if they could talk to the animals.






Explore different ways to keep warm. Give your kids large and small plastic bags, and several different materials such as cotton balls, oatmeal, newspapers, different types of fabric, aluminum foil, packing peanuts, etc. Have them line the bigger bag with a material and then put the smaller bag inside that lining.

Then place cups of hot water in each. Be sure to put the same amount of water in each bag and have the cups the same size. Take and record their temperatures. After 15 and 30 minutes take and record their temperatures again. Which materials did the best job?

Have them experiment with leaving the fabric, newspapers and foil flat and then crumpling them up. What works best?  You can also vary this experiment by checking out how different amounts of water do with the same lining or using different shapes of cups with the same amount of water. What other ways can they think of to explore this concept?



Let your kids pick several things from your pantry to see which ones will dissolve. First look up the meaning of dissolve and read it. Make hypothesizes about which substances will dissolve and which will not. Then put a spoonful of each substance in water and stir. Does it meet the definition? Were you right?

You can also measure the volume of a substance before you put it in the water. Then after stirring, pour it through a strainer and measure anything that won’t go through. Some things will partially dissolve, while others will pick up volume because they have absorbed water.

If your older kids interest is perked, have them go on the internet and see if they can find out why.








What kid doesn’t like a grab bag? Cut up some index cards and write the numbers 1-10 on them. Have your child pull one out of a paper bag and count out that number of pennies. When they are good at that, add more numbers. Later, you can do this activity adding nickels, dimes and quarters to the mix.


Do you have a kitchen scale? Let your kids weigh a variety of small objects. Or if you are really brave, get out some flour and challenge them to measure out exactly 3 ounces! 😉





Skip Counting | It’s More Than Just 2, 5 , and 10!


Middle School and Up



Encourage your kids to play chess and count it as math. Among other things, Chess improves problem-solving and spatial reasoning skills used in math. Students who play chess increase their math scores by an average of 17%!






Google “wonders of the world”. Challenge your kids to pick one that really interests them and write a paper on it.



How would you live if you didn’t have electricity? How would you keep warm? Keep food from going bad? Get water? Explore how people lived before electricity. The things you learn could come in handy in case of a disaster.






Put a hula-hoop on the floor and have your kids jump in and out of it to the beat of music. When they are good at that, challenge them to hop in and out on the second, third or fourth beat. PE and music all in one!

Need a hoop? Please consider buying through this link to help support this page. Thanks!








Do you have any number cookie cutters? Make some 2017 pancakes today!

If you don’t have any, please consider buying some from this link. There are a million things you can do with them and you’ll help support this page.





Hubby and I both were both bed wetters and we had one that wet the bed until he was 13. This sounds really interesting!

Primitive Reflexes: Bedwetting – Why Your Child Wets the Bed or Wears Pull-ups after Age 5




Ohhh, manners! Are there any of these you disagree with? Any you think should be added?

20 Basic Manners All Boys Should Know










 I hope you never get a visit from the authorities, but if you do, it’s important to know how to handle it. WCCHE has an excellent post about what to do!


Do you have a special needs child? NATHHAN has all kinds of support materials, resources and connections for you! Please check them out. If you don’t please consider donating. It’s an awesome organization!


To be truthful, I rarely spent more than 5 hours a week teaching and my kids spent no more than 2 hours a day doing formal school work until they were in high 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 2, 2016


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!


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”?



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!



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






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.








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

Ready to Read – Reading Readiness Signs and Checklist




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




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.




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




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!




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!














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.






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!







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.






Free music therory course!



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!




Something fun to do with all those broken crayons!





Sensory Crawl Infant and Toddler Activity {Huggies Little Movers}




Ask Jeanne: Do Homeschoolers Get a Diploma?





More parents taking kids’ learning into their own hands



God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

21 Ways to Mix Language Arts and History

Do you homeschool? If so you have the perfect opportunity to mix up those boring categories that traditional schools use to compartmentalize learning. Here are just a few ways to get some hands-on learning that mixes up the subjects. Feel free to count the time spent doing these activities as History, Language Arts or both!


  1. Stage a debate between George Washington and King George! (Or any two opposing historical figures.)
  2. Choose a historical event. 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.
  3. Make a comic book depicting an event you are studying.
  4. When studying historical conflicts such as the Civil War or the Civil Rights Movement, have your kids write letters to the editor written from the perspective of someone on each side.
  5. Create a classified ad to promote a historical event. Figure out how much it would cost to run that ad in today’s paper for a little math twist!
  6. Pick out a historical character. Have your kids pretend they are that person and write a blog from their viewpoint!
  7. Look up newspaper articles from the time period you are studying. Read them aloud. Notice differences in spelling, organization, etc. from articles written today. Cut an article apart and see if you can put it back together correctly.
  8. Copy one of those newspaper articles for handwriting practice.
  9. Write a short story about a child in another time period. (Watch a historical show about a child such as Ann Frank, The Young Indiana Jones or Heidi for inspiration.)
  10. Create a board game based on a timeline. Put in a few “worm holes” where the player has to draw a card from a pile describing an event on the timeline and jump to that event.
  11. Create a crossword puzzle with names of people and places associated with the event or time period you are studying.
  12. Pick up some letter stamps and challenge your kids to print a headline or maybe even a whole story with them. Talk about the invention of the printing press and how it changed the world.
  13. Print famous portraits on stock paper. Cut out, put on craft sticks and create a puppet skit! Try to find out a little bit about the paintings and incorporate that into your skit. This one counts for art too!
  14. Find poems from the time period you are studying and make up actions to do while reciting them.
  15. When reading or watching historical fiction, look up the places and people mentioned.
  16. Have a spelling bee with words from the time period or event you are studying.
  17. Create a travel brochure about a historical place.
  18. Have your kids pretend to be historical figures who write postcards to each other. Throw a litte art in there too by having them design pictures for the postcards as well as doing the writing.
  19. Pretend your family is a news team from a different time such as Ancient Rome. What kinds of stories would you report on? Give each person a category such as human interest, crime investigation, politics, sports, weather and so on. When everyone has their stories together, put together a newscast and video it.
  20. Watch a historical movie and then have your kids write reviews and post them to FB.
  21. Have your kids make a family history book by decorating a 3 ring binder. Then after visiting older relatives, have them write the stories they heard down and add them to the book.

Do you have more ideas? I’d love to hear them!

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Researching Building History|Unit Study


Do you live in an older home or is there a building in your town that you find intriguing? Hunting down the history of buildings is a great way to learn about the history of your town with lots of fascinating rabbit trails to go down.

To start with, you will need to make a list of questions you would like to know about the building. As you investigate, you will think of more, but try to start off with at least 3-5.  You might want to know:

  1. When was the building was constructed?
  2. Who built the building?
  3. What is the style of architecture?
  4. Has it been remodeled or added on to?
  5. Who was the original owner and how many owners has it had?
  6. Are there any interesting events that happened there?
  7. What was around the building when it was built and how has that changed through the years?
  8. Has the building had different functions through the years?
  9. What was the original cost of the building and how much is it worth now?

There are a variety of resources to help you answer these questions.

  1. Plan a field trip to your local county courthouse and or city municipal building. It’s a great way to familiarize your kids with how local government works. At the courthouse, you will be able to look at the building’s abstract and get property tax records. These will tell you who has owned the building and when it was sold. They often have information on building size and pictures that can help you see how it has changed over the years. Your city municipal building will have information about building permits that will show the changes the building has been through. The people there are very willing to help, but please call first! There are times of the year when they are slow and times when they are drowning in work. You will get a lot more info if you visit during a slow period.
  2. Talk to neighbors and older residents about the building.
  3. Look in newspaper archives for articles about the people who have owned the building. Historical homes and older business buildings will often have articles about them as well. This is a good source for pictures and interesting information.
  4. Look for plat maps and county historical books at your local library.
  5. Try entering the address and or the name of the building online. You may find that someone else has already done some research on it!
  6. Check out City Directories and Census records!
  7.  Your local historical society might also have information.

Have fun and let me know what you find out!