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 | 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

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!

 

FAMILY VARIETY ACTIVITIES

 

 

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!

 

BIBLE

 

Game of the Week: Testament Wheels

 

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Preschool

 

http://www.playdoughtoplato.com/beginning-sounds-games

 

Elementary

 

http://terristeachingtreasures.blogspot.ca/2014/04/using-your-eyes-while-reading.html

 

 

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.

 

 

SCIENCE

 

 

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.

 

 

http://thestemlaboratory.com/smart-phone-projector/

 

 

MATH

 

Preschool

 

 

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! 😉

 

 

Elementary

 

http://gramasuesrainbow.com/2017/01/skip-counting-its-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%!

 

 

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

 

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.

 

 

MUSIC & PE

 

 

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!

http://amzn.to/2iWRqzZ

 

ART

 

http://www.hellowonderful.co/post/CREATE-GIANT-KID-SIZE-SPIROGRAPH-DRAWINGS?utm_content=bufferf44ad&utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest.com&utm_campaign=buffer#_a5y_p=5310381

 

 

HOME EC

 

 

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.

http://amzn.to/2hzNeVU

 

 

HEALTH

 

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

 

LIFE SKILLS

 

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

20 Basic Manners All Boys Should Know

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

http://busytoddler.com/2016/01/baby-ball-drop/

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

 

http://www.annieandeverything.com/homeschool-high-school-student-behind/?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=postplanner&utm_source=facebook.com

 

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

 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!

https://www.homeschool-life.com/370/custom/13891

 

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!

http://www.nathhan.com/

 

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.

http://www.123homeschool4me.com/2016/07/homeschooling-in-only-15-hours-week.html?utm_source=bloglovin.com&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+123homeschool4me%2FWkbE+%28123+Homeschool+4+Me%29

 

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 9, 2106

might-be-santa

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

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

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

 

FAMILY VARIETY ACTIVITIES

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

 

clothes-peg-815979

 

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

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

navimg11

 

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

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

 

BIBLE

 

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

hanukkah1_29112015192556

 

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

lego-1696427

 

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

crayons-1639920

 

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

Family

 

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

christmas-tree-1036490

 

Preschool

 

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

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

 

Erase the ABCs: Easy Alphabet Activity

 

 

Elementary

 

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

hieroglyphics-429863

 

 

Middle School – High School

 

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

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

 

 

SCIENCE

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

communication-1015376

 

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

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

electric-train-collage-473x1024

 

MATH

 

Preschool

 

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

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

 

 

Elementary

 

http://teachbesideme.com/winter-math-snowman-fractions/

 

 

Middle School and Up

 

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

accountancy-1342883

 

 

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

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

monopoly

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

present-1871539

 

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

 

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

screenshot-geo-terms-download-233x300

 

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

santa-31665

 

 

MUSIC

 

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

nutcracker

 

ART

 

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

aerosol-can-159912

 

PE

 

Don’t forget! Sledding counts as PE!

sledding

 

BABIES AND TODDLERS

 

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

christmas-toss-game-square

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE

 

Good News!

Armed Forces Finally Accept Homeschool Enlistees on Equal Terms

Long Struggle on Behalf of Homeschool High School Graduates Pays off

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

 

 

SPECIAL NEEDS

 

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

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

 

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

schoolpicmo

 

 

 

ISSUES AND ENCOURAGEMENT

 

What Kind of Homeschool Mom or Dad Are You?

 

What is my Child’s Learning Style?

 

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

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

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

 

 

What is a Working Homeschool Mom?

 

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

God Bless You All!

 ~Grama Sue

Fort Larned, Kansas | A Go-There Field Trip!

Over the weekend, Grampa Tom had some time off so we took off for Dodge, Kansas to go to a farm show. It was interesting, saw some equipment we hadn’t seen before and even picked up a nifty cloud chart so I can unschool myself about one of my favorite activities, cloud watching. But, this post isn’t about that, I just wanted to be able to tell you all that we decided to “get out of Dodge”! 😉

We headed for Larned (where we had spied an old fort on our way down) so Grampa Tom could unschool himself about one of his favorite subjects, military life! Just because our kids are all grown doesn’t mean we’ve stopped homeschooling!

img_20161015_151027152_hdr

Fort Larned was established in 1859 as one of several military posts set up to protect the Santa Fe Trail. We’ve been to several old forts but this was the first one that didn’t have a huge wall and moat around it. Most of the buildings faced inward, but there was no outer wall. Surprise attacks were probably pretty uncommon in this part of Kansas where you can see for miles!

fort-larned

At other times of the year, there’s a lot going on here, but the day we went, there were only two park rangers and us so, we got to take a leisurely tour! The first buildings we toured were the officers quarters. If an officer had a family, they were given two rooms, one for sleeping and one for a living area. My pictures aren’t the best because of the lighting, but you can see how plain the quarters were.

img_20161015_152029257

img_20161015_152053459_hdr

The netting around this bed was a big luxury! But still, I’m not sure I would have survived on these sleeping on these stringed beds!

img_20161015_151758672

For these people, though, I’m sure they were amazing, especially when you compare them to the barracks bedding!

img_20161015_153408505_hdr

These guys slept two to a bunk. One guy slept with his head one way and the other slept with his head at the other’s feet. Can you imagine? The picture really doesn’t show it, but these bunks are really short, more like a youth bed of today. Grampa Tom kept marveling at how short they were, but I’m thinking that having your bunk mate’s feet hanging over might be a good thing!

img_20161015_153836218

After we went through the officer’s quarters and the barracks, we toured the hospital. The beds there were huge, but I suppose they probably had more than one occupant at times.

img_20161015_153938003_hdrimg_20161015_153952924

Gurneys and operating tables were much narrower.

img_20161015_153854176

There was this 4 hole privy attached to the hospital room. I’m sure it was necessary for guys that couldn’t get around well, but ewwww! Going to these places always makes me so glad that I live in the United States in the 21st century!

img_20161015_153558399

They did know a little about sanitation, though, as evidenced by this sign stressing cleanliness in one of the kitchens.

img_20161015_154121489_hdrimg_20161015_154133642

I loved this big old brick oven! Can you imagine making this much bread every day?

img_20161015_154201909 img_20161015_154206083_hdr

img_20161015_154232769_hdr img_20161015_154237750_hdr

Fort Larned was an infantry fort so there weren’t extensive barns or corrals, but they did have a blacksmith shop and the ability to work on and repair wagons, cannons, and other horse-drawn vehicles.

img_20161015_154405755

This room served as the base schoolhouse/library/ church.

img_20161015_154639246 img_20161015_154651139

The block house contained gun powder, an underground passageway, and a well.

img_20161015_154921178 img_20161015_155051146 img_20161015_155148333 img_20161015_155214035 img_20161015_155355050 img_20161015_155444439 img_20161015_155319615_hdr

There was also a huge storehouse that contained all the stuff a soldier might need, including caskets. :'(

img_20161015_155609453img_20161015_155900358_hdr

We didn’t ride the stagecoach across the wooden bridge out of there, but we had fun imagining what it would have been like here in the late 1800’s in Kansas.

What historic tours have you taken lately?

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Homeschooling PE | 101 Ways to Get Your Kids Moving

team-538078

It was pretty easy to homeschool in Illinois even way back in the age of the dinosaurs when I began homeschooling. The law just required me to teach several basic subjects and that the students should receive an education in these subjects at least equivalent to public schooling. I wasn’t too nervous about teaching the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic, but PE? That kinda freaked me out.

How was I supposed to teach my kids about square dancing and dodge ball when there were only two of them and a baby? The YMCA was out of our one car family’s ability and the local school district wasn’t very homeschool friendly. I did manage to hook up with a homeschool group that occasionally offered group PE classes, but for the most part, there wasn’t a whole lot available.

Then it occurred to me that the whole reason for PE in schools was because educators recognized that the structure of sitting still all day was actually harmful to the student’s health. The purpose for PE was to get kids moving and it actually doesn’t do a very good job of it. Most of what I remember of PE was standing on the sidelines waiting for my turn to play! Physical Education is very important, but like most things homeschool, there is a better way! You’ve just got to think outside the box.

I started watching what my kids were doing. Instead of being tied to a desk all day, they were outside, riding bikes, climbing trees, playing tag and trying to turn the swing set over! And then there were animal chores which required lifting heavy buckets, shoveling snow, cutting and stacking wood for our wood furnace, etc. The amount of movement they were getting in was so much more than their traditionally schooled friends. I really didn’t need to worry. We did get them into Little League so they would have some experience in organized sports, but other than that, we pretty much let them do their thing and wrote it down.

However! This was all before the internet and 24/7 kid’s programming. Don’t get me wrong! I love all the choices available today for quality kid screen time, but it has its dangers!  My geeky grandson had to have his computer banned for a while because he started getting really pudgy at the ripe old age of 7! Unless you don’t do screens (and I know you do or you wouldn’t be reading this), you probably need to be on guard. You and I  both know how easy it is to get pulled into that dreaded computer time warp! To get your crew up and moving, take a break from screen time every half-hour. Set a timer if you have to and require that everyone get up and do something physical for at least 10 minutes and make one of your phys ed breaks 30 minutes to an hour each day. Here are some ideas to get you and your kids moving!

  1. Jump rope! You can get in some extra memorization practice by having your kids jump to the syllables in the days of the week, recite math facts or jump to each letter of their spelling words.
  2. Create cheers to memorize things like math formulas or Bible verses.
  3. Look up outdoor games played by children in the past and play them.
  4. Show your kids different dance styles and try to learn the steps. Exploring dance from different eras and cultures counts for history too!
  5. Take a nature walk – combines PE with science!
  6. Clapping and marching to a beat are good exercise and count as music education too.
  7. Have a jump day! Encourage everyone to jump instead of walking.
  8. Play tag.
  9. Garden! Digging, weeding, and harvesting food all involve lots of physical activity.
  10. Do the YMCA with your kids!
  11. Put signs with the names of different types of music around the room such as Jazz, Rap, Classical, Rock, etc. Throughout the day, put on a song from one of the categories. Have everyone dance to it and then run and touch the sign that has the type of music on it.
  12. Put cushions on the floor. Have your kids pretend to swim in the ocean as you play some music or some “wave sounds”. Then turn it off and tell them a big storm is coming and they need to get to an island (the cushions)
  13. Go swimming.
  14. Make snowmen or snow angels.
  15. Learn to juggle.
  16. Play Twister.
  17. Crumple up a piece of paper and blow it around on a table with a straw. If it goes off the table on your side, the other guy (or team) gets a point! Builds hand-eye coordination and gives the lungs a workout!
  18. Climb a tree.
  19. or  a rope.
  20. or a rock wall.
  21. For an easy tambourine, decorate a heavy paper plate. Then punch holes around the edges and tie jingle bells to them with yarn. You can even make a big hand hole if you want. Wrap the handle with yarn or ribbon. To turn it into a timbrel, Stream some ribbons through the holes you tied the bells too. Then dance! Music, art, and PE all together!
  22.  Let your kids twinkle! Have them do “star jumps” by jumping up and extending their arms and legs out as far as they can when they come down. Then jump up again and come down with their arms and legs pulled in. Set a timer for 15 seconds. Ask them to see how many times they can “twinkle” before the timer goes off.
  23. Run in place.
  24. See how many jumping jacks you can do in 60 seconds.
  25. or some crunches.
  26. or some pushups.
  27. Have a tip-toe day.
  28. Everyone go outside and pretend you are airplanes. How fast can you go?
  29. See how far you can jump.
  30. Summersault across the room.
  31. Learn to do cartwheels.
  32. Walk on your hands.
  33. Blow up a balloon and keep it off the floor for as long as possible.
  34. Throw a ball into a box. Have different distances away for each child based on their ability.
  35. Hop like a bunny.
  36. Slither like a snake.
  37. Walk like an elephant.
  38. Shuttle run. Put 4 objects on the opposite side of the room. Run over to them, pick one up and run back to the other side of the room. Put it down and then run for the next. Keep track of the time it takes to get all 4 objects and try to beat it the next time.
  39. Make a balance beam from a 4×4 and walk on it.
  40. Walk with a bean bag or a book on your head.
  41. Play Freeze Dance. Put on some music and everyone dance. When it stops, everyone has to freeze in whatever position they are in until the music starts again.
  42. Do a workout video.
  43. Play a physical Wii game.
  44. Take classes in dance, karate or gymnastics.
  45. Go to a gym and work out.
  46. Participate in community sports at the Y or at your local school district (if they allow it).
  47.  Play tennis.
  48. or ping pong.
  49. Go hiking.
  50. Do a squat build: start with whatever amount of squats you are comfortable with and add one, or five or ten a day for one month.
  51. Lift weights.
  52. Do the limbo!
  53. or the twist!
  54. or the funky chicken!
  55. Work on the President’s Physical Fitness Challenge.
  56. Shoot some hoops.
  57. Play catch.
  58. Do some back bends.
  59. When reading aloud, instruct your kids to jump as high as they can when they hear a certain word.
  60. Go bowling.
  61. Sprint between telephone poles, driveways or the end of the block.
  62. Jump on a mini-tramp.
  63. Do pull-ups.
  64. Find a treadmill at a local garage sale and actually use it for exercise!
  65. Ride a bike.
  66. Go skateboarding.
  67. Ride a pogo stick.
  68. Makes some stilts with large cans and stilt walk.
  69. Do some archery target practice with homemade bows and arrows.
  70. Participate in charity walks and runs.
  71. Hula hoop!
  72. Go roller skating.
  73. or ice skating!
  74. Have a sack race.
  75. or a three-legged race!
  76. Climb on a jungle gym.
  77. Build a fort outdoors.
  78. Do some yoga.
  79. Crab walk!
  80. Pretend you are a seed and then grow, grow, grow!
  81. Play Follow the Leader.
  82. Go outside. Blow up balloons and tie them to  three-foot strings. Then tie the strings above your knees. Have everyone try to break each other’s balloons. Last one with an intact balloon is the winner!
  83. Build an obstacle course and run it!
  84. Play hopscotch. Mix it with math by jumping out the answer to a number sentence.
  85. Do a fitness treasure hunt. Leave a direction such as “do 10 jumping jacks” along with directions to the next fitness treasure station. Have several stations like “stand on your tiptoes to the count of 30”, “do a cartwheel” and “run in place for one minute”.
  86. Have a wheelbarrow race.
  87. Put some painters tape on the floor and walk on it. Use straight lines, circles and zig-zags.
  88. Workout with resistance bands.
  89. Make a painter’s tape maze and have your kids try to navigate a ball with their feet all the way through it.
  90. Shoot some hoops.
  91. See how many times you can dribble a ball.
  92. Set a timer and wiggle while you giggle!
  93. Bounce on an exercise ball while in front of the computer.
  94. Run up and down the stairs. Be safe! Use the handrail!
  95. Play hacky sack.
  96. Tetherball!
  97. Play keep away. Set a timer for those who aren’t as skilled so they have a chance to be out of the middle.
  98. Lay on your back and keep a ball in the air with your feet.
  99. Make a physical activity cube by taping 6 pieces of cardstock together. Write activities on each side and toss. Detailed instructions here.
  100. Sledding!
  101. Play leap frog.

Got any other ideas? Let me know!

God Bless You All! 

~ Grama Sue