Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Role Playing Games for Homeschool {RPGs for Kids}


A couple months ago, I read about Roleschooling from Travelingkids.com. The article invited homeschooling parents to educate their kids through the use of Role Playing Games (RPGs).  I was intrigued, but unsure of my qualifications;  Afterall, unlike my husband who spent countless hours of his high-school years playing Dungeons and Dragons in friends' basements, I spent my time hanging out with the teenage deviants of my class and had never touched an RPG.  As someone who only embraced her "inner nerd" later in life, would I be able to not only learn how to play RPGs, but also use them as a teaching tool for my children?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Traveling Chair Art Activity


A couple week ago, the kids and I tried out an art lesson from the Getti Museum called "Chairs, Rooms, and Time Travel".  It turned out to be much more than an art lesson as the kids discussed history and geography, used descriptive words, and employed creativity.  Here's what we did...

Monday, June 6, 2016

Inspiring Kids to LOVE Math


It was a warm Saturday afternoon and the smell of fresh tortillas wafted through the Mexican restaurant. Scarcely had the food arrived before I roughly pushed my plate aside and began scribbling on a napkin at a feverish pace.  "What are you doing?" asked my younger sister, raising an eyebrow and swallowing a mouthful of food.  I mumbled something about Pythagoras and the tile floor.  I don't know if my sister shrugged, rolled her eyes, or stuck out her tongue in response; I was too busy writing to look up.  A minute or two later, I slammed my hand on the napkin dramatically.  "Q. E. D.!" I declared aloud.  My parents gave me an inquisitive look before continuing their meal.  I picked up my burrito and took a large triumphant bite.  My entire face glowed with a secret delight.  I was 14 years old, and I had just found a new proof for the Pythagorean Theorem...

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Da Vinci and Invention Theme


The kids and I have been having fun learning about medieval history this year in The Story of the World Vol. 2.  My biggest complaint regarding this curriculum, however, is that most of the stories focus on war, and there is not much attention given to the art, music, literature, and inventions of the Renaissance.  So wherever I can, I try to fill in the gaps by taking some time to explore influential figures of the time (who were not monarchs or military leaders).  Last week, the kids and I learned about Leonardo Da Vinci, and participated in a number of activities around the theme of "Inventions"...

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Learning about Clouds


The kids decided that they wanted to study meteorology, so we spent a week learning about the weather, mostly focusing on clouds. Here's what we did...

Monday, May 9, 2016

DNA for Early Elementary


One of the twins' (6.5-years-old) homeschool activities involves finding interesting encyclopedia articles and summarizing them.  Recently, L was especially fascinated by a photograph of a mouse that has a fluorescent green glow because it received jellyfish genes.  As a follow-up to all her questions, I decided to do a little DNA mini-unit for the kids...

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Homeschool Recap: April 18 - May 6, 2016


The kids have been engaged in a lot of self-directed learning over the past three weeks while I get my first novel ready for publication (details coming soon).  They've been cooking, sewing, inventing, and writing their own books.  The twins (age 6.5) have even been creating their own Preschool activities for little brother H (age 4.5).  Here's a summary...

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Welcome May!


I try to do something special to welcome each month in our homeschool.  Yesterday, we celebrated the start of May with a little maypole dance.  The girls danced with silk scarves around a broom handle while we watched some real maypole dances on YouTube.  This was integrated into our learning...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Botany for Children


The kids and I explored the world of plants a couple weeks ago.  Botany is actually an ongoing science topic at our homeschool, especially with the arrival of spring and more opportunity for outdoor nature study, but I wanted to share some of the resources and activities we've already used...

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Creative Writing Activity {Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant}


The kids and I enjoy Jack Prelutsky's humorous poems. A couple weeks ago, we read (and listened to) his poems from Carnival of the Animals while dancing and making animal masks. This week ,we read Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant and Other Poems, which inspired a creative writing activity...

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Homeschool Week in Review: April 11 - April 15, 2016


Doing schoolwork in a plague mask?  It's just another day in our homeschool.  Here's what we covered this week...

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Homeschool Week in Review: March 4 - March 8, 2016


This past week felt lighter in "schooling", but the kids had plenty of time for play, creativity, and self-directed learning.  Here's an overview...

Friday, April 8, 2016

Learning About Tchaikovsky and Swan Lake


Last week we studied Russia, so it was only natural to do a little unit-study on Tchaikovsky for our Music lesson.  We read the book, Tchaikovsky Discovers America by Esther Kalman (the picture above is from the back cover)...

Monday, April 4, 2016

Parts of Speech Grammar Game with Plastic Eggs


Since we had plenty of colorful plastic eggs from Easter, I decided to use them for a fun little game to reinforce our grammar lessons on the parts of speech.  It was really simple to set up...

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Homeschool Week in Review: March 28 - April 1, 2016


Future homeschooler, Baby L (7 months old) is definitely part of the family - he falls asleep clutching a book!  The older kids had a good school week.  Here's a summary..

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Duct Tape Fashion Top


This isn't a new project, but I really wanted to share it.  A couple months ago, L (age 6.5), who is a little fashionista, asked me if she could sew herself a dress.  I wasn't quite ready to get all my sewing things out, so we decided to make it out of colorful duct tape.  L has watched Project Runway with me on occasion and was very excited for her own "unconventional materials challenge".  We winged it rather than following instructions, and it was actually quite easy.  Here are the steps we took...

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Homeschool Week in Review - March 21-25, 2016


We took a week off last week for "Spring Break" (which was really just a chance to let me and E recover from the flu).  Towards the end of that week, I asked the twins to take an online CAT test for 2nd grade.  They both did an excellent job, scoring far above average in each category.  It's good to know that homeschool hasn't left any major gaps in what they need to know (I always worry about this, since we got a slow start to the year with a new baby and we're picking and choosing pieces for each subject rather than going with a box curriculum).  This week everyone was feeling better and we're back to a school routine.  Here's what we worked on...

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Homemade Compass Experiment {Where the Mountain Meets the Moon}


L (age 6.5) is currently reading one of my favorite children's books, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin.  In this novel, the main character, a girl named Minli, makes her own compass using a needle and a bowl of water.  Since we were learning about magnetism and the Earth's poles in science, recreating Minli's invention was a perfect experiment.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Dancing with Degas: Artist Study


The kids and I have been so engrossed with science lessons over the past couple weeks, that we've been neglecting our Art and Music studies.  I found some fun (and free) art lesson plans from the Getty Museum.  We had a fabulous time with the one titled The Art and Depiction of Dance, about Edgar Degas.

Monday, October 12, 2015

India Crafts for Kids


In our unit study on India this summer, we spent a couple weeks exploring Hindu holidays as well as the animals that live in India.  The kids (ages 5, 5, and 3) had a wonderful time making a variety of crafts...