Showing posts from July, 2013

A Dozen of Our Favorite Science activities

My boys LOVE science.  They always have and that love has grown tremendously since we started homeschooling.

Science is one of those subjects that best lends itself to hands- on experiments, real life observations and lots of trial and error.  The boys have an inherent interest in nature and how things work so even when I don't plan science experiments I feel like we're learning about science.  Many of our field trips revolve around science too-- trips to zoos, nature centers, hikes, children's museums, and even the beach lend themselves to nicely to science exploration.

For those times we're home and I'm planning actual experiments we use books, Pinterest, and Google to help us find extra fun experiments.

Here is a list of some our favorites that we've tried (I know the boys loved them because they still ask to do them all again!). 

1.  Volcanoes!  We have done many experiments with baking soda and vinegar to make various volcanoes.  We made a volcano in an o…

10 math games and hands on learning opportunities

My boys HATE anything that looks like a worksheet.  If I ask them to sit down and work in their math workbooks they whine, moan and complain through the whole thing.

 As we've gotten further and further into our unschooling journey I've started to rely on games and hands on learning a lot during our school day, especially for math.  Math games can be very simple or very complex.  Many of my boys favorite math games have been made up using things around the house (and taken from ideas I found on Pinterest using things I had in the house).

My kids range in age from 5- 9 so we mostly focus on addition, subtraction, multiplication and some simple division.   Here is a list of some of our favorite games for math (in no particular order!).  Many of these games can be used for a multitude of math facts as well as sight word practice too:

1.  Flip 10-- I splayed much like the traditional Memory game.  Using the numeral cards from an UNO deck place them all face down and take turns flipp…

Hands On Lessons Keep Work Fun

After the third time the boys asked me to please start school, I knew I had to set aside what I was working on and start school. I had a few ideas for some fun lessons but mostly let them guide us through our day.

We began by reading and we finished The Robot King.  I thought it was a pretty weird story and at the end none of us were all that certain if we had liked it or not.  We read another chapter in Surviving the Applewhites and then I pulled out our math story for the day. It was called One Hungry Cat and it used division and fractions. 

Oh baby! Welcoming a New Baby Into Our Family

I had every intention of working on some schoolwork with the boys yesterday.  I got an e-mail from my sister asking if we'd be home.  She wanted to come visit with her little 5- day old baby girl!

I was so excited and told the boys we wouldn't be doing school since I didn't want to be in the middle of anything when they arrived.

The boys haven't had a newborn around in many years and I think Evan and Alec were a bit nervous at first.  Ian was a natural though.  He readily offered to hold her and was all smiles. 

At one point during the day he was holding her and she started to fuss so he started bouncing her up and down in his arms lightly while singing to her softly! "Lullaby, Lullaby, Lullaby little baby..."  It was so adorably sweet!

 I'll admit I was pretty proud of myself too.  It was one of those moments where I thought to myself what a wonderful job we were doing raising such a sweet little boy. 

I don't know about you but I always wonder what the b…

After Hours At the Zoo

With our zoo memberships we are invited to many "after hours/ member's only" nights and while we don't always take advantage of nearly as many as we should, we have learned that friendship night at Southwick's Zoo is not to be missed.

Last year the boys made masks, had their faces painted, got free ice cream and enjoyed a fun scavenger hunt through the zoo.

This year we planned ahead and actually had friends with us!

We headed out right around dinner last night with the two younger boys, their friends, and one of the friend's families. 

The boys were all so excited- running from exhibit to exhibit.  The zoo at night is actually very different than during the day.

Many of the animals are much more active at dusk--  We saw kangaroos hopping aroundThe Hyenas (which we thought was an empty pen!) were up and right up close to the fence The monkey's were noisy and chasing each other around from branch to branchWe heard the lion and lioness making lots of noises back…

Skipping School!

I asked the boys if they'd rather just skip school altogether today and head outside to swim and play for the day.  I realized that we have been so focused on schooling that our summer is passing us by!

That used to be our daily routine here on the lake and I miss it!  The boys surprised me though, as much as they wanted to go swimming, they told me it's boring to just swim all day when it's only the three of them.  They asked if we could invite their cousins over or someone to play and I told them I'd see what I could do.

 My mother called a few moments later and asked if she could come visit.  Just as we were all settling in outside on the patio my sister showed up with her two little boys and so we spent a wonderful "family" day on the lake.

The boys swam, jumped off the dock and made up games to play both in and out of the water.  Alec brought down the Scrambled States of America game and played a few rounds with my sister and mother.

It was a perfect, l…

Moon sand, sight word slam, and Amusement park race

With thunderstorms rolling through our area this morning we decided to just jump into our schooling today and hope that the weather cleared up by afternoon.  We tried to come up with some quick and easy games to play and activities to keep us having fun while learning.

While the boys were finishing up breakfast, I decided to throw the movie Hercules in and start our morning learning about the Greek gods.  They loved it!

The boys took off the minute the movie was done.  Ian and Evan made an alliance today and are getting along quite well.  They were busy working on Lego's in Evan's room most of the morning while Alec was content to play alone in his room with all of his stuffed animals making up different scenarios and acting them out.

Alec came down for a snack and we played a few games:Yahtzee and The Scrambled States of America Game.   My kids LOVE the Scrambled States game and ask to play it all the time.  I highly recommend it too as they are all able to find the states prett…