Showing posts from July, 2015

Unschooling Summer Week #9

We had such a busy week again this week!  Our calendar didn't look very full at the onset of the week but the days quickly filled up and morphed into one another.  I felt like it went by in a blur.  We did so much and yet we felt pretty relaxed and happy. Socialization-- I felt like we spent the bulk of our week with a house full of friends and family.  We had my college girlfriend and her family over so we had 7 kids running around playing in the lake enjoying the boat, jet ski, and each other.  They swam, laughed, ran, jumped off the bridge into the water and had fun visiting with everyone.  Alec had a friend sleep over one night and so we had an "extra" kid for 24 hours.  The boys had a blast playing with him and their new Wii game Lego Jurassic World.  Ian went to play at a friend's house one day this week and when he got back home we offered to watch said friend and his younger brother while their mother went shopping.  We took them tubing and boating and

Say Yes! More Often

I'm making a concerted effort to say "Yes!" to my kids more often. I find that usually I'm just saying no out of habit or convenience but s aying yes has opened up opportunities for us to connect as a family, for my boys to grow and show me what they're capable of, for me to embrace my children's passions and interests. Allowing them to do more and to see that their wants, needs and desires matter helps them feel confident, important and more grown up. I know the teen years are fast approaching and I'm determined not to get pulled into all the angst that we assume is normal and necessary in those teen years.  I'm learning from lots of homeschooling moms of older kids that their teenage years were not nearly as bad as the teenage struggles I hear from public school kid parents.  I have no idea why that is but partly I think it's that homeschool kids have more freedom and less things to rebel against. With that in mind I'm trying to ge

20 of the Best Movies for Boys That are Quasi-Educational

 We watch a lot of movies in our house. Sometimes we watch them as part of schooling, sometimes we watch popular movies, and, as the boys get older, my husband and I often look for old favorite movies we watched as kids. The boys all have their own ideas about what makes a movie great but for the purpose of this list it had to be something that all three of them enjoyed watching and, since I'm mainly a homeschooling blogger, they had to have some sort of educational value too. There were many more movies we could have added to this list but here are 20 of our favorite family movies: 1.  Big Hero 6 -- a great science based movie.  We loved the message behind the movie too and it was fun for the whole family to watch.  I found my boys were interested in all things robotic for a while after watching it too.   2. Rio & Rio 2 -- We all enjoy this movie and it's so cute and colorful.  I loved it even more because it really set off my middle son's passion for learning all abou

10 Math Card and Dice Games

In three years of homeschooling I've learned that with a deck of cards and a handful of dice you can teach most anything! We just love putting away our books and using card games and dice for a fun math lesson.   We have so much fun playing card and dice games that I've invested in fraction dice, 9 sided dice, and we now have a whole list of games to play with them.  We're always on the look out for some new ideas and figured I would share ones we've tried and enjoyed: 1.  War-- we've played regular war games when the kids were young enough to need to know greater than/ less than.  We've played war games where we flip over two cards (after removing face cards) and adding them or multiplying them.  We've used a few decks put together and flipped over three or more cards building the largest 3 or 4 digit number we could and then warring.  We've flipped two cards over putting the smaller number on top of the larger number and making fracti

10 Sidewalk Chalk Learning Games & Activities

We have lots of sidewalk chalk hanging around the house and while my kids enjoy drawing and playing with it they really don't use it all that much. I have found a few fun ways to use sidewalk chalk in our schooling and have several ideas for more fun learning games that I'm hoping to try over the next month. Most of the games we use are for math and reading/ language arts since those are the two subjects we focus on the most. But most of the games can be adopted to any learning stage -- t hink bomb the color, shape jumping, vocabulary hopscotch, shoot the capital (have all 50 state capitals written out and when you call out the state they blast the capital with a water gun) .  I just came up with that idea as I was typing this up and now we HAVE to try that!   Once you start thinking creatively I'm sure you can come up with some great fun ways to teach using sidewalk chalk too. In the meantime here are some of my ideas: 1. Sight Word hopscotch:   Drawing a

Unschooling Summer Week #8

It's been tough trying to find things to do where I can keep in the shade so we've been sticking close to home this week.  It's been pretty quiet and pretty hot but we've still managed to have lots of fun. We spent a lot of time with family and friends this week enjoying the water in all it's various forms-- water balloons, slip & slide, swimming in local lakes and ponds and playing in the sprinklers. Socialization-- We had two birthday parties over the weekend.  The boys met many new people and played quite a few new games too.  We then had some friends over to play one day this week and had a great time playing with them.  We spent another day meeting tons of new homeschoolers through a homeschool field trip that one mom set up for us all.  We spent one afternoon with our homeschool group swimming at a local park and since we hadn't seen any of these families in quite awhile we had a great day reacquainting ourselves with everyone. Math-- The