Showing posts from October, 2015

Our Weekly Wrap- Up; A Day Early

  We had a shortened week of school this week.  My hubby and I had an overnight trip planned so the boys had the end of the week off from school.  It's also why I'm posting our weekly wrap up a day early because our week is DONE!  I think the boys were looking forward to us going away almost as much as I was looking forward to getting away.  We spent Monday on a field trip at the zoo so it was a pretty lightened load of schoolwork this week.  With Halloween coming up this weekend we tried to incorporate lots of fun "Halloween" type stuff into our week.   Luckily, the boys worked extra hard on those two days we actually did school knowing they had a few days off to look forward to. Science- - All three boys finished up their display boards for the science fair.  We also spent a full (chilly!) day at the zoo observing all the animals.  It was a Halloween themed day at the zoo; the kids wore costumes and got to trick or treat around the zoo in the various shops and build

25 FREE Homeschool Field Trips

We go out on field trips a lot.  Many of them are set up through homeschooling groups so we can get awesome discounts. However, there are times we just want to head out on our own, usually on a whim, and I'm not always prepared to fork over a lot of money to do that.  I try to keep an ongoing list in my head of places we can check out that won't cost anything. With some research and searching I've been able to come up with quite a list. Hiking-- There are many hiking trails nearby and the more I look and ask around the more trails we learn about.  It's great to get out in the wood through all the various seasons and see the changes.  We often walk the same path at the same places which makes these differences really obvious but it's also great to check out new trails once in a while. Visit a church, synagogue, temple or mosque -- most are open to the public and visitors are free to quietly look around.   Whether you are a religious family or not it&#

Help for New Homeschoolers

I am asked about homeschooling all the time.  Random strangers are often curious about our day and our lifestyle.  People who are unhappy with public school and looking for alternatives are intrigued with the idea that they too can do what I do.  I am often asked by new homeschooling parents what advice I'd give them.  I'm asked how I structure our day, how I teach multiple grades, how I know if we're doing "enough," am I worried about my kids socialization... The list of questions goes on and on. I understand where they're coming from though because I had all the same questions running through my head when I was thinking about and first starting out homeschooling.  Over the years I've tried to answer most of this through various posts and thought today that I'd try to compile most of those posts into one spot for easier reference. When I'm questioned about our lessons and plans I often admit that we don't lesson plan; I used to b

Weekly Review-- Year 4 Week #9

We finally had a pretty quiet week around here and spent several days at home trying to catch up on schoolwork and housework.  We did get out and enjoy the nice weather spending a day at the park too.  We're hard at work on our science fair projects and getting all ready for Halloween. History-- We read Thomas Jefferson's Feast , a few more chapters in Cracker! The Best Dog In Vietnam , and started reading  Who Was George Washington? Science-- We've been hard at work on our science fair projects.  Ian has read Bridges Are to Cross , Bridges by Joy Richardson, Bridges; Amazing Structures to Design, Build and Test , Bridges and Tunnels: Investigate Feats of Engineering , and The Bridge Book .  He has also been hard at work building bridges with his K'nex STEM kit .   The bridges have been amazing.  I just wish the kit were big enough that he could have more than one bridge built at a time.  Evan read Nocturnal Animals: Aye- Ayes , Aye- Ayes an Evil Omen , and

Goop, Slime, Play dough & Sensory Play Recipes

My kids love playing with play dough, slime, goop, and making new types of dough.  There was a time we were making something new just about every week. There's something about watching two or three ingredients combine that just fascinated them.  Sometimes our dough "experiments" failed but usually we had something new to play with and the joy lasted for several hours or days. Now that the kids are older we don't make dough as often but we still enjoy making something when we're bored and looking for something out of the ordinary to do. Most of the time I didn't measure or really follow a "recipe" so I have a hard time re-creating some of our favorite play doughs.  I thought I take the time to compile a list of recipes for easy reference: 1.  Beach dough-- This one smells like the beach and reminds us of summer!  It was the easiest to make too; one box of cornstarch and 1 bottle of Suave Ocean Breeze conditioner and enough baking soda to stiffen the

12 Candy Math Ideas

In the hopes of not eating all the candy my three boys come home with on Halloween, I like to have all sorts of activities planned.  I've already shared a bunch of candy science ideas here and here so today I thought I'd compile a list of candy math ideas. Starting with the most obvious: 1. Graphing-- whether we sort by type of candy and then graph or break open a bag of skittles, M&M's or smarties and sort by color we always include some graphing in our Halloween math lessons.  The kids have learned to make their own bar graphs and are motivated by the fact that they can eat a few pieces (or a whole package) when they're done. 2.  Estimate and Count-- I often have my boys make an estimate of how many candies they got then we count them up and see how close their estimate was.  Sometimes we'll pick just one kind of candy to estimate other times we'll guess at the whole bag.  Sometimes we estimate how many pieces will be inside a little bag of