5 Indoor Winter Activities Kids will Love

Wow! winter has been putting on a little show here in SW Ohio the past few weeks. It was so cold here for a period of time that the Ohio River had big sheets of ice on it! So, when inclement weather has you housebound with your youngsters, how do you keep them happy and still focusing on school? How about some winter-inspired activities?

  • Make paper snowflakes. You can back your creations with tissue paper either white or colored for some pizazz and hang them from the ceiling and close to a light source so you can see through the tissue. (art)
  • Play a Scavenger Hunt- Instead of just hauling the books out from their usual location, why not create a scavenger hunt to start out the day? Not only have the schoolbooks hidden, but add a treat for a special surprise. Clues could be:  Clue #1 Go to the room where you brush your teeth. (Hide the clue somewhere in the bathroom such as under the wastepaper basket or inside the vanity. Clue #2 Go to the place where we eat our meals. (Hide the clue under the tablecloth or a placemat or salt and pepper shakers, etc.) Clue #3 Look in the place where pots and pans are kept.  Clue #4 Find the place where you rest at night. Here you can have the books hidden under the bed. Clue #5 Bring all of your books to the schoolroom and there you will find the treasure to begin our school day. Your treat can be a piece of fruit, a cup of hot chocolate, a new Read-Aloud book, or whatever you think would be a fun idea to have as a reward. (reading, physical education)
  • Create Word Poetry– Do you have old grocery fliers or magazines that you can cut up for this activity? You can create a simple poem that has two lines that rhyme or you can create a free verse poem. You can make the poem’s theme as simple as food if all you have is grocery fliers or as elaborate as you like. Since we are in the middle of winter, what about that being the theme? (language arts)
  • DIY Window Clings– with a little bit of glue and some paint your son will have lots of fun making these. I bet you would enjoy making a few too! (art)

Window Clings

You will need for each color:

2 tablespoons White craft glue (like Elmer’s)

2 -3 drops Liquid food coloring

2 drops Liquid dish detergent

1 small paintbrush

Combine 2 tablespoons of glue with 2 drops of dish detergent. Add a few drops of food coloring and you are ready to make your design! Lay a page protector down so that you can paint your design (using your paintbrush) directly on it so it will be easy to pull off when it is dried. You can create your own designs or use cookie cutters and paint inside of them.  Make your design about 1/4 inch thick. If you make it too thick it will take a long time to dry. If you are using a cookie cutter, let the glue set for a few minutes before removing it. Let designs dry overnight, poke with your finger to see if they have set well enough to remove from the page protector without tearing.  Carefully peel off of the page protector and place on your windows.

  • Make popcorn and cups of tea or hot chocolate and snuggle up with a great Read-Aloud book. I just finished the 1957 Newberry Medal, Miracles on Maple Hill, by Virginia Sorensen. This is a delightful book about a family who is in need of a miracle for their father who has come home from the war and how an old homestead restores him and his family.  (language arts)



10 activities for Teaching Physical Education in Your Homeschool


Calisthenics, running laps, and taking showers are the first things that pop into my mind when I think of Physical Education. I believe this is because of the dreaded PE classes I had to take when I was in high school. I say dreaded because I wasn’t the athletic type and my endurance was pitiful. 😦 You can certainly do this as there is value in doing so, but here are some more ideas for your homeschool.

Sports teams and classes that are offered at the YMCA, gyms, or community centers can be counted as part of your Physical Education curricula. If that is not a possibility, then you can teach PE at home.  The main emphasis is providing activities for aerobic activity and fitness to your youngster.

Obstacle Course– You can create a simple course for your young athlete or make one more complex for your older child. If you are able to get outside you can incorporate a play set as part of the experience. Using a jump rope to walk along provides balance and you can lay it straight or fashion it into an S if your daughter needs a greater challenge. Have her throw a ball at a paper target, use a hula hoop for dual purposes to jump in as it is lying on the ground, and also set a number of prescribed rotations to complete. Crawling or hopping a certain distance gets those large muscles moving. The possibilities are endless. If you have an older student, have them create the course under your supervision. To make it even more fun and challenging, use a stopwatch and record the time it takes to complete the course. Each time your competitor can see if she can beat her previous time. To further extend this activity you can rearrange the course.

Indoor courses are fun and a wonderful energy- burner in inclement weather. You just need a large enough area to be able to set up your course. Normally I would not let my children walk on the couch, but part of the fun and allure for my boys to do this was they were allowed to crawl across the  You can always put the cushions on the floor and have your son walk on them or hop from one to another. Here are additional things to do with your course. I have combined large and small motor skills since both need to be developed.  Tossing socks into a laundry basket; crawling under dining room chairs; lying down and scooting on your back; balancing a book on your head while walking to the next activity; hopping on one foot from one place to another; crab crawling; dropping 10 pennies in a cup; stacking plastic cups in a pyramid, etc.  I can see the wheels turning as you think about your own house and children. 🙂

Hide and Go Seek was a favorite activity for my children. This can be done indoors or out. Just a couple of rules need to be established. For instance, boundaries (outside- don’t go beyond the fence line or indoor areas that may be unsafe or you don’t want the children playing in or near).

Play Follow the Leader

Indoor bowling– Use 10 empty 1 or 2-liter plastic bottles and a tennis ball to play. Keep score and the one who reaches 50 wins. A variation of this would be to use a small beanbag and ten plastic cups that are in a pyramid. This would be a great challenge to older kids since this requires skill and patience.

Play Twister If you don’t have the game, then create it by taping red, blue, green and yellow construction paper circles on the carpet and writing the directions on index cards. (right food red, left foot green, etc)


Balloon Games This is such a fun and inexpensive way to get your children moving. Blow up a balloon and have your child put it between their legs and walk from one end of the hall to the other end.

Balloon Tennis– You will need a 12-inch balloon, two paper plates, two paint stirrers, a glue gun, and masking or painters tape. Glue each stirrer to a paper plate to create your two tennis racquets. Using the tape, create a line (tennis net). See how many times the children can hit the ballon over the line. A point is awarded to the other person if you cannot return the balloon. The first person to reach 10 points wins. Balloon volley is the same idea- just without the racquets.

Body Balloonball– How many ways can you hit the balloon and keep it from touching the floor NOT using your hands? Keep score and if you have a partner, the first to use 5 different body parts gets one point. The overall winner is the first to reach 10.

Beanbag Toss– Your son can toss the beanbag at various targets on the floor (a laundry basket, see if he can land a beanbag inside a shoe, a paper towel that has a bull eye on it, etc.). If you have a little one and would like to incorporate more school subjects, how about a game that they need to toss the bag onto a certain color or a certain number? You can tape on the floor construction paper of primary colors and have additional papers with numbers. Call out directions (hit the green square. Hit the paper with the numeral 5 on it.) Let the game begin!

Tape Lines: Make 5-10 separate lines of tape, each about a foot apart, on your floor or carpet. Label the first one the “start” line and then give your kids simple instructions:

  • Long Jump: See how many lines they can jump over. Have them try and beat their best score each time. Experiment with arm swinging vs. arms behind their backs.
  • Run ‘n’ Jump: Now let them take a running start and see if they can jump even further!
  • Long Jump Backwards: Increase the difficulty by performing the tasks jumping backward.
  • Hop: How far can they jump on one leg?
  • Reach ‘n’ Stretch: How far can their leg reach with one foot on the “start” line?                                                                                                     Source:

As with all physical activity, have your son or daughter stretch before and after so those muscles stay in great shape! 🙂

~ Lisa










Teaching Math in Your Homeschool

Using visual aids to teach mathematical concepts is vital when a student is first beginning to learn a concept. For instance: the difference between numeral and number. The definition for each of these according to Google is: a numeral is a symbol or name that stands for a number. Examples: 3, 49 and 12 are all numerals. So the number is an idea, the numeral is how we write it. Having objects on hand for your daughter to manipulate and interact with are extremely helpful. Children are concrete thinkers and using objects to count such as fruit or teddy bears or dinosaurs, etc., number lines, and unifix cubes for her to use will help cement these concepts.

Drill, drill, drill! When your son is first learning mathematical facts, it is important for you to review math facts daily until he knows them without having to add using his fingers.  Do you remember flashcards? Do you know why they have this particular name? You flash (quickly show) the answer to your mathematician first and then show them the problem. They repeat the answer back to you. As you continue to do this and you see that they are beginning to memorize the answers, you no longer will need to flash the answer.

You can also play games to reinforce these concepts as well. I do not want to make this post extremely long, so next week I will share card game ideas you can play with your daughter or son. There are also math apps and books that teach mathematical concepts. I found a list of math apps and descriptions with them for you at Since today is Cyber Monday, Best Children’s Books has a sale going on today so you can snag a couple of great book titles for your child.  You can also find a fantastic list of Children’s books at Chasing SupermomScreen Shot 2017-11-27 at 6.16.46 AM

Have a great week! I hope you find some terrific new ideas to use in your homeschool with what I have shared with you today.

~ Lisa

Teaching Science in Your Homeschool


Teaching Science can be a daunting task for those of us who are not inclined toward that academic area.  When I first began teaching, we team-taught and I was assigned the area of science. I ended up failing miserably at each and every experiment I undertook to demonstrate to my middle school students. It left a bad taste in my mouth, but I decided that when I taught my own children they would not find out that it was one of my least favorite subjects. I think I succeeded pretty well in keeping that opinion to myself for the most part. 🙂 How did I do that? I found simple science experiments that would accompany the topic we were studying. Sometimes I used a textbook, other times I concentrated on a topic that I thought we could do on our own through hands-on experiences and videos or field trips.  Here are a few ideas that I hope will inspire you.

Experiential is the one word that I say works best for students. You can talk about why the sky is blue or what causes beautiful hues in the evening, but if you can show that to your daughter through a hands-on experience, how much more that will make sense! Here is the information about seeing the color blue in the sky:  Why the Sky is Blue  and here is a video. Doing the experiment yourself afterward would be really fun for your son to enjoy.


You may be saying, “That’s great, Lisa, but I am short on time and I am not sure how to find experiments.”

Great point, but with a little planning and searching on the internet, you can have some amazing experiences, experiments, and explanations for your daughter. Am I saying you need to do an experiment for each topic? While that would be nice, it is not always practical or possible. Look through your science book or topics you are going to be studying and find some simple science experiments or activities to do.

Needing some science lessons for your daughter to do with you? not only has lesson plans for grades K-12, you can download and print them too!

If you do not have the time or inclination, then find a science video demonstrating the topic. Steve Spangler is a scientist who does a fabulous job of creating excitement for science and also doing some really crazy things. Here is his website:  Spangler Science

If you have a middle school or junior high student, here are some experiments to try as well as outcomes of the experiments so you know what to expect. 🙂 Hot Chalk is a great resource and if you need a visual index of experiments, has over 1000 from which to choose.


Ideas for Teaching Subjects for Homeschool

Teaching subjects can get to be a bit overwhelming. So, how do you teach all of them? Where do you find the time? When students are just beginning school and in the primary grades remember attention spans are short, so teaching a lesson needs to be short too. Take small breaks and return to subjects if necessary. For example, 15 minutes of explaining and showing examples, 15- 30 minutes of practicing/ doing what has been taught.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I am going to be concentrating on teaching elementary students.  I don’t want these posts to be too long so I will be talking about a few subjects each week. I can see just concentrating upon just one subject at a time, but I’ll save that for a later date. So many years of teaching, so little time to explain. lol  If you have an older student, I promise to address teaching junior high and high school students in future posts; please stay tuned. 🙂

Language Arts

Reading- I believe that teaching a child to read is the single most topic she needs in order to succeed in life. As far as language arts is concerned, my concentration would be to only teach reading in Kindergarten and 1st grade until your daughter is reading fluently. Incorporating spelling, grammar and handwriting can be done informally through writing the alphabet, her name,  street address, creating homemade cards, writing simple stories, etc. If you are interested in teaching these with a formal program, this can be added to your studies once reading is progressing well.

Spelling and grammar- The best way to teach spelling and grammar is by incorporating these into reading and writing. Practice writing the words you are teaching your son to read. If he is able, he can write simple sentences and perhaps a story using these words, which will reinforce what he is learning.

Handwriting- While many schools are opting not to teach cursive, I have read studies that say this is good for your brain since both hemispheres are involved in the process. It also requires less of the pencil to be taken off of the paper and nearly all letters are made in a forward fashion. I think teaching handwriting formally with a program is important since you want your son to be able to not only write it (neatly lol), but also to be able to read it. I am encountering junior high students who can no longer read cursive. I wish I had the time to instruct them so that they can read old documents, communicate with others who use cursive, etc. Don’t you want your student to have every means of communication available to him? Copying passages of favorite literature or poetry or writing out spelling words or science terms is an easy way to incorporate this into your lessons.

Social Studies (Geography, History)

Geography- While teaching young students geography and history can be taught by learning your address, what state and country you live in. When reading a book that has a specific setting, have your daughter investigate where that is located. Have you used Google Maps or Google Earth? These are fantastic apps to see the world and where we fit into it. Do you have relatives that live out of state? Use google to show her where this is in relation to your home and to the world. Still using the app, you can pick a destination such as the Statue of Liberty and take a virtual tour. I think it’s a pretty cool way to teach geography.

History- With young students, I like to begin teaching history that is relevant to them. For instance, create a personal timeline with your son. Choose events such as his birth and things that are memorable to him (learning to ride a bike, losing a tooth, the birth of a sibling, etc.) Creating a family tree gives meaning to history as well. This can involve interviewing grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc., which can be a lot of fun.  Once the concept of things occurring in the past has been established, history takes on a bit more meaning since much of it is about people. Field trips are a fun way to teach history. You can go to a local history or museum and discuss what you see and the time period in which it occurred. Dressing up in period clothing like we did when we studied Ohio presidents, and reading a famous speech or reading a short biography such as the series of books by David Adler brings history to life. (Click on the book for the link.)