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Homeschool Rocks

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Picture from Pinterest

Each year our church fellowship has a week-long camping event with food, fun, campfires, and families. With almost half of our small group being children, activities throughout the week are something that we need to have for them to do. I saw a facebook group called Homeschool Rocks and thought decorating and hiding rocks with encouraging words or pictures would be a fabulous idea for our campout. Perhaps you might like to do it with your children too. I have included academic areas for you in parentheses so you can see how it applies to school. 🙂

You Will Need:

rocks

a bucket of warm, soapy water

paper towels

a pencil

outdoor acrylic paints

paint brushes

newspaper

waterproof markers

Elmer’s glue

Modge Podge or some type of outdoor sealant

paper

a plastic jar or another container

plastic grocery bags- one per person

Instructions: 

  1. Collect First of all, you and the children collect rocks that you want to paint. The best kinds are smooth, especially for younger children since they will paint more easily.  (PE is covered since you are getting exercise hunting for rocks.)
  2. Clean After you have determined which rocks you would like to paint, clean them in a bucket filled with warm, soapy water. Rinse them and place on some paper towels to dry. The paint will adhere much better to a clean surface, and your children will be getting their dirty hands clean at the same time. (Health- Getting all that dirt and grime off is part of a healthy routine.)
  3. Paint Now it’s time to bring some life to those rocks! Cover a table with newspapers, and if you have small children who might get paint in more places than the rock, cover them too (an old shirt and pants will do the trick). Depending on what design you want to create, you may want to sketch lightly on the rock before applying the paint.  If details are being added, then a waterproof marker would be helpful to use. Outdoor patio paints are preferred so the rock weathers well. Allow to dry for several hours. (art)

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  1. Seal  In order for your awesome rocks to be enjoyed for a long time, a sealant such as Modge Podge should be used. This will make the designs weather resistant and shiny. NOTE: If you have used permanent markers on the rocks, apply a thin layer of glue before applying the sealant to prevent smudging. Allow to dry according to the directions on the jar. 41O7V5Vq2FL
  2. Hide No, not you, the rocks! Since we will be camping, the children will go and hide their rocks so that fellow campers can find them. Each person that has hidden a rock can write a clue for others to find their treasure, thus creating a scavenger hunt.  (clues- writing;  directions- math, social studies)
  3. Find Put all of the clues in a plastic jar or other container and have each participant draw out a clue until they are all gone.Give each person a plastic grocery bag. Tell everyone to see if they can locate that rock based upon the clue. Help little ones who can’t read.
  4. Display Have a rock show so that everyone can enjoy the decorated creations.

I think everyone is going to enjoy doing this activity that it can be repeated as many times as you like. I would love to have you post your pictures if you do this.

~Lisa 

Notebooking

What is Notebooking?

Essentially, notebooking is learning about a topic and then writing about it by means of a journal (notebook) page. It also includes some type of picture that is the focus of what is being studied. This can either be an image that is already on the page, or a space provided that the student can draw their own picture (or words that can be decorated). Download Flower Notebook Page

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What are the benefits to Notebooking?

  • Multi-age level- Every student can make a notebook page. Younger students can draw or color the page and you can write down what they are telling you about the topic. Older students can create pages independently.  You can use notebook pages when your family is learning a subject together such as science or listening to a book read aloud as in the case of a history topic or a novel. Each student has their own page and each writes what they have learned. The notebook pages can be modified to fit younger or older students, depending upon the needs of your children. As a further extension, each child can share what they drew and/or wrote with the family after everyone is finished with their notebook page. These can be saved and placed in a binder for documentation of the school year. 
  • Writing less- Perhaps you have a student who looks at a blank piece of paper and freezes on what to write. Maybe your son struggles with writing or does not have much to put down on paper. A notebook page is a way of helping him focus on the picture and write just about that topic.
  • Narrating- Instead of a worksheet, your daughter can draw a picture and write about what she is learning. This method synthesizes writing and knowledge to show what she has learned.
  • Summarizing- Notebook pages aid your son or daughter in taking information they have learned and condensing it into a few sentences or a paragraph.
  • Creating- For your daughter or son who loves to draw or doodle, this is perfect since s/he has an area to express themselves and their ideas instead of a blank area of a workbook page or a margin of notebook paper. 

What is included in a Notebook Page?

Here is where you can be creative! The page can be anything you choose, such as: 

  • a historical figure or event, a map, a battle, a timeline (social studies)
  • a scientific topic, terms (science)
  • vocabulary, a character from a book, literary elements (language arts)
  • a story problem, a formula, or a concept such as fractions  (math)
  • scriptures, a poem, lyrics, a speech, a quote, or a dictation passage
  • something in nature such as: an animal or a plant
  • an artist or a piece of artwork

Here is an example of a notebook page that has a picture of a flower and its parts. Click to download pageParts of Flower NBP

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What age student can do Notebooking?

That is the wonderful thing about notebooking pages; students of all ages can use them. From younger students who are learning the difference between about living and non-living things, to older students learning about photosynthesis, each pupil can use this format to further their studies. Everyone’s notebooking page will be unique since each student will write and draw what they have learned.

Is there a curriculum that use the notebook idea?

Notebooking Pages also has a free product sampler and if you like what you see, and I am sure you will, you can purchase a subscription. These pages can compliment what you are studying or can stand alone.

Apologia Science has notebooking pages for older and younger students. Click on the image to read more details.

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Two Great Books for Middle Schoolers

Yay! I finally have read some books that I can recommend to you for middle school/ junior high students.

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No wonder this book is a Caldecott winner! Weaving three stories into one wonderful tale, Echo, written by Pam Munoz Ryan captures the reader’s attention from the start. It involves a magical harmonica and some amazing, self-sacrificing young people. It portrays different periods of time and the great injustice that was shown. But, it also has the theme of kindness and hope. Warning: your reader will not want to put this book down once they have begun. I have a confession to make; on many occasions I skip to the back of the book  because the middle of the story drags, but I wasn’t even tempted to do so with this story. 🙂

 

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This book isn’t a Caldecott winner, but it should be! Grandpa’s Great Escape by David Walliams is a fabulous book that had me laughing throughout it. Grandpa was a WWII British Royal Air Force (RAF) Spitfire pilot and is living in his glory days. No longer does he recognize his family, but rather thinks of them as members of the RAF.  Eventually, Grandpa is sent to Twilight Towers, a place for “unwanted old people”  and Grandpa and Jack his grandson, realize that he must escape from the ominous and creepy institution.Themes of compassion, kindness, and self-sacrifice are throughout the book. I also appreciated that at the end of the book there are short descriptions about WWII events that Grandpa talks about so that your reader will have context to the story if s/he so chooses to read about them.

Independence Day Quotes for Copywork

Happy Independence Day! I have created a copywork page for your student on this momentous occasion, the commemoration of our independence from England. Many men gave of their lives and fortunes in order for us to celebrate the amazing freedoms that we enjoy as citizens of the United States. I am forever grateful to live in such a wonderful country. May you and your family enjoy the holiday and I hope you take a little time to talk about just why we celebrate this day. if you are interested in printing off the page for copywork click on this link:  Independence Day Quotes Founding Fathers

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Coloring for a Purpose

Some children just love to color! If you have a child like that, chances are you can’t possibly showcase all of the coloring pages that your artist has colored. I bet you even wonder how you could share those works with others. I would like to introduce to you a website called Follow The Good King. You sign up for a subscription and every week you will receive a coloring sheet through your email. The cool thing is that there is a purpose for these coloring pages.

After your daughter or son colors them, you mail them back to a P.O. box and they are then sent on to a featured individual that has been selected by The Good King to receive these colorful masterpieces as encouragement. You see, when you receive your coloring sheet, you also receive a short bio on the person who needs a bit of cheering up. You can also nominate an individual to receive other children’s coloring pages.  This is also a terrific way of incorporating language arts because each mission has you write a short note to the recipient. 🙂

Here is an excerpt of the first mission and the coloring page. Do not color this one, but rather go to the website listed below for the current mission. Each mission is a week in length, so if you are not able to complete it, that is fine, just go on to the next one. The important thing to remember is that each mission is only for that current week and you cannot go back to a different mission and choose to send it to that person at a later date.

Mission 1:

Ryan is pretty much a rockstar. He mentors young guys, recently finished his college degree, just married the woman of his dreams, and encourages people all over the world through his blog…all this while unable to move his arms and legs. I won’t sugarcoat it…life is TOUGH for Ryan. But he is strong. VERY strong.

Ryan is teaching us about perseverance. He’s teaching us about hope. He’s teaching us that, no matter what our circumstances are, we can do GREAT good because we follow The Good King. So let’s thank Ryan for his example and encourage him to keep on keeping on.

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If you are interested in this amazing idea, go to Follow the Good King