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Traveling the World without Leaving your House

Teaching geography can be interesting, exciting, and fun, but sometimes you just need a little help when it comes to ideas. I located three resources that I think you and your children will enjoy. Happy Travels! 😉

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Atlas Crates by the Kiwi Company look like so much fun! These particular crates are designed for ages 6-11 and focus on giving your student a glimpse into the geography and culture of a region of the world. There are activities, projects, information about the country and a mini book about interesting aspects of the country for you to read. Every box has all of the supplies included so you don’t have to scrounge around the house looking for glue or yarn. It’s all in the box! You can save 30% on your order if you sign up for their newsletter. (The cost would be $39.95 for a 3 month subscription.) You can readily incorporate these crates into your geography and/or fine arts studies, and you can have your son/daughter write about the country you are studying. 🙂

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Little Passports for ages 6-10 is similar to Atlas Crates. Each month’s global adventure is packaged in a suitcase and has souvenirs such as postcards and crafts, and hands-on activities. Here is what would come with your first month’s Explorer Kit: a passport, and a world map, the country’s currency, an activity sheet and access to country-themed online content on their website. I love that you get a wall-sized map and can not only locate the country, but can talk about neighboring countries and teach a lesson on latitude and longitude. You can get one month to try for $16.95 + shipping or can get a 6 month or 12 month subscription.

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Universal Yums was brought to my attention when a homeschool mom came for a portfolio review. She showed me the scorecard of snacks that their family tried that were from Turkey. Each box has a variety of packaged snack foods to try and you can rate how much you liked that particular item. There is also a booklet that has information about each snack so if you have a son/daughter who is unsure of the contents, you can read all about it before eating it. Note- These are not “healthy snacks”, but are cookies, candies, etc. But, they sure look like fun! Past yum-yum boxes include snacks from countries such as Pakistan, Belgium, and Russia. You can easily extend this into your Social Studies lessons by locating the country’s box on a map or globe, play some music from the country that you found on the internet, and graph the likes and dislikes of the food items that you have eaten. Prices vary depending upon the number of snacks you choose and shipping is included in the price. (6 snacks- $14.00 per box, up to $39.00 for 20+ snacks)

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

The Value of Manners

Why should we bother to teach manners? Manners, in my opinion, show respect to other people. They show preference to others and also acknowledge them in ways that may seem small, but really speak volumes in this fast-paced, busy life in which we live. Manners begin in the home. The way that we teach and model manners will be noticed by others when you are away from home.

Some resources to help you teach manners to your young ladies and gentlemen. A great place to begin is with table manners and etiquette. See how Mama bear helps the family to remember their manners.

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Crawford the Cat videos are a great resource for young students (P-2nd grade). Crawford’s Good Table Manners is a 5 minute video with a coloring page option and lesson plans you can purchase as well. Even if you choose not to purchase the lesson plans you can discuss topics that were covered in the video afterward. You could have a fun activity to follow where you serve a snack and practice good table manners.

 

Please, Mr. Panda shows children the polite and patient way to ask for something. If your children enjoy this book, there are several more in this series.

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Mrs. Ruler helps her class learn the value of manners, both at home and in a public setting.

Who is My Neighbor? Is a full curriculum for older students about living as a Christian and being a help to others. You can purchase additional resources, such as a notebooking journal if so desired.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

 

 

 

Veterans Day Ideas for Kids

Some people get Veterans Day mixed up with Memorial Day. Veterans Day is a national day in our country to honor all of those who have served in the military.

Here is another video about Veterans Day.

Here is a Veterans Day booklet for your primary aged student that has alphabetical order, a word search, and a comprehension page.

If you would like your son or daughter to do a word search, here is a free printable on Veterans Day.

 Kid’s Activity Blog has a variety of worksheets for your student to do, including designing a commemoration quilt patch.

There is also a Veterans Day Resource Guide that has information and information on how to take care of the flag.

How can you teach your child the importance of supporting those who are in the military? How about sending a card or a care package? Soldiers Angels has many ways to be involved, from sending a card or a letter, to purchasing a care package, to sending a blanket, all of these are practical and thoughtful ways of showing appreciation to our service members.

Do you want your student to send a letter or card? CLICK HERE

To learn more about Soldiers Angels CLICK HERE.

Other ideas

If you have service members in your family, how about calling them and thanking them for their service to our country?

Our children can also serve our country by helping others. You could rake a neighbor’s leaves, visit those in nursing homes, pick up litter in your neighborhood,  or find another way to serve.

Election Resources for Children

Every first Tuesday after the first Monday in November we have the opportunity and civic duty to vote for our government officials. I am thankful that we live in a country where we have that right. As part of teaching Social Studies, you could teach about the election process and have your daughter/son learn about our government. When you go to vote, why not consider giving them a firsthand experience by going to the polling place with you.

How Voting Works is packed with a plethora of information. It even has an option to have the page read aloud and a ten question quiz at the end. There are additional resources about the government that your pupil can learn about should you wish.

Congress for Kids is a site that has everything about elections, from Election Day all the way through to Inauguration Day. There are videos and book lists (fiction and nonfiction) too for your student.

Duck for President is a fun way to learn about the election process. This website has a video of the book too.  If you are interested in doing a lesson or want more ideas for the book, Duck for President, Scholastic has some great ideas.

May the best candidates win! ~Lisa~

Archaeology Ideas for Kids

Have you ever wondered what it will be like for future generations to dig up our garbage and try to piece together what we were like as a culture? How will people interpret the uses of our old television sets, microwaves, clothing, and sports equipment? If you have a daughter or son who is interested in archaeology you could have a great time of learning and fun for Social Studies, Langauge Arts, and Science with the following activities.

Make a shoebox of “finds” for your student to investigate. Based upon these finds, they will need to be able to tell what kind of person would have left these artifacts behind. I did this years ago when I was teaching a class and it was so fun! One student brought in a man’s college class ring of their parent and one of the students saw the year they graduated and surmised that it was someone’s grandfather. lol Here is a box that I created about me. See if your observations with the artifacts I have given you are correct.

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I will list the items that I have in my box and give a brief explanation afterward of each of them.

  • a children’s book (I have a granddaughter; I love children’s lit)
  • the Bible (I like to read, study the Bible)
  • star stickers and a red pen (I am a teacher)
  • a picture of roses (I love flowers; gardening)
  • a luggage tag with a business card inside of it (my business, I enjoy traveling)
  • a bike trail map ( I am an avid bicyclist)
  • a lint brush ( I have a cat)
  • a wooden bird (I love birds)
  • a seashell ( I enjoy the beach; shells)

Here are some reading resources for you and your budding archaeologists to enjoy.

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The links to books featured above:

Create a Dig Site for your child(ren).Y our daughter/son can create artifacts by either painting a terracotta pot or making clay “coins”. You will need the following items:

  • A terracotta pot
  • paint, paintbrushes
  • clay
  • wooden toothpicks
  • a plastic bin
  • sand
  • plastic shovel
  • a wallpaper brush or a paintbrush
  • string, tape
  • clipboard
  • paper
  • pencil
  • epoxy

First, you need to fill a large bin with sand that will serve as the “dig site” for your artifacts. Next, using the terracotta pot or clay, your archaeologist needs to create artifacts that you will bury. Paint designs on the pot, create coins from clay using the wooden toothpick to make designs. Allow drying time before doing this next step. Use an old towel to cover the pot and a hammer to break it into large pieces. If your child is too attached to their artifact, you can create a design on another terracotta pot to break into pieces.

Bury the artifacts in the sand, but do not allow your archaeologist to see it. Depending upon your child’s age, you can make a grid with string above the bin and attach it with tape to the sides in order for them to know what section from which the artifacts they find originated. Using the clipboard, paper, and pencil, create a duplicate grid on the paper so that the things that are found can be drawn.

Give your child the shovel and brush to begin to wipe away the sand to find the artifacts. Stress the importance of going slowly and use the brush to wipe away the sand so they don’t disturb the other pieces nearby. Each found piece is then drawn and “cataloged”. If you have broken a pot, then glue it back together after you have excavated the site. Be sure to take a picture for your school year (and to take to your assessment if you do a portfolio review).

You can have your student write or draw pictures about the fun activity that you just completed. They can also write a story about the people who may have used these artifacts.

What about a dessert that shows the layers of soil?

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Are you interested in an interactive game? This one is from the Colonial Williamsburg website where junior archaeologists can learn about and register their own notes about a dig called Dirt Detective

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