Archives

An Act of Kindness

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I had the privilege of doing a portfolio review this past month for a wonderful and thoughtful young lady. Her mom said she wanted to let her neighbors know that they are not alone during these difficult times. She bought plastic containers, filled them with wrapped candy, and attached this note to each one. We can make someone’s day with a simple act of kindness. This would be easy for you and your children to do for school and would count for Language Arts and Handwriting.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

 

 

Getting Ready for the New Year

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We are already into the second week of July and school will be starting before you know it. Maybe you are just beginning to homeschool or maybe you are starting the last year of your homeschooling. Either way, everyone needs to plan what they will be doing for the year. So, I have three things for you to consider doing over the next few weeks.

  • Pick a curriculum- What will you be using this year for school? This requires some investigating on your part. If you are new to homeschooling, I recommend that you find something that is already planned out. This can be traditional textbooks, online programs, distance learning opportunities, etc. It is much easier to modify a curriculum instead of having to create your own. After  you have that first year under your belt you will have a better idea of what works for your child and what does not.
  • Consider your home and classroom work space. Where will you have school? I think having a dedicated area to do school is great, but it may be that you work at the kitchen table. Do what works best for your family. We began with a schoolroom and ended up migrating as the year went on. After a couple of years I just had all of us meet at the kitchen table. 🙂
  • Complete the Home Education Notification Form. (<- Click on the bold words to get a copy.) It is only used to notify the school that you are going to homeschool your child for the school year. It must be completed and turned into the superintendent no later that the first day of when your child’s school building begins the academic year. I would suggest you send it by registered mail with a return receipt. This is so you have record that they received it. It gets very busy for the superintendent’s office and your paperwork could get lost. If that should happen, you have a record that they received it.

Item #6 is for you to just list a few general topics of what you intend to teach your child for the school year. For instance, in math you can list for your child who is of first grade level the topics of single digit addition and subtraction, counting money and telling time. This is for informational purposes and you can change your mind as the year progresses. Your daughter may sail through addition and subtraction and you decide to add multiple digit addition. That is great and there is no need to contact the school and let them know your topics have changed. She may struggle with telling time and you decide to wait until a later date to teach this. This is perfectly fine too. The superintendent is just seeing that you have some topics for your child to learn.

Item #7 on the form is for informational purposes as well. You can list resources that you will be using, but you do not need to make an extensive list of every book you are going to use. You may not have even come across a fabulous resource yet and discover it as the year continues. That has happened to me on several occasions. You can list the textbook (if you are using one) as well as other resources or programs. For instance, in Social Studies you might use Story of the World, various videos, maps of the world and United States and  and app such as Stack the States.  Again, the superintendent is looking to see that you have a plan of what resources you would like to use.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

 

Chores: Teaching Responsibility

yellow-latex-gloves-on-dish-rack-4039452.jpgChores serve several purposes. One way is to have some additional help with household and yard duties. Another is listening to instruction and following directions. And, the last but what I feel is the best purpose, is they help teach responsibility.

Did you ever want a pet when you were growing up? Do you remember one of the first things you would say after you asked? I will feed it and clean up after it. Ah! You were using your powers of persuasion to make the argument that you would be responsible. Did it work? 🙂

Children can begin at a young age to help with chores around the house. Always show your child how you would like the chore to be done and follow up with them afterwards to see that it was done according to your directions and satisfaction. Here are some ideas to consider, but make a list based upon the capability of your child.

Ages 2-3

  • Pick up toys, books
  • Put dirty clothes in laundry
  • “Wash” dishes
  • “Sweep” floor

Ages 4-5

  • Help make bed
  • Fill empty pet bowl (water, food with supervision)
  • Help set the table
  • Match socks

Ages 6-7

  • Straighten bedroom
  • Make bed
  • Get the mail
  • Put away folded laundry
  • Collect garbage from around the house
  • Help set the table

Ages 8-9

  • Pick up room, things around the house
  • Fold laundry
  • Set the table
  • Make simple lunches (sandwiches; humus and veggies, etc.)
  • Bake desserts (with supervision)
  • Load/ unload dishes in dishwasher
  • Put away dishes

Ages 10-11

  • Be responsible for personal items (Pick up, put away)
  • Iron clothes
  • Rake leaves
  • Collect library books and get ready for returning
  • Clean bathroom
  • Load washing machine (with supervision)
  • Put clothes in dryer
  • Take out and bring back garbage cans on trash day

Ages 12-13

  • Keep room tidy
  • Change bedsheets
  • Take showers regularly (For you mothers of boys, I had to put that one in!)
  • Mow the lawn
  • Watch younger siblings for short periods of time
  • Prepare basic meals
  • Unload washing machine and dryer
  • Vacuum
  • Per care (walking dog. grooming cat, etc.)

Ages 14+

  • Do all chores from younger ages
  • Watch siblings
  • Check automobile’s oil, change tires
  • Bring in and put away groceries
  • Do family’s or own laundry
  • Mop the floor
  • Create one meal a week.

Of course, you can do other things with chores.

  • Add or delete what chores that work for your family. The above lists were just to give you an idea of things your child could do. Many of these chore options were taken from the Focus on the Family’s website.
  • You create cards with chore descriptions for easy reference once you have instructed and overseen chores.
  • You can create a simple chore chart with the name of the chore on the left-hand side and the days of the week that you want them completed on the right-hand side.
  • You can have your child earn some cash by giving them a weekly allowance. How much to pay then is up to you. This would be a terrific finance lesson on saving, spending, giving to the church or another charitable organization.

Have a great week! ~Lisa ~ 

Great Resources for Homeschooling

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So, you are thinking about homeschooling next year. That’s awesome! You may be wondering, “Where do I start?”

I found it helpful to find a few trusted sources for information. Start out with just a couple of things to investigate. It can be overwhelming if you try to tackle it all at once. After you have answers for those couple of questions, then pick a couple of more to research. Pretty soon you will be a pro and ready to go! Here are a few great resources to help you get started.

Are you looking for curriculum? Cathy Duffy Reviews is a good resource with a summary of each of her top picks. She also has a book called How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum that would be worth the investment since it covers setting goals, types of learners, and  philosophies of education.

Two great companies from which to buy homeschool books/ curriculum are:

Join a Facebook Group and/or a support group. There are both secular and Christian groups. Facebook groups are very helpful, but I liked talking and meeting up with people. People are more than happy to help you. If you have any questions that I can help you with, comment below.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

 

Outdoor Science Activities for Kids

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Spring is an amazing season, don’t you agree? I love to get out and see all of the changes that are occurring in nature. This naturally lends itself to science activities, fresh air, and activity (gotta get those kiddos moving).  With just a few materials you can use the great outdoors to investigate science topics. Great outdoors + kids + science= Success! Know that’s what I call a great formula.

Plants- Tulips are starting to bloom and will do so over the next several weeks. This flower has large parts inside of it and is one of the best plants to dissect for the reason. It is a perfect flower because it has both male and female parts. (I just learned that!) And, in case you need a reminder of where the parts are located and what are their names, here is a quick reference drawing courtesy of http://www.wikimedia.com

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Here are some ideas for teaching. I have listed in parentheses other subject areas that are included besides science that are being studied as well.

  • Have your budding 🙂 botanist draw the parts of the flower. (art)
  • Label the parts of their flower. (language arts)
  • Point to the various parts and describe them. (language arts)
  • Color a picture and/or label the parts of a flower  Superstarworksheets (art)
  • Have your student teach you or other siblings about the flower. (language arts)
  • If you don’t have a flower to study, DK Books has a close-up of a flower and simple explanations of the parts of a plant. Flower Parts for Kids
  • If you have an older student you can go into greater detail by looking at this site: Biology for Kids: Flowering Plants 

 

Nature Picture Show Take your phone with you on a walk and let your child take pictures of signs of spring. When you get home you can:

  • Identify the plants and animals you saw. (language arts)
  • Create a photo collage. (art, technology)
  • Send pictures with a short narration to grandparents. (language arts)
  • Create a PowerPoint with captions. (technology, language arts)

 

Shadows The other day I saw my neighbor sitting on her driveway with some plastic dinosaurs and I just had to ask her what she was doing (keeping 6′ away from her of course!). She was waiting for the sun to cast shadows on some paper that she had so she could trace them. What a lot of fun! You can do this with anything, including your own shadow and your son/ daughter’s shadow.  Other things you can do with shadows:

  • Measure each shadow. You can come out at different times of the day and see whether your shadow was longer or shorter than before. (math)
  • Graph the measurement of the shadows. (math)
  • Watch a video about shadows. If you have an older student they can take notes about the video. (language arts)  Dr. Binocs
  • If you are looking for some good books to read about shadows (both nonfiction and fiction), you can check out this website: Faith and Good Works
  • Create a shadow puppet play. (art, language arts)
  • Not sunny today? No problem! Make a puppet theater. Here are two options to get your creative juices flowing:

 

Blowing Bubbles is always a lot of fun, but did you ever think about making this into a science activity?  Ask the question: If you have different shaped wands (made out of pipe cleaners or wire), will the bubbles come out in those shapes or will they be round? Create a hypothesis and go have some fun by checking to see if it is correct.

  • Bubble formula-  I found a formula without glycerin on kidsactivities.com since you can’t run to the store to get any right now. The amazing thing about this formula is that if you wear gloves the bubbles they won’t pop. The sugar makes them very strong and you can catch them and bounce them without breaking.

 Bubble Recipe

    • 4 Tbsp water
    • 1 Tbsp concentrated dish soap
    • 2 Tbsp Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
    • Add the water to a small bowl and pour in the dish soap.
    • Add the sugar and stir gently until the sugar is dissolved.

Have a great week!  ~ Lisa ~