Celebrating End of the School Year

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May not only means spring but for many of us, it means the end of the academic year. Huzzah!  Congratulations to you for completing a successful school year. I always liked to do something fun to finish off the year. Here are some ideas:

  • Make your own pizza
  • Water balloon fight
  • Picnic lunch
  • Lego project
  • Create a mural that features things your son/ daughter enjoyed this year
  • Make coke floats
  • Create an obstacle course with a finisher certificate
  • Make a video sharing about the year
  • Write a list of things to do this summer
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Play soccer or frisbee in the back yard

What do you do? Care to share? I would love to hear what you do to celebrate.

 

Have a great week!  ~Lisa~

 

Learn Something New

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As teachers of our children, we expect our scholars to learn new concepts and build upon them to further their knowledge. My goal was to raise our sons (and now my precious grandchildren) to be life-learners. In order for them to have a desire to do so, I need to be a role model.  Here are my thoughts on how this can be beneficial to us and them.

The struggle is real. When my family sees me try and fail they are watching me continue to try repeatedly until I am successful or I fail (example- rock hard breadsticks). They see they are not alone in learning something new. I feel like I have a renewed sense of what it is like for each of my students when they are learning something new.

We are role models. By observing you and me, our children see how we problem-solve; we don’t quit; we go over the directions again (and again), and we make corrections. Our children see that we don’t just sit down once and be successful every time. It takes time and practice, practice, practice in order to achieve success.

We are willing. We are willing to continue through the frustration of failure to see the project through to completion. When things are h-a-r-d and I feel like quitting, it makes me try harder when little eyes are watching me.

Our attitude is everything. I have certainly had my shares of getting upset and walking away. However, I do try to maintain a positive attitude throughout a new skill being learned and talk about what I learned. If (and when) we fail, it’s a good teaching moment to discuss how we are going to do it differently the next time.

You have permission to fail. Not everything comes easily and sometimes we just aren’t very good at certain things.  My sons would get frustrated when I would hand back an assignment because they hadn’t done it correctly. I had to evaluate whether it was my lack of explanation or their failure to understand. We learn from our mistakes and try again. Sometimes you just have to put it aside and come back to it later.

What is something new you would like (or have) to learn? Can you share your experience with your son/ daughter? By trying something new we continue to model that we are all life-long learners. ( I am learning about technology :(, morphology for teaching language skills, and what staples to stock in my pantry.)

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

 

Homeschool Quotes

Many of you are finishing up your school year in the next month or so and I thought you might need some encouragement to keep on teaching. You can do it;  you are nearly there. (You can quote me on that! 🙂 )

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

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I want to give credit where credit is due. The first picture and third pictures are from unsplash.com, and the last picture is from wikicommons. com. The final quote is from Robert Brault. 

Easy Science Experiments

Growing up, I thought science was boring. We just read from a textbook and never did experiments. That doesn’t have to be the way for your children. I have a couple of videos that show some amazing things you can do with just a few simple things that you have around the house. Some things may have to wait until you get to the store at a later date.  Your daughter/son can help you gather the things needed for the experiments. They can also write a lab report. (See below)

 

Here are 10 experiments that tell you what you need and the explanation behind what you are seeing happen.

 

Include these elements for your Science Lab: Materials; Questions to Ask; Steps in Experient; Observations: Record Results:  Draw a Conclusion.

You can also go here to get a Free Science Process Pack 

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 ~