Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Homeschooling Through the Holidays

Ideas for homeschooling through the holidays.

Just as there are many different styles of homeschooling methods, there are just as many varied ways that homeschooling families take on the holidays. Some families follow their school calendar, taking a break when the school system breaks. Some families don’t really take a break, opting instead to work through so they can take time off at another time.

Then you have families like mine. We technically school year round, breaking when we need/want. Usually, we break from Thanksgiving until after the New Year. Since we have family spread out, and enjoy doing things in the community, this works out well.

Having said that, we don’t do nothing over the holidays. We love learning about the holiday we celebrate, Christmas, but we also really enjoy learning about other holidays! Some ways that we do that are:

Make printable flashcards with words from different holiday word lists.

Discover holiday specific recipes that you can all make together. Cooking could really count as math, science and life skills. ;)

For your older kids, you could even have them do a short high school writing project on what their holiday means to them, and what they think is an important aspect of the celebrations.

What about you? How do you guys handle the holidays in your homeschool?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Learning More About Thanksgiving

If you’re a homeschooler, then you know that there is always a way to make anything a learning experience. Holidays that are steeped in history, like Thanksgiving, are certainly no exception! There are so many ways you can bring Thanksgiving into your homeschool.

For your younger kiddos, you can come up with some preschool games or kindergarten games. Maybe a Thanksgiving match game, where they have to match photos together, or a vocabulary word with its definition.

For your older ones, you could have them practice essay writing or creative writing exercises. For essay writing, they could write what Thanksgiving means to them and their heritage. For creative writing, maybe they could come up with a fictional story that takes place during the time when Thanksgiving was first celebrated.

There are so many resources out there, for holiday learning fun. You just have to look a little for them. And never be afraid to ask other homeschooling families about some of their Thanksgiving/holiday education traditions.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Incorporating Sports into your Homeschool

Are you a sports fan? If so, then fall is probably one of your favorite times of year! Whether it’s professional sports, or your kids’ little league association, fall usually means it’s time to “play ball!”

What are some ways that you can learn about, and use the different sports in your homeschool?

The first obvious answer is physical education. Learning how to play a game of football or soccer, then playing, would definitely qualify. Log those phys. ed. hours! ;)

Take your child’s favorite sport and make some unique science activities for them to work on. Science? Well, yeah. How about the baseball-bat collision. Physics!

Make special themed list for spelling and/or vocabulary words. They can use these lists to take spelling tests, play online games, practice handwriting and more.

These are just a few of the ways you toss sports into your school day. What ideas can you share with us?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

What do you do for Spelling?

When you think about core subjects in education, whether your child learns in a traditional school setting or at home, do you ever include spelling as a subject on it’s own? Many schools and homeschooling families don’t actually teach spelling as a separate subject. Instead, they incorporate it into other subject areas. Reading, language arts, even math (see, those math word problems don’t have to be pointless, lol!).

If you are looking for a way for your kids to practice spelling (either as homeschool subject, or for homework help), have you thought about letting them play some spelling games? Traditional board games, like Scrabble and Boggle are always fun! If your family prefers online games, there are sites out there that offer online activities and resources, like spelling games and spelling flashcards (and some of these sites are even FREE!).

Share time! How is spelling handled in your home and/or classroom? 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Ugh. Math!

Math. Say it like either of my boys and it comes out a whiny maaaaaaath. Why do they hate it so? That’s probably our fault. From the time we started homeschooling, we ended up projecting the husband’s math anxiety onto the boys. Of course, we didn’t realize it at the time. But lemme tell you, projecting stuff like that is much easier than one would think.

Some of things we have found, that work for our family’s math needs?

Using an online math curriculum. Since they prefer everything on the computer, rather than in a textbook or workbook, has been the best thing we could do. We have done math worksheets before, but very rarely.

Outside of their online curriculum, both of my boys will play some math games online. There are free sites out there, like Learning Games for Kids, that offer tons of online learning games. And, they offer them for FREE.

Please share with us…what are some things that work for your kiddos when they need math help?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Learning Games

Having your kids play learning games could be the one of best (and most fun!) ways of helping them retain the things they are learning. They are enjoying themselves, yet you feel good know that you are helping them to constantly learn and study.

There are loads of learning games out there. Scrabble, Boggle, Monopoly are some great family games. There are also a lot of resources out there if you wanted your kiddos to play some online learning games. Some sites have premium fees. Some sites give you access to a certain, limited number of games for free, while more options are available if you wanted to purchase them. Then there are sites that are totally free. No account required and no payment ever.

If you know where to look, you can find online games for everything ranging from keyboard and art games, to spelling and geography games.

Let’s start a list, shall we? Everyone comment below and leave your favorite online game sites.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer Breaks?

While summer breaks are super fun for the kids, you know it’s hard to keep everything they learned the prior school year fresh in their minds. When you have 8-10 weeks off, things can tend to get…lost.

If you’re wanting to make sure to keeps your kids learning throughout the summer, without bogging them down, here are some ideas:

Educational games. Who doesn’t like to play games, right?

Make some math flashcards, and periodically throughout the summer, do short and quick math drills.

Science experiments or art projects that you wanted to do, but were unable to get to during the school year.

Summer is the perfect time to give your kids some creative writing help.

These are just a tiny few of the things out there that can keep information and knowledge fresh in your wee ones’ minds. What fun summer learning activities would you add to these? 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Homeschool Social Studies

Homeschool social studies can be such a fun subject to teach AND learn! My boys love learning about the different periods in history, and the history of different countries and cultures. My youngest recently delved into the Civil War. He thinks it’s fascinating learning about the battles between the North and the South. He loves finding those history/landmark markers in towns and on highways. Whenever we see one, we always try to stop and read them if possible.

Outside of American history, he’s looking forward to getting into medieval and European history. I don’t know a lot about those things, but fortunately his father does, and I have no shame in admitting when I need help, and looking for that help when I do. That’s especially true when it comes to helping my older son with his high school homeschool social studies. Thank goodness for libraries, the Internet and our elders to who love to tell stories! :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Heading Outside for Spring...

Spring is a GREAT time to take your homeschooling outside! Things are in bloom, insects and little critters are coming out of wherever they’ve been during the cold winter months, and let’s be honest…when things start to warm up outside, sometimes we just simply want to go out and feel the sunshine, right?

My boys love all things science and nature, and being outside is perfect for those subjects. Sometimes we plan ahead for our outdoor fun. We know ahead of time that we want to study nonliving and living things, or specific plants. Other times, we just head outside and see where the day takes us.

Occasionally, with the beautiful spring sunshine, comes rain showers or not so beautiful allergies, lol. When that happens, and we can’t head outside, we make the most out of studying science and nature indoors. How? Lots of technology! Watching documentaries on Netflix, instructional videos on YouTube, or maybe even nature games online.

Do you find yourselves heading outside when the weather gets warmer? I’d love to hear about some of the fun things you do to ring in the spring. :)