Category: Homeschool Den

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Writing Workshop Mini-Lessons (Day 4–Story Openings)

Day 4: Story Openings–Set the mood or feeling of your story You’ve set up a good writing space, have your supplies – pencils, journals, resource materials. Now what?!! This is the second in a series of 5 posts with lesson ideas to help young writers get started on their writing journey. Be sure to read the introduction to this series in last Monday’s post, Day 1. Here are some of our first mini-lesson topics....

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Montessori Cards: Vertebrates-Invertebrates; 5 Vertebrate Groups

It is animal week for my youngest daughter. We’ve been touching on vertebrates and invertebrates since the kids were little, but I wanted to go back and make sure ED really knew the characteristics of these groups and how animals are classified. First, we went over the difference between Vertebrates and Invertebrates again. We brought out our model frog skeleton again for a closer look! Then she went over the...

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11-Year Old Shares Her Thoughts About Homeschooling

My friend’s daughter wrote a blog post about homeschooling and they generously offered to let me post it here.  I loved her piece and I hope you do too!  My mom thought it would be helpful for me to give my perspective on homeschooling. Being an eleven-year-old homeschool student has some good things and some bad things. Good things: -I can sleep until nine every day! No getting up early...

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Writing Workshop Mini-Lessons Day 2 – Make the Story Come Alive with Details

Writing Workshop Mini-Lesson #2: Make the Story Come Alive with  Details; Show the reader what happened; Create images in the reader’s mind You’ve set up a good writing space, have your supplies – pencils, journals, resource materials. Now what?!! This is the second in a series of 5 posts with lesson ideas to help young writers get started on their writing journey. Be sure to read the introduction to this series in last Monday’s...

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How do I Help the Kids to Start Writing?! 5 Lessons Ideas for the Writing Workshop (Day 1)

You’ve set up a good writing space, have your supplies – pencils, journals, resource materials. Now what?!! This is the first in a series of 5 posts with lesson ideas to help young writers get started on their writing journey. Introduction: Writing Workshop Mini-Lessons I have spent a lot of time writing about why we use a writing workshop, how we set up and structure our writing workshop, and even went into...

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Long List of Free Homeschool and Teaching Resources

This is a list of some of the most useful homeschool and teaching resources from around the web. I have added in some free resources I found that integrate computer science concepts into science units, plus Engineering units for kids, and units from the CDC (Center for Disease Control).  If you have any great resources and websites I should add to this list, leave a comment or leave me a note...

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What We’re Up to In Our Homeschool – Curriculum We Use

One thing about homeschoolers is that each family has its own style. Some people have quite a structure/routine to their homeschool; some people unschool and support and follow the passions and interests of their kids. Our days are fairly loose, but we follow fairly traditional subjects. Homeschoolers often fall into different categories… Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Classical, or use online-curriculums. I would say we are eclectic, hands-on homeschoolers — meaning we...

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Practical Pointers for Working with a Reluctant Writer (or any writer!)

How do you help a child who throws his hands up and declares he can’t write, refuses to write, only writes “I suck at writing” or prose of that sort?  Well, it has been a long hard journey for my son (10), but things have started to turn around this year and I wanted to share how we’ve made it over that hump… most of the time. *Have a space where...

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Digging Out From the Snow!

Like so much of the east coast, we spent a lot of time today digging out from the huge snowfall. ED is the youngest and often the hardest worker! She was out there shoveling (and playing) for hours. Boomer said, “No way I’m going down those stairs.” So, we created a potty spot for her, shoveling a path into the back yard from the garage. It’s snowing again right now...

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Free Engineering Curriculum Available Right Now (Grades 3 to 8)

There is an amazing engineering curriculum that is put out by the Museum of Science, Boston. It’s called Engineering is Elementary.  My friend first told me about their hands-on curriculum units and we actually have two of their units lined up for the next month or two. Why study engineering? Their website explains it this way: Hands-on, project-based learning is the essence of engineering. As groups of students work together...

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Wonderful Free Writing Resource for Young Writers

I was so excited to come across the Young Writer’s Survival Kit by Melissa Forney. It has been an amazing resource for our writing workshop.  At times when it’s writing time, I haven’t thought of a writing mini-lesson for the day. If I pick up this little booklet, I can flip through and I’m sure to find a good, quick writing lesson. These are fabulous writing tips for kids!  ...

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Civil Rights Movement: School Integration, Sit-Ins and Selma

Every year since 1976, every U.S. president has designated February as black history month. We have just about finished up our unit on the Civil Rights Movement and I have a couple more posts to share with you. Last week, we learned about the challenges young blacks faced when they attended all-white schools in the late 1950s and early 1960s. We first learned about the Little Rock Nine.  Then, the...

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Preschool Valentines Day Packs (Free Resources)

There are so many wonderful free Valentine’s Day resources for preschoolers out there. I thought I’d highlight a few in case you’re planning to pull some Valentine’s activities out for the kids in the next couple of weeks: This Reading Mama: Matching letters and sounds, math grid game, maze and more Over the Big Moon: Prewriting Practice Sheets, Cutting Practice, Which one is different, Finish the Pattern Sheet,  Size Sequencing Sheet,  Valentine Strip Puzzle, 4-piece Puzzles,...