Category: Homeschool Den

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Preschool at Home: Geography Activities (Maps and More) Ages 4+

There are so many fun things you can do with your preschooler (or elementary kids) to help them gain an understanding of the geography of our amazing world! You can make all kinds of maps to enhance your preschooler’s knowledge of the world. Over the years we have made maps… with sand, dirt and grass seed like our Nile River Valley Out of clay, like our Ancient Greece (and Mediterranean...

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Why You Shouldn’t Reward Kids for Learning

Plato: Knowledge that is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind. One of the things my kids love about homeschooling is that they can spend long, leisurely amounts of time reading.  The first thing they do in the morning is pick up a book and start reading while eating breakfast. My goal has always been for reading to be something that you do for pleasure, not for reward. One...

In Crisis Lies Opportunity for Growth 15

In Crisis Lies Opportunity for Growth

Just over a week ago, I had my fourth ear surgery since October.  I was braced for a tough recovery.  The surgery was a bit more invasive than the one three weeks ago so it was definitely uncomfortable afterwards. As far as we know the surgery went well. Right now we’re in a long waiting game to see how things settle down.  If you have followed my story, you know...

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Are Kids Reading Less Than They Used To?

There was a really interesting article over at Edutopia last month about the worry some educators have about how technology and testing are affecting the amount of reading kids are doing.  Educators have noticed that some kids are struggling to read deeply and comprehend longer texts. Are kids reading books deeply and for pleasure? Since the invention of the printing press, there has been a plethora of reading materials available.  Granted, not...

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Animals Around the World (Montessori 3 Part Cards)

World Animal Packet: This 70+ page packet helps kids learn about animals on every continent! It includes Montessori 3-Part Cards, Activity Sheets for every continent, printable continent cards, a world animal game, world animal pin map activity, and more! The last two weeks I shared some of ED’s animal-related activities. She looked closely at the vertebrate-invertebrate groups and we talked a lot about the characteristics of the animals of the...

My 4th Ear Surgery Tomorrow 9

My 4th Ear Surgery Tomorrow

Actually, this is my 11th ear surgery (plus 2 others for other things) if we’re truly counting… but tomorrow is the 4th surgery on my left ear since October.  It’s supposed to be a doozy. I have been spending a lot of time day dreaming about all the amazing things I’ll do when… I can drive again. I can talk again (without the sound reverberating around my head). I can...

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Animals and Their Characteristics (Free Worksheet)

Animals and their Characteristics – The 5 Animal Groups These free pages are down below! Last week I shared the free vertebrate and invertebrate sort cards that I made for my daughter.  I also wanted to go over the characteristics of the various vertebrate animal groups with her. As she sorted the animal groups we talked about some of the characteristics of each group… fish and amphibians lay their eggs...

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Writing Workshop Mini-Lessons Day 5 (Exploring Memories)

This was one of the best mini lessons we’ve had on writing.  The kids still talk about how much they enjoyed sharing their memories and writing about them. They’ve asked me when we can do this again.  I call that a successful day! If you’ve missed the previous posts in this series, I would suggest you go back and start with them, though honestly, you can do any of these...

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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...