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Renwick Gallery – Smithsonian

This time of year when the weather is a bit warmer, we love taking trips and visiting museums.  Last week we went to see the beautiful debut exhibition, “Wonder.”  The Renwick Gallery building had been closed for two years for renovations, but recently opened.  This was the first building in the United States designed expressly as an art museum. The Renwick Gallery is part of the Smithsonian; it is free to...

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Homeschool Science Units – Video Post

This is a video post about Homeschool Science in the Elementary and Middle School Years.  It highlights some of the activities and experiments we’ve incorporated in our science units over the years. How do we know what science units to cover?  I created a homeschool science checklist that I think about as we move from unit to unit.  I have a general goal of what I’d like for the kids...

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Comma Rules and Practice Pages (Free Grammar Worksheets)

Today I’m sharing some free comma rules grammar worksheets.  The first page has the 11 common comma rules we’ve covered.  There are various practice sentences on the next two pages. The kids have to place the missing commas in each sentence and must write down the rule that goes along with it.  Some sentences have more than one missing comma (and so might have more than one comma rule that...

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Reformation – Martin Luther Notebook Page and Lapbook Pieces

The past couple of weeks, our family studied the Reformation.  We had already spent a lot of time talking about the Popes (who were patrons of many of the famous Renaissance artists like Michelangelo and Raphael. (See more at this Renaissance post).  And, we had already talked a little bit about the sale of indulgences (because Pope Leo X in particular was known for granting indulgences to help raise money...

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Free Easter Math Worksheets

I made a new set of mixed math worksheets for ED. These include multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction problems. She is just starting double-digit multiplication so there are a few of those on each page as well (but only with a few problems at the bottom of each page as she catches on to the idea of carrying). There are 7 pages. These are free to download. Hope someone else...

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Ocean Unit: 5 Salinity Activities & Why the Ocean is Salty

Ocean Unit: Today, we have five hands-on activities about salinity to share with you. What is salinity?  It is the measure of salts in the ocean. Why is the ocean salty? • Salts found in rocks and minerals that are washed to the sea. • Underwater volcanoes. With these experiments we explored what salinity is and why salinity is important to our understanding of the ocean and ocean currents. Why do...

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er Sound Word Sort and Game: ur, ir, er, or, ear, our Spelling Words

ED is working on the /er/ sound.  She really enjoys the spelling word sort activities and enjoys playing these board games, so I made a new spelling activity for her with a desert scene!  These cover words spelled with ur such as burn, turn, nurse, church words spelled with ir such as girl, bird, shirt, dirt, circle words spelled with er such as summer, mother, desert words spelled with or...

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Hands-On Homeschooling – Video Post (with DD and ED!)

Last week we did some pretty fun science experiments for our ocean unit.  We always get so pumped up doing hands-on activities & the salinity experiment was especially impressive. I thought I’d talk a little bit what a big impact these kinds of experiments add to our day… the kids get excited and engaged they ask a lot of good questions the activities and projects are memorable so they often...

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Ronald Reagan – Notebook Pages

Sometimes we take the opportunity to focus on current events. Today, March 6, 2016, former First Lady Nancy Reagan died.   So, tomorrow (Monday), we are going to spend some time talking about Ronald Reagan’s presidency and the former First Lady Nancy Reagan. As many of you probably know, starting on Presidents’ Day a couple of weeks ago, we started reviewing the U.S. presidents again. The kids have been singing the U.S.A....

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20 Science Activities for Early Elementary

As many of you may know, I have been working hard to get some of the images in our older posts working again.  (It’s a complicated story, but it has to do with our moving our blog from Parents.com where we were for several years, to our new location here.)  Anyway, I’ve been fixing old posts and realized I should share some of these posts for our new readers!  So...

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Spelling (Grade 2)

DD is a natural speller but both LD and ED have really benefited by the logical layout of the All About Spelling lessons. (affiliate link).  I do my very best to stay consistent working through those lessons.  It helps if we can work on spelling at least three times  a week.  During the spring semester, we also spend more time/attention on grammar, but we try to keep going with spelling...

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10 Ways to Overcome Homeschool Burnout

Most every year around February or March, I wrestle with some of the same problems. Maybe you’ve noticed this too: Being tired Feeling overwhelmed Letting things slide Having too many commitments Feeling like the kids aren’t “doing” enough Feeling doubt Feeling really critical or cynical, irritable or impatient Feeling frustrated or anxious I find myself reaching for education and teaching books, hoping to find the perfect motivational nuggets to get...

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Water Cycle Review, Divides and Watersheds (Drainage Basins), Aquifer Notebook Pages

Last week we spent time learning about the water cycle, divides and watersheds and underground water. We have just started a big unit on they hydrosphere (ie. oceans), so it’s important the kids understand the water cycle because of the profound impact it has on our world’s oceans and vice-versa. We used many of the same materials we used a few years ago.  You’ll find links to these beautiful posters...