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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 3: Creating Interesting Characters

Day 3: Creating Interesting Characters 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. I used mentor texts and picked...

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My Debilitating Medical Problems and Crazy Symptoms

This note made me choke up the other day. ED brought it along with breakfast one morning when I had fallen back asleep on the couch: This blog has been an incredible outlet for me the past couple of months because I have had some debilitating medical problems — all ear related.  I’ve really tried not to pour out my woes too much on the blog, but life has been...

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Encourage Independent Reading with this Cute Activity

ED has finished her phonics programs and is now moving into independent reading. I was chatting with my friend and she had a wonderful idea to encourage this new-found independence. She suggested creating a reading garden. ED decided she wanted flowers, puppies and kittens in her garden.  I chose some coloring pages, reduced them to the size I wanted, and printed them out. Whenever ED finishes reading a book on...

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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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Long List of Activities for Tots and Preschoolers (ages 2-6)

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a post about how to create your own preschool science curriculum at home (mostly with materials you’ll find around the house).  I realized it has been a long time since I shared our long list of preschool activities. I wrote this post last year when ED was 4. The activities in this list really actually range from 2-6 year-olds or so. I’m a...

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One of *Those* Days

I’m pretty sure you know exactly what I’m talking about, right? Not only are there a mountain of dishes to be put away, but  there are dishes in the sink filled with cold nasty water with floating bits of who-knows-what. (Grrr.. why didn’t we just do them last night?) There’s laundry still in the dryer, waiting to be hauled out and folded. LD lost his math book. We spend 15...

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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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Science Experiment for 2-8yr olds: Make a Color Explosion in Milk!

The kids participated in a science fair event a couple of weeks ago… where kids and adults could share their favorite science-related collections, photos, experiments, and knowledge. Some adults set up a slide show of their astronomy photos, sharing bone collections, a cartographer shared some of her materials, kids brought in their rock collection and more… My kids  set up a science activity station with the Color Explosion in Milk....

What We’re Up to In Our Homeschool – Curriculum We Use 0

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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Free Math Lapbook (PreK – K)

If you missed it last fall, here is the free math-lapbook ED (and I) made together. I thought I’d mention that again, for any new readers who may have missed it: At the end of the year last year, I had ED cut out and put together a math lapbook. We didn’t go over much of the material in it, but I wanted the lapbook mostly done for the beginning...