Let’s say DD and I were playing on the 5s gameboard. DD drew a 5 card, then she would move her piece to the next 0. On my turn, if I drew a 4, I would move my piece to the next 1 on the board. The first player to have their piece in the final circle wins the game.
I haven’t been writing much about other things partly because they don’t take good pictures! We read about 6-10 picture books each day. We sneak books in pretty much anytime, but especially when we’re eating around the dining room table. We read lots of Caldecott award winning books together along with other good picture books. We got a huge lot (of about 75 or 80) Newberry winners. They are longer chapter books and I’ve let LD choose what interests him. We’re reading the Whipping Boy now (I read those aloud.). I’ve been pre-reading the books myself (I sure loved Caddie Woodlawn and can’t wait to read that with the kids sometime! I was really touched by Wringer, but suspect I’ll wait a couple of years before sharing that with LD (found it really touched upon being humane and making the difficult choice to stand up to what you believe in.) Meanwhile, LD continues to work through the Magic Treehouse books by himself. He seems to love those books and they’ve generated a lot of interest in history in general.
We’re busy with lots of outside activities now — soccer (LD), gymnastics (LD and a tot-class for ED), dance class (DD), music classes (for all three), homeschool group (all three) and other endless opportunities! LD is still learning the piano. We keep meaning to start back with science experiments, but for some reason I haven’t had the planning time I’ve needed. I’m thinking I should go back and simply repeat a lot of the ones we did last year (but I haven’t even done that and we’re already 6 weeks into the semester!) There’s never a shortage of science-based activities here at the homeschool den, but LD especially loves that hands on element.
Meanwhile, I continue to try to make a blueberry garden–digging out the grass/sod, beating the sod to get rid of the dirt, trying to loosen the soil, etc. [Later: I just had to add these pictures of ED helping me in her princess garb. Too cute!!] It’s slow, tedious and semi-strenuous work. Unpacking is still an unfinished job. Ugh. I might spent an hour or two tackling one area of the house, but then the kids doing their creative things elsewhere, which usually winds up meaning HUGE cleanup times. Creative messes, as I like to tell myself. There just seem to be so many projects we need to tackle (putting gutter-guards over the rain gutters to keep out leaves is one of Daddy’s big projects, for example).
We’re slowly meeting people and making friends, though I have to admit there are lots of times I’m still quite lonely. We might have quality time with friends and the kids have a good play or fun at their activities, but somehow it’s not been enough for me personally (just to chat, commiserate and complain with good friends). I know that’s often the life of homeschoolers as we’ve chosen such a different path to most, but I feel it more acutely as I have no contact with my Australian friends (time differences and such) and have yet to make those close connections here. It’s also so different since Daddy is gone for such long, long hours. So, there’s my complaining for the moment. I try to be positive about most things, but boy transitions are hard, right? Sigh…
Ending on a positive note, the kids just love, love the woods and creek area here near the house and we continue to see all kinds of amazing critters. There were a dozen bats circling overhead the other evening. LD has a little toad habitat he’s been keeping (he always lets the frogs go since we learned their skin can be toxic to other little critters). And today, for example, the kids saw a box turtle. What a beautiful and special world we live in!
I thought this was so cute — I know Grams is probably cringing seeing ED in her princess dress and sparkle shoes, but she was so determined to help, I thought it was adorable!
And with help like this, what Mom wouldn’t smile?!
Hands-On Activities, Packets, Encouragement, and More!
Hi! I’m Liesl!
Do you believe education can be exciting, inspiring, and full of joy? We do too!
I love the quote by William Butler Yeats, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." It's about getting the kids involved, engaged, and fired up about learning (while juggling the rest of life too!)
A bit about me: I have my Master's from Brown University. I have more than 20 years of teaching experience. I was a high school teacher for many years both in the U.S. and internationally and also taught for the University of Maryland before leaving to homeschool my 3 wonderful kids.
To read more about us CLICK HERE.
Search Within Our Blog – Or scroll down to view the units we’ve covered!!
Homeschool Den STORE
Click on the image to find out more about the units and packets we have available.
Homeschool Teaching Strategies
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how do I start homeschooling
This post has links to dozens of posts and resources both for new and veteran homeschoolers for everything from finding homeschool curriculum to general homeschool advice and encouragement.
Science Units and Packets
What science topics could I teach my 5-7 year old - Homeschool Science Curriculum
Click on the image above to see the Science Units we covered in our homeschool from elementary through middle school (and beyond!).
Below is just a small sample of the packets and resources we have available on our blog.
Earth Science Bundle
Click the image to check out our packets on Earth Science, Rocks and Minerals, the Atmosphere, Weather, Energy and More!
Units are also sold separately.
Earth Science Packet
This is one of our most popular units. It covers the Layers of the Earth, Plate Tectonics, Earthquakes, Volcanoes and More! It is included in the Earth Science Bundle (see the picture/link above).
Click the image to see our Biology Units on Animal and Plant Cells; the Biology Unit on Biomes, Food Chains, Symbiosis; Scientific Classification & Taxonomy (Domain/Kingdom/Phylum/Class, etc.); Botany - Plant Kingdom and Oceans and Oceanography.
Big Animal Bundle
Click on the image to see our Animal Bundle - including the Animal Unit, Life Cycles, the Rainforest, Winter (Polar Animals) & Hibernation, Chameleons, Wolves, Cicadas and more!
Human Body Systems Bundle
The Human Body Systems, Skeletal, Digestive, Circulatory, Muscular, Nervous, Endocrine Systems and More (with lots of hands-on activity ideas)! We usually study a different body system each year.
Digestive System Packet and Activities (100+ pages)
Click on the image to see our units on the States of matter, Properties of Matter, Electricity & Circuits, and the Chemistry Unit (Get to know the Periodic Table in a fun way!)
Free Science Checklist – Elementary and Middle School
This is a free checklist I put together of the various science units I hope to cover in the elementary and middle school years.
Civics & Government Unit
American Revolution Packet
World Facts Packet
Do your kids know the 4 largest countries? Which countries have the most people? The longest river? This packet covers basic world and U.S. facts and also covers geographic features and land forms.
Geographic Features & Landforms (also in the World Facts Packet)
Ancient Egypt Packet
Ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses
Middle Ages – Feudalism Packet
Slavery and the Civil War Packet
World War I Unit
Click on the image to check out our 100-page unit on World War I.
World War II Unit
Long A Sound Activities
ow-ou-oy-oi-aw-au Word Sort Activities
The spelling program we use:
We have used AAS for 6 years! AAS is an affiliate link.