Monthly Archive: August 2014

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How to Teach Handwriting

How did we teach handwriting in our homeschool?  This is what we were using when ED had just turned 5. ED really enjoys writing…  Here’s a picture of ED writing in her journal from last January (age 4). The kids and I made a special trip to Staples for them to pick out their own journals. I offered to write whatever they wanted for them, so they could record things...

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Alphabet Activities for 2-4 year olds (Free Alphabet Mats)

I thought it might be useful to pull a lot of our letter-activities together into one post, although we didn’t ever focus exclusively on letters. We generally had a theme or unit (astronomy, birds, volcanoes, bears, pirates, princesses and whatever else the kids were interested in at the time…)  and we added in these types of activities to supplement whatever else was going on.  So, just keep in mind that...

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Fine Motor Skill Activities for 2-4 Year Olds

I frequently get questions from parents who wonder just what to do and where to start with their preschoolers.  Many of the things we did are things most parents do naturally in their home: free play with toys, time exploring and playing outside, dancing to music, reading books aloud to the kids.  But as a Mom who stayed at home, I was always looking for different activities and approaches to...

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Preschool Science Activity: Animals Above and Below Ground (Free Printable)

In ED’s preschool science we are still talking about plants and animals. On this day we talked about animals and plant parts that live above or below the ground. We talked about how some animals like the grub or the cicada live part of their life under the ground, then live another stage above the ground. Some animals shelter under the ground when it is cold (like frogs and turtles)....

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Preschool at Home: Math Activities for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 Yr Olds

Today, I thought I’d highlight a few things I did with my kids for math in the 2 1/2-3 1/2 age range. Here are some activities I did with ED when she was 2 1/2.  She was just learning to count up to 4 objects at the time. You could do this with any theme — flowers, ladybugs, trucks or whatever your tot is interested in: One-to-one correspondence, counting out...

National Aquarium in Baltimore 0

National Aquarium in Baltimore

Last week, we took the kids to Baltimore for my post-op appointment at Johns Hopkins. We were able to stay right next door at the McElderry House,  small business that provides affordable lodging for families of Hopkins patients in the neighborhoods adjacent to the East Baltimore hospital complex. Everything checked out fine, the stitches that completely block off my ear were removed and the implant in my skull for the...

Our Family Is Going Unplugged This Week! 2

Our Family Is Going Unplugged This Week!

We are the typical modern family. We have a computer and laptop, cell phones, tablet readers, an X-box… So many ways to keep in touch with family, friends and the wider world!  That’s a wonderful thing, a privilege, a joy… but it also takes over at times.  Phone rings?  Gotta go get it… and talk with friends or family.  Have an idle moment? Ahh… well, let’s just check email (or...

Making Learning Active, Engaging, Relevant & Memorable! 4

Making Learning Active, Engaging, Relevant & Memorable!

After spending time talking about all the homeschool curriculum choices, I really wanted to talk about what excites me most about teaching and homeschooling… the possibilities!! It really doesn’t matter what curriculum you use… anything can be used as your spine… but (for me) education is going beyond the books. It’s all about the passion, the excitement, the hard work and intensity that comes with learning. When you have those...

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What are Some of the Benefits and Challenges of Homeschooling?

The past week or two, I’ve been doing a series of posts about homeschooling… trying to address the incredibly challenging question, “How do I start homeschooling?”  Now that I’ve (more or less) finished talking about the nitty gritty issues of curriculum, I wanted to spend a few days talking about some of the more nebulous aspects of homeschooling.  Today I want to talk about some of the benefits and challenges...

How many homeschoolers are there? Number of Homeschooled Students-in-the-US 0

How Many Homeschoolers Are There in the USA?

Last August, a new study was released showing a continued increase in the number and percentage of students who are homeschooled in America.  The last time the U.S. government released data about the number of homeschooled students was back in 2007. Since I am doing a series about homeschooling in general (How to Start Homeschooling, Choosing homeschool curriculums, etc.), I thought this was the perfect opportunity to share some of the...

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Finding a Language Arts Curriculum (Writing, Grammar, etc.)

Welcome back to the our series on how to start homeschooling. During the past week, I have provided information about some of the homeschool curriculums available out there in the different subject areas. Today I wanted to share some of the writing and grammar programs available to homeschoolers. This is not an exhaustive list. You may want to order the (free)  Rainbow Resource Catalog, which is packed with homeschool reviews.  But these...

Thank You to My Wonderful Readers! 0

Thank You to My Wonderful Readers!

This week I’m going to hit a major milestone since joining the Parents.com team… two million hits on my blog…. one million in just the past nine months. I feel incredibly grateful to be a part of such a wonderful team and love having the blog to share our family’s homeschool journey.  Ours is certainly not the best/ideal/only way to homeschool, but I enjoy sharing how we meander through each...

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Science Activities for Ages 4-6 or So

In writing my series for new homeschoolers about choosing a science curriculum, I came upon this post from last year.  Since many people are planning or just starting the new year, I thought it was the perfect time to share this again. We have always done a lot of hands-on science. In the early years, I just want the kids to think science is cool!!  We’ve done a lot of science...

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Homeschool Science Curriculum Options

  We tend to create our own units and I’ll highlight some of our most popular posts below, but first I wanted to share some of the science curriculums available to homeschoolers. Once again this is not an exhaustive list, but it gives you a place to start. Real Science 4 Kids NOEO Science R.E.A.L Science Odyssey Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (by B. Nebel) – K-2 Science Curriculum Elementary...