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Homeschooling With a Smile
The Joys of Homeschooling My Children
Children learn a lot faster when there is less peer pressure and more one-on-one attention. As parents, homeschooling allows us to give them more constructive guidance and avoid a lot of harmful peer pressure from others.
I love being able to watch my children learn new things. To be able to hear my daughter reading her first words and know that I was able to teach her was very rewarding! Doing science experiments together has been a lot of fun and I've been learning things right along with them.
Being able to take them on field trips is great fun for us all! The little children get in on that fun right along with the school children.
And those days when everyone is just having a bad day and nothing seems to be going right ? (and we all have them) Then we say enough already! We are taking the rest of the day off!
Having Fun While Learning
Homeschooling can be a lot more than just keeping your nose to the grind and learning the basics. It can be having fun and the children don't even realize they are still learning!
One thing I've found that my children love to play with is the K-Nex sets. It takes some constructive thinking to build with these but the sets come with a lot of patterns to get the thinking process started.
Board games are fun too with games like "Great State", "Dino Math Tracks" "The Lewis and Clark Adventure", "Passport to Culture", "Made For Trade" Planet Quest" and many more.
Then there are pottery wheels, Geosafari Mystery Rock (excavate 10 real specimans of rock) Indian bead making sets,tadpole aquarium, etc.
One year my daughter was studying mountain ranges and different things about mountains so on our vacation we rented a cabin on one of those mountains and did some learning while we were on vacation.
Educational Board Games
How To... - Fun Projects/Experiments We've Tried
Over Easter we had a lot of fun making these paper-mache eggs. I got the idea from "Family Fun" magazine and they were suprisingly easy to make. Although we used the paper-mache to make the eggs it could be used for many other paper-mache projects as well.
Following is the list of items needed:
~Colored tissue paper
~String (we didnt use string)
~Jar lid (To display the egg on when complete)
~1/4 cup white flour
~1/2 cup water
~Items for interior
1. Cut the tissue paper into 1 1/2 - 2" squares. Inflate the balloon to the size you'd like your finished egg to be,then knot it.Cover your work surface with newspaper(optional-we didn't)Set the balloon on an upside down jar lid or suspend from the balloon over your work area with a string.In a small bowl, stir the flour and water together to make paper-mache paste.Working with one square at a time, dip the tissue paper into the paste and smooth it onto the balloon. Cover the entire balloon, making sure the squares overlap slightly. This will be the inner wall of the egg.
2. Using the same dip-and-smooth method, add two layers of white paper squares on top of the tissue paper than add a final layer of tissue paper.
3. When the egg is completely dry, use a pencil to mark a window opening to the side, than cut it out with a scissors. If you managed to avoid popping the balloon up to this point, pop in now and discardit.
4. Next, decorate the window. Dip tissue paper squares into the paste,crumple them into balls, and put them around the edge.
5.Tie the ribbon into a bow,tuck the knot into the hole left by the knot of the balloon, and secure the ribbon inside with tape. Decorate the egg's interior:the magazine suggests paper grass,a small plastic egg and a feathery chick.
3rd Grade Static Electricity Experiment
You will Need:
~ a small flat box
~ plastic food wrap
~ small bits of paper(tissue)
1. Put the bits of paper into the box.
2. Cover the box tightly with the plastic wrap.
3. Rub your hand on the plastic
4.Observe what happens to the bits of paper.
3rd Grade Fire,Fuel, and Oxygen Experiment
You will need:
~3 candles in holders
~ 1 pint jar
~1 quart jar
1. Light the 3 candles
2.Place the pint jar over on lighted candle
3. Place the quart jar over antohter lighted candle
4. Observe what happens to the three falmes in 10 minutes.
Field Trips-Fun for All
Field trips are fun for us all-big and little alike. The nice thing about homeschooling is you get to be on all your childrens field trips and enjoy it with them! And you get to pick where the field trips will be. We go to zoos, on the mountain, to parks, caverns, museums, ect.
The children love to tour Cyrus McCormicks farm. They get a lot of info. about who made the first reaper,how it was made, and follow the line of reapers from the first one up to the way they are made now.
What About Their Social Life?
One of the questions I get asked about homeschooling is "What about their social life?" The last couple years I've had a couple other homeschooled children over one evening a week. After having supper and everyone pitching in with the cleanup we do a project. My children love it!
We've made suncatchers,painted ceramics,made eraser toppers for the pencils,baked cookies, gone on outings, had cookouts,did study units and whatever we can come up with to have fun together.
Recently we've been doing units on the different states. They each pick two states they would like to do a study on. I write them on paper,fold them up and put them in a bowl and one of the children picks out one paper. Whichever state has been picked is the state we study.
Comical Homeschool Family Video
Here are some sites I have found to be helpful when I need a little extra to go with their lessons. Hopefully they can be of help to you too.
- edHelper.com - Math, Reading Comprehension, Themes, Lesson Plans, and Worksheets
This has been a great help for me when I needed a few extra worksheets to go with my childrens lessons.
- SchoolExpress.com - 11000+ FREE worksheets, 600+ FREE workbooks
Numerous FREE items including 11,000+ worksheets, 600+ workbooks, make your own worksheets and awards, games, and software,
- Printable Worksheets, Puzzle and Maze pages, Activity Pages for kids
PRINT ACTIVITIES has printable worksheets for kids including coloring pages, math worksheets, preschool printables, word puzzles, and mazes. .
- Lesson plans and worksheets from learningpage.com
Learningpage.com provides professionally produced learning materials for the elementary classroom. Printable worksheets, activities and lesson plans for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade can be downloaded from the si
- The Lesson Plans Page - Over 3,500 FREE Lesson Plans!
3,500+ Free Lesson Plans in Math Social Studies Art Language Arts Music PE Reading Writing Geography Science projects and Science lesson plans. Great educational resource for teachers and parents!
- Home learning activities
This is a really interesting site with lots of pictures and great ideas!
- Printables and Resources
This web site is built by Donna Young and is an on-going project since 1998. Donnayoung.org offers free homeschool planners, school calendars, household planners, printables in various subjects, and homeschool planning tips.