Our family moves around quite a bit, and one of my favorite parts of moving is setting up a new homeschool classroom. There is something invigorating about getting a fresh start in a new space every once in awhile.
Its the start of a new school year. Parents across the country, across the world even, are buying backpacks and stuffing them with pencils, gearing up to pack healthy lunches, making sure uniforms fit, etc..
With all this hullabaloo, there are a few questions I tend to find myself answering over and over and over again.
This year, I thought we’d get it out of the way quickly and then we can all move on. Because, lets face it, we’re all going to be pretty busy these next few weeks, with the transition back to school.
What is educational about sandcastles?
Beyond the fact that it is connecting with nature and engaging the senses, I love to use building a sandcastle as a chance to review medieval history. While building our sandcastles, we talk about the structures and their purposes such as the arrowslits, moat, and towers. Plus, working together on a larger shared plan is great for practicing cooperation and compromising.
When you get a group of homeschoolers together to build sandcastles, you want to do it up big, to give them a lot to work with and a good conversation starter about castles.
Last year I made a change in our homeschool.
LittleMan wasn’t thriving anymore and he needed the freedom and power that comes with leading his own education. So I stopped planning his lessons and I stopped telling him what he needed to learn. Instead I worked with him to develop an unschool approach that would ensure he and I were both satisfied with his education.
With each small change we made, we instantly felt happier and more excited about homeschooling.
Soon friends started noticing the changes in our attitudes and our learning styles.
We were asked, “How did you do it? How did you make the switch to unschooling?”
So I thought back over the past year and all the little changes we made, and I consolidated all my methods into one 30 day workshop. (more…)
My son and I are HUGE fans of the How to Train Your Dragon book series. Last year when the 12th and final book came out, we celebrated by putting together a HTTYD Fan Club where all the local fans could get together and bond over their shared interest in the books.
We created a lot of fun activities and games for fan club members to enjoy, and we want to share them with you. (more…)
This writing prompt is super simple to make and is an excellent way of reviewing elements of a story terms such as protagonist, antagonist, setting, conflict, character, etc.. (more…)
I thought of this game when I was trying to find a way to incorporate the map of the Barbaric Archipelago into our HTTYD fan club meetings. It is essentially a HTTYD version of Battleship. (more…)
OK, so this game is more about Vikings in real life than it is the Vikings from the HTTYD fantasy universe but…. it was still a fun and educational game to play at our fan club meetings.
And it was super easy to make since it didn’t require any extra pieces. Just download the game file below, print on cardstock, cut the cards out, laminate, and play! (more…)
My children and I had so much fun creating this game, and it was such a hit at our HTTYD fan club meetings, I thought I’d share it here for all of you. (more…)
LittleMan was playing with our sight word Jenga blocks when I got the idea for this game.
It is essentially Jenga, but each block has a word on it related to the How to Train Your Dragon book series: names of characters, places, dragon species, etc..
Players take turns pulling a block and discussing the word on it. This gives them an opportunity to review plot points, debate ideas, and generally just gives them a conversation starter related to the books.