Unschooling. Its a buzzword. A hot topic. A thing of mystery and intrigue.
So many homeschooling parents find themselves fighting with their children to do their assignments. Others feel stifled by the workload of their chosen curriculum. To parents like these who want more freedom in their homeschool, unschooling can sound like a wonderful option.
But when we’ve been trained to believe school is done a certain way, how do we let that go?
And if we let it go, how do we keep track of progress and make sure that our children are still learning what they need to learn?
Can workbooks help with that? Yes they can. If they are the right kind of workbooks, used in the right way.
Summer is just around the corner, and Mother Nature has a wealth of knowledge to lend us. Below are five science experiments you can do with your children using materials found in your own backyard.
Today’s experiment is super simple, frugal, and hands-on.
All you need is various soaps, water, and bubble wands.
Thermal energy is a type of kinetic energy which can be transferred from one object to another in the form of heat. In order to demonstrate this concept you only need two balloons, water, and a source of heat.
I don’t know a Star Wars fan who doesn’t love little Artoo, and the mass appeal probably explains why there are so many craft projects out there in R2D2’s likeness.
When we think of the galaxy, the vastness that is space, one of the first things we think of is stars. If you’re lucky enough to live in the country, you probably can get a decent view of the stars every night before bed. Those of us who are inhibited by city air pollution are considerably less fortunate in terms of star gazing.
There are however several ways we can study the night sky, without actually seeing it. One way is to go to a planetarium, which we do with one of our homeschool groups every month. Another way is to make constellation luminaries.
Like many geek homes with small children, we have a few old, tattered graphic novels and comic books and such laying about.
LittleMan can manage a level 1 or level 2 early reader on his own, sometimes even level 3 depending on the publisher’s standards of easy readers (every publisher is different), however he can’t quite manage these graphic novels on his own. Really, he just enjoys the art work and having us read it aloud to him.
For the fans of Saturday Science, do not be dismayed! Saturday Science is alive and well, my co-hosts and I have merely expanded the theme to create STEM Saturdays. For those who are unaware, STEM is short for Science Technology Engineering and Math. Four subjects which are crucial to our children in this ever changing world. Four subjects which are sorely lacking in many people’s education.
As I talked about before, LittleMan recently had a run in with some beans in the ears which required general anesthesia and a specialist in order to remove them. It wasn’t on the original lesson plan to learn about the anatomy of the ear nor how sound travels but sitting in the doctor’s office surrounded by models and posters of the various parts of the middle and inner ear, it seemed like a good time to talk about these things. LittleMan understandably had a lot of questions and the one activity that seemed to help him the most was this model ear.
I’ve written before about how any activity could be made into a Doctor Who activity, if only a little creativity is applied. A few extra moments of thought, barely any extra effort, can take a normal homeschool lesson and turn it into something a little Whovian would love. Today I’m going to expand on that idea by sharing the exact same activity I shared last week, Make a Vortex in a Jar, only this time I’m going to show you how easy it is to make it into a DW themed activity.
Just like last time, you’ll still need a clear jar or bottle with a lid, water, glitter, and dish soap. This time you’ll also want some blue food dye, super glue, Sharpie marker, and blue craft foam. (more…)
SunnyGirl loves to play with big brother’s school supplies. This is one of those times when digging through LittleMan’s literacy supply drawer wonder resulted in using old materials in new ways.