Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Taking School with You when You Travel

As this year comes to a close, I always anticipate the break we’ll have from school for a few weeks.  We spend the first few weeks of the month preparing for holidays with fun, games, crafts, and excitement.  We spend the last few weeks of the month spending as much time as possible with extended family.  School work, however, must still be completed.

Fortunately, by using an online curriculum, we can take school with us when we travel.  We can pack up and head out of town for a few weeks knowing that we can still stay on track with school.  We definitely utilize a lighter schedule, but by continuing on with some lessons while we travel, we can stay on schedule.  The kids don’t always appreciate this facet of our homeschool, but they do enjoy finishing up the school year by Memorial Day.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Holiday Spelling Lists

One of my favorite ways to incorporate seasonal fun into our homeschool day is by making seasonal spelling lists using our online spelling curriculum.  It’s fun for the kids to play games with season specific words and it also helps to re-introduce words they may not hear frequently.  By assigning the words through spelling lists, they learn to pronounce them, spell them, and use them correctly in sentences.  Plus, they have the opportunity to play silly games to help reinforce the words.

Additionally, there are handwriting worksheets available so they can practice writing seasonal words.  That will be especially helpful when they start working on cards and thank you notes in the coming weeks.  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Seasonal Fun

I love autumn.  It’s my most favorite season.  The weather is changing, the colors of the leaves are amazing and beautiful and it provides us with another chance to experience the nature around us.  This time of year, we take the time to enjoy nature walks using several of our senses.  We see the birds, small animals, and bugs.  We hear the calls from one creature to another.  We smell the air changing from one season to another.  We pick up leaves and rocks to examine them more closely.  

When we aren’t sure what something is, whether it be an animal or plant, we write down telling characteristics so we can research when we return home.  That’s when the internet and science websites become our best friend.  Gone are the days you pulled an encyclopedia from the shelf to do some more research.  Now, we have the opportunity to learn more about plants and animals, as well have fun with some nature games!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

School Year Excitement

Is your school year underway?  We typically wait until after Labor Day to get started, though our schedule changed a bit for this year.  I don’t know about you, but I love the excitement of a new school year.  The kids are excited to get back to their lessons and find new online games to play.  I’m excited that I can get back to the structure of a school day.

Right now, the house is full of anticipation, new books, brand-new markers and crayons, sticky notes around the computer monitor detailing everyone’s online learning program login information.  There is a definite air of learning love going on in September.  I know, though, that this will fade and far too soon, the grumbling will start.  For now, however, I’ll embrace the excitement.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Art for the New Year

Are you gearing up for the school year to begin?  You’ve taken some time off to refresh after a long school year.  You’ve researched and prepared curriculum and the big day is approaching.  What plans do you have for the upcoming year?  Will you be changing any curricula options from years past?  Have things been going well enough that you are continuing on with what you have been using?

One of the subjects that doesn’t get its due attention in our homeschool is Art.  This summer while making plans for the school year, I’ve been working on ways to add Art more effectively into our homeschool.  Because we are a primarily online homeschool, it’s always a benefit to find ways to include subjects that are not traditionally found online into our computer-based day.  Thankfully, the art curriculum we’ve found through our homeschool lessons will provide us with a good art introduction.  The kids can’t wait to get started!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Learning in the Summer

What learning is currently taking place in your home?  In the middle of summer, it may seem like learning is on a hiatus, but that’s not true!  There are always learning opportunities and experiences that can foster a great time learning--you just have to make sure they don’t always pass by without being seized.  

One of the neat things we’ve been doing lately is keeping track of animals and critters that we are finding near our house.  There’s a very distinct bird call we’ve been hearing outside and we finally determined that it was a Chuck-will’s Widow.  We accessed the internet and learned what we could about that bird and other similar animal habitats.  We may be breaking from school, but learning never stops.  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer Science Fun

It is time for summer fun!  I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I can’t get to all of the fun things I want to do and teach during the school year.  There may be some science experiments I can’t fit into our day or art that gets put off when the week gets too busy.  When taking a few months off in the summer, I try to incorporate some fun learning activities into our homeschool.

As the mom of boys, learning through science is  a surefire crowd pleaser.  From the middle schooler to the preschooler, if we are gathered around the kitchen counter working on a science experiment, everyone is having a good time.  Science experiments are a fun way to see quick results, which kids love!  Take a few minutes to browse through some Science4Us videos.  You will definitely find something exciting for the kids!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

End of School Year Plans

Is your school year coming to a close?  We generally follow a typical school year calendar and take a break in June, July, and August.  Though, in the past, we have homeschooled year-round.  For the last few years, we have taken off for the summer, but that doesn’t mean the learning pauses until September.  We are always actively learning.  

This summer, our plans are to learn by way of fun!  We’ll be taking field trips, going to summer camps, and having fun camping as a family.  However, we’ll also be doing some computer work.  Online elementary games are easy to incorporate into our day.  Some days are rainy days, or hot days, or sick days or days we end up being home all day.  On those days, some computer fun is just the ticket.  The boys have a great time playing online and I love that they are learning!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Typing Skills

If you are using an online elementary curriculum, it is important for your homeschoolers to have some typing skills.  Learning to type correctly and with good accuracy will net better results in the efficiency of your homeschool.  There are several ways your homeschoolers can practice typing, not just quickly, but accurately.

The best way to get your homeschoolers interested in sharpening their skills is to find a fun way to practice.  Typing games are the way to go--and trust me, the sillier, the goofier, the better.  When something is funny, it's easy to forget that it's a learning lesson. 

Whether it's bopping a Kenny on the head, racing against the clock, or squishing falling bugs, there are a lot of silly ways to polish up typing skills.  When the kids are laughing while learning then everyone is winning!