Making a 100 Chart for Math

I adore Grimm’s Counting with Wooden Number Chart, but I couldn’t move past the $140 sticker price, though I think it’s well worth it. Still I really wanted a 100 chart like this, because we will be using the 100 chart a lot this coming school year for my youngest. I wanted something “whole brained”…

Grade 5 Physics: Electricity

Electricity…it’s electric! We spent two days on the theme of electricity within our physics block. If you are just joining me, there are several blog posts about our physics block. The plan, which has gone reasonably well so far, follows: Introduce Energy, Force, and Momentum 2 days Simple Machines 3 days Waves and Sound 2…

Grade 5 Physics: Magnets

This was the section of our physics block I was most uncertain about. I did not have a clear plan for this one. We did not spend much time in her early years exploring magnets, so my plan was to play and wing it. I did prepare however by going over the material on magnets…

Grade 5 Physics: Light

Next up for Physics – Light. There are two previous post for Grade 5 physic. If you are just joining us, we are spending the following days on each concept of our physics unit. Introduce Energy, Force, and Momentum 2 days Simple Machines 3 days Waves and Sound 2 days Light 2 days Magnets 2…

African Holocaust Block

Because the African Holocaust is a heavy one, I knew that I wanted to sandwich it in-between some ‘good stuff.’ I decided to do this by first exploring the continent of Africa and ending on the accomplishments and achievements of a few African-decent people. This block is a fifth grade history block. Before I continue…

Grade 5 Physics: Waves

We are doing a three-week study on physics, as mentioned in the previous physics blog. I plan on spending a couple of days on each concept. The plan is below. There is a previous post on our introduction to energy, force, and momentum and simple machines.  Introduce Energy, Force, and Momentum 2 days Simple Machines…

Grade 5 Physics: Energy, Force, and Simple Machines

Currently we are in a physics block with my younger daughter (fifth grade.) It is an introduction, because I didn’t feel like I gave it enough attention in years past. Physics has so much one can delve into, that I had a challenging time deciding what to include and what to leave out. So far,…

Making a Book

Occasionally my daughter will come to me and ask me to make her a book. We first started out with simple single-signature books, but then I found this wonderfully beautiful book, The Little Book of Book Making. This book has taken our book-making skills to a new level. It shows the art of book-making. It…

Wild Bird Egg Replica Project

When we arrived on birds within our animal block, I knew I wanted to replicate Hana’s, with Pepper and Pine, egg project. Her YouTube video has been so helpful in avoiding mistakes that I’m almost sure we would have made without her wonderful guidance. We made a couple of deviations from her process. We were able…

Dissecting Owl Pellets

We’re in the middle of our Animal block, just about the part of nocturnal animals, and it seemed fitting do dissect an owl pellet. This gives us an opportunity to talk about how owls feed, and a chance to review the information that we’ve gone over on skeletons already, and a great intro to bird….

Trophic Levels and Food Web Lab

I have waited through our animal block so long to get to this lab. It’s messy and a lot of work, but so much fun. Basically we built our own food web. To do so we needed plant, animal, and fungi cards. We used the cards from our game Into the Forest, which worked perfectly….

Sophomore Year in Review

Whew! High school has been a whirlwind for us, but homeschooling high school is definitely doable. I just have to mentally prepare myself by realizing that there will be lots of changes through the years. He shifted gears midway through the academic year, which I talk about in the video. We used a variety of…

Fourth Grade Year in Review

This was such a fun video to make. I had just finished looking through the kids portfolios in preparation for their annual evaluation, and then looked through photographs of the year to add to the video. Looking back at the year allows for me to see how much we have accomplished in the last year….

Making Mushroom Spore Prints

We love to go mushroom hunting. Our mushroom hunts are for spore prints. We do NOT eat our mushrooms. I wish I knew which ‘shrooms were edible and which were not, but alas… Goals!  Spore prints are a favorite around here. I do not know how I made it all the way through my college…

Planning our Fifth-grade Freehand Geometry Block

I’m planning my daughter’s fifth grade year for next year, and I’ve gotten distracted by her free-hand geometry unit. Why do I say distracted? Well, that is currently scheduled as the last block of the year with 10, yes I said 10, previous block in front of it. But really, who can blame me?! Waldorf…

My Favorite Educational Apps

The homeschool world abounds with opinions on electronics. Some think that electronics should be limited, while others think that electronics should be embraced.  My family falls somewhere in between. We do limit our screen time at my house to encourage and promote outdoor  (and indoor) play, but I do use them for educational purposes occasionally, especially on…

Unschooling for the Summer

We finished our year “early” ending in mid-April this year. That we can have the best of North Florida’s weather off, and we committed to starting mid-July. Late summer it heats up, and no one wants to be out in the heat anyway unless they are near water. Our homeschooling doesn’t really stop, however. It…

Natural Dyes on Cloth

Every year after we dye our eggs I have dye left. I always feel bad about sending them down the drain, because I feel like I’m wasting the dye. This year I saved the dye and tried dying t-shirt material that I scavenged from a friend’s used white t-shirts. I placed a teaspoon of alum…

“Notice and Wonder” with Cuisenaire Rods for Homeschool Math

Today for math we did one of my favorite activities, though I will admit, it is not always my children’s favorite. My daughter, now 10, build a structure with the Cuisinaire Rods, and then we did a “notice and wonder” activity. The structure that she build for today was a pyramid. I could have guessed…

Wax Resist Naturally Dyed Eggs

Dying eggs is just so gratifying, especially with natural dyes. When my children were young, it was overwhelming to use natural dyes and the best that I could do was a kit. As they have gotten older though, I am able to spend the time making the dyes, usually the night before. This year was…

An Inside Look into our Homeschool Math Journal

Some homeschoolers keep a common place book. Some homeschoolers keep a language arts book. We keep a Math Journal. Because I’m not teaching math from a curriculum, keeping a math journal helps us to keep track of where we have been and thus where we are going. When we are stuck on a challenge, we…

Shakespeare Unit

This was a fabulous homeschool unit where everything just came together. There was a lot of interweaving of facts throughout the books and projects.  Our Read Aloud books, The Shakespeare Stealer and Shakespeare’s Scribe, both describe events that we read about in our historical books – the coup attempt by the Earl of Essex, the…

Renaissance Unit

Renaissance art is some of my favorite art. I don’t know if it’s the depth of color or the intensity of the scenes, but I find it fascinating. The artists that created them are also fascinating. This has been one of our many history units this semester. And just in case you noticed that Shakespeare…

Finding Perfect Numbers

Yesterday’s was all about Perfect number. It’s not how pretty the number is, or how well you like its form. It’s not even about if the number is your favorite. Perfect numbers have a distinct definition. A perfect number is a number whose factors (not including the number itself) add to give the number itself….

Comparing Rods for Fractional Relationships

In this activity we are comparing each rod to each of the others to see the fractional relationship. It looks overwhelming, but it’s not. The first couple of rows or columns are the most challenging and after a pattern emerges, and it becomes much easier.  Having said that, this comparison did take us three to four…

Explorers of the World History Unit

This year in history we have come to the dreaded “Age of Discovery,” which is a misnomer, because all these European explorers really “discovered” nothing at all. These places were already inhabited and well-established, sometimes with populations even greater than any in Europe at the time. A better name for this time period might be…

Paper Quilling a Snowflake

I added paper quilling to our handcrafts back in October with some pumpkins. This was the first bit of paper quilling that we had added to our homeschooling. It is a delightful craft and easy to do with children. The pumpkin is a nice beginning piece, because it goes over a few basic quilling techniques…

Simple Mason Jar Candle Tutorial

For many years our family has participated in a regional art and craft fair that happens every year in our area. It’s a large event that draws in artist and craftsman from around the Southeastern United States. One of our favorite parts of this fair, of course, is that they allow children to participate by…

How Homeschooling is Different than the Brick and Mortar School

My father-in-law, a retired high school science teacher, sat across from me in our living room at their last visit discussing all things education. If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know I love to talk homeschool. It was a fun and lively conversation, mostly about teaching science, when the topic of discussion turned…

Making Math Fun

You know I love math!  Today I’m sharing some of the best parts of math.  So if you and your child are struggling with math, add these in. Don’t dare say, “We are taking a break from math today to do this project.”  What I am showing you is real math.  What we teach our…

Homeschool Rhythms and Rituals

It’s afternoon.  We’ve just finished lunch and are clearing the table. My daughter goes to get a piece of chocolate, her daily treat after she finishes her lunch. I reach over and give her a hug and look into her eyes. “Are you ready for school?” “Sure.” “Want some tea today?” “Yes, please. Can I…