Tag Archive | Free Homeschool Deals

Summer School Program

This summer I got the grand idea to have us go through nursery rhymes and learn more about them. This is a great way to expose Echo to them all and in turn refresh the rest. Additionally the twins are looking into the history of the rhyme (if there is one) and we are doing lots of little side reports.

We had 2 books initially. The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes by Iona and Peter Opie HERE which was a bit too dry for the kids but a good (though pricey) resource for me. Our second book was easier for the kids to comprehend – Pop Goes the Weasel by Albert Jack HERE.

Zander picked our first rhyme – Itsy Betsy Spider.IMG_20170605_133621_652

For our historical significance we used the site All Nursery Rhymes HERE.

Our second choice was Hickory Dickory Dock.

For our historical significance we went beyond our books with the site Nursery Rhymes With Mother Goose HERE. Also check out All Nursery Rhymes HERE20170616_134727

Our third rhyme got two weeks as Emanuel had a week of camp. We chose London Bridge is Falling Down. A fun nursery rhyme AND game.

For historical significance we went beyond the book to All Nursery Rhymes HERE and Nursery Rhymes Lyrics and Origins HERE. An explanation of versions of games connected to the rhyme (and the extended version) we used Encyclopaedia Britannica HERE.

We worked on a short write up about what is actually the London Bridge vs what is sometimes mistaken as the same bridge in the song – Tower Bridge. The best place for statistics on these bridges was Wiki. And colouring pages are all over the place (though be careful, often Tower Bridge pictures are mislabeled as LONDON BRIDGE).

We had an extended run at that one with Emanuel gone for camp for a week, then its was onto Little Miss Muffet.

Super Coloring has some great vintage style colouring pages for many of the common nursery rhymes HERE. Since we already did a spider report for Itsy Bitsy we chose a couple spider crafts instead. One with First-School.WS HERE and the other on Red Ted Art HERE.IMG_20170718_103122_561

For further historical past our book… check out Treasury Islands HERE, Rhymes.org.uk HERE or All Nursery Rhymes HERE.

From Little Miss Muffet to Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill.

If you want some fun printables that practice spelling, printing, even handwriting head over to Free Homeschool Deals HERE.

We supplemented the books on hand with a few sites for this nursery rhyme – Rhymes.org.uk HERE and Funlinks Daily HERE. Gavin found this a more complicated nursery rhyme to explain as one possible interpretation requires some knowledge of taxes and liquor and kings, but he has taken on this aspect of the program with great enjoyment.

For a lot of our crafts and printables head over to Education.com and my Nursery Rhymes collection HERE

At this point I originally intended to end our summer program and wrap it all up for a September reboot, but the kids are loving the rhymes. This means extension time. Especially since we lost about 2 weeks of half days to a surprise cousin visit. So… I will end this post with our 5th rhyme. Watch for the second half of our foray into the history of popular nursery rhymes!IMG_20170606_182250_922

Kites and the Wind

Well what to do in April when the weather simply will not accommodate but dream of flying kites and educate the kids on proper tornado safety. Amazingly enough this lined up perfectly with a surprise tornado warning siren that was done during extreme weather education week and that we did NOT know about in advance. So we got to experience first hand going into our sub basement and discussing how to stay safe there until the all clear was given!

We used our scout book and their very timely arrow points to make a grand total of THREE different kites – diamond, sled and barn door. Yup we even looked those up and found more single string kites to do topic cards to put on our poster. We were on the ball! And to top it off, we also bought a brand new (and very decently priced) TURTLE kite from Sam’s Club. Now for a good day with a nice wind to trial fly them all. You can find the actual instructions we used for our diamond kites HERE. The scout book was a bit too vague.

Of course we also did a whole mini unit on tornadoes, being as we are in an area where they do occur. You can find our tornado lapbook HERE.

Of course we had a list of links we used…

  • Facts thanks to Kids Kites HERE.
  • MyBestKite.com has amazing history and individual kite information resources HERE.
  • KiteMan has a great LONG list of interesting kite facts about kites and history around the world HERE

And books…

  • The Kite That Bridged Two Nations by Alexis O’Neill based on a true story about the bridge across Niagara from the US to Canada HERE.
  • The Story of Kites by Ying Chang Compestine HERE.
  • Let’s Fly a Kite by Stuart J. Murphy where we even got a chance to deal with symmetry HERE.
  • I Face the Wind by Vicki Cobb HERE.

We did borrow a nice line up of wind and tornado related books and used most… I will include all of what we borrowed used or not…

  • What Makes a Good Tornado Twist? by Mary Kay Carson HERE.
  • The Wind by Craig Hammersmith HERE.
  • Wind Power by Kathy Allen HERE.
  • The Magic Schoolbus Presents Wild Weather the Nonfiction Companion HERE.
  • It’s a Disaster! Tornado by Jessica Rudolph HERE.
  • Fueling the Future Wind Energy by Elizabeth Raum HERE.
  • Tornado! by Judith Bloom Fradin and Dennis Brindell Fradin HERE.
  • World of Weather by David Adler HERE.

And video of course…

  • The Magic Schoolbus Takes Flight HERE

Hopefully these items will help out in case of wind and kite interest!!IMAG2169

Are My Kids Weird??? Cuz You Know We Homeschool…

First off, thank you once again to Free Homeschool Deals for the link that is the launching point on this blog entry. I am so thankful I started following you on Facebook and email…

What response do we get when we mention we are THINKING of homeschooling or ARE homeschooling? Well I don’t know about the rest of you out there but the responses have been… mixed… There is the almost instant consistent concern about SOCIALIZATION (cuz we all know homeschool kids are loners who definitely will NEVER fit in in the grand scheme of things…)… some people instantly assume you must be insanely fundamental Christians (thank you 19 Kids and Counting or whatever that show is for perpetuating the dresses and the insular girls growing up to be mothers stereotype for many people, I am sure that is not what they mean to do… but I have had the: oh you homeschool, like that huge family on tv, are you going to have that many kids?? asked)… of course you are not going to teach them but simply let them loose like some sort of weird group of wild dogs to run free and when it is time for them to join the workforce… well they won’t even be potty trained!! (ok maybe an exaggeration but sometimes it FEELS like that is what people think!!)

I honestly wondered if I was alone in all of this, that is until I read a wonderful blog post by Forever, For Always, No Matter What:Catholic Adoption & Home Education Blog. I think I will share some of the key parts that not only made me giggle but had me going YES YES YES! (and not in some weird herbal shampoo commercial way!) You can find the entire article HERE. It is titled: I Can’t Homeschool Because… My Kids Will Be Weird!

Every group has their stereotypes, and one of the stereotypes of homeschooling is that kids will be strange or weird.

Here’s the truth, my kids are weird.  Your kid is too.  The fact is that all kids at some point in time are weird.  Also, maybe it’s just me, but I went to public school and believe me there were plenty of kids there who were labeled “weird”.  Homeschool, public school, private school all has their weirdos.

I’m actually perfectly content having weird kids.  My kids are developing their own interests whether it’s trains, baseball, animals or coin collecting.  They aren’t feeling pressured to like what everyone else likes or do what every other kid is doing.

I don’t want to break any homeschool stereotypes but, my kids don’t particularly like to read.  They would rather be outside playing basketball, riding bikes or swinging with the neighborhood kids than sitting inside reading a book.  They would rather play Mind Craft on the computer than write an essay.  Uh, oh, does that sound too normal?

You know what? That last paragraph… wow does that sound familiar! Just because kids are homeschooled does not mean they are ALL fiendishly insistent learners (though there are days they have more stamina than I and I have to just chase after and keep on with the facts and the learning fun!)… Homeschooled kids are first and foremost… well, KIDS! And what kid always wants to learn when there is that amazing tree out there to conquer or puddle to splash in???

Attend a homeschool convention these days and you will see all types of families.  Long gone are the days when all the moms are wearing their hair in buns and jean skirts.  There are actually some pretty fashionable ladies homeschooling their kids these days!

It always makes me laugh, this urge to paint us all with the same brush… if all homeschool parents are hippies and extremes does that mean all public school parents are suzy homemakers and working drones? If there can be parents of children in schools from all walks of life why would that not follow same in homeschooling circles?

Now the final paragraph cracks me up, not because it is funny but because I have found the same thing true!!!

Psst here’s another secret, my kids actually can carry on a conversation with a friend their age or with an adult.  Imagine that.  I guess homeschooling isn’t making them too weird after all!

Just last weekend I watched my 9 year old son sit down with an adult who he is getting to know now that we have moved here to Minnesota and hold a lengthy conversation with him that I was later told was enjoyable! AMAZING! This is the same child that later that day ran wild with his cousins and chatted up a storm with them!

So just how weird ARE my homeschooled children? We may not follow the school system and over the summer I DO teach them (half days, with flexibility… can’t miss out on those chances to hang with cousins and friends and and and), we are Christian though long skirts are not the norm (though if I could find some that did not make me look totally SHORT…), we are definitely developing our own interests with a paleontologist and a budding artist topping the list. So if this is weird… I think it is something I may have embraced without even realizing it! And that is perfectly ok with me.101_1626