Posts Tagged "hands-on learning"

Simply Ways to Make Geography Fun

Posted by on Sep 12, 2016 in Homeschool Helps | 0 comments

Simply Ways to Make Geography Fun

Geography has always been an interesting subject to me, but for some younger students it can be overwhelming. 7 Continents, 4 sometimes 5 oceans, imaginary lines, 4 hemispheres, and over 190 confirmed countries. Add theĀ  different landforms, temperatures, and languages … the Earth can make students feel like it’s just a spinning sphere of confusion.

Simple Ways to Make Geography Fun

1. Invest in an inflatable globe. Globes are easy to spin, point, and even toss around for review. They make it easier to locate different lands because of reference points. I can easily see where Africa is compared to Asia – but if I print a map of Africa … I just see Africa.
You can also use a dry erase marker on inflatable globes to draw navigation or trade routes, regions, etc. It is much easier than printing out a new map each week.

2. Explore one country every few days. Do not be afraid to stick to one country and really learn about it. Discover landforms, major cities or rivers, borders, imports and exports, regional food, plus famous landmarks or famous people. Sure a child can sing a song and memorize words, but when asked to point to those countries on a map they look lost. Ask them one unique thing about that country and they can only chant the next country in their cute song. The library will be your best friend to check out books, movies, and reference materials.

3. Purchase Country Notebooking Pages. Let’s be honest. We all want to create the perfect curriculum, but just don’t have the time to make our way through Pinterest to piece it together. You can easily grab a beautifully compiled pack of almost 200 countries and study the world at your own pace! No mean teacher’s planner to bark deadlines and remind you how much you’re “behind” this year. Print a country and enjoy learning about it.

We might sing, It’s a Small World, but I disagree. It’s a big beautiful world full of interesting places – enjoy learning about them with your children.

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Embrace Art

Posted by on Jul 10, 2016 in Homeschool Helps | 0 comments

Embrace Art

Aside from PE, art is probably the most neglected homeschool subject. It’s easy to ignore “art”.

Art is messy. Art requires time. Art can be intimidating if you are not an artist. You might be able to fake a science experiment, but bad art is a dead giveaway of something gone wrong.

embrace art

5 ideas that might just help you embrace art

1. Your children know you are not related to Michelangelo, and they do not expect you to decorate the next great ceiling. Let’s be honest, their art lesson isn’t about your ability (or lack of). Allow your children the opportunity to feel free to create. When I stopped feeling pressure to create something amazing to be “the example” and just let my boys enjoy art time – we all felt a million times better about art. I became a student with them.

2. Try different art media. One of my boys hates chalk pastels. The other hates watercolors. You might not like paper mache. Don’t do it! Give your children a chance to try out different paints, materials, projects, and then see which is liked best. You do not have to force them to use something they do not enjoy.

3. Open your mind about “art”. For the longest time “art” meant painting. When I realized art actually means: something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings. Do not pigeon-hole art to mean painting. Whatever your children create with their imagination and skill that is beautiful or expresses an idea — that’s art.

4. Raise up a generation of cleaners. I do not mind doing anything creative as long as we all work together to clean up! Many hands make a big job small. No one leaves the table before all the supplies are washed and put away. Art time is far less of a monster burden when I am not the only one scrubbing glitter off the table.

5. If creativity does not come naturally, grab a craft book and get inspired. Once a month I take my son to the library and check out a book on crafts. We flip through the book and write down the projects he wants to complete. We write out our supply list, set a budget, and hit the craft store together. This way we are definitely working on life skills and not just something gaudy to send to Grandma.

Hopefully we all can start embracing art and give our children the opportunity to create beauty. It might not be beautiful to us, but that is the greatest thing about art! It’s is so unique and different to everyone. If only math were that forgiving.

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Easy Hands-On St. Patrick’s Day Activities and More!

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016 in Holidays, Homeschool | 0 comments

Easy Hands-On St. Patrick’s Day Activities and More!

If you are Irish or not you can enjoy easy hands-on St. Patrick’s Day activities with just a few resources. Carve out a bit of time to craft some rainbows and turn these masterpieces into educational lessons!

hands-on st. patrick's day activities
1. Build a rainbow with legos. Even younger children can practice learning ROYGBIV with larger Duplo blocks. Our friend, The Homeschool Scientist, shared: The Physics of Rainbows older students will enjoy.

2. Paint a rainbow arc. Simply cut a paper plate in half and paint the colors of the rainbow. For math lovers learn and memorize Angles of a Circle. Thanks to Five J’s, print this free flashcard set!

3. Paint rocks and arrange them into a rainbow. Study geology and learn about igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. We love DK Eyewitness ROCKS book.

4. Dye shaving cream the colors of the rainbow for Bath Time Fun.

5. Go on a rainbow scavenger hunt. Find something red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
You can grab my Rainbow Scavenger Hunt at CurrClick for free with this special link: Special AppleCore Discount {discount only valid March 1st – 17th through AppleCore website}.

More St. Patrick’s Day Activities!

* Build the country of Ireland with legos! Study the borders so you can build a 2D replica of the country. Be sure to include a lego flag: green, white, and orange bricks.

* Paint shamrocks. Use the end of a cotton swab to “dot” a shamrock shape. Read this great article by our friend Home With the Boys, St. Patrick’s Day and The Trinity.

* Read about Saint Patrick {wikipedia}. You can practice sharing the Good News with this great idea from Cultivated Lives, St. Patrick’s Day Good News Relay Race.

* Try a Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe, like this one from Simply Recipes.

* Play horseshoes. Horseshoes were a symbol of luck.

* Dye bath water green with a bit of food coloring.

There are plenty of great hands-on activities to try! TIP: Do not overwhelm yourself by trying to fit these activities in all on St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re anything like me, you might actually forget it’s St. Patrick’s Day the morning of St. Patrick’s Day ~ and I’m Irish!! Don’t stress. I’ve learned I like to do a few activities a day or two before the actual day of the holiday.

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