Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Visual Latin Giveaway!!!

Ms. Amy over at the Raising Arrows blog is giveing away Visual Latin. Visit her blog to find out how you can win. If you are not familiar with the program, that's OK, Ms. Amy has included links to watch Mr. Dwane Thomas in action as he teaches your children Latin. She has also included a link for samples of the PDF worksheets as well.

So, if you are looking for a Latin program you don't have to teach, this may be for you and you could get it for free. Also if you are looking and do not win note that there are 6 free lessons located on the site.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Summer Bucket List

I was not going to blog today, but life has a way of getting me to do things I did not plan to do. A lot of times it happens because of something I have read in one of the newsletters I recieve. Well that is exactly how this came to be, plus it ties in with the series of blogs I recently did geared towards education through summer activities.

OK here it goes a Summer Bucket List, I have started created one, but it is not all fun or all educational. I thought it was a good idea to create one to help me make sure I do all I want to before summer break is over. Click on the image above to go to the Little Wonder Days blog, this is where it all stemmed from. Plus you can do a link up for your bucket list along with get some ideas of what others are doing. Sounds like fun to me, here is what I currently have on my list.

1.) Visit a museum (I have not be to one in 6 years since I left Chicago.)

2.) Tour New Orleans (Been here a year and still have not done this.)

3.) Safari Quest (Local laser tag, the boys have been wanting to go for a year.)

4.) Host a mystery party

5.) Have all the boys school supplies purchased.

Updated list as of May 31, 2011

6.Create a life size game

7. Paint Brett's room

8. Water Park

9. See a movie

10. Buy Twister

11. Have a Twister pary!!!!

12. Make homemade ice cream added June 2, 2011

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gotta Get Them Educational Newsletters

In my newsletter section you will find the Homeschool Freebie of the Day along with others. Now the Homeschool Freebie of the Day is on Facebook for more freebies for homeschoolers.

Today in my newsletter there were two items one for Homeschool RadioShows. You and your children can listen to books online all family friendly and some educational. What a great way to spend an afternoon, I can just see it sitting around the crafting area listening to a story. Or how about playing them during a time when children need to relax. Imagine the memories this will build.

They always have these bundles they put together for homeschoolers to download at great prices. Until Monday May 30, 2011 you can get 20 Brain Builders for $4.95. Here you go some more summer learning. Just think of having resources like this delivered straight to your email every month.

Linked up at theimperfecthousewife.com.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Five Question Friday

1. Do you apologize to your kids?
If I am wrong or yelled at them because I was stressed, yes, I apologize. I believe it helps them to see that not only am I human, but also it serves as an example that we should apologize if we are wrong, hurt someone on purpose or on accident.

2. What color are your nails right now?
Ummm nail color, it has been forever since I have painted and feel like it is time.

3. When you were growing up, how difficult was it for you to stay home from school sick? (As in, did you have to vomit or just say "I don't feel good".)

For the most part it was easy and due to that when my kids were in school there were guidelines for staying home. You better have a fever, be vomiting or have diarrhea other wise take two ibuprofen and I'll see you when you get home.

4. When is the last time you bought a new comforter for your bed?

Actually I bought one last year after waiting five years for the style and price I wanted. It was worth it paid $18.00 for a queen and love, love the style.

5. Favorite website(s)?
There are not to many at this time in my life that are geared towards just me. However I do love Lee Benz's site at the moment.

Education Through Summer Activities Part 4

There is more we can do for educating through the summer without leaving the house or spending any money.

VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS!!!!! Yeah I love the fact that I can get onto the computer to view a variety of things. You can find just about anything you want on there. "Mom can we go to the zoo?" The baby is sick, money is tight and you are beat from schooling and household chores. Besides we did baseball, art, park day and karate already this week.

"No, we can not go to the zoo today, but you can see some animals and learn about them on the computer. We can also get some activity pages you can do."

There are a number of web sites which are geared towards virtual fields. However, I personally feel if it says virtual I get to interact somehow or watch a video, this is not the case with all of them. But, they are educational.

Virtual Field Trip has tons of links on a variety of topics including zoo cams, frog disection and castles from the middle ages just to name a few.

Virtual Field Trips I visited the White House, The Museum of Science and Industry and Africam.

Read Write Think this site offers a selection of virtual field for grades 3-5 and includes educational resources. There are also acitvities with 6-8.

Teachnology has various generators to help you create your own crosswords, word search and more.

Tools for Educators also has various generators to create bingo cards, dice, games and more. Totally cool site.

By conducting a word/topic specific search using the word coloring pages you should be able to easily find some. I Googled coloring pages White House and a slew of sites came up.

Life Size Games???

I must have blogged and thought so much about games that I woke up this morning and the first thought that came to my mind was life sized games. What a totally cool idea, but how would you create one?

You could us a painter tarp for board for a permanent game board or chalk on a driveway or sidewalk. I then thought that the game would be played by the player being the game piece. I did some research on the topic and did not come up with anything, but if anyone has any ideas please share them.

There was one store that sells them, you can take a look here. Love the chess set.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Education Through Summer Activities Part 3

OK I am going to try to make this short and sweet, yeah right this from someone who likes to talk. I'm behind schedule due to my new endeavor Homeschooling High School, there are very few resources for this topic so I decided to share my adventure.

Anyway I have some great ideas to educate the boys through summer, these are all low cost. We will not be going on vacation and due to only one car, which I get twice during the week, we are limited.

First, we love games and while all the games we like to play are not educational I will be sure to pull the ones we do have out. My boys went through the 39 Clues phase and that Christmas I found the game. It deals with geography and is actually very challenging. This is a series of books if you are not familiar with them, the boys read all of them through the library. Scholastic has resources for educators if your child is currently reading this series you could add to it for summer learning.

Another game we enjoy is Scrabble however, no two or three letter words are allowed. I mean come on they are 14 and 12 and I am.... mature enough to think of words with more than two or three letters.

Younger children can benefit from games like Candy Land, you could easily make your own board and cards for a similar game if you do not have it and money is tight. Donna Young's site has some game templates you can use and print them out on card stock. Jimmie, one of my favorite bloggers, wrote a how to article on Heart of the Matter for creating your own board games with extensive links. This is great too because children can help to create their own games, perfect for a rainy day.

File Folder games are also a great way to get younger children excited about learning. Conducting an online search for free file folder games will give you more options however, there are a great deal here.

Stay tuned for more ideas for educating through the summer with fun activities!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Education Through Summer Activities Part 2

Summer is a time for camps, family gatherings, vacations and more. The world is the place where children gain the best education.

Learning to work together at camp in order to pitch a tent or rowing a canoe for the first time. By listening to older family members talk about the times in which they lived children can learn about their history along with that, of the way life used to be. Educational opportunities are probably the most abundant while on vacation, through the food, type of people, attractions and more.

All these things can be counted as educational to either make up for lost school time or to add to the next year. Oh and don't forget to check web sites for educational material for any places of interest you visit, you will be surprised how many have these.

While at the Homeschool Lounge the other day someone posted about how to document a field trip. There were various relplies some included allowing the children to purchase a post card and then noting something on it about the trip. This can work with vacations also. One other reply stated that they used the field trip form from Donna Young's site (awesome site if you have never been there.) There is also an extracurricular activities log you can utilize to keep track of other things with.

Be sure to record the type of activity, number of hours and catagorize it. For instance if Suzy talked with Aunt Martha for hours about her child hood you can count it as history or give Suzy credit for doing an interview.

Get creative with how you can label things that you and your kids do together or that they do on their own through out the summer break.

I was going to create a PDF, but I don't see a need to reinvent the wheel when Donna Young already has some great items to use. The extracurricular activity log can be used for other activities which are not a field trip.

Tomorrow I hope to discuss the high schoolers and their summer activities. I say hope because you never know when life will happen.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Education Through Summer Activities

I visited The Crafty Classroom this morning, one of my favorite blogs, and noted that after the birth of another child schooling would not end on time for them. I can relate to this, as an Usborne Books and More consultant I was busy during the fall and winter months with book fairs and other events. While the boys were encourage to bring their school work along they did not leaving them with 40 something more days of schooling. By my calculations school will end sometime in July? No, I look forward to that summer break just as much as they do, if not more.

Because my 14 year old will be starting 9th grade in the fall, and this has been our worst homeschool year ever, I decided to test him. I told him if he is where he needs to be we can nix the rest of the school year. However, I am a stickler for rules and encourage my children to be the same, what example am I setting if I allow them to cheat out of the time the state has mandated?

In Tennessee it was required that we school not only 180 days, but also 4 hours a day. The boys would, most of the time, be done before the 4 hour period was up. In talking with other homeschoolers I found out that they utilized other educational things to fill the void. The boys would help make meals (home ec,) they spent a lot of time reading, counted rather during school hours or not. I learned to take anything which benefited them educationally and counted it as school time. Recently Brandon helped my husband rotate the tires, this was something he never did before and it was counted as learning.

If you are in the same situation as Valerie and myself and seek to be done, look for ways to count activities as educational. Once a month we order pizza, Brett looks at the different flyers to see which place has the best deal for our money. Not only is this math but also home economics and finances. Camps geared towards sports can be counted as P.E., other camps can count for science, P.E. and more. We will end our formal school year soon but I will continue to check the days off honestly to complete the required 180 days.

Come back tomorrow and I will discuss a sample of how to track a days worth of schooling. I also hope to have a PDF or somewhere you get one to use.

Note: I would not count Brett checking flyers as a full day of school.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Are We Having Fun Yet???

I love doing research, did I ever mention that before? Well I do, do, do, do and today was no exception. So, I'm rummaging around the net as I often do to see what I can find that is new and interesting. Might not be for others but it is for me.

National Geographic has a fun place to play and learn. I went on a journey with Lewis and Clark and they let me make decisions about the journey. While I made some poor ones we made it to our destination safe and sound.

Well after that I have to check out what else is here and see Music Mixer, a fan of music I need to check this out. I had more fun customizing the band members than I did creating music. There is all kinds of stuff to do and learn, it includes a section for younger kids as well.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Free Teaching Resources for Books.

While I conducted some research this morning for links to add to the theme part of my web site I came across a site called The Teacher's Guide. While I was looking at the other links on the page I came across one for book activities.

This part of the site is nicely organized by grade along with the title of books for that grade level. While researching I always like to click on various links/topics to see what is located there. I was surprised to find a place of grand resources for books.

Not only are there some such as the Magic Tree House series which brings you to the authors page, but also publishers such as Random House.

These sites and others offer teaching resources to go along with a vast number of books, many of them popular with homeschoolers and our children's interest. The next time you purchase a book or retrieve one from the library check to see if the author or publishers has a site for teaching resources. This would work especially great for books based on a specific topic or subject.

I did a search for a book I recently took out from the library and did find the author's site. While there were no teaching resources there was a page were he showed children how to draw a mouse and an owl. The publishers site (Atheneum) is part of Simon & Schuster which offers guides for reading groups on some of their books and also activity and/or coloring sheets on others.

You might be interested to know that the Magic Tree House is going to the stage. The above link will take to site where you can receive updates and more.

Friday, May 13, 2011

More Teaching Children Finances With Some Great Offers!!!

After writing the first blog about teaching children about finances three newsletters which I subscribe to had links or resources for this same topic the very next day.

I want to put up some information that is specific to high schoolers, but feel like I have been led down another path. As I was writing the blog two days ago we lost power and then I found out that what I had previously written was not even saved.

Not only was the previous blog gone, I had deleted the one newsletter and could not get it back. However, I do have the other two and they are great!!

The first is an article from The Homeschool Mom newsletter, it is an article entitled Teaching Money Mangement. While the link goes to the 4th part of the article there are links for the first three parts.

The Homeschool Resource of the Day has a special on a variety of books concerning finances for teens. You get three books plus a bonus book for $4.95 which can be downloaded or you can mail your payment for physical copies. This offer expires May 16, 2011 and if you are mailing your payment it needs to be postmarked no later than May 16, 2011.

If you have a teen seeking to start a home business, more for females, you may be interested in the seven volume e-book for creating homemade scents, soaps, oils and more for $7.00. The same expiration date and ordering details applly as the above offer.

Oh, but that's not all The Homeschool Resource of the Day is also offering the Successful Family Business CD collection as well. While the price says $97.00 when you click the order button you will get if for $27.00 plus FREE shipping and that's not all. They will also throw in their Extra Cash Tool Kit download for FREE!! Offer also expires on May 16, 2011.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Homeschool for Free

I started a blog yesterday when the power went out. I tried to finish it today and realized I lost all my resources and would need to retrace my steps. As I started to do that through Google, I started spotting other blogs and sites which offered free resources.

Well now I have to add them to my web site and started to put them under the frugal living tab, when it dawned on me that the whole site was frugal. So, now I'm sitting back OK now where do I list these items?

Point is there are tons of web sites and blogs from other homeschoolers waiting to be tapped into. How many great resources sit out there never to be noticed? If you are on Twitter do a search for homeschool and see how many homeschoolers have blogs where they post free resources. Google free homeschooling and watch the number of blogs that turn up.

While the new home for my web site is still under construction and always will be, stop by and take a look to see if there is something your family can use. Happy Homeschooling!

Education Jump-Off

Free Stuff for Homeschoolers As I browsed this blog I noticed there were no comments on any of the posts. Stop by and leave this homeschool blogger a comment she has some great stuff here.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Teaching Children about Finances

My boys have been participating in a program called Lemonade Day, here in Louisiana it is tomorrow. We picked up the back packs and took a week to focus on the material provided. Brett commented that he had no idea how complicated running a business is. The boys had to go through all the steps any entrepreneur does in order to determine how much they wanted to make and how much they would need to achieve the goal plus pay back what they needed to started.

I became inspirted by a one of the speakers for the Homeschool Expo which was recently on Blog Radio, wish I could remember her name. One thing she said hit me, she said one of the main things she focused on while homeschooling her children was to make sure they were prepared for life. This not only meant finances, but also a skill which could be used during hard economic times, making sure they could also make money.

I decided to research some sites which would provide homeschoolers a way to educate their children before and during high school on finances. The following resources have lesson plans and some include online learning.

Hands on Banking Middle school through high school

Practical Money Skills for Life preschool and up, we had fun trying out the games.

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia elementary through high school

Financial Education Clearinghouse Activities that teach about finances along with links for more learning for elementary through high school.

Free Financial Worksheets this site is geared towards woman, but I believe these can work with older students.

Money Smart register to download free lesson plans and worksheets.