Tuesday, December 9, 2014
My boys are still young, 6 and 9, so there are many ways in which they are very dependent on others, and I am fine with that. When I think of independence in regard to homeschooling, it is more of the idea that my boys are independently ready to learn. I do not have to hold their hand every step of the way and in letting them direct some of their own learning, they find it easier to express and pursue their own interests. Although we did not plan it, they were both early readers and their advanced reading ability has opened their eyes to a variety of subject matter, be it in history, science, or literature and thereby encouraged their curiosity and desire to independently learn.
Monday, December 1, 2014
Monday, November 24, 2014
Thanksgiving Story Retelling Bracelet
30 Turkey Thanksgiving Crafts from The Jenny Revolution
Thanksgiving Napkin Rings
The Thanksgiving Tree
Adorable Thanksgiving Turkey Writing Activity from Teachers Pay Teachers
Have a lovely Thanksgiving
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
For example, in the Oak Meadow grade 4 literature studies, the children read Stuart Little and at the end have a range of choices of how to show that they understood the story, ranging from making a canoe that looks like the one Stuart Little used on his adventures to writing postcards from Stuart Little to his family. Oak Meadow includes multi-sensory learning in the earliest grades as well. My youngest son is working through the first grade syllabus and every few days we read a story then incorporate a letter of the alphabet into a drawing that illustrates the story. There we have an easy effort for the auditory and visual learner.
|Here are two illustrations from Oak Meadow's Fairy Tales.|
On the right is an oven with a door in the shape of a "D"
and on the right is a cat in the shape of a "C"
We add our own multi-sensory learning into the mix as well. This can range from learning about the change of seasons through making art to visiting a local Native American Longhouse to instead of just reading about it. This brings me to one of my favorite things about homeschooling: the field trips. Oh, how I love them. To see my kids excited about learning while doing is absolutely delightful!
In the near future, I look forward to adding in a new element to our multi-sensory learning: math in cooking. What ways do you encourage multi-sensory learning with your children?
Monday, November 10, 2014
Make tissue paper poppies
Here are several ways to teach young children about Veteran's Day
This military personnel coloring page makes a cute poster. This site might help you know what colors the uniforms should be.
Here is a lovely song for children to hear about patriotic pride.
A short video about the history of Veteran's Day.
Learn about The Poppy Lady who helped make Veteran's Day a holiday in the USA.
Learn about the Poppy Story in Scotland.
Friday, November 7, 2014
I learned the importance of a daily rhythm early on when my oldest son at age two would ask, "Mama, what are we doing today?" every morning. The more I have read, especially when doing research on Waldorf education, I can see how a daily rhythm, as well as a weekly one, sets our children up for positive learning by providing consistency so vital to keep a relaxed environment.
One of the most effective ways we keep our weekly rhythm is to have a calendar in our "learning room." Both of my sons, ages 6 and 9, can read, so if they ever wonder what is coming up in the next few days or weeks, all they have to do is look on the wall. For our daily rhythm, I refer to my lesson planner and our days pretty much play out the same each week. If there is something special coming up, it goes on our calendar.
We also keep a nature table that begins with a lovely purposeful nature scene that reflects the season. During the next few weeks, it transforms into a gathering of found treasures (feathers, leaves, acorns, pebbles, and the occasional nest) from our walks in the woodlands. (My youngest son becomes so attached to his natural treasures, that now we keep some of them in seasonal boxes. As the season progresses, we clean off the nature table, pull out our seasonal box, and he mingles his beloved treasures from years past with new found fancies.)
Friday, October 31, 2014
We are going to enjoy this wonderful Halloween story from Sparkle Stories today!
Next week, I want to make small wool pumpkins.
These felt animal masks are too cute!
Scottish folk music like this song from the Tannahill Weavers is comfort food for my soul as we approach the colder months.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Ever since I can remember, I have collected postcards from my own travels as well as others. I can remember stopping at truck stops and looking at racks of postcards trying to find the one that fit my image of where we were. Some of my most treasured postcards are from my oldest brother who lived in Italy in 1975/76.
I still enjoy postcards and the way they transport me to a different place, so when I found two big wall maps at a yard sale this summer I knew just what we would do with them. Postcard Geography!
|One wall of our learning area.|
As we received each postcard, we used yarn to pinpoint the location on the map with the postcard on the side and we took time to discuss/research the area and culture of each place. We are having so much fun with it.
If any readers would like to exchange postcards just let me know. Yours would come from Philadelphia :)
In the meantime, we will have fun dreaming about far away places.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Monday, October 20, 2014
Now into week 4 of using Oak Meadow curriculum, we have found a steady rhythm and managed to implement some Charlotte Mason techniques. (If you recall in previous posts, I wrote about how we used the Charlotte Mason method and implemented Waldorf techniques, so this isn't too much of a stretch from the past two years.)
Over the next several weeks, I will expand on some of the foundations of our learning and how we use Oak Meadow curriculum and some of the foundations of our learning.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Thursday, October 9, 2014
We have three entries, and could have easily added more as I delight in finding those teachable moments no matter where we are. As a matter of fact, right now, my boys are outside in our back field searching for shapes in nature. If you would like to vote for our main photo like it here.
|Our 6-year-old learns nature can be enjoyed in urban areas on Staten Island while looking forward to our next days adventure in New York City (skyline in the background).|
|He is so proud to write the letter A correctly and even practices on his bedroom window.|
Monday, September 29, 2014
Well you know: The best laid schemes of mice an' men, often go awry. Instead of getting off to a wonderful start, we have a sick, nine-year-old boy camped out on the couch looking pale and worn out. Our Michaelmas is delayed. In the meantime, I will enjoy the quiet time to be introspective seeking out my dragons and come renewed to begin our new start in the morning.
Here are a couple of posts from Michaelmas of years past:
The Armor of God Slays the Dragon Within
Michaelmas: A Time For Bravery and Growth
Friday, September 12, 2014
I have found over the past two years, that transitioning from summer break to the academic year can be a challenge when you never board the bus or walk to another building, so we are making a gentle, free-flowing change. We will be in the full swing of things in a few weeks when co-op begins. Last week we kicked off the changeover to daily lessons with a fun field trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
We were pleasantly surprised to find several interactive stations among the exhibits.
Up until our visit, I thought I knew what 6 artists we would study this year, but seeing how excited they were about Pablo Picasso, I added him to our curriculum.
Having the flexibility to travel and tour is one of my favorite things about homeschooling. Have you already started field trips too?
Thursday, July 17, 2014
As we see the end of summer coming and prepare for the upcoming academic year, let's all slow down, explore nature, and take in the beauty of the world around us.
(For more ideas and inspiration on enjoying the summer, join us at Little Acorn Learning's Slow Summer Series.)
Friday, June 27, 2014
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Monday, April 28, 2014
I don't know about you, but I am thrilled with the warmer weather after our long hard winter. Our family is finding so much joy in the little gifts of spring that nature offers, especially bird songs, budding leaves, and bright cheerful flowers.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Before we were pounded with snow this winter, my sister made these cute little snowballs for my boys and they have seen lots of snowball fights!
Indoor snowballs are fun to make and will keep kids busy and happy. Start with a yarn pom pom. (There is an easy tutorial found here.) Glue on a felt circle for the face, make a mouth and nose with fabric paint, and glue on googly eyes. Now you are ready to play! (These would be perfect for a winter time birthday party or playdate.)
Thursday, January 23, 2014
I began class by asking each student what they like to study the most and then explained that when you study history, you study about everything. I could see little light bulbs of understanding turning on in their minds as we talked. We also did a Venn Diagram of life then and life now to show that people now are similar to people then, yet some of our resources make our lives seem different.
I will come back later and share some of my ideas on helping kids love history later. Now it is your opportunity to share with us. What creative learning have you had this week?