Apr 30, 2012

You Tube Monday - Coraline: Knitting Little Itty Bitty Outfits

This is CRAZY!!! I had never really thought about it, but am glad this was sent along to me, so I thought I would share with you!

Apr 28, 2012

Living Their Lives - Home Educating Teens

There are very few home educating parents who do not cringe when they think about the “high school” years. Many become so intimidated that they spend tons of money on accredited programs, pay “homeschool gurus” to tell them they are doing the right thing and very often still end up enrolling their children in school so that they can get a “diploma.” It can be a very daunting and intimidating situation when you think about the fact that these four years can make or break your child’s ENTIRE FUTURE!!! So why do we think that way? Why do we allow the tape to continue it’s repeated taunt – “THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY”!!??!!??
As always there are many options available from traditional college prep to trade studies to GED prep and no matter which path your child has decided to turn down, school does not have to be one of them. So many young adults get to college or “out into the real world” and suddenly realize that they have no idea what they want to do, how they want to spend their lives and often even what they like. After being intellectually spoon-fed for 12-15 years should anyone really be surprised that they don’t know how to make a decision?
The teen years don’t have to be riddled with academics, extra-curricular activities, and SAT prep. It is the absolute perfect time to allow the child to decide on what path they want to take and how they want to get there. Teens should be permitted and encouraged to try new things, volunteer at places they find interesting, get a part-time job and start living their life. It is ideal timing because they can do so without fear of failure as they are still living at home and don’t have to be 100% responsible.
When planning ahead it is best to leave as many options open for your child, so I am in no way advocating a completely hands-off approach, but rather the same sort of eclectic, child-led learning that I always advocate for. Allow the child to have as much input as possible and be willing to discard things that don’t work – even if that means giving up an instrument, quitting a job, or dropping a class. The best strategy is to continue with a well-rounded education, utilizing real-life opportunities just as much as curriculum and courses. It can be just as easy, often easier even, to translate teen activities into educationese as it is for your children and not only an you create a transcript if necessary, but your child will be building their resume. 
Here are some books that you and your teens may find helpful while navigating this new and sometimes petrifying terrain - 
Also be sure to check out the Unplugged Mom’s Educational Resources Section for some great free learning initiatives.

~~~~This post can also be found on Unplugged Mom.

Apr 24, 2012

Family Math Nights

Math nights can be a great fun way to interactive and apply math concepts to help solidify usage. We have done them at home, done them at the library, had co-op nights around them and the families have always had a fantastic time! This site - Math Night - was featured in the Clickschooling Newsletter this week and reminded me that we haven't had one in a really long time!
Some of my favorite modules are -

and some of my favorite resources include - 

From a reader -  
Kate Nonesuch said...
You may be interested in my free family math resource, funded by the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills, HRSDC.
Family Math Fun!
A manual for educators and parents who want to promote math thinking in kids of all ages.
• Things to do in the kitchen and on a walk, rhymes, games, and things to make, all to promote math thinking and learning.
• Math for the whole person: spirit, heart, body and mind are all connected in the activities in this book. When these are in balance, math becomes part of our whole lives, not a beast or a barrier.
• Patterns, recipes, and hand-outs all included (109 pages). •

Download it free at http://www.nald.ca/library/learning/familymath/cover.htm

Apr 23, 2012

You Tube Monday - Chimpanzee - DisneyNature

Chimpanzee opened everywhere on Friday so be sure to head to a theater near you to see this incredible film and help to support the efforts to save these magnificent creatures!!!

The incredible 130+ page educators guide can also be downloaded for free by visiting - HERE!

Apr 21, 2012

Mass Audubon - Free PDF activities to get outdoors!!!

Mass Audubon has some great fun and FREE printable activities available on their site to help you and your family get moving and learning outdoors. Though some are specific to their parks - like the discovery booklets - many - like the spring bingo - can be used anywhere! SO surf on over, print some out and GET OUTSIDE!!!

Apr 20, 2012

DisneyNature Chimpanzee Opens Today!

We have truly enjoyed going to see the Disneynature movies each year and are excited for the next installment - chimpanzee

As always there is a free education guide available for download - HERE - which has more to offer this year as it is a whopping 135 pages and includes powerpoint presentation with audio and video clips! 

Apr 19, 2012

Free Cultural Events! - Who can beat that!

This week we were oh so fortunate to be able to attend two fabulous cultural arts events for FREE!!! The first was a presentation of the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra's Symphony of Nature. KM attend a free presentation on the 9th at the Cape Cod Conservatory that highlighted many works that were inspired by nature and went into discussions on the pieces that were presented. We were so fortunate to have gotten to participate in that class, but then to be able to follow it with an incredible trip to see the CCSO performance just made it even better!

Then on Wednesday we attended the dress rehearsal of the BLO's upcoming premiere of The Inspector. They have a great program were they allow high schoolers the opportunity to attend the dress rehearsals for free! This was our second experience attending and we hope to be able to go to many more! I suspect that the run will be a GREAT success as the kids in our group all loved it! These are the types of things that we love to do and would never be able to afford without programs like this - I mean the opera would have cost us nearly $200 for the two of us to attend! 

Apr 17, 2012

A MUST READ!!! - Classroom Free: Dear Society...

Classroom Free: Dear Society...:

We tend to hide out during our public school vacation week, because I just CAN'T stand listening to the parents. They come up to any other adult and just assume that they are feeling the same hostility toward their child(ren) being home with them for the week. It is really frustrating and disheartening to hear the comments being said in front of and TO the children. 

Apr 16, 2012

You Tube Monday - Science Jim Show: Strange Deep Creatures

KM has taken SEVERAL of Science Jim's classes and has LOVED the all so we thought it would be good to  feature one of his webshows for others to enjoy!

Apr 11, 2012

Movie Review - Mirror Mirror

We went to see Mirror Mirror yesterday and were so impressed that I had to come on and recommend it! This is a must see!!!! A fantastic twist on this classic tale that kept us guessing all the way through. 

Apr 10, 2012

Welcome to REAL TREES 4 Kids! - FREE Ecology Resources


The REAL TREES 4 Kids! project began early in 1999 in preparation for the 30th anniversary of Earth Day. Sponsored by the National Christmas Tree Association, the project's goal is to teach school-aged students the ins and outs of Christmas Tree production.
On April 2, 1999, Internet viewers got their first peek at curriculum materials prepared specifically for students, teachers, and leaders in grades 2 through 5. Since that time, the set of materials has grown to include materials for middle and high school students.
In 2008, curriculum materials were made available for teachers of students in grades K through 2. These new materials were designed by elementary educator Michelle Drake as part of a grant through the USDA.
REAL TREES 4 Kids! has had over 169,000 visitors since April, 1999. However, this project is not limited to the Internet. Our REAL TREES team has shared information and activities with participants at the convention of the National Science Teachers Association as well as with visitors to the AgEarth celebration of Earth Day on the Mall in Washington DC.
As we keep growing, keep in mind that new additions to the curriculum happen, in great part, through suggestions and requests made by you. If you would like to "get active" in the update process, please let us know. Send your input, suggestion, or comments to our design team.

Apr 6, 2012

Random Updates - Something different

So I have decided to do random updates rather than "weekly updates" as that was getting a bit tedious and feeling somewhat forced and I really just don't like that feeling. Instead I will just post updates whenever I get around to it or feel like something interesting has been going on that I want to share - which I was already doing before, BUT this makes me feel like I don't have to if I don't want to and I don't have to pressure myself to come up with something if it feels like we just had a regular old week.

This week has been anything but regular, as KM went on her first road trip with CJ! They both had a really good time on their trip out to Michigan and KM is already mentioning going again! I got to have the house to myself for the first time EVER! Now when I say "ever" I don't just mean since we moved into this house 9 years ago, I actually mean EVER! I had never spent a night anywhere by myself in my 33 years, never mind 4 NIGHTS!!! Although it was nice - I got a lot of things done around here, spent some time with my nieces and nephew, had some quiet time, watched some movies without being interrupted etc. - I am OH SO GLAD they are home safe and sound.

Here are some pics from our week - mostly KM's on her roadtrip -


Apr 5, 2012

Free Science Projects for Kids from Home Science Tools

The Home Science Tools site is one of my first stops for anything science related. They have a fantastic Free Science Projects for Kids section that includes project ideas in every area - Biology, Chemistry, Microscope Projects, Dissection Guides and so much more!

Apr 3, 2012

Computer Science Unplugged - FREE Resource

Computer Science... without a Computer!

Free activities for classroom or home

CS Unplugged is a collection of free learning activities that teach Computer Science through engaging games and puzzles that use cards, string, crayons and lots of running around.
The activities introduce students to underlying concepts such as binary numbers,algorithms and data compression, separated from the distractions and technical details we usually see with computers.
CS Unplugged is suitable for people of all ages, from elementary school to seniors, and from many countries and backgrounds. Unplugged has been used around the world for over fifteen years, in classrooms, science centers, homes, and even for holiday events in a park!