Friday, October 21, 2011

Seasonal Homeschooling

Article: Seasonal Homeschooling

This time of year in North America is brilliance

of color and the crisp autumn breezes blow in

a longing for coming together and celebrating family.

Homeschooling in nature can be a teachers dream and

a child's playground. There is so much for the senses to


The smell of fires burning and apple, pumpkins and hay.

Feeling crunchy leaves, nuts, pinecones to collect for play.

Tasting apple cider, pumpkin pie and other tasty treats inspired

by the outdoors harvest.

Allowing children time to explore and commune with nature can be

the best “teacher” around. For, what could be better than a child

learning animal behaviors, finding birds nests and eggs by actually

experiencing life outdoors.

Here's a few tips for seasonal homeschooling.

*Use what is around you- learning counting or simple math? Use acorns, rocks, shells
or whatever is locally available. Collecting is part of the fun. Besides being economical,
it teaches what bounty is right in your backyard.

*Nature Journals can be a great way to document what is happening for an older child.
They can write and draw what they see while they are outside in their favorite tree.

*Use the festivals. Fall has many great festivals to celebrate and this is a great time to make a bonfire, roast some marshmallows and explore your nature area. Invite some other homeschooling families to make it really special.

*Create a Nature Table. A seasonal or monthly table to display current findings is a wonderful way to bring a hint of nature inside. Make sure to make safe for very young hands.

*Carve out Nature Time. Give your child “free play” time to roam, explore and just “be”. It is amazing what they will learn during this unstructured moments. Sometimes learning happens in the best more organic ways. ;)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Perfect Bread

I have tried for years to make a good bread by hand and each time have failed in one way or another. The bread doesn't rise has been my main challenge or it is all mushy inside (undercooked).

But, I was determined to find a recipe that would really help me step-by-step with wonderful ingredients to sink my hands into.

I found it! The blog Farm Fare had the perfect one for me.

It worked the first time, but just to make sure it wasn't a fluke, I made 3 more loaves and to my delight (and my family's stomachs) we now have homemade bread in the pantry and freezer.

I plan to make the recipe (which makes 3 loaves) each Sunday so we may have our organic bread at a fraction of the price and honestly- I love the fact that I made it with my own hands. :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Review

As we are passing the summer days, I spend time listening to the endless chatter of my
2 almost 9-yr olds. I notice a few holes in the learning and where a bit more help
might be needed.

They are both reading daily as they love it! So, this is helping them progress on.
I had planned on continuing the multiplication tables and will start this in the next week
or so.

We did a time review, as one of my girls was not quite getting how to tell the time
on an analog clock. I found a pretend clock with moveable hands I had purchased years ago and after a few minutes and lessons, she gets it!
It is amazing how when they are ready or just need a small review, the learning
happens magically!

I also got them each a spiral notebook where they can write messages to me. This is a great way to keep the writing going. I gave one of my girls 4 words (just picked any!) and she had to create a short story (3-4 sentences) using those words. Really fun! And she came back for more ;)

I have sifted through my stack of books for planning grade 3 and discovered a LARGE pile
of guides and stories I never got to during 2nd grade. I perused through and saw some things
I know would be beneficial. My solution? Use them as a review this summer or during those first weeks of the new school year.

I probably will do some of it this summer in a very casual way. Not "Here is our lesson". I may just start reading a story or draw a few words on a black board.

It is so nice to just know their skills so well, I can tweak or add as needed. More benefits
of homeschooling!

Would love to hear how your summer planning is going...leave a comment if you have a minute

Thursday, July 7, 2011

July 4th Activities

We started sewing this lovely bunting with out friends from Atlanta.
Here are the steps we followed if you are interested in making one. It was very
basic if you have some sewing skills. I have always wanted to make one and now I plan
to do more for other festivals and seasons!

Here is the tutorial I used to sew these

Enjoy! Would love your comments and ideas for other colors or uses

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Riding down a southern country road

We started biking each morning before the heat sets in.

Today, we went a new way to our local grocery. Amazingly,
we discovered an unpaved road. There are still some around

So, here are the girls biking happily down a sandy, gravel street.

I love that we have many places that we can get to by bike. Though we
do have a busy street, Highway 17, we go the back roads or the bike trail.
We can get to 2 grocery stores, bank, my favorite coffee shop, several
restaurants, post office, the beach, a great consignment shop and the library!

A lovely beach town we live in. Wanna come visit? ;)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Spelling & Reading Review

We have started reading again after a few weeks "down time" and I am noticing the holes
and places that need a little work. Having twins does not mean they are in the same place!

I got them new books to read and we have started playing games while walking or riding our bikes. I say a word and they spell, or we work on vowel sounds and how they fit into the words.

Today, I decided to get them each a notebook for writing back and forth with me. They are both in very different places with reading and writing, so this will not hold one back or make the other feel "behind". For my beginner reader we just wrote sentence back and forth, I did not correct the spelling, but if there was a word I didn't understand, she had to fix it. For my upper level reader, I gave her 4 random words and asked her to write a "story" using those words. What fun she had and a very cute story ;)

I plan to do some of this as well as after lunch reading in our hammock, to keep things fresh, but in a very relaxed state this summer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice

Summer sun, summer sun we watch as you set Sending your long arms of light to the west Summer sun, summer sun you shine so bright As you begin your return to the night
-from Circle Round

We began the day with a sunrise on the beach. It was so magical and we saw 2 loggerhead turtle nests!

When we came back home we baked sun cupcakes with a sprinkle of darkness (chocolate chips) I got a great idea from the Circle Round book. The girls made time capsules with items like a letter to themselves, the top 10 things they love, pictures etc. to be opened next summer solstice. They loved this! They spent all afternoon working on it and even decorated the shoe boxes with suns. We also planted sunflower seeds saved from our sunflowers from last year.

Our day ended with a bonfire using our winter solstice Christmas tree. We did the turning dance around the fire and let go of any things we wanted to release (for hubby and me).
Magical day.