Friday, November 21, 2014

Cranberry Thanksgiving Links!



***If you can't get the book you can watch it being read here:




Bible

  • Memory Verse  Psalm 100:4

Social Studies  

  • Geography - New England
                             Map of New England
                             National Geographics New England
                             What's the Time and Weather in Cape Cod   - put it on the thermometer

                             13 Colonies
                             Thirteen Colonies  - **in depth for beefing up
                          
LA 



  • Repetition
  • Vocabulary
               Make a Word Search from Vocab words

  • Simile
               Simile game

            Beefing It UP!


                   Grammar-  Noun
                   watch Schoolhouse Rock - Noun
                    Using one of the sentences in the book circle or color the nouns in School Journal (composition book) or Worksheet Works

    Art 


    • Warm Palette
                Warm Colors
                Warm Colored Pics
                    

    Math 


    • Measuring Skills


                Beefing it Up!

    Science


    • Starch
             Testing for Starch
    • Leavening Agents
              Leavening
    • Cranberries
               How Does It Grow? Cranberries



    Extras


    Thanksgiving CrosswordMake sure you have an Ad blocker program!!




    Go Along:

    The Very First Thanksgiving

    Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving  ** Excellent but long...shows the providence of GOD


    Thanksgiving:

    William Bradford Biography Nest Entertainment

    Plymouth Plantation Virtual Tour

    Virtual Tour of the Mayflower II

    The Real Thanksgiving Story - (The Story of Liberty)


    Charlie Brown Thanksgiving 

    Charlie Brown Mayflower Voyage

    The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn't

    The Mouse On The Mayflower

    Thanksgiving On The Muppet Show




    Read Alouds:

    The Story Of The Pilgrims For Children


    Link to a playlist on youtube:

    Thanksgiving - haven't viewed all these but on first glance they look okay..probably more for older kids

    Thanksgiving Hymns:

    We Gather Together (Perry Como) - my son picked this...who knew??  This is the hymn they sing in the book.

    Thanksgiving Hymns  Playlist - just like being in a cathedral!

    Thanksgiving  Playlist - this has some classic moderns in it


    And For Mom:

    The Thanksgiving Promise

    An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving






    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    Another Celebrated Dancing Bear Links!




    Bible

    • Memory Verse  John 15:12-13

    Social Studies  

    • Geography - Russia
                                 Learn about Russia
                                 Flag of Russia
                                 What is the Time and Weather in Russia?   - put it on the thermometer
                                 Dance of the Russian Nesting Dolls
                              Shaping A Russian Nesting Dolls -  fun chance to hear russian
                              Russian Palaces
                              Samovar Pictures
                              What is a Samovar?
                              Brewing Tea Russian Style with A Samovar
                              Trans Siberian Railroad Pics
                              Transiberian by Private Train -   Long but beautiful , ***There is a reference to                                           Bolshevik Revolution and there is a small vodka scene.




    LA 

    • Vocabulary
                   Play game
                   Make a Word Search


    • Drama

            Beefing It UP!

                       Grammar-  Adjectives
                       watch Schoolhouse Rock - Adjectives
                        Using one of the sentences in the book circle or color the adjectives in School Journal     (composition book) or Worksheet Works

      Art 


      • Architecture
                  Russian Architecture
      • Etchings

                 ***block printing or potato printing is pretty much the same idea so you can do potato prints if you want
      • Draw a picture in the style of the artist

      •      Russian Dance
                      The Dance of the Officers
                      

      Math 


                  Beefing it Up!

      Science


      • Boiling Point  
                  Watch this video





      Tuesday, November 11, 2014

      Apps VS. Online Games???






      I've been asked several times recently what I thought about eduapps vs. online edugames and which ones I think are best....well....here's what I think:


      First let me start with apps.  We have LOTS of IDevices so we have apps...oh boy do we have apps.  But the thing I see over and over with apps is that they have some crappy game you're suppose to learn from and then **** you finally get to play a game the kids like*** ....and they may never get off that game again because there is no time limit or anything for the reward game.  So my point is...what's the point??  My kids are only doing the cruddy game because they "have" to and I think that's sad.  That's really most of the problems I see with educational apps....boring...and only fun if you get to the reward game.  Why not just play a board game and have fun instead??? or play a chess app?  or tangrams app?? or...    well you get the idea.  Kids will learn in spite of us if we just let them play what interests them instead of manipulating them with what we think they "should" learn.  Those board and app games I just mentioned include logic, geometry, math and that's just the start since I don't know what board games or apps you personally have.  The other problem that I have with math and math apps in general is that it takes math totally out of the context of why we use it.  Math is ALL around us...you can't escape it so why do we have to bog kids down with math that is OUT of context (apps, worksheets etc).  If you want to learn measuring then bust out the tape measure with the kids and build something.  Or measure everything.  Now you may say "hey,  I did that and he didn't remember", well that may be because he/she wasn't really interested or they weren't ready for the amount of information they were receiving.  They got what they needed...not what you wanted.  Next time you build or bust out the tape they may get more or you may have to wait again. 

      Another problem I have with apps on IDevices is that most kids use their finger for writing.  I wonder how this will affect a young child in their ability to write when they've been using their finger for everything.

      As far as apps for little kids like toddlers...I think that as long as you don't view it as educational as in "here learn your ABC's" it's probably okay.  The problem I have with it is when it's just used to babysit the kid....kinda how TV has gotten.  Mommy needs a little time so pop on the TV or computer.  We should be living our life with the kids not trying to escape them.  Now don't get me wrong...there are days when the wheels are falling off and I've discussed that in other posts so when that happens just STOP and either make brownies (mmm...chocolate) or stream a video (or listen to a book on tape) and watch/listen together...not try to escape them.  They need you and that's probably why they are going nutz, so stop, regroup and enjoy time together relaxing and cuddling.

        The other problem I have with toddlers and apps is that it's up close eye strain on little eyes that haven't developed.  Dr Raymond Moore discussed this years ago.   His study was with indigenous people and how they don't exhibit near sightedness until they adopt the western standard of early reading and boom....the kids start needing glasses.  So up close stuff needs to be kept at bay...for a LONG time.  


      So what apps do "I" think would work ....the ones your kids like.  Sounds like I'm being evasive but I'm not.  Only your kids will know what interests them and what doesn't so...you can download a couple and see how it goes by letting them play and asking them.  


      Now for online edugames.... I think these are a LOT more fun for kids since the games actually have to be fun in the first place to be played.  For sites like Sheppard Software I just let my kids pick what they want to play or I strew a couple and if they play great!...and if not....so be it.    Sometimes I just play myself and they'll come and join because they hear the "electronic" sound and come to investigate.  Kids are so naturally curious it's a travesty that we ruin it by telling them what to be curious about and telling them how to learn it!

      So math seems to be the biggie in game/app learning and a great place to find math stuff for the younger crowd is over at Easy Peasy Homeschool.   Math Playground has got some cool games for older children and then another favorite is ABCya & Mathchimp.  I do recommend that if you go the online edugame route that you use an ad blocker and we use AdBlock Plus.

      I've recently discovered Zondle where you can make a school for yourself and then make yourself the teacher and whala!!  You can enter info and then the kids get to pick what games they want to play using that info.  Yesterday alone my kids played for 2 hours and they were learning their times tables.   I played some of the games with them and they were FUN!!  They loved it so much that they are asking to play first thing this morning!   The really nice part is the info is just part of the game not something they have to trudge through to get to the fun stuff.

      When Discussing online stuff we've got to talk about safety.  I've now seen 3 posts in 2 days about kids viewing inappropriate stuff for MONTHS without the parents knowing.  So I think it's an important point  that I can "see" what they're doing vs. apps which can be on their laps where I can't view what's going on and they can switch to viewing stuff they're not suppose to....even with parental controls & spyware type stuff.  Again it's about being connected to your kid not just leaving them alone all day with the computer.  Once you've built trust and they understand and have maturity to handle making good decisions...maybe it's time to free up but not until you know for sure.   :)  It's also important to let them know that there is ugly, horrible stuff on the web and how to protect themselves but that conversation needs to be age appropriate of course not something that arouses their curiosity....cause you know the old sayin'...curiousity killed the cat.  Anytime you tell a kid no and then give them no reason or a bad reason it's going to cause problems and usually the kind that is behind your back.  Think about how it would feel if you wanted to go grocery shopping and your husband said no and then gave you no reason...ya...that's what it feels like to be a kid.

      Now let's do some REAL math (as in why you do math in the first place!) Lets say were talking about something like liquid measurement since we're baking and I let them measure things and then search an online game for measurement like this one.  See...math done in context to what it's for (no more why am I learning this questions).  You've made something yummy AND you had fun!

      My biggest point is that eduapps and edugames are just part of our fun arsenal of learning that we do during the day and not just "you need to play this so you can learn".  It's like TV or books...it's just part of the fun and not one thing is better than another to discover stuff.


      Now go play some games with the kids and have FUN!!



      Saturday, November 8, 2014

      How to Make An Apple Pie And See The World!





      Social Studies - Italy, France, Sri Lanka, England, Jamaica, Vermont

                                Italy
                                Lapbook for Italy
         
                                France
                                Lapbook for France   **you need to click on the France tab it downloads automatically so I
                                                                  link it here"

                                Sri Lanka

                                Flag of Sri Lanka
                
                                 England/  Great Britain
                                 Lapbook for England

                                Jamaica

                                Vermont
                                Lapbook for Vermont - take your pick :)

                           
                                Color FIAR Disk
                                Color Flag of Countries
                                

                                

      LA - Repetition - make ups stories with repetition, look at poems with repetition 
             Vocab -  Crossword puzzle maker
                           word search
                           make a game on Zondle
           
         
               

      Art -  Street Scenes, Apple Pie
               
                Make a Picture in the Style of the Artist
                Make an Apple Pie
                Make an Apple Pie online - Make sure you have an Ad blocker program!!

      Math - Liquid & Dry Measurement
                
                  Liquid Measurement Song
                  Liquid Measurement Game - Make sure you have an Ad blocker program!!
                  OJ Game - - Make sure you have an Ad blocker program!!
                  Gallons, Quarts & Pints - play with water
                  Make up Math Story Problems
                 
                  

      Science -  Salt, Cinnamon

                       Making Salt Crystals

                       Mighty Machines - Deep Underground

                       Salt Facts, History & Science

                        The Cinnamon Story

                        Introduction to Cinnamon Industry in Sri Lanka  - For older students  
                     




















      Monday, September 22, 2014

      Why We Don't Homeschool In The Morning Or How To Make Your Life Easier!




      I was thinking this morning about how nice our days are and then that made me think about when I first started...don't even want to tell you how long ago but let's just say Bush and not George W. (dubbya) was in office.  

      What I found was that EVERY so called "expert" or homeschooling mom would tell you (and still do)  is what I like the call "The Homeschool Mom Protocol":  get breakfast, do chores and then start school and be done by noon or 1 (lunch time).  I tried this...really...for years I tried this.  And every morning SUCKED!  I started thinking that if I had to fight like this to get crap done I'd rather send the kids to school and if you know me, that's pretty bad since I'm a HUGE proponent of homeschooling.  

      And then....



      I decided to not do anything but let the kids play first thing in the morning.....
          ......And our life began to look like what I thought homeschooling could be. 



      Then I got wild.....and I started asking the kids what they wanted for breakfast instead of me dictating what they were going to have.  We made out a list of things they liked and what days they wanted them (for my sake)..........and mornings got even better!  No fighting about not wanting oatmeal~

      And if that worked......I asked them what they liked for dinner and we made a weekly chart for it.  My cravat on this was it had to be easy or in a crockpot.....and our nights started becoming better.  Daddy's started coming home to a happy house.

      now we were on a roll.....we decided that they would do some math and english before lunch and then.....
       .....before dinner they'd do Science and Social Studies and more joy prevailed!


      my point???

      Stop looking to the "experts" to tell you how YOU need to run YOUR house.  If the kids are running around the house madly first thing in the morning, maybe you need to do afternoon school or even Gasp!!!  evening school!  Maybe you do all your work after dinner!!  Just reading that for some of you may seem like a relief and for others you are cringing right now.    If your kids are full of energy, maybe break everything into small pieces like,  just this one and now run around and come back for the next one or give me the answer while your jumping rope!  But either way...ask your kids what THEY would like to do.  How would it feel if your husband told you exactly how to vacuum or grocery shop or some other thing?  Wouldn't that be annoying?  You bet it would!  So why not let the kids tell you what they may like to do.  What's it going to hurt?  Probably nothing so why fight over it?? Seriously!


      Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting--and conflict.
                                                                                  NLT  Prov. 17:1

      A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.
                                                                                 NLT Prov. 15:17


      Now go!  Find your families' joy!



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