Fun hands on poetry exercises

Poetry Fun: 5 Creative Exercises to Get Kids Writing Poetry (and liking it)

Looking for a fun way to introduce poetry in your homeschool? Also want to sneak spelling, penmanship, vocabulary, antonyms and parts of speech into the play? Here are some creative poetry exercises that will fit the bill. Revised rhymes: Get out a book of nursery rhymes or short poems (try e.e. cummings or Emily Dickinson) […]

Fall Leaf ID inforgraphic

Fall Leaf ID Guide

Here’s a wonderful infographic to help you and your kiddos identify 60 different trees by their fall leaves! Infographic Developed by MJJSales.com The poster (courtesy of MJ Sales Umbrellas, which has a surprisingly helpful blog) helps kids learn about simple versus compound leaves, palmate versus pinnate leaves, and lobed versus not lobed leaves (see the […]

Free Printable Weather Tree for April

Free Printable Weather Tree for April

Here’s a fun way for kids to track the weather and sneak in some math!  Have them color a weather tree this month, with each color representing a different kind of weather. I make up a weather tree for each issue of Wild Kids Magazine, a free monthly nature magazine for kids and their grown […]

Around the Horn Gold Rush Game

Print Out the FREE Around the Horn Game to Learn About the Gold Rush!

Here’s a fun way for kids to learn about the Gold Rush and have some fun family time along with it.  My husband developed the game “Around the Horn” to teach our kids about the Gold Rush and the little-known route that many Americans took out west — by ship.   He explained: When gold […]

Free 700-page middle school chemistry course available online

Free 700-page middle school chemistry course available online

Looking for a comprehensive chemistry course for the middle school level? The American Chemical Society provides their entire 691-page curriculum for free as a PDF download or online resource. Middle School Chemistry: Big Ideas About the Very Small is designed to be an 8-10 week course, with each lesson requiring about 45 minutes to one […]

Free 9th Grade Animal Biology Curriculum Fat Dogs and Coughing Horses

Free 9th Grade Animal Biology Curriculum

Here’s a great freebie, courtesy of Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.  They offer their 9th grade curriculum, “Fat Dogs and Coughing Horses,” absolutely free online. They say: The 9th grade biology curriculum is already full and teachers often feel pressured by trying to cover everything during the course of the school year. With that […]

BirdSleuth free printable book guide

Free Printable Bird Guide

Here’s a wonderful freebie for your nature studies.  The Cornell Institute of Ornithology offers its 12 page BirdSleuth Explorer’s Guidebook absolutely free to download and print. The full color booklet includes lots of great stuff for identifying birds, including some fun activities and worksheets to fill out. Pages include: Wake up your ears What’s a […]

FREE printable botany plant ID cards

FREE Printable Botany Plant Quiz Cards!

Here’s a great freebie for nature studies and botany lessons.   Go Botany, a fantastic web site that has all kinds of plant identification tools, offers these printable cards.  They say: Practice your identification skills with these handy plant quiz cards! Even when you cannot get outside or sample live plant specimens, you and your […]

What's That Feather? Great Tools and Books to ID Unknown Feathers

What’s That Feather? Great Tools and Books to ID Unknown Feathers

We checked out a fabulous book from the library yesterday and it got our youngest daughter, Fiona, excited about finding and identifying feathers. Plume, written and illustrated by Isabelle Simler, was New York Times selection for Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2017 and you’ll be able to see why.  I just find it enchanting and simple, […]

A Year of Forest School

Review: A Year of Forest School

Forest schools and other outdoor learning environments are becoming increasingly popular, not just in the United Kingdom but in the U.S. and around the world. A Year of Forest School: Outdoor Play and Skill-building Fun for Every Season, by Jane Worrell and Peter Houghton, gives parents and teachers ideas for nearly 40 seasonal activities suitable […]

March Nature Studies

March Nature Studies: 10 Wonderful Ways to Learn with Nature in March

Looking for some fun ways to work nature studies into your homeschooling this month?  Here are all kinds of wonderful ways to use nature to work science, math, writing, art and more into your learning. Whether you live out in the country or are stuck inside an apartment this month, there are still ideas to […]

Easy homeschooling on the road

    Our family just got back from a week out of state. We didn’t bring piles of textbooks or worksheets, but all five kids packed lots of learning into that week. The kids managed to learn geography, presidents, American history, genealogy, civil rights, drivers’ education, physics, phonics, nutrition, genetic testing, ghosts, high school exams, […]

Sensory Integration tricks to help kids focus -- from pre-K through high school

Sensory Integration tricks to help kids focus — from pre-K through high school

It can be very hard for some children to sit still and pay attention, even into the teen years. While it’s a common misunderstanding that this is always a sign of an issue like ADHD or that the child is not trying hard enough, there are actually many reasons kids can have trouble concentrating. Among […]

50 Fabulously fun ways for kids to practice their handwriting

50 Fabulously fun ways for kids to practice their handwriting

Think handwriting practice consists of kids writing C-A-T on oversized stationery lines again and again? Think again! From cake decorating to scratch-n-sniff kool-aid words to feather quills to invisible ink, there are oodles of ways to make handwriting a treat for kids. Here are 50 fun ways kids can practice their printing and cursive handwriting […]

Cold weather science: Make a cloud on the ground!

Cold weather science: Make a cloud on the ground!

Here’s one of those science experiments you can only do when it’s very, very cold — vaporize hot water! We first got this experiment from Mad Science of Minnesota , who posted it to their Facebook page in 2011. A fun thing to do in extreme cold is to throw hot water into the air. […]

Don't toss those turkey bones! Easy Thanksgiving science

Don’t toss those turkey bones! Easy Thanksgiving science

  If you’re going to be having turkey this Thanksgiving, here’s a great way to make use of those bones afterwards. Make bendable bones! This simple science experiment teaches kids the importance of calcium — and is also just really cool. Here’s what you need: A jar large enough to hold a chicken or turkey […]

Weather trees to maple syrup candy: Science and nature fun for January

Weather trees to maple syrup candy: Science and nature fun for January

It may be snowy and cold, but there are still lots of opportunities for science and nature studies this month. Here are five great ways to do some science and nature studies with your kids in January. Start a weather tree. Kids can use weather trees to track the weather for the year, either simply […]

SDSU offers excellent free K-8 biology curriculum

SDSU offers excellent free K-8 biology curriculum

Here’s another great free science curriculum that homeschoolers can take advantage of. San Diego State University has developed a full curriculum of biology lessons for prospective or practicing teachers, complete with experiments, discussion questions, teacher guides, and more. Note as of 7-17-14: The links to this curriculum are currently not working at the SDSU site. […]

Should you homeschool through the summer?

Should you homeschool through the summer?

One of the great things about homeschooling is that you can do it in the ways that fit your family’s needs. You can choose how to homeschool, what to use and when to do it. That said, what’s the best way to approach the summer months? There are many good reasons to continue homeschooling through […]

What is lapbooking and why is it so great for homeschooling?

What is lapbooking and why is it so great for homeschooling?

Have you tried lapbooking in your homeschool yet? This delightful, hands-on activity is a wonderful way to combine crafts with science, history, literature, handwriting, math and more. Lapbooks use file folders as the basis for homemade project books that are laid out in a creative manner and fit in a child’s lap. You can think […]

ACS offers free high school energy curriculum

ACS offers free high school energy curriculum

Here’s another helpful science resource that’s free online. The American Chemical Society offers a free high school level curriculum on energy that contains lesson plans, handouts, experiments, video links and more. The curriculum can be viewed online or downloaded as a 152 page PDF file. ACS says: Energy Foundations for High School Chemistry is a […]

Shrunken heads to Wild Watching: Science and nature fun for October

It’s a brand new month, and one that’s brimming with opportunities for science and nature activities. Here’s five fabulous ways to take advantage of the season this month. Take part in the Handbook of Nature Study’s Signs of Autumn Art/Nature Journal Study. Look for signs of autumn like dry grass or weeds, birds overhead or […]

Seed pod birdfeeders to weather wagers: Science and nature ideas for November

Seed pod birdfeeders to weather wagers: Science and nature ideas for November

It’s a brand new month, and there are lots of new opportunities for science and nature study with the kids. Here are five fun ways to incorporate these subjects in your homeschooling this month. Make seed pod and pine cone bird feeders. We’ve all seen the pine cone and peanut butter type of bird feeder […]

Thanksgiving Science! Ten ways to play with science this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Science! Ten ways to play with science this Thanksgiving

Ever wonder what makes a turkey timer pop up? What’s the difference between a yam and a sweet potato? How can you make bones rubbery? I’ve rounded up ten fun ways to incorporate science in your turkey day. Learn with turkey timers! Here’s a simple explanation of the science behind turkey timers. (Extension: take apart […]