Five Lessons To Take From Waldorf In Your Homeschool

I talked recently about lessons you can take from Montessori to enrich your homeschool.  Waldorf schools are another great source of ideas.  Here are five Waldorf principles that appeal to many homeschoolers. 1.  Young children don’t need academics.  Waldorf schools don’t start any sort of formal teaching (including teaching reading) until age 7, much like […]

10 Sneaky Ways to Improve Your Child’s Math Skills

Math seems to trigger some ancient fight-or-flight mechanism in some otherwise brilliant children. This irrational fear of math can cause kids who don’t feel good at the subject to avoid doing it, leading to a snowball effect of more avoidance, falling farther behind and feeling more panic about not understanding it (and more avoidance). Luckily, […]

50 Fun Ways for Kids to Get Great at Spelling

All five of our homeschooled kids are now great spellers, but they weren’t always great. They learned in different ways that suited them, but in the end they all ended up becoming excellent spellers — without worksheets, drills or a curriculum. How? It was easier than I thought it would be, once they learned in […]

Review: The Science Spell Book

We have a new favorite science experiment book in our homeschool! I was lucky to preview an advanced copy of The Science Spell Book: 30 Enchanting Experiments for Kids earlier this year and immediately fell in love with it. It’s is one of my favorite children’s science books that I’ve read, and I’ve read a […]

Math Games Lab for Kids: a Great Book for Hands on Fun

Who needs to stick to a boring old math curriculum? There are some really great books for hands-on math fun. Math Games Lab for Kids: 24 Fun, Hands-On Activities for Learning with Shapes, Puzzles, and Games by Rebecca Rapoport is definitely a fun one to check out with your kiddos. I read an advanced reader […]

Artsology Uses Games to Teach Kids About Famous Art

Have your kids played on Artsology yet? This free site uses a wide range of games and activities to teach kids about famous art and music, from Georgia O’Keefe flower puzzles to Salvado Dali hangman to virtual graffiti tagging and jazz musician name scrambles. This is a site we visited with our older kids years […]

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 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 […]