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Elections for Kids: How to Make a Kids Voting Booth

Posted by on 7:08 am in Early Elementary Years 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade, History, Later Elementary Years 4th and 5th grade, Middle School | 1 comment

Want to set up presidential primary elections for kids? Here’s how to set up a kids voting booth with a downloadable packet with everything you need for the 2016 U.S. primary elections (it’s free).  This activity is for elementary and middle school students. Hold a voting day on or around the same day as your state’s primary election.  (more…)

I Want to Quit Homeschooling

Posted by on 8:30 am in Homeschool Toolbox | 3 comments

I wrote this post a couple of months ago and am just getting around to publishing it. Can you relate to days like this?


 

Sometimes homeschooling looks like a family learning around the table. And sometimes it looks like Mom crying in her car outside of McDonald’s with a diet coke, scrolling through Facebook and texting a friend. 

There’s no perfect Instagram picture for that, but the hashtag #homeschoollookslikethis which I started using a couple of years ago, is meant for this, too.

This is the space I am in today.  (more…)

5 Awesome Solar System Educational Apps

Posted by on 5:58 am in Early Elementary Years 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade, Later Elementary Years 4th and 5th grade, Middle School, Science | 1 comment

These 5 STEM educational apps make studying space awesome for elementary and middle school kids. Our family has tried a lot of different apps (my oldest child loves anything that combines technology with the subject he’s learning about) and we’ll tell you what keeps us coming back to these five.  (more…)

Cool Experiments: Balloons and Fire

Posted by on 6:12 pm in Later Elementary Years 4th and 5th grade, Middle School, Science | Comments Off on Cool Experiments: Balloons and Fire

Can you pop a balloon with fire? Of course! Can you NOT pop a balloon, even though it is nearly touching fire? Yes! We love cool experiments and this one is so easy to set up.

cool experiments

Watch this quick video to see what supplies you will need and what happens when you hold an air-filled balloon over a candle flame, followed by a water-filled balloon.  (more…)

Book Activities for The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Posted by on 8:08 am in Books & Literacy, Later Elementary Years 4th and 5th grade, Middle School, Nature | Comments Off on Book Activities for The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

If you haven’t gotten your hands on The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate or the sequel,  The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate, by Jacqueline Kelly, stop reading this right now and go get them. I’ll wait. It really is that critical.

My kids have proclaimed these two books their favorite read alouds ever, and that says something because I have read a lot of books out loud to them in my 11 years of parenting and our 6 years of homeschooling.  (more…)

How to Homeschool Gently When Life Takes Over

Posted by on 2:43 pm in Homeschool Toolbox | Comments Off on How to Homeschool Gently When Life Takes Over

Sometimes, life just happens. Something consumes us and makes our homeschooling routine hard, even impossible. You have a baby, you’re moving, there’s a health crisis, a money crisis, a death in the family,  the holidays.  Sometimes three of these things happen at once. 

Homeschooling doesn’t get done, routine is nowhere to be found, the to-do list unchecked or unmade, the kids have  screens in front of their faces for too many hours in the day. It happens. 

But we’re mommas. We worry. Even when consumed with multiple crisies, we worry about our kids learning. 

We wonder how we will fit it all in. The answer: We won’t. And that’s okay. The children will learn anyway. The routine will be back eventually. 

how to homeschool

How to Homeschool Gently When Life Takes Over

Here are some ways that we have homeschooled gently through the big stuff.  (more…)

Simple and Fun Crafts for Kids ~ Meaningful Advent Activities

Posted by on 7:15 am in Homeschool Toolbox | Comments Off on Simple and Fun Crafts for Kids ~ Meaningful Advent Activities

The holiday season has arrived, but with it has my resolve to simplify. To spend meaningful time with my family in a joyful, stress-free way. Have you seen the list of  Advent Calendar activities I wrote in response to my own panic about doing all the things at Christmastime? I feel so much better having written that list. I hope you will, too.

advent calendar

I love fun crafts for kids to do during Advent. But I don’t want to go to the craft store with the crowds to get supplies. This activity uses supplies most  already have (or ones that can easily be substituted). Don’t have any wire? Use an ornament hook or a paperclip. Don’t have an herb garden? Use ornamental grass or snippets of evergreen from the bottom of a pine tree, even the Christmas tree in your house.  (more…)