Category: Homeschooling

Netflix…For Homeschooling? Absolutely!

I am not one of those parents that sit my kids in front of the TV all day and let them be however, I am also not on the other extreme who doesn’t let their children have any TV time at all because I feel technology can be a useful educational tool. Besides entertainment, which is what most people use TV for, television can be useful especially with a little known service named Netflix. My oldest is almost 10, and he thoroughly enjoys learning about history from documentaries such as The Men Who Built America and science facts with shows like Planet Earth and Frozen Planet. They are great ways to have a textbook essentially come alive! My son was not a kid that particularly loved to read so for him, soaking up all the informational text in an animated way, was crucial to him learning as well as he does with Netflix. And at not quite $9 a month, it really is a steal!

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Here is a list of our favorite titles that we have either already used or will be using for either or both my homeschoolers*:

Science

Sid the Science Kid
Bill Nye the Science Guy
Planet Earth
The Blue Planet
Human Planet
Frozen Planet
Wildest Islands
Frozen Planet: an epic journey
Human Planet: behind the lens
Frozen Planet: on thin ice
Our Planet
Schoolhouse Rocks: Earth
Tesla: Master of Lightening
NOVA: Decoding Neanderthals
NOVA: Bigger than T. Rex
NOVA: Emperor’s Ghost Army
Life
The Wildebeest Migration

History

The Roosevelts-An Intimate History
JFK: A President Betrayed
Last Days in Vietnam
Navy SEALs: Their Untold Story
NOVA: First Air War
NOVA: Rise of the Drones
NOVA: Ground Zero Supertower
First Man on the Moon
Henry Ford
Hitler and the Nazis
Ken Burns: Prohibition
Ken Burns: The West
The Pyramid Code
Marco Polo: One Hundred Eyes

*Please note that some of these titles are not suited for a younger audience such as elementary school aged kids. Some documentaries are more suited for high schoolers. Please use your best parental judgement šŸ™‚

So as you can see there is aĀ tonĀ of amazing resources right at your fingertips from something your family is already paying for and using! How we implement it is if there is a day we need to fill, or a super busy day with doctors appointments or anything else that comes up last minutes, I will simply find a video that correlates to what we are already learning and let them watch that as a nice supplement. For some reason if there isn’t one, then I give my child(ren) a choice of what they would like to watch to help encourage their love of history and science. Sometimes there is a subject that my son has been really eager to learn about in history, and we simply haven’t reached that unit yet. Why not let him dive right in!? That is the beauty of homeschool after all, you do not have to always go ‘in order’ for every subject. Besides, it’s fun to let them be excited about what they want to learn and be able to easily provide that for them.

So the next time you need a little something extra for history or science, go ahead and let them splurge with some educational screen time. And don’t forget to watch it too…they really are great movies!

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Hello Busy Life!

Wow, you guys! It has been pretty much pure insanity over at my house for the last few months. I’m going to give you a little recap and share some fun photos of what has been happening and catch you up!

First up we had Advanced Green Belt testing for my oldest son.

Passed his Advanced Green Belt test
Passed his Advanced Green Belt test

My daughter is on a Tiny Team at Gymnastics and she bumped up to Level 1…and soon Level 2 next month which means she gets to compete (I swear I need to clone myself).

Practicing handstands outside.
Practicing handstands outside.

This mama got a perfect score and was awarded anĀ Excellence Award for Research Writing from my college Western Governors University-love that school, for a paper I wrote titled: Gifted Education: The Leisurely Evolution. As a side note, I wish they would have written that instead of “Task 1”. Oh well, I’ll have to write them a suggestion ticket, lol.

My award. #proudmoment
My award. #proudmoment

I have been applying for graduate school…MFA in Creative Writing! I have been busting my tail getting all of my admissions papers in, personal essays in, critical essays, AND a creative manuscript…into their hot little hands so I can see if I am already good enough to get into an writing program to make me better. Craziness.

Homeschool has happened..mostly. My oldest is taking the full amount of credits he can at the co-op program by our house and he is loving it. He is excited about going because he chooses what he takes and when. That leaves him time for all the in depth math and science he wants to do. It’s a win for everyone. My daughter is still doing her preschool co-op class once a week, which I teach in every other month. My tot…he just comes along for the ride!

Messing with the numbers...do you see which ones were switched? :D
Messing with the numbers…do you see which ones were switched? šŸ˜€

 

Art time!
Art time!

 

The big kid working on math.
The big kid working on math.

 

Learning multiplication with a checkers board and glass beads. Improvising!!
Learning multiplication with a checkers board and glass beads. Improvising!!

Let’s see….I have been making and selling my latest fun craft project: Waldorf Hand Kites. They are made of natural, unfinished birch and pretty double sided satin ribbon…all USA made materials. And they are gorgeous (if I do say so myself!). I will be selling them on etsy very soon along with another blogging mama over at EcoFriendlyMamaUSA.com!

USA Made Handmade Waldorf Hand Kites. I love these so much!
USA Made Handmade Waldorf Hand Kites. I love these so much!

And lastly, we have been enjoying some amazing family time together. We have been trying to especially get outside when the rare peeks of sun happen, which is happening more and more now that we have hit mid-March! Blossom trees are in full bloom around here <3

Gorgeous blossom trees!!
Gorgeous blossom trees!!

 

Bye for now!

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GIRLS CAN! Crate Review

You know those ah-mazing subscription boxes that have been coming out? Well, I got the opportunity to review one called Girls Can! Crate and wanted to share it with all of you!Ā Below I will explain the kit, the activities, and a little about the company. And stay tuned till the very end because for everyone reading this blog post, you get a special offer at the end!

Our kit arrived in a a recyclable box with everything we are going to need to get started!
Our kit arrived in a a recyclable box with everything we are going to need to get started!

Girls Can! Crate is a subscription box that focuses on important women in history and includes activities for you to do with your child! They include EVERYTHING you need. Besides a pencil and water for the paint, which I always have on hand, I didnā€™t need to go out of my way to purchase or find anything. I will tell you about the companyĀ a little later but for now, I wanted to show you what we got in our box.

We got a box that had the women: Frida Kahlo, Lois Mailou Jones, and Mary Cassatt who were famous artists, in our kit. This was absolutely the perfect box for my 4-year old daughter as she is in love with anything that has to do with art. Here is a look at the inside of the kit we received:

Everything that came in our Girls Can! Crate Kit
Everything that came in our Girls Can! Crate Kit

Inside my box there was a welcome card that addressed the grown up and told about their mission, and the importance of empowering women and supporting girls. Next there was an Activity Book, which has the story part of each historical women, in addition to some activities. There are four art activities in this kit, which you could do one per week as an art history activity. Our four activities included stain glass, flower crown headband, learning about primary and secondary colors, and a self-portrait activity. I was really excited to get started on these, as was my daughter so she did one right away!

The first activity we did was the stained glass activity where we learned about about Lois Mailou Jones!

Cutting her 'glass' for her stained glass art piece.
Cutting her ‘glass’ for her stained glass art piece.

One of the things I like best about these activities was that, while my daughter did need some help with a few components, the activities were truly designed for kids to be able to do a lot on their own. Here she was able to practice her fine motor skills, learning about shapes, and creative thinking. Here are a few moreĀ of our lesson:

Putting together her stained glass.
Putting together her stained glass.
All Done!
All Done!

Our second lesson was learning about Frida Kahlo. This one was especially fun for my daughter because she enjoys playing make believe and dress up, so this had an extra special component for her.

Putting together her flower crown.
Putting together her flower crown.
As you can see, she loved it so much, she wore it around at co-op this day. She got a lot of compliments from both the high school kids and the moms!
As you can see, she loved it so much, she wore it around at co-op this day. She got a lot of compliments from both the high school kids and the moms!

The last painter we learned about was Marty Cassatt. We did a primary/secondary color mixing activity which was the perfect lesson leadingĀ into the final project.

Color mixing activity where we learned about primary and secondary colors.
Color mixing activity where we learned about primary and secondary colors. (See the baby toes? Lol)

The final project, and probably my daughter’s absolute favorite, was the self portrait painting. Again, Girls Can! Crate provided everything we needed from the paints, paintbrush, and even the canvas itself!

My daughter painting her self portrait.
My daughter painting her self portrait.

My Thoughts…

I will say that this crate is truly remarkableĀ and I thoroughly enjoyed how thoughtful and well laid out the kit was. It provided me with my initial tools in the ‘tool kit’ which contained scissors and markers, which I get to keep for future kits. They provide this in your first kit as almost all the activities will need either or both of these items. Everything was clearly labeled, and I did not have to go searching for items as each activity was neatly packed in its own bag. I felt all of the activities were most certainly appropriate for their suggested age of 4-8 but, I feel that if you had an advanced 3 year old it would work for them as well as older kids if you chose to do extension activities. I also wanted to point out that while this is geared mainly towards girls, I think that boys would absolutely get so much out of this kit as well!

Another great thing about this kit is that it comes with four activities. As a homeschool mom, that could mean that my kids are doing an art history enrichment lesson once a week…and the best part is that it’s already prepped. The written material is already there, the hands on activity materials are already there, and it can easily be taught to multiple ages and both genders to make your life even easier!

About the Company

The company was founded by four women who wanted to inspire young girls and empower them. From their site:

“Our GIRLS CAN! CRATES are thoughtfully designed by experts in order to encourage a love of science, math, engineering, and technology, foster creativity, self-expression and curiosity, and support literacy development. Even more important, though, our GIRLS CAN! CRATES are designed to empower girls to grow more fearless, just and loving!”

In addition, Girls Can! Crate donates 10% of all proceeds towards nonprofit organizations that work to empower girls. When you go to check out with your subscription choice you get the option to choose from 3 nonprofits: GEMS, Days for Girls International, and SheHeros. You can read more about them here.

I also want to mention…they do everything in house. They do all their planning, writing, testing, putting the kits together, EVERYTHING in house. So each box is truly put together with love and perseverance. How amazing is that?!

Here’s your treat!

I know this was a bit long but I just had to show you all the fun pictures I took of my kit and us doing the activities. I wanted to point out that this would make an excellent gift…Valentines’ Day, Easter, and Birthdays are all coming up and I don’t know about you, but I am done and over with the Christmas crazy of toys! This would be an incredible gift for these special occasions! You can access the subscription options here,Ā they start at 25.95 and have several options for you to choose from. Girls Can! Crate was generous to give us a 20% off coupon code, towards your first crate of any subscription! Just enter DOMTEACHER20 to get your savings…but hurry because it’s only good for 30 days!!!

Have any of you triedĀ aĀ Girls Can! Crate before? What did you enjoy most? I want to hear all about it!

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Number Matching Tutorial

I have been actively creating some fun learning games for my 3 year old to play with, while her brother and I work on lessons. Normally she joins us on learning whatever we are learning on some level however, there are some things such as long multiplication that a three-year-old is simply not going to be able to do. For these lessons I bring out ā€œThe Preschool Bucketā€. In this bucket are many choices of letter/word games as well as number/counting games that she can do on her own. Below I am showing you our Number Matching game and a tutorial on how to do it!

Number Matching Tutorial

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1. You will need a few supplies. I have red felt, a piece of scrapbook cardstock paper, a permanent marker, and a small glass cup for measurement. Iā€™d say the cup makes my circles about 3-3.5ā€³ in diameter.

NumberMatchingGame

2. Take the glass cup and trace circles in a bowling type pattern and number them. Take the glass cup and do the same on the felt. Add numbers on one side and the number word on the other side. Cut out your felt circles.

NumberMatchingGame

3. And thatā€™s it! This is what it looks like when it is all finished! You can have your child match the numbers to numbers OR for an added challenge, you can have them match the number words to the numbers. For storage I simply throw the felt pieces in a baggie and clip it to the scrapbook paper with a clothespin and throw it in our Preschool Bucket!

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4. My little preschooler playing!

Hope you have enjoyed this tutorial! I will be publishing several more easy preschool learning tutorials for you to make for your toddler/preschooler!

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