Thursday, August 31, 2023

North America Resources

 As we go through our Around the World studies, I thought I'd share some of the resources we used (or other ones I found but we didn't get to). 

North America page in the Barefoot Books World Atlas Sticker Book
I set out of our little Schleich and Safari LTD animals from North America. They hung out in the playroom all week with us.
Rocky Mountain animals puzzle from the Momentous Mountains set
North American page in his Flag Sticker Atlas
North American Spread from Beginning Geography
North American Animal 3 Part Cards and  North American Wildlife Toob
North American Tray Puzzle and GeoPuzzle (forgot to get a pic of that one)
We also looked through the North American pages in our various atlases (you can see which ones we use here). This spread is from the Lift-The-Flap Picture Atlas
His favorite map was this biome one from the Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth
Some other North America Books

North American Countries Units:

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Kindergarten Science: Heat and Temperature

This year, we are taking a two pronged approach to science. We are doing activities to meet the Next Generation Science Standards for kindergarten, but we are also learning about biomes to go along with out Around the World Homeschool studies. I've done my best to meld the two so it feels mostly cohesive.

To start us out, we learned about temperature and heat this week. The main takeaways I wanted him to have were that temperature is a way to measure heat (higher numbers mean hotter and lower numbers mean colder) and that things like blankets and coats do not make their own heat, but help trap in heat from our bodies. This concept will help when we talk about things people and animals do to stay warm in cool climates. Another concept we focused on, but that was less important for him to fully understand is that heat always moves from hot to cold.

We read Temperature: Heating Up and Cooling Down as well as a couple sections about heat in our kids science books.
I let him play indoors and outdoors with an infrared thermometer. I had him predict which things he thought would have high numbers and which things would have lower numbers.
We also did a pretty classic mitten experiment. He had three thermometers (we used these), one on a table, one in a glove and one in a glove with his hand. We waited a couple of minutes and recorded the temperatures for all three. I have a quick lab sheet for this for anyone interested.

Art Tie-In
This week we tied our art into science by doing a temperature painting, learning about warm and cool colors. We followed this video from Lolly Arroco


Monday, August 28, 2023

Favorite Books at 14 Months

 I've posted a LOT about why I've taught my babies to read and how I've taught my babies to read. Since I know I am always on the prowl for new reading material for my kids, I thought I'd share some of what my current baby loves to read.

Juniper is now 14 months old and while she was my slowest to warm to learning to read, she now LOVES looking at words on Little Reader, watching Meet the Sight Words and having me read to her. We read dozens and dozens of books a day, but she is, by far, my pickiest baby when it comes to books (and everything else). 

  1. Roarr! - This book is unique in that it has slides, but makes sounds when you slide it. She loves it, but the downside is that it is short, so we end up reading the same thing again and again and again...
  2. Jungle Sounds - This is another sound book, but a lot more complex. It goes through different sounds in the jungle, including animals and things like rain on the leaves. I am planning on getting her Garden Sounds and Seashore Sounds for Christmas.
  3. Who's Swimming in the Ocean? - We have two in this series that we were able to find second hand and she loves them both!
  4. Pop-Up Peekaboo! Unicorn - Ok, I have a love hate relationship with this book. Juniper adores it, but it is a little delicate for little hands. It has to live on a higher shelf so she doesn't have full access.
  5. Noisy Farm: My First Touch and Feel Sound Book - a favorite for both Juniper and Archer
  6. In the Jungle - As you open and close pages, the pictures "move" in this book. Juniper loved it so much, I ended up getting her In the Ocean and In the Night. All three currently get read daily.
  7. Llama Llama Wakey-Wake - She loves all of the Llama Llama board books we have, so did Archer.
  8. Zoom Zoom Baby! - While this is the current favorite, Juniper loves most of our Karen Katz flap books. Some are so well loved that there is tape on most of the flaps... 
  9. Can You Make a Happy Face? - I discovered Rookie Toddler Board Books when Archer was little and we are fortunate to have quite a few now. Juniper loves them and he did when he was little. I like that most of them have nice clear text and pictures. We read several daily.
  10. Hand Hand Fingers Thumb - We've had several Seuss books over the years, but this particular one has been a big favorite of all three of my babies. 
  11. The Very Busy Spider - Juniper likes a few of the Eric Carle books, but this one is the favorite and gets read the most often. I think because of the animal sounds.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

How to Keep Your Children Engaged when Homeschooling


Image credit

*This is a contributed post

You may assume that keeping a child's attention would be easier when homeschooling, versus when they are in a school setting. While in many scenarios this may be the case, there will still be challenges to overcome and consider. If you are currently homeschooling your child, or are thinking about doing so, then here are several tips on how you can keep your children more engaged when it comes to learning.

Utilize online learning tools

Thanks to the advancements in technology, there are now many online tools that have been built specifically to help engage with and teach children about a variety of different subjects. If you plan to homeschool your child then you should consider looking into, and using these online learning tools as they will not only make your life easier, but they have the potential to greatly increase your child’s engagement with the subject you are teaching them. From fun and interactive videos found on YouTube to lesson plans created by Learn Bright, you have a huge selection of free, and valuable online learning tools to choose from and explore.

Take regular breaks

In a regular school setting, although lessons are split up to help give the students time to mentally rest, and recharge, often the time given is still not adequate or often enough. At home however, you have the power, and choice to allow your children to take as many breaks as they need, so as to help them concentrate better during the time you wish to have their attention. After all, if you can teach your child for only 1 hour but with their full attention and engagement, the information that they absorb will be much more valuable to them than if you were to teach them for 3 hours and have little to no engagement or interest from them. During these breaks, you could allow them to read from books in your homeschool library so that they can still gently improve on general knowledge and reading skills.

Acknowledge how your children learn best

When you decide to homeschool your children, you allow yourself to teach your kids in a way that best suits you, and them. For example, some children learn better by watching and listening, while others will excel by doing. If you can acknowledge how your child learns best then you can utilize this information to help keep them engaged and interested while they are learning.

Explore the subjects that your children enjoy

Although you will need to produce a variety of subjects for your children to learn about when homeschooling, a great way of keeping the engagement levels high is by presenting them with as many subjects that they enjoy, or get excited about as possible. For the subjects that they have less of an interest in, you could always try to plan other lessons around them, or afterward, as an incentive to complete the trickier lessons.

There are a lot of different ways in which people homeschool their kids, and ultimately it is down to your own personal preferences in how you do it. However, if you are looking for ways in which to keep your children engaged, why not consider these top tips?

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