Posts Tagged ‘Homeschooling’

Back to Homeschool Tips

Saturday, August 21st, 2021

back-to-homeschool-tips

My aim today is to get you revved up about starting a new homeschool year, so I will be sharing with you some back to homeschool tips.

One of my top tips to get kids excited about the upcoming homeschool year is to spread out all the hands-on, fun activities you will be doing over the school year on a table or on the floor. Whenever I did this, which was every year near the end of the summer in anticipation for the new school year, my kids would get so excited about what we were about to study. For example, I would collect all kinds of things pertaining to a specific period in history. If it was medieval times, I would have lots of medieval stuff.

In literature, we might be studying Around the World in 80 Days, so I would have some items from different countries from around the world that we would be studying. This way my kids would be excited about world travel, and they couldn’t wait to start the school year.

The same was true for the science concepts we would be studying. One year we studied botany, and we had so many plant-related items! We even got some carnivorous Venus flytraps and other cool plants in a new terrarium, just to spark interest in plants.

Here is a super short video, explaining my favorite back to homeschool tip:

If you want examples of this, watch me spread out lots of hands-on goodies for different time periods:

Another idea for back to school is to make a fun pencil cake:

Make sure you have all your essential homeschool items. Here is a list of all the items that I love to have on hand for homeschooling:

And if you are stressed out about homeschooling, take a look at some ways you can de-compress while having a successful homeschool year:

Have a great new homeschool year!

Best of the School Year | Homeschool High School

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

best-of-the-school-year

Today I will be sharing with you the “best of the school year,” including some of our favorite activities, field trips, and curriculum that we used for homeschooling high school this year. This will include unique and interesting field trips for geography and astronomy, and some fun psychology skits. Even through the quarantine, I will show you some activities that we did to tie our homeschooling to current events.

Best of the School Year | Homeschooling High School

Watch the following video to hear about some of the most memorable highlights for our 2020 homeschool year:

The math curriculum we are using is Teaching Textbooks because there is no teaching or grading required by the parent, since all of it is done on the computer. This was especially helpful for higher math.

If you want to see all of the curriculum books we used for all the other subjects this year, I wrote a blog post earlier this year to show what we would be using:

high-school-homeschool-geography

We made up our own geography, which I show you in the video. We made a scrapbook for each country of the world, coloring a map, writing a paragraph about the country from a video about that country, and gluing down a flag of each country. We went on a field trip to Canada, and while we were there, my daughter spent a day immersed in the culture of North and South Korea:

high-school-homeschool-astronomy

High school astronomy was also incredibly fascinating. We attended a star party put on by the local Astronomy Society. During that time, we identified many constellations, the rings of Saturn, and the moons of Jupiter. We attended a workshop put on by a NASA representative, where we saw a real space suit, Shuttle EVA suit glove, small rocket steering thruster, a Martian meteorite, etc. We looked through a special telescope during the day to look for solar flares and sunspots, and we went to a planetarium. If you would like to see the entire set of books we used this year, here it is:

high-school-psychology

Probably my favorite subject to teach this year was psychology. We used 7 Sisters homeschool curriculum, and we brought it to life in this set of videos and blog posts:

Near the end of the school year (in April and May), while in quarantine, we did a lot of gardening:

We also cooked and baked many delicious foods for home economics. Here is a British cake my daughter made:

British-cake

We went on many walks, too, in order to get out of the house and get some exercise for PE. Here is a goofy walk that my daughter and I went on:

This school year is one of my favorite years of homeschooling. Yes, it can still be fun to homeschool high school!

back-to-homeschool-giveaway

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:
$200 to spend on homeschooling curriculum at Rainbow Resource!

I’ve teamed up with a group of homeschool bloggers that would like to bless a few homeschool families this year.  We will be giving THREE families $200 to spend at Rainbow Resource Center to buy curriculum, resources, and supplies for their homeschools.

To enter for your chance to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below.  Now I know this is quite a few entries, but each of these bloggers has generously chipped in their own money to make this giveaway possible, so I hope you will take the time to do all of the entries.  And hey, the more entries you do, the better your odds are of winning!

Giveaway ends July 31, 2020 at 11:59pm ET.  Must be at least 18 years of age.  Must be a resident of U.S. or Canada to enter.  Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn.  By entering this giveaway, you agree to be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers (see the Terms & Conditions on the Rafflecopter form for the complete list).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

High School Astronomy for Homeschoolers

Monday, October 7th, 2019

high-school-astronomy-homeschool

I have been researching high school astronomy for homeschoolers for quite a few years, and it wasn’t until this year that I found a curriculum that looked beautiful, was beefy but not too mathematical, and that was understandable. I finally found it! I ordered the majority of these from Master Books, but my dad already had several of the books and DVD’s. The large Hubble coffee table book we got from Costco.

Here is a list of books that we got:

  • The Stargazer’s Guide to the Night Sky (includes planisphere inside back cover)
  • Survey of Astronomy: 9th -12th Grade Teacher Guide
  • Our Created Moon
  • Taking Back Astronomy

The four books listed above are all you need for a full year of high school astronomy. Besides the huge Hubble book, I’ve also added:

  • The New Astronomy Book
  • The Privileged Planet (DVD)
  • Our Created Moon (DVD)
  • The Heavens Declare (set of 3 DVD’s)
  • Binoculars, and hopefully a used telescope at some point

Unboxing High School Astronomy

To see the books up closer, take a look at this unboxing video, where I show you the beautiful photos and describe what I am doing for astronomy this year:

High School Field Trips for Astronomy

Just during the month of September, we have already gone on 5 astronomy field trips! The first one was an astronomy workshop at a local library, where the speaker presented many different astronomy activities that would be taking place in my area. I asked him where the nearest observatory was located, where the best place to see the Milky Way was, and when the next star party was scheduled.

nasa-space-suit

On a different day we went to a planetarium, where we leaned back and observed outer space from a domed ceiling. I’ve always love planetariums because it makes me feel like I’m an astronaut in outer space, just floating and looking at the nebulae and planets.

solar-flares

We looked through telescopes at the sun during the daytime, to try to find solar flares and sun spots. On the day that we were looking, there were no sun spots or solar flares, but it was still cool to look through the expensive equipment to see the sun without hurting our eyes. The Spokane Astronomical Society had a booth at a local festival, and they were getting the public interested in astronomy by having their telescopes set up.

sun-spots

At night we attended a star party, which was also hosted by the Spokane Astronomical Society. We were able to find basic constellations, the north star, and some planets. We actually got to see four of the moons of Jupiter, and a red stripe going across it! (I’ve never been able to see that in real life before, so it was definitely cool.) And we also saw the rings on Saturn!

nasa-space-stuff

Our family also attended another workshop at a different library, presented by a NASA representative. The workshop was entitled “Space Frontiers.” We saw a space suit, Shuttle EVA suit glove, small rocket steering thruster, Martian meteorite, and other artifacts. Joe Bruce was the speaker, and he had witnessed four space shuttle launches and the launch of Space X Falcon Heavy from the Kennedy Space Center. He described what it was like, from the perspective of someone who was there!

star-party

We have learned so much high school astronomy so far and have experienced it! I’m always astounded at how much fun I have homeschooling my kids, and this year is no exception. Hands-on is the best way to learn about a subject, and we plan to go star gazing many more times this year.

Field Trip to British Columbia, Canada

Monday, September 30th, 2019

field-trip-to-british-columbia-canada

So my grandma wanted to go up to Canada, and this time she decided to haul me and my mom along. Here’s how it went.

Actually, not much of the trip had to do with my grandma at all, although I did see her a bunch, but for the most part, we split up: grandma to hang out with her brother, and the rest of us to have a sunny day out. Lunch was fish and chips by the shore of Steveston Harbour. The birds really liked when I randomly threw french fries everywhere.

fish-and-chips

For some reason, the wind decided on being weird. So whenever we went back to the car to get the kite, it would die down, and when we’d come back, there it would kick up again. Hmm. Oh well, the wind can’t foil our plans to explore the salmon cannery!

steveston-harbour

A while back, the cannery closed down, but later on some people came to clean it up and make it into a museum. Joke’s on them, because the previous owners of that place didn’t clean up the fish guts before leaving. So there was five-year-old salmon in every cranny of the machines! I don’t envy whoever had to clean it.

salmon-cannery

Coming into the place, there was a life-sized wax scene with a boat and fishermen. All around the place were little pieces of history that were interesting to look at.

picnic-at-cannery

There were different machines for everything in the cannery, and apparently no safety features, as some of the workers lost fingers. I also heard that if anything was caught in the machinery, someone had to run across the building to yell to someone to flip the off switch, and by then, what was likely your hat got caught off your head and is now torn up and has messed up the gears and chains. Congratulations.

Other than that, the machines looked pretty cool. Oh yeah, there were fish scales permanently embedded in the walls and ceiling. At one point, scales were dripping down like a stalactite. It was a lovely learning experience. Well, I’ve probably grossed you out enough…

fish-cannery-scene

We got to see labels of tons of different cans from each decade, even cartoons to advertise them. But it really made me realize how racist everyone was back then. It was a bragging right on labels if it was canned with “100% white labor”… yikes! Because most of the time, Japanese women were hired for the fish gutting.

fishing-boats

The drive home (and driving throughout Canada) was quite pretty actually, and made me realize how lucky I am to live in Washington, which is literally an extension of Canada. The landscape included hay farms that wrapped their bales in white tarps and scattered them around randomly, making the whole place look like a marshmallow farm… Well, anyway, I’m back, and I enjoyed my time there.

PS. This blog post was written by my daughter Rachel.