Weekend Links

“To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks.” ~ A.A. Milne

Weather Activities for Kids: Rain or Shine

Written by Simple Kids editor Kara Fleck

At this time of year, the weather seems to change almost daily. This fluctuation makes weather watching especially fun. Every day there is something new to discover!

Observing the Weather

As long as the conditions are safe to be outside, the kids and I try to be outdoors at least once a day. Sun, rain, or snow, our main method of weather observation is getting out there and experiencing it!

While we’re outside, I encourage the kids to think about what we are experiencing with our senses.  We make a note of the temperature and I like to give them some gentle prompting to make observations on their own.  This year my third grader is learning to read a barometer as well.

Some Thoughtful Questions to Ask:

  • What does it LOOK like outside?
  • What does the air FEEL like on your skin?
  • What do we HEAR?
  • What does it SMELL like outside?
  • What should we WEAR on a day like today?

Keeping Track of Your Observations

There are many different options for a homeschooling family wanting to record their weather observations. Today I’m sharing with you two fun methods that our family has used.

[Read more...]

Homeschooling with the Seasons of Life

Written by contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom

With the coming of fall, we tend toward stories and learning activities about apples and pumpkins. A study of Columbus or the Pilgrims naturally fits well during this time of year. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, there’s no shortage of learning to be done.

But there’s another kind of season that fits naturally into our homeschools: the seasons of life.

Life, Death, Sickness, Health, Richer or Poorer — they’re seasons we all walk through. As we certainly can’t ignore them, they provide learning opportunities, whether we are purposeful about them or not.

Life Happens

I remember hearing a mom lament her family’s past school year that had seen them walk through both serious and terminal illness with family members. She felt guilt over her children’s lack of academic instruction that year.

[Read more...]

Learning Math Through Play

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

So-called “educational” toys line the shelves of every toy store. Each gadget promises to stimulate some important quality in your child–and often includes a bunch of bells, whistles, and batteries to go along with it.

This oversaturation and planned obsolescence is not good for anyone–our children, our already full homes, or our planet.

In Simplicity Parenting, author Kim John Payne reveals that middle class children he counseled in England showed the same levels of mental and emotional overload as poor, displaced refugee children he had worked with in Southeast Asia. The reason?

Too much–of everything: books, toys, activities, lessons, and stress.

At the same time, we want helpful resources in our home–those that spark imagination and further educational goals for our children. This is especially true when it comes to a subject like math, which may not always elicit enthusiasm in the traditional (i.e. worksheets and tests) format.

Are there tools we can choose for our homeschool that inspire math study in our young children–without cluttering up our homes? Here are a few I’ve found.
[Read more...]

Weekend Links

“It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense.” ~ Robert G. Ingersoll


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