Susan Wise Bauer is a minor celebrity in our household. We have every book she has written thus far, including two excellent works of fiction that are more for me than for my kids. Several years ago the kids began a timeline that stretches around our dining room wall near ceiling level which includes notes, events, drawings, and even bits of origami all to help them learn and classify the major events of history (per suggestions in Susan Wise Bauer’s how-to homeschool tome). Yesterday our copy of her newly published “The Story of Science” book arrived in the mail and we jumped in with bothRead More →

My kids love games. Games are fun; games seem like non-learning activities; but games can be crammed with gobs and gobs of education. One of my favorites is Ellen McHenry’s Digging Up Greece (available as a free pdf download from her basement workshop website). It does take a little bit of effort to prepare the game and printing in out onto card stock is probably best, but after I assembled everything I had my kids help color the game board. And as a bonus, I deconstructed some sheet protectors to use with tape as ‘poor man’s lamination’ for the game board and we used itRead More →

My kids and I ran across a wonderfully fun and engaging lecture given at the Royal Institution in London by a Maths Professor extraordinaire: Matt Parker from the Queen Mary University of London. You can watch it on YouTube using the link below but I warn you that once you start you will want to watch the entire performance, so make sure you have an hour to spare with your kids. I really think that any age child above about 5 or 6 and definitely kids in the middle and high school years would love this. Happy Math Monday!Read More →

My kids are both voracious readers. Our house is mostly made up of books, and my kids have read nearly every one of them. I used to think that books published for children were fair game for my kids to read, as there was no possible way that I could keep up with what they read as they devour book after book. I was so very, very wrong. My daughter read a few of the Guardians of Ga’hoole stories the last year she was in public school. I was so busy for much of that year, shuttering down my market research business to a maintenanceRead More →

Ok. It is time to come clean about science and scientists. The best science is fun. Playing with “stuff” is what makes all that time worth enduring between your initial hypothesis and a final set of results to analyze. As a gradate student working at NASA, I hardly got the chance to play and have fun. I think driving through the military checkpoint to get to the NASA building in which I worked really set the tone for the day’s work. There was a sign at the entrance that I can paraphrase with, “if you hear someone say stop then you better stop because ifRead More →

Happily, literature and history were not my primary interests when I was younger and in college. If I had been a liberal arts student instead of a math and physics geek, I surely would not have begun the long path of self-education so that I might be prepared to teach my children in the mysterious ways of literature and western culture once they reach their high school years. And I would probably not run across Wes Callihan and his western culture courses. Roman Roads Media produces a western culture series, featuring Wes Callihan, aimed at the high school-aged, classically educated child that is well worthRead More →

I realized today that whenever the north wind blows, our homeschool day gets creative. We start up an “Aunt Soup” (named after my sister-in-law who taught my kids at a young age the creative art that is making a hearty delicious soup using whatever you can find in the ‘fridge. Then there is baking. Today we used a few old apples, leftover frosting as a sweetener, and some cinnamon to patch together good-smelling afternoon cake. One child figured out a way to pet our guinea pigs and instantly put them to sleep and the other decided to dive into the giant box of stickers andRead More →

Homeschooling seems to naturally make you creative. Maybe it is because you spend so much time focused on activities for your children. Or perhaps it is because crafty activities are perfect to keep your hands busy while you are waiting for your children to complete a worksheet, or write a paper, or practice some math. I have a friend who recently began selling creative supplies: colored papers, stamps, ribbons, and washi tapes. These products are all great quality items. Ti adds value to her product sales with cheerful, personalized service and advice. If you don’t quite know what to do with something you bought, justRead More →