Sewing a hat for daddy becomes a hands-on geometry investigation. Sounds improbable, doesn’t it? But that is exactly the magic that homeschooling brings to your child and you. Last week the kids took a good portion of the week to prepare for a father’s day extravaganza. It struck me halfway through Sunday that in fact this father’s day was more celebration than any of the Hub’s birthdays have been to this point. Such is the gratitude of my children of late. It may just be a phase, but I hope not. So last week I sat down with Doodle Bug Red to help her designRead More →

Agora is a free printable game for 2-4 players. The game is fun, set in ancient Greece, and lets players practice basic math skills. The graphics on the playing cards are detailed and beautiful. The instructions are clear and well laid out. Overall it makes for a really fun family game and if you print the cards on cardstock, it is really easy to cut them out with scissors, and you are ready to play! Here is what the game designer says about his game: “Welcome to Agora, the ever-changing Ancient Greek Marketplace. It’s a wide-open space filled with chaos and excitement. And it’s whatRead More →

Lately I have come to fully understand the meaning of the phrase: Just breathe. Right now it is evening and sitting at my kitchen table, the summer melodies of crickets waft in the window. Tonight is the first night this summer that I have noticed them. Every day I enjoy my husband and my children, my friends and family, and those precious quiet times when everyone in the house is asleep and I can just sit and think. I am finding a quiet, inner peace comes from this renewed focus on what is important in my life. It is a quiet within my soul thatRead More →

I have been trying for a year now to find the right logic curriculum for my kids now that they are in the “logic stage” of their education. I tried samples of recommended curricula and realized that none of it seemed to work for them. When my kids were toddlers, and come to think of it even as babies, I always spoke to them with a full complement of adult vocabulary. I never understood the baby-speak that some people use with their kids. Plus, truth be told, I am a chatty person. Just ask my beleaguered Hub. I can go on for hours. And withRead More →

Classical Education methods seemed to me to be rather rare. In our local area, I know of absolutely no one who uses Classical Education in their homeschool. Yes, I do live smack dab in the middle of Silicon Valley in Northern California but I thought with all the years of homeschool outings, get togethers, park groups, and classes, I would have run across one family besides ours. Especially since I have been looking for like-minded parents. But no such luck. And yet within the last few months I have seen signs that Classical Education methods might be on the upswing: Susan Wise Bauer is startingRead More →

How can music passed down from kilt-wearing shepherds of long ago have influence on us today? I have been spending a lot of our homeschool day focused on music with my kids this year and I think I may have the answer. When you have a kid whose whole reason for being is to listen to, play, and compose music, you spend a lot of time trying to tie what most interests her to what you need her to learn. We tie music to math (note values and fractions). We tie music to physics (frequency and sound). And, we tie music to history. It isRead More →

I discovered a book produced by the San Francisco Exploratorium in our local library called “Math and Science Across Cultures: Activities and Investigations from the Exploratorium” that is crammed with great activities for kids ages 10 and up. The activity we focused on, “Counting Like An Egyptian. Math in Ancient Egypt,” is part math and part history and is easily accessible for your child if they are at the pre-algebra stage and enjoy reading. Basically your kids become amateur archeologists for a couple of hours: deciphering hieroglyphics from photographs of ancient tablets, and then learning about the Egyptian calendar system and how to add, subtract,Read More →

As my children grow in attention span and interest I am finding myself continually refining and adjusting our homeschool day. The latest shift is one worth sharing, I think. I have enlisted the help of the great minds of a given subject to teach my children. We use their writings, which I still read to them aloud as it helps build their vocabulary and drives their imaginations. We use their diagrams and pictures and methods. And we use audio tapes and video of these great thinkers. I have found that nearly every great thinker who has lived since the invention of motion pictures can beRead More →

As I began preparing for the next school year, I realized that sharing the forms and reminder (helper) pages that I made for my kids binders might save another mother, like you, the hours of writing and creating and thinking I just spent. The material is for children learning using a classical method of education, specifically using Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise’s Well-Trained Mind book as a guide. Overview of the Download: Forms: These are forms to use in the binder described in “The Well-Trained Mind” by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessica Wise for children in the logic stage of learning (5th through 8thRead More →

Wow. I finally figured out why our homeschool days are unpredictable. Some days are about as enjoyable for me as cleaning out the sewer line (something the Hub and I recently tackled) and other days homeschooling my twins are the sweetest hours I spend. Luckily most of our days are closest to the latter, but it is a source of continual consternation to me why each day is so unpredictable. The biologist in me recognizes that people are so completely complex that there certainly must be no way of controlling the outcome of our little homeschool day. But the physicist in me is convinced thatRead More →