Planets Coloring Book

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Our solar system is amazing.  Studying it with kids leads to limitless possibilities.   To get your solar system exploration started, here’s a planets coloring book for you: The Planets in Our Solar System Coloring Book.  It covers the eight planets of our solar system.  It includes a handwriting line to practice writing the planet’s name, and also some interesting facts about each one. Fabulous Facts About The Planets While kids are coloring, you can learn even more with these fabulous planets facts. Mercury  If you wanted to stay up for one Mercury day, you would have to stay up for 176 Earth days. Even though it’s very close to the sun, it may have ice at its north and south poles. Temperature varies a lot on Mercury, from 797 degrees F to -279 degrees F. The sun sometimes rises twice in the same day, due to Mercury’s slow rotation and … Keep on reading

Monthly Lesson Planner

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Every now and then I think I need to get elaborate or fancy in my homeschool planning, but it never sticks for long . . . like less than a week.  I always go back to simple.  Because it works.  I plan one month at a time and use a single sheet of paper for that whole month.  I use the Monthly Lesson Planner. School teachers have to plan their every moment to make sure kids are occupied and finished with work at certain times, but homeschoolers don’t.  We can be a bit more free and easy with our schedules. So the planner has space for the activities, books, and worksheets that need to be accomplished, but it doesn’t have space for an hour by hour, play by play of the day. Also, we only have to plan the things that change.  My kids do the same math, grammar, writing … Keep on reading

King Alfred and the Griddle Cakes

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People of the middle ages, especially poor people, would have eaten griddle cakes with many meals.  It’s a simple flat bread fried on a griddle or even the hot stones of a hearth.  You can make and eat some while you listen to The Tale of King Alfred and the Griddle Cakes. The Tale of the Griddle Cakes King Alfred was King of England after the Romans pulled out and left Britain to its own devices but before William the Conqueror invaded England.  Alfred had to contend with Viking hordes descending on his country.  So even though he wasn’t a warrior by nature, he was a war leader out of necessity. At one point the battles had been going badly.  Alfred’s armies had melted away and he had to make his way across the countryside in secret, begging food and lodgings from his subjects.  He came across a poor hut … Keep on reading

A Tree For The Birds

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My kids have been playing in the snow every afternoon lately.  It’s been cold and blustery, but it doesn’t slow them down much. We’ve noticed that there is a family of little birds in our front yard too.  They were too shy to have their pictures taken, but they are flitting around here and singing their little winter songs. We decided to give them a little winter treat.  Yep, we’d trim a tree for the birds.  We started by making a popcorn and cranberry garland.  Then we gathered some pinecones and spread peanut butter all over them. And then rolled them in birdseed. We tied a string around each one so it could hang on the branches of our tree for the birds. Then we went to work on some birdseed ornaments.  We mixed up some birdseed batter. It’s made by combining 1/2 cup water, 2 Tbsp. corn syrup, 3/4 … Keep on reading

Layers of Learning Unit 3-9

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History: Enlightenment Geography: Korea Science: Light Art: Journaling Description Learn about the Enlightenment with finger puppet figures.  Play a Korean game called Yut.  Split light into a rainbow and create some optical illusions.  And get a little guidance as you learn about art journaling. All this and much more can be found in Unit 3-9. In each unit you’ll find a recommended library list, important background information about each topic, lots of activities to choose from for kids of all ages, and sidebars with a bunch more ideas including Additional Layers, Fabulous Facts, On The Web, Writer’s Workshop, Famous Folks, and Teaching Tips. Printable maps and worksheets are included at the end of each unit and may be printed as often as needed for your family or class.   More From Layers of Learning        

Cauliflower Cream Soup

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I know this Cauliflower Cream Soup involves cauliflower, which usually is a harbinger of doom, but trust, me your kids will not only eat it, they will devour it. The secret is blending the veggies to oblivion. Ingredients 16 oz bag of cauliflower, frozen or fresh 1 c. carrots, diced 1 medium onion, diced 6 c. water 3 T. chicken base or bouillon 4 c. milk (we used 2%, use the fat content of your choice, even skim will turn out a creamy soup) 1/4 c. corn starch salt and pepper to taste Cauliflower Cream Soup Directions First I have to give a caveat.  I never actually measure when I cook much of anything and especially not soup.  So as I wrote down the ingredients (after I made and ate the soup and decided it was up to standards for sharing) I was estimating in my head, especially the liquid … Keep on reading

Plains Indians Teepee

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The plains Indians and Indians of the Rocky Mountains used teepees for at least part of the year. We made our own, non-authentic Indian teepee out of canvas and long poles. I cut out four triangles of canvas and had the kids paint it. We looked up some authentic Native American symbols and used them on our teepee. Next I sewed the four triangles together, creating sleeves for the poles as I went. The door is a circle cut out of the canvas and reinforced with a zig zag stitch. I left the door attached at the top and it has ties so you can roll it up and tie it when you want it open. Next I put the poles in to the sleeves and lashed them at the top with rope. A fun project to add spice and make memories of your study of Native American Peoples. Additional … Keep on reading

Homemade Bread

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This is a basic homemade bread dough recipe you can use to make a loaf, rolls, or pizza crust.  It’s easy, quick, and works every time.  One of the things I like is that the liquid and flour are perfectly balanced from the beginning so the dough mixes up with the right consistency right away.  You probably will not need to add any extra flour to the dough before you form it into the loaf.  This recipe makes exactly one loaf of bread. 4 c. flour, white, wheat, or a mixture of the two dash salt 1 1/2 c. hot tap water, not boiling 2 T. yeast 2 T. sugar 6 T. vegetable oil or melted butter First mix the flour and salt. Then in a 2 c. liquid measuring cup mix water, yeast, and sugar and let sit for about 5 minutes until the yeast gets bubbly. Add the … Keep on reading

Hot Air Balloons

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Hot air rises.  If you trap the hot air, you can get it to lift a balloon into the air.  Here is how to make a tissue paper hot air balloon. Gather Your Supplies You need paper clips tissue paper school glue thin wire wire cutters scrap of light cotton fabric wax & matches or lighter scissors pencil poster board ruler Cut Out the Balloon Shape Layer four pieces of tissue paper on top of one another, fold them all in half and use paper clips to secure the pieces together on the folded side.  Then cut a balloon shape similar to the one below through all layers of tissue paper.  It doesn’t matter if the shape is just so, it just needs to be a general balloon shape and as large as your paper will allow.  At the bottom you should leave 4 inches of “stem” for the bottom … Keep on reading

Middle Ages Marionettes

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Here is a picture of our kids with a marionette style puppet from when we were studying the Middle Ages. Back then, traveling entertainers would move from market to market or stop in at castles and do shows and entertain people. One of the ways they would do this was with puppet shows. How To Make A Marionette Our marionette is painted to look like Robin Hood. He has ten body parts: head, torso, two upper thighs, two lower legs, two upper arms, and two lower arms.  We left his feet and hands attached to the lower extremities to make it a bit simpler.  To make him we used paper (newspaper works well), masking tape, and paper clips.  His parts all together look like this: Except for his head, each body part is just a rolled cylinder of paper.  We made his torso of three inch wide strips of paper. … Keep on reading