Harry Potter Halloween Feast

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Our annual Harry Potter Halloween Feast is a huge highlight of our autumn.  We usually hold it on a night other than Halloween because it is an event by itself, and leaves us plenty of time for the trick-or-treating and regular festivities of the 31st.  Here is a rundown of the basics of our feast: The Feast Decor:   A purple tablecloth with a black and orange table runner, black dishes, and Halloween napkins.  Sometimes we use black goblets, and other times these eyeball fancy drink glasses you can see above, made by gluing wiggly eyes on to dollar store … Keep on reading

Pop Bottle Ecosystem

How to make a Pop Bottle Ecosystem.

We are going to show you how to make a Pop Bottle Ecosytem to help your kids learn about systems and how life is interconnected.  We’ll also share a little lesson on responsibility at the end.  But first . . . What Is An Ecosystem? A system is a set of interconnected processes that depend on each other for their function.  An ecosystem is a particular interconnected zone where life exists.  It includes the air, the water, the soil, the animals, the plants, and the bacteria in that zone.  The space an ecosystem takes up depends on how a person … Keep on reading

Tom Turkey, A Turkey Craft and Gratitude Poem

Tom Turkey

For some Thanksgiving fun, read “It’s Tough To Be A Turkey” and then make your very own Tom Turkey craft.  You may even want to memorize the poem. It’s Tough To Be A Turkey It’s tough to be a turkey Who’s plain old boring brown. Please count your many blessings And turn my life around. A feather for each blessing Will make a brighter me. And every color will reveal How grateful you can be. To make Tom, you’ll need to grab the printable Tom Turkey.  You’ll also need a variety of colors of paint chips, crayons, scissors, brads, and a … Keep on reading

Layers of Learning Unit 3-6

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Layers of Learning Unit 3-6 is here. This unit in the Layers of Learning Program includes: History: Thirty Years War Geography: Spain Science: Science of Sound The Arts: Baroque Music Make a graphic showing the two sides of the Thirty Years War and some of the major players using printables from this unit.  Play a “running of the bulls” game of tag when learning about Spanish traditions.  Make your own set of mathematical pan pipes as you learn about the science of sound.  And get a guided tour of Baroque music in a series of activities that explain what made … Keep on reading

Persuasive Writing

Persuasive Writing

Persuasive writing can seem a little intimidating at first, but if you understand some basics of what to include, it can be really fun for kids to try.  Simply stated, it’s any writing that is trying to convince someone of something.  We use persuasion all the time everyday – when you’re convincing Mom to let you have that cookie, or when you want your sister to go for a bike ride with you, or when you don’t think that punishment is fair and you want to negotiate a new one.  The question is, can you convince me in writing? Persuasive … Keep on reading

Easy Cheesy Manicotti

Easy Cheesy Manicotti

I’ve loved manicotti since I was a little kid, but I HATE, HATE, HATE to make it.  Individually stuffing all those shells drove me crazy, especially after a long day on the homeschool front.  By dinnertime I’m tired, and I want dinner to be quick and easy without resorting to fast food. Several years ago I decided I was done stuffing manicotti and started making it this cheater way.  It’s not exactly the same, but it has all the same flavors without all the insane fuss.  The trick?  String cheese.  Instead of making a fancy schmancy filling, you just fill … Keep on reading

4 Apps For Homeschoolers

4 apps

This summer I discovered 4 apps for homeschoolers (and everyone else) that have streamlined my life.  They’re not really revolutionary.  Recipe organization, to-do lists, and planners have been around forever.  These techy versions just smooth out the bumps and I’d like to introduce them to you. Habit RPG The first is called HabitRPG.  RPG stands for “Role Playing Game”.   It’s a simple program in which you enter things on your habit list, you dailies list, and your to-do list.  You check them off when completed and earn points toward the next level and earn coins you can use to … Keep on reading

Layers of Learning Unit 3-5

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Layers of Learning Unit 3-5 is here. This unit in the Layers of Learning Program includes: History: Renaissance England Geography: Tanzania & Kenya Science: Mammals The Arts: Shakespeare  Make spoon people puppets of Good Queen Bess, her friends, and her enemies.  Read about the two sides of Oliver Cromwell and his place in English history then decide for yourself whetehr he’s a villain or a hero.  Make a Serengeti shadow box while you learn about Tanzania and Kenya.  Use our printable dog anatomy worksheet to learn how mammals have similar internal parts.  And read and study Hamlet, step by step, … Keep on reading

How To Track Grades and Transcripts for High School Homeschool (and a free Google Sheet template to do it in)

homeschool transcripts and grading

You can keep track of younger kids grades if you want to (or if your state requires you to) but in high school you must track your student’s grades.  The high school grades are necessary for college admissions, military admission, and sometimes for jobs, even years after graduation.  Here we’ll explain how to track grades and transcripts for high school homeschool.  We’ll also share a Google Sheets spreadsheet (scroll down for the link) we formatted to do the grading calculations for you.  The file contains pages for two semesters (you can easily add more) and a page for the transcript … Keep on reading

How To Use Evernote In Your Homeschool

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We started using Evernote as our homeschool planners this year for all the kids, from the six year old to the high school senior.  It’s been extremely effective already in helping and teaching the kids to be independent, in keeping me on track, and in utilizing all the resources on the web.  I will now teach you how to use Evernote in your homeschool. What is Evernote? Evernote is a tool used to organize information.  It’s like a virtual shelf of binders, which are full of dividers, which are stuffed with papers containing notes.  It’s very simple and sort of … Keep on reading