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Homeschooling

GraviTrax Review: Homeschool STEM and Physics

GraviTrax Review: Homeschool STEM Marble Run

Teaching Elementary STEM (Engineering!) and Physics at Home

We’ve had a lot of indoor time lately — and I’m not even talking about sheltering-in-place due to COVID-19! Since baby Lochlan’s premature entrance into the world seven months ago, our usual social outings have been stripped back a great deal. (Master Lochlan would rock a shirt with the phrase, “I was social distancing before social distancing was cool.”) Our family has always loved games and building sets, but this rainy housebound winter, we’re enjoying them even more than usual.

[Disclosure of Material Connections: I received a complimentary GraviTrax set from Timberdoodle in exchange for writing and publishing this review. All opinions — and photographs! ;) — are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.]

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Homeschooling

How to Homeschool for Free During a School Closure

100+ FREE Websites to Help You Learn at Home While Schools Are Closed (or Homeschool for the Rest of the Year!)

#COVID19edu Lesson Plans for School Closures

Is your child’s school closed for two weeks — or more? Do you want to continue your child’s education at home while classes are cancelled?  Maybe you are facing the challenge of online learning, e-learning, or virtual school, thanks to COVID-19, or maybe you’ve decided to homeschool temporarily until the crisis is over. If you’re intimidated by the idea of trying to find things for your kids to do while stuck at home, the lesson plans, free curriculum, and activity ideas in this post will help you have a fun, educational, and memorable time with your kids.

These (clutter-free!) digital homeschool resources are also ideal for worldschoolers, expats, full-time RVers, missionaries living abroad, tiny-house dwellers, or homeschoolers on a very low budget. You’ll need access to the internet, time to assemble all your resources, and consistent access to a computer, laptop, or tablet. But you won’t need a separate schoolroom, rows and rows of shelving, or tons of money! At the time of posting, all the resources here are free.

100+ FREE Websites to Help You Learn at Home While Schools Are Closed (or Homeschool for the Rest of the Year!)

This list of websites is organized by subject, in roughly alphabetical order. I tried to differentiate between longer content like curriculum and lessons and shorter content like enrichment, but this often subjective, since many resources can be used in more than one way. You’ll find apps, videos, songs, audiobooks, ebooks, printable books, interactive websites, games, and printable activities. I’ve tried to link to websites which offer many activities and resources, rather than link to blog posts with a single activity. Because of that, there are far more than one hundred lessons in this list. (ETA: Huge shout out to Marie of Faithfully Wandering for texting me so many of these links and resources!)

If I missed your favorite resource, or a resource you created, please do add it in the comments below.

Continue reading “How to Homeschool for Free During a School Closure”

Homeschooling

Weekly Recap: Waffles, Viruses, and E-Books

As tempting as it might be, none of us can ignore this novel coronavirus any longer. Schools are closed all around us — our county has more than half of Tennessee’s total COVID-19 cases. But here’s the thing —

Taking COVID-19 precautions is a simple way we can actively love our neighbor.

Writer Lore Wilbert reminds us, “It is not panicking to practice social distancing, avoid crowds, wash your hands more frequently and for longer. Even if you fall in the not-at-risk-of-dying category, over 20 million Americans ARE at risk of dying because their immune systems are weaker. We should love our neighbors by showing restraint and care in our own normal schedules.

The world will keep spinning if you opt out of the conference, stay home from church or other large gatherings for a few weeks…

It’s a sacrifice, but it’s not panicking.”

Continue reading “Weekly Recap: Waffles, Viruses, and E-Books”

Homeschooling

Homeschool Groups and Coronavirus / COVID-19

Homeschool groups and Coronavirus COVID-19

Has your homeschool co-op addressed hand-washing and reviewed sick policy recently?

We are a part of two educational enrichment communities.

One has already been doing the following for weeks:

  • implemented hand sanitizer stations at the entrances,
  • asked people to use these before entering,
  • reminded people to wash for 20 seconds with soap and water after touching face or using the bathroom,
  • sent home weekly hygiene reminders,
  • spoke directly with students about the COVID-19 situation,
  • addressed hand washing in class each week,
  • reminded people not to touch eyes, nose and mouth,
  • reviewed sneezing and coughing best practices,
  • required people to notify leadership if they have traveled internationally,
  • asked people to go home if they are symptomatic, and
  • asked people to stay home if they have any symptoms.

The other has not.

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Homeschooling

Weekly Recap: Journal-Free Nature Walks & the Cold War

Tornado Relief: 3 Ways to Help

Our week began with the devastating Middle Tennessee tornadoes. Here, just south of the city, we escaped the damage, but so many of our neighbors in Nashville and Cookeville were not as lucky.

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  • Samaritan’s Purse teams have arrived in Middle Tennessee (you can volunteer or donate).
  • Hands On Nashville is coordinating tornado relief efforts, too. I hear local chatter about this organization often, although I’m not personally familiar with them.
  • The Home School CARE Foundation, an arm of the umbrella school we use, is collecting funds for affected homeschool families and communities. Donate here, and select the ‘General Fund’ option.

Continue reading “Weekly Recap: Journal-Free Nature Walks & the Cold War”

Homeschooling

‘Natural World Workshop’ Gouache Painting Review

'Natural World Workshop' Gouache Painting Review

Our homeschool tends toward the colorful and the eclectic. We’re over here doing copywork in Prismacolor and jazzing things up by printing assignments on neon paper. Art projects, shelves of books in rainbow order, and primary-colored Lego bricks abound. Even when everything is tidy and cozy and organized, there is color.

In the summer, I take color for granted. But as the year creeps on and monochromatic gray takes over the landscape, I find myself craving color’s rich gifts more and more. Color brings hope, cheer, and has the power to transform.

Continue reading “‘Natural World Workshop’ Gouache Painting Review”

Homeschooling

Weekly Recap: Peredvizhniki, the Agora, and Lent

Weekly Recap: Peredvizhniki, the Agora, and Lent

What’s Happening in Our Homeschool?

Last week, we talked about fractal broccoli and Kampung Boy. What caught our eye this week? And what in the world — or who — are peredvizhniki?

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Homeschooling

Review of Apologia Science Journal (Zoology 2)

PIN IMAGE for Review of Apologia's Junior Notebooking JournalLife has been crazy. Here’s how we put elementary science on autopilot.

So, it’s been a little bit whole lot bananas around here trying to homeschool my bookish daughter with a high-needs infant in the mix — one who doesn’t tolerate baby carriers, has reflux, needs to be held in very specific ways, doesn’t nap unless he’s held, has mostly no interest in gripping toys, and is homebound (hello, preemie NICU graduate + flu season).

And at six months now since baby was born, advice like “just take a break” doesn’t fly. (Truthfully, that never works with my intense, academic-minded daughter anyway. Breaks in routine mean a breakdown in behavior.)

So as I planned our year, I knew dropping science wasn’t an option.

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