Homeschooling

Games for Kids to Play Alone: Walls & Warriors Review

Games Kids Can Play Alone - Walls & Warriors Timberdoodle Review

It’s hard to know which one-player games are worth playing, isn’t it? Games kids can play alone are a great way to foster independence and critical thinking in your homeschool, but how do you sort through all the games designed for solo play and pick out the best ones?

I tend to navigate towards single-player logic puzzle games, as they’re a great exercise in thinking skills. Puzzle games require careful thought, planning, and thinking outside the box. And if you have a particularly rigid-thinking child like I do, logic puzzles are a good way to practice the flexibility and creativity needed to solve problems.

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Homeschooling

The Most Hilarious Way to Teach Homeschool Physics

The Most Hilarious Way to Teach Homeschool Physics with the Wile E Coyote Physical Science Genius Books from Timberdoodle

Here’s a little homeschooling secret — a confession, really. Science at our house doesn’t usually involve experiments. There, I said it. There are so many great hands-off ideas for studying science, though. I’m not anti-experiment — that would be a weird stance to take, ha! — but I just don’t have the bandwidth to carry out hands-on science all the time!

Fortunately, I am able to actively supplement elementary science and nurture scientific literacy in many different independent ways. One fun idea? Highly-illustrated science books. An even more fun idea? Hilarious science books.

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Homeschooling

Board Books are Just as Important as Shakespeare

Board Books are Just as Important as Shakespeare - Here's Why

You know what I’ve done during this pandemic? I can tell you what I didn’t do. I didn’t write a book, learn a new trade, renovate a house, become fluent in another language, or read Anna Karenina (I’m on page 77 of 963).

I didn’t do any of those impressive things “they” say you should have done during lockdown.

What I’ve done? I’ve read a lot of board books.

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Homeschooling

Great Wall of China Project for Kids: Mini Bricks Review

pin image for Great Wall of China Mini Bricks Timberdoodle Review

Want to build a model of the Great Wall of China…

  • as a hands-on history project,
  • as a middle-school architecture unit, or
  • as part of studying Chinese history, culture, and geography in your homeschool?

My daughter has been attending Saturday Chinese school for years, so in conjunction with her ongoing Chinese language learning, I try to integrate cultural studies into our regular homeschool routine whenever I can.

Building a Great Wall of China model fits right into our studies, and is the perfect hands-on history project.

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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

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.”

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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.

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Homeschooling

Weekly Recap: Kampung Boy and Fractal Broccoli

What’s Happening in Our Homeschool?

This week, I polled you on Instagram stories and asked if you’d be interested in reading an informal weekly recap of our homeschool — a brief blog post highlighting books we read and resources we particularly enjoyed that week. 90% of you — well, 90% of you who voted — said yes. (And a couple of you, prompted by Aveline’s book reviews, asked if she’d include any of her opinions in the weekly recaps. You’ll have to read and see…)

This format is really old-fashioned blogging, isn’t it? The headline didn’t give you five reasons why you should click, and what I’m writing here isn’t hyper-focused on answering your pain point in three easy steps. By all accounts, this kind of informal writing is what the blogging experts say not to do. But through what I’ve observed in my blogging-since-2002 escapades, it’s that the personal, transparent, unpolished conversational elements have largely vanished from the blog scene. So let’s try it, shall we?

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