Phew, a new year! Are you ready? Flipping the calendar page this year has been crazy. Our January has been an absolute blur, and not in a good way. (Go away, germs. You’re no longer welcome here.) With everyone at my house being in various states of illness and quite frankly disrepair, independent activities for each person have been a lifesaver.Continue reading “8 Reasons You Need IQ Six Pro, A Popular Logic Game”
[Disclosure: Sonlight provided me with a History / Bible / Literature D: Intro to American History, Year 1 of 2 package, and compensated me financially for this post. I have used many Sonlight products in our homeschool prior to reviewing this product. All opinions — and photographs! ;) — are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.]
If there’s one thing I’ve excelled at in our homeschool, it’s procrastinating over choosing a US History curriculum.
As a third-culture missionary kid born abroad, teaching US history has never come naturally to me. When I was young, American history seemed worlds away, and even as an adult, I often still feel like an outsider.
I have zero patience for dry legalist curriculum which holds the Founding Fathers on faultless pedestals, doesn’t consider both sides of a story, and ignores the sorrowful brokenness of our nation’s foundations. (Second-generation homeschoolers, you know what I’m talking about!)
But I knew my own kids couldn’t just skip learning the complicated history of our nation. Eventually, we had to dive in. Having spent my early childhood years in a socialist republic without the freedom of speech, religion, or assembly, I’ve learned that no matter how complex US history is to navigate, we must never take such invaluable freedoms for granted. So I needed to find a complete American history curriculum, especially after my own previous unsuccessful attempts to piece together a literature-based US history course always fizzled out.Continue reading “Sonlight’s US History Curriculum: Review & NEW HBL D Updates”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.]
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.”