STEM education has been firmly in the spotlight for a long time now, with no signs of wavering. Learning materials promising to infuse science, technology, engineering and math into your homeschool are everywhere. But without actually opening the box and trying the products, it can be hard to know if pre-packaged STEM projects are truly worthwhile, or if they’re just really expensive toys masquerading as educational. Let’s take a look at one popular STEM toy and see if it’s worth the hype.Continue reading “Fischertechnik E-Tronic Review: Easy STEM Elective for Middle/High School”
Tell me you’re a homeschooler without telling me you’re a homeschooler. I’ll go first: we just completed an intestine puzzle. There are some activities which just scream “homeschooler”, you know what I mean? Assembling the internal organs of the human abdomen in jigsaw form is definitely one of those moments.
[Disclosure of Material Connections: I received a complimentary Dr. Livingston’s Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzle – the Human Abdomen from Timberdoodle in exchange for writing and publishing this post. All opinions — and photographs! ;) — are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.]Continue reading “Dr. Livingston’s Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzle Review – the Human Abdomen”
“Do you want to hear a song?” my now-ten-year-old asked a random stranger the summer before kindergarten. “I know a song. ‘Immune system, with your lymph system / will your enemies attack / With the white blood cells, the leukocyte cells / that will destroy and turn them back.'”
Oblivious to the expression on the startled shopper’s face, she continued much-too-loudly, “…a germ is like a cucaracha! That would love to live inside ya!” The stranger vanished into the clearance racks at Target, and my singing scientist, perched inside the red shopping cart, kept belting out a symphony of lymphatic facts.
[Disclosure of Material Connections: I received a complimentary copy of 100 Things to Know About the Human Body 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.] Continue reading “Non Fiction Matters: “100 Things to Know About the Human Body” Book Review”
In addition to spending a small fortune on coffee beans and regularly bathing in coffee, I also maintain an exceptionally large collection of board books, distributed throughout the house.
I keep a few in each bedroom, set some aside to distract wee Lochlan while I host the livestream discussion for our virtual co-op, place a few of the more tattered books in the playpen, and store the rest in the living room.
Board books — like other books — enjoy a central place of prominence in our home. They’re kind of a big deal around here.
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.]
Life 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.
Do you use graphic novels in your homeschool? Like Robin Hood and his merry band of thieves, graphic novels can be a bit of an edgy subject in conservative home education circles. But they’re amazing! And there are so many good options. (Keep reading to see my list of favorite graphic novels for your homeschool.)
A few years ago when Aveline was five years old, she quietly colored her entire face green with a marker, then hid in the entryway planning an ambush. When my husband came home after work, she jumped out and screeched, “What is your business in Sherwood Forest, papa?!” (Sugar and spice and everything nice, right? This is also how I learned Crayola washable markers are not washable on the skin.) From the day she was first introduced to Robin Hood and his gang, she’s been in awe.
[Disclosure of Material Connections: I received a complimentary copy of The Adventures of Robin Hood 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.]
Using games as teaching tools is such a popular practice in homeschool circles there’s actually a term for it: gameschooling. Have you heard of it? While gameschooling might conjure up images of a large family gathered around the dining room table, it doesn’t always look like that. There’s a place for single-player games, too, especially logic puzzles which teach deductive reasoning skills. My daughter particularly loves these sorts of challenges!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary Chroma Cube 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. Aveline’s sweatshirt is compliments of Primary.