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.

Continue reading “Great Wall of China Project for Kids: Mini Bricks Review”

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.]

Continue reading “GraviTrax Review: Homeschool STEM and Physics”

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

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.

Continue reading “Review of Apologia Science Journal (Zoology 2)”

Homeschooling

Homeschooling with Graphic Novels (like Robin Hood!)

PIN IMAGE: Homeschooling with Graphic Novels

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.]

Continue reading “Homeschooling with Graphic Novels (like Robin Hood!)”

Homeschooling

Homeschool Robotics: Review of Robotis Dream 2.0 (Levels 1 and 2)

Homeschool Robotics: Robotis Dream 2.0 Review, available at Timberdoodle
Puzzled over how to teach robotics in your homeschool? Want to introduce your kids to more STEM topics, but not sure exactly how to go about it? Although robotics can be an intimidating topic to explore, it doesn’t have to be.

Disclosure of Material Connections: I received complimentary Robotis Dream 2.0 Level 1 and Level 2 kits 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 “Homeschool Robotics: Review of Robotis Dream 2.0 (Levels 1 and 2)”

Homeschooling

Chroma Cube: A Single-Player Game for Gameschooling

PIN IMAGE Chroma Cube: A Single-Player Game for Gameschooling in your homeschool

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

Continue reading “Chroma Cube: A Single-Player Game for Gameschooling”

Homeschooling

Why Use Science Audiobooks? (An Apologia Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures MP3 CD Review)

Pin image for Why Use Science Audiobooks? An Apologia Science Review of Zoology 2 Audio MP3 CD, by the Oaxacaborn blog

Do you struggle with the available options for teaching elementary science? Over and over, I hear from overwhelmed parents who are stuck trying to figure out how to fit science in to an already-full homeschool schedule.

Maybe that’s you.

Maybe science is the one subject which keeps getting pushed down the priority list, and tends to eventually get left out altogether. Maybe you have the idea that science needs to be heavily hands-on, with dramatically impressive experiments all the time. Realistically, you can’t be the mad scientist too, on top of all the other hats you wear. And maybe you even feel a little guilty about that.

Continue reading “Why Use Science Audiobooks? (An Apologia Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures MP3 CD Review)”