Curriculum Reviews, Homeschooling

Teaching Chinese Brush Painting in your Homeschool

Mandarin Chinese has been a foundational part of Aveline’s educational experience for years. In fact, six out of seven days of the week involve some sort of Chinese learning, and she’s spent spent every Saturday at Chinese school for the past 9 years. (Josiah, her faithful chauffeur, is a saint. And Aveline is incredibly devoted and focused, because she’s the only one in our family who speaks Chinese.)

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Curriculum Reviews, Homeschooling

Stabilo Woody 3-in-1 Pencils (A Timberdoodle Review)

It’s been a rough school year. It really has. February is always a strange month in homeschool — and private school — subculture, anyway. We’re really only a few weeks into the second semester, but people begin to talk as though the school year is over. (Maybe they subconsciously want it to be.) It’s only just past Valentine’s Day, but people are already rolling out the class schedules for 2023/2024. I’ve been there, too. I’ve spent over-caffeinated Februaries gleefully pre-reading stacks of books for co-op classes, mapping out assignments for next year’s sweater weather while still wearing this year’s sweaters.

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Curriculum Reviews, Homeschooling

Illusion Cubes: Create Your Own Optical Illusions

Aveline likes to circle wishlist items in the Timberdoodle catalog (seriously; who needs Toys R Us?) She’s a mathy kid with an artistic twist — a fan of tessellations, logic puzzles, intricate geometric art, and Mondrian’s blocky masterpieces — so Illusion Cubes immediately intrigued her.

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Curriculum Reviews, Homeschooling

Fanta Color Baby: An Independent Game for Toddlers and Preschoolers

My kids are 12 and 3, so on any given day, my brain swings from helping with algebra to helping with play dough — and back again.

It’s a wild ride.

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Curriculum Reviews, Homeschooling

Buildings of the World Puzzle: A Timberdoodle Review

When cold weather rolls in, we get the jigsaw puzzles out. Is this true in your home, too? There’s just something about the chilly weather and cloudy skies which makes puzzles especially appealing.

Keep reading to find out 12 ways you can easily teach your kids geography, architecture, history, and art with a single jigsaw puzzle!

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Curriculum Reviews, Homeschooling

Help Kids Calm Down: Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty

Using Putty to Help Gifted / Twice-Exceptional Kids Calm Down and Focus

There are a few hands-on educational helps which stand out strongly as huge favorites among twice-exceptional kids — putty is definitely one of those resources! My wiggly kinesthetic learner really needs things like this to keep her hands extra busy, so her brain can calm down from overdrive and actually focus.

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Book Reviews, Homeschooling

Baby Gym Board Books (A Timberdoodle Review)

Board Books to Promote Bonding

I’ve been reviewing quite a few board books lately, and I’m back with another round for the littles. These playful books are especially suited for infants, and bigger babies who aren’t quite toddlers yet.

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Curriculum Reviews, Homeschooling

Fischertechnik E-Tronic Review: Easy STEM Elective for Middle/High School

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.

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