Friday, March 26, 2010

Our 1st Homeschool Science Fair 2010!

This Friday my daughter got to participate in her 1st ever science fair. We had a blast. It was organized by one of our local homeschool groups. I must say that I was quite impressed by some of the creativity of the other students. Well if you have a science fair coming up in your area or you are thinking about hosting one for your homeschool group here are some wonderful resources I found along the way.

Science Fair Central

Janice VanCleave's Guide to the Best Science Fair Projects
Basically anything by Janice VanCleave is great for science fair type projects. Her books can be found at any local library.

All Science Fair Projects


Science Fair Adventure

Homeschool Science Tools
This site is a one stop shop for all homeschool science tools, kits, and supplies.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

LEGO Smart Creativity Contest!!

Hey guys here is another FREEBIE I found for next school year. check it out.

Now through July 2010, LEGO Education is searching for 10,000 new contestants for its 2010 LEGO® Smart™ Creativity Contest, challenging classrooms across the United States to become LEGO Smart!

The 2010 contest, including prize information and contest rules, will be emailed to all pre-registered contestants on Monday, August 2, 2010, starting at 8am CST.

Would you like to be part of the fun?
The 2010 LEGO® Smart™ Creativity Contest requires the use of a LEGO® Smart™ kit (pictured above). Kits are available, free of charge, to the first 10,000 new, registered, and qualified contestants.

To register for the 2010 Contest, CLICK HERE.

If you are a teacher, home educator, after-school program director, or otherwise working with students within the education field, you are eligible to compete in this year’s contest. Previous year’s contestants are also eligible and must use their current kit for the contest challenge, due to launch August 2, 2010!

Only pre-registered and pre-qualified contestants are eligible for the 2010 LEGO Smart Creativity Contest. If you have questions or would like additional information, contact Debra at dsmith@LEGOeducatio

Are You LEGO® Smart™?
Being LEGO® Smart™ is more than building with LEGO bricks. It’s having the ability to work in teams, solve problems, and create solutions. It means understanding key science, technology, engineering, and math concepts – not just on paper, but through demonstration.

LEGO® Smart™ students don’t just know it, they do it!

http://www.legoeduc about/item. aspx?art= 3465&bhcp=1

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fire Station Field Trip!

With the good weather rolling back around I know us homeschoolers can't wait to get back into our hands on in the field learning opportunities. The thing is in this economy affording for everyone to head out to the aquarium or museum is just not within the budget for some. But one thing that I have started doing lately is looking for opportunities in our own neighborhood that can be an educational experience for Free or little money. One of those things we did today was go to our local Fire Department for a tour around the station.

I just called my local fire department and asked if they did tours of the stations. And they told me sure. They asked how many children were going to be coming with me and I told them just my family and they said it was fine. They could also accommodate your homeschool group as well if you guys wanted to attend as a large group. We got to see were they eat, sleep, and they took us all around the trucks.Just call around and find out what your local servicemen can offer you and your family to find out more about how they serve the community. They gave the kids a plastic fireman hat and one of those sticker badges. That was the highlight for them.

When we got home I had a few extension exercises to go with the field trip. We read some books aloud about Fire Stations. Here is the list:

Curious George at the Fire Station by Margret and H.A. Rey's
The Fire Cat by Esther Averill
Corduroy goes to the Fire Station by Don Freeman

I also had my 1st grader fill out a field trip report sheet I printed from Here.

My 1st grader and my preschooler both colored a printout of a fire truck I got from HERE

I took some heavy card stock and let them paste there report, fire truck, and sticker badge onto it and make a Fire safety booklet. They are going to add a few more pages after learning some other fire safety tips. I am going to have them check a few more books from the library to finish up on it.

And after talking to the firemen about safety in the home and preparing your children in case of an emergency we decided to create an emergency exit plan and a meet up location and do a fire drill. This should be interesting.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Homeschoolers at the Capitol Day!!!

Yesterday my family and I went to visit the Georgia State Capitol. It was our first time going. Our local state homeschool organization GHEA has a Homeschoolers at the Capitol Day annually. It is a time when we as tax paying voters get to make our voice and presence known to those who propose and make laws for our states. Laws that can possibly effect our Right to Homeschool. Its also an opportunity for our children to see how our local branches of government conduct themselves. You might be lucky enough to attend during a session in which case you can sit in with your child and have them observe the process. You can even make an appointment to speak with your Governor or Congressman and thank then them for continuing to support homeschoolers just so they see your face and know you are a voice. It can make the difference when legislature that is not favorable to homeschoolers comes along.

One of our local Homeschool Bands Joyful Noise from Marrietta, Ga performed on the Capitol steps. It was great. They had a Jazz Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Recorder band(younger children), and Chorus. We flooded the capitol it was so many of us but as always with the homeschool crowd everyone was polite and orderly.

Visits to the State Capitol are free and depending on what time of the year it is they have different specialty guided tours to sign up for. It is a good field trip idea for homeschoolers on a tight budget.

There was a Capitol Museum on the upper level of the building which was great. We got to see exhibits on our local wildlife, waterways, and industries. We also were able to see exhibits depicting the history of voting in our state as well as some background on some of our most famous people. This being Georgia and all I guess I should not have been surprised to see a painting of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 1st floor of the capitol building in the same hall as all the past Governors. After all he was from Atlanta, Ga. We also saw some things on Jimmy Carter our 39th president who is from Plains, Ga. Ironically he grew up on a peanut farm and that happens to be a our state Crop. lol!

Well just look for opportunities like this in your local area to band together with the homeschool community for Capitol Day. A way to find out what's going on in your local area is to visit the HSLDA website and look for your states homeschool association. They should be able to tell you when your states Capitol Day is.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Language Arts and Reading in Our home

Language Arts is such a broad spectrum of subjects. When I hear language arts I think of Grammar, Spelling, Phonics, Handwriting, Reading Comprehension, and Vocabulary. Now at this phase of learning I don't think it is necessary to cover all these things but to add in one at a time when they show signs of readiness for that. Also some of these that fall under the umbrella of Language arts might not even be necessary in a home learning environment. Like for instance Reading comprehension can be replaced with narration. And I have known quite a bit of homeschoolers who never use a formal vocabulary curriculum simply because they are constantly being expose to vocab that can be explained by there parent all day through there read alouds and classic childrens literature. But here is the run down on what we use.

1st grade

1st Language Lessons by Susan Wise Bauer
supplimented with SF Reading Grammar Online

Sequential Spelling level 1

A Reason For Handwriting

We done with it but we completed the entire
Hooked On Phonics- It was a great sucess for our family. Another great program I heard about but haven't used is Phonics Pathways and you can use Bob Books and Pathway Readers for the books part.

Literature and Reading
We have our own list that I have compiled but we also read from the
Ambleside Online List level 1
and Classical Christian Homeschool booklist also


and we just started the Hooked On Phonics(no pushing just introducing it)- most children start phonics and dont get the blend part until they hit a certain level of development when they stop seeing a word like Cat as C- at instead of Cat. Usually this happens around 4 or 5 for some it could be as late as 6. So if you are starting phonics don't worry if they dont seem to be able to put it all together right away. Just stay consistant with lessons and keep them SHORT.

Tracing letter WS- we bought a few workbooks from Walmart. We might do a couple of week whenever he wants to do school.

Literature and Reading
We do lots of read alouds. For him we use our own list and the list at
Simply Charlotte Mason
Lookup a word or passage in the Bible
Include this form on your page