0

10 Earth Day Freebies for Little Learners

Earth Day is April 22nd, how will you celebrate this year? Every year, communities unite to plant trees, clean up their neighborhood, and learn about ways to keep the Earth Healthy. Educents has plenty of affordable and FREE resources to add Earth Day to your lessons.

Want a comprehensive unit for the entire week of Earth Day? Add bugs, animals, plants and butterflies into your Kinder and First Grade lessons!

ae5d_7599b2a_butter

10 Downloadable Earth Day Freebies for All Ages

  1. Earth Day Sort – Help kids learn the difference between reducing, reusing, and recycling!
  2. Happy Earth Day Writing Activity – Kids of all ages can reflect on ways their family, school, and themselves can help keep the Earth healthy. Also encourages handwriting practice!
  3. Earth Day Coloring Pages – Creative kiddos can color the Earth with their colors of choice, or follow the color-by-code page to add critical thinking to art hour.
  4. Earth Day Poof! Subtraction to 5 – This Earth Day themed game builds fluency with subtraction facts to 5. It can be played in a small group or as a partner game. It is a fun way to practice those facts!
  5. Earth Day Word Search Freebie – Enjoy this Earth Day themed word search puzzle with 21 eco-friendly terms like atmosphere, compost, and recycle.
  6. Earth Day Bookmarks – The perfect Earth Day treat for your students. Available in full-color and black-and-white.
  7. Earth Day Survey and Graph – A fun and different way to practice graphing in your classroom while encouraging collaboration between students.
  8. Spring Coloring Book – Let your little ones COLOR & SPELL Spring words.
  9. Love the Earth Mystery Picture Graph – Students will love discovering the mystery picture by coloring in the correct squares on the alphanumeric grid using the coordinates given. This is a great addition to an Earth Day or recycling unit!
  10. April 2015 Journal – A month of free journaling for learners age 8 to 100! Read about important historic, artistic, and current events that happened during the month of April – including J. Robert Oppenheimer’s birthday and Earth Day on April 22nd. Then develop vocabulary and critical thinking skills.

Want to turn your Earth Day celebration into an educational experience? Discover new ways to learn about the amazing planet we live on (without breaking the bank!) –>  Earth Day learning resources.

0

10 Exciting Lessons For Your Kindergartener Using Minecraft

My son is ready and excited for kindergarten next fall. While we were going through some preparation lessons, I noticed he had a hard time concentrating on one task for a long time. However, he was able to concentrate on playing Minecraft for hours on his iPad. This made me start thinking about ways I could integrate my son’s favorite game into our summer learning plan. So, I created ten Kindergarten prep lessons using Minecraft.

SCULPTURE & ART

Minecraft and Math

There are many different math lessons that you can teach using Minecraft.

Addition and Subtraction – Teach your kindergartener addition and subtraction with Minecraft. Sit with your child during playtime and ask questions like, “If your wall is two squares high and you add three more squares, how many squares high will it be?” This is a great way to teach beginning word problems that your Minecraft kid will actually understand.

GeometryMinecraft kids are already building with 3D shapes. Name the shapes your kids are using to build structures in Minecraft during playtime.

Multiplication – Kindergarten is a little early to learn multiplication, but you can give your kiddo a glimpse of future math lessons during Minecraft play. Grab a piece of paper and ask your child to draw a “wall” from the Minecraft game. Then show your child how to use this chart to learn multiplication facts.

Minecraft and Engineering

Engineering is a subject that can be helpful throughout your child’s time in school.

How to Make a 3D ModelThis activity requires some supplies. Create 3D pieces inspired by Minecraft shapes and play real-world Minecraft at the table together. How? Find small wooden blocks or tissue boxes and paint them the color of the blocks in Minecraft! 

How to Create a Diorama – Your child will create a lot of dioramas in school, get a head start project at home with a Minecraft twist. Grab an old shoe box and gather small things that resemble the pieces used in Minecraft like pigs, carrots, speckled eggs. Or create the Minecraft pieces with play dough! Your Minecraft kid can create his or her DREAM world, and use the diorama to as room décor. 

Blueprinting – Creating blueprints is a skill that will be great for school or professional futures. Distribute graphing paper and ask your child to draw a sketch of a Minecraft structure. After your Minecraft kid sketches the structure, he or she can build it in Minecraft.

Minecraft and English

While most people might not realize it, it is possible to teach your child a lot of great English skills with Minecraft.

Creative Writing – Ask your child write a story about his or her Minecraft world. “Imagine living in your Minecraft world, what kind of adventures would you have?” Let the story stop at the first page, and then add to the story each day before or after Minecraft playtime. 

CommunicationChildren can learn how to communicate while playing together on Minecraft. This is very useful and helpful but, it’s recommended to monitor your child’s activity and know everyone that your child is friends with and playing with.

Minecraft and Science

Hypothesis and Scientific TestingMinecraft kids approach so many scenarios while playing. What if you added science lessons to playtime by writing down a hypothesis and testing it while playing. Let your Minecraft kid come up with his/her own thoughts about how different actions would affect the game; and then testing the hypothesis teaches them about the scientific testing process.

Minecraft and Technology

Computer SkillsMinecraft is one of the best games for children to learn basic computer programming skills. It’s also a great way to learn how to communicate effectively through electronic devices.

Naturally, parents get concerned when our kids spend hours playing video games. We would much rather they spend hours learning. So get creative! Use those endless hours of Minecraft play for fun learning! What are ways you integrate your child’s interests to encourage fun learning?

 

AmandaAbout the All-Star Blogger

Amanda is an author, blogger, and mother of four from Central Illinois. She loves to play with her children and travel to new places.

0

Free Activities To Do Outside This Weekend

258243_10152137694680241_1346348239_o-1024x768-1Let your family fun venture beyond the front yard this weekend! Visit any National Park and gain free entrance from April 18 to April 19! Check the National Park website to find a National Park near you.

Want to turn your free outside activity into a learning experience? We’ve got plenty of resources for that!

 

 

 

0

How to Start Homeschooling in 8 Simple Steps

Hi, I’m Tabitha, and I started homeschooling my son in 2014. I’ve been very vocal about switching to homeschooling – and my reasons for it – both on my blog and in person to friends, family and acquaintances. Now I’ve become the “go to” person in my network when someone has questions. Sometimes potential homeschoolers approach me apprehensively – like homeschooling is an invite-only secret society. It’s not. It’s okay to ask questions!

homeschoolinghowto

Let’s assume you’ve decided homeschooling is right for you. You may be asking yourself, how do I get started homeschooling?

1. Find out your state laws on homeschooling.

You can start looking into your state’s homeschooling laws here. Legal requirements range from no state regulations (in 11 states including Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri) to low and moderate regulations on up to states with high regulations (5 states including New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts).

Don’t let the regulations deter you. You can homeschool in all 50 states. Just make sure you know what it legally required by your state to get started.

2. Research.

Search your library to see what books on homeschooling are available. When you’re selecting books on homeschooling, take a minute to look at the author’s biography and make sure it’s written by a veteran homeschooler.

3. Reach out to other homeschoolers.

If you know people who homeschool, that’s great! Reach out to them.

If you don’t, search Facebook for homeschool groups. You can find online groups where homeschool moms ask questions, get advice, and chat. I’m in several groups and everyone is very helpful! So join a group and start asking your questions.

You can also use Facebook to connect to local homeschool groups that organize field trips, play dates, etc. Finding local support is great!

4. Find your curriculum.

There are tons of great resources to help you find a course of study that matches your child’s abilities, struggles, learning style as well as your family’s budget, lifestyle and beliefs. Many, including myself, use Cathy Duffy’s 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum. Cathy Duffy is like a guru of homeschooling.

5. If your state requires it, find a cover school.

This is something homeschoolers in every state need, except for the 11 states that have no state regulations. Cover schools and co-ops are two different things. Let me explain.

For the regulated states, all children of a certain age must be “enrolled in school.” This means registered with a public school, private school or a “cover school.” These can also be called “church schools” or “umbrella schools.”

You pay a fee to enroll your child in a cover school to complete the requirement of having your child enrolled in school. They send a proof of enrollment to your local school board.

Cover schools can be elaborate – organizing field trips and events; some require parent meetings and curriculum approval and a “statement of faith” (for church schools) and quarterly attendance/grade sheets. Some offer record keeping (for transcripts) classes, group meetings and electives. The more a cover school offers or requires, the more expensive it will be.

Cover schools can also be basic and only require a small fee (ours is $25/year) and it provides your proof of enrollment. It really depends on what you want in a cover school.

6. Decide if a co-op (homeschool co-operative) is right for you.

We have a basic cover school but we also live very close to a wonderful co-op. Since I have only one child I knew we needed to get out of the house once a week and be around other kids (not that that’s the only time we get out of the house – we have church, karate and soccer – but I wanted to meet other homeschool families too).

A homeschool co-operative is a group of homeschooling families that get together and teach classes for their kids. Every parent pitches in. Maybe you know how to sew but you’re terrible at math. You can teach sewing to a small group while your child learns math from another parent. Or if you love babies, you can help in the nursery with the littlest ones so their parents can teach classes.

We’ve done two semesters at co-op so far and my son has taken core things like math and reading as well as fun things like building projects and a LEGO class! Our co-op charges a nominal fee per semester (this covers the cost of using the building we meet in) and classes have supply fees mostly in the $5 to $15 range but some of them are higher depending on what’s needed.

Co-op isn’t for everyone. My sister-in-law doesn’t do co-op. She has three schooling at home, two in preschool and a baby. She doesn’t have time. But for us, it’s great, my son has fun and we’ve made new friends.

7. Decide when you’re going to start and pick a date to “un-enroll” your children from public school. Decide if you need to do some “de-schooling.”

Yes, it is okay to start homeschooling mid-year! If you don’t want to finish out a bad year at public school – don’t! If you’re worried that it’s going to take a few weeks to get your ducks in a row it’s ok to go ahead and take your kids out of school. You may want to spend a few weeks “de-schooling” before you start curriculum. You don’t necessarily have to take them out of school on Friday and start homeschooling on Monday. Especially if they’re having a negative experience at school (bullying, struggling with grades, behavioral problems, anxiety, stress, etc). The first thing you want to do is show them school and learning doesn’t have to be negative or stressful.

What is “de-schooling?” It gives your child time to relax and unwind and see learning from a new perspective – without the bullies around, without worrying about grades, and without stress. Take a trip to the library and let your child read books they’re interested in. Work on a project that interests your child – art, science experiments, bird watching, and bug collecting. Field trips are good too – zoo, museums, local historical sites, nature centers. Don’t push the educational aspects of these things, just let your child explore. There will be plenty of time to re-visit these places with notebook in hand to “learn.”

8. Do it!

If you’ve taken steps one through seven, the final step should be easy. Now you just have to jump in and do it!

 

biopic

About the All-Star

Tabitha is a homeschooling mom and deal blogger at Saving Toward A Better Life. When she started “saving toward a better life” – both the blog and the real life application of the concept – her idea of a better life was to stop being a family dependent on two incomes. With a baby boy about to turn one she already knew she wanted to homeschool. She just had to make staying home a reality. And she did. Tabitha blogs about deals and saving money but also about homeschooling, natural living and more. Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram!

0

How We Use Life of Fred in Our Homeschool

Ever since I started homeschooling my boys eight years ago, there was always a buzz around Life of Fred. If you’re not already familiar, the Life of Fred books are books that teach math in a very unconventional way. They teach math by taking you on an adventure into the life of a 5-year old boy named Fred.

For years I wondered how Life of Fred would impact our homeschool. It wasn’t until my boys were 9 and 11 when Life of Fred books were added to our homeschool curriculum.
3

Life of Fred books can be used as a standalone curriculum, especially if you started with the Life of Fred elementary books. The books build on each other. You can start the “before high school” books if your child has mastered the basics of arithmetic — addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

We are using Life of Fred as a supplement to our math studies. When we started with Life of Fred Fractions, my boys were already familiar with most concepts (they are between 4th and 6th grade math skills). However, the story and the practice questions served to cement their previous math lessons. As we progressed through the book, a few new concepts were introduced, especially to my younger one. I was very pleased to see how the topics of each chapter served as review practice for my boys.

The boys really enjoy hearing about the story of Fred’s life. At first it sounded weird, Fred is a 5-year-old math genius, really? It didn’t take long for my boys to get hooked on the Life of Fred books – there’s humor and math woven throughout the story. They always look forward to find out what happens next.

4

The Fred books are easy to add to your homeschool lesson plan – just read a chapter a day, and complete the “your turn” section. The chapters are a balanced length – short enough to keep the child’s attention but long enough to keep him wanting more. Some days you could even do two chapters. The exercises that follow each chapter are also easy to work through. Some chapters are more challenging than others. When a chapter gets challenging, my boys complain for a bit but want to keep going with Fred instead of giving up.

We do have another math curriculum we are using on the side as well, but independently from Life of Fred. We have been using CTC Math for the past year, and are now just started using A+ Interactive Math. If I need extra worksheets for practice (which only happened once so far – and we are almost done with Fractions) I go to MathDrills.com.

The child can use life of Fred independently, but my sons and I like to work on it together. My oldest loves to read the interactive part of the story, but still I do most of the reading, then I leave them to answer the “your turn” part. My boys are pretty good at doing the work without looking at the answers that are located on the same page, and checking it after they are done answering the questions.

5 - Your TUrn

Life of Fred is very easy to implement in your homeschool. Open the book and go. Have some paper handy for the exercises, a comfy chair or couch, a sense of humor and a love for stories, and you are set.

I would definitely encourage you to check out Life of Fred if you have not yet done so.

JoelleAbout the All-Star Blogger

Joelle is a homeschooling mom of two upper Elementary/Middle School energetic and funny boys. Originally from the French island of Martinique and married to a Filipino, she is now in Toronto where her husband is pastoring. Joelle is a lover and student of theology. Her other loves are teaching, singing, playing games, laughing and baking. You can follow her homeschooling adventures, reviews, and recipes @ Homeschooling for His Glory. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

0

How to Do Homeschool History the Exciting Way

History lessons can be quite a bore, but when you use your imagination history lessons can come to LIFE. Here are a few ways that Celena, homeschool mom of four kids, makes history lessons fun.

Dress Up

10575141_765061153561077_4703749473826353744_o

There is almost nothing I like better than to dress up and relive history. Here are all of the costumes I’ve dressed in and the lesson that accompanied each costume.

  • Ancient Egypt (Egypt and the Pyramids)
  • Irish/British lads and lasses (The Life of Saint Patrick)
  • 1st c. Greeks and Hebrews (The Life of Jesus and the Disciples)
  • Pilgrims and Indians (The First Thanksgiving, focusing on the Life of Squanto)
  • Doo Boppers (The 1950s)
  • Traditional Chinese (The Chinese New Year)
  • American Patriots (The American Revolution)
  • Archaeologists (Present Day Biblical Archaeology)
  • Florence Nightingale and Michael Faraday (Early Scientists Who Were Christians)
  • 19th c. Americana (The California Gold Rush)

Share a Meal

me2kids

I also love to embrace educating my kiddos by going all out with period food and ambiance, so I used the historically accurate recipes from Sunflower Education’s downloadable recipe books.

  • We decided to first learn about America during and after the Revolution. We cooked and tasted Firecakes (which Revolutionary war soldiers ate), Jumbles (old-fashioned donuts which were delicious), and Shrewsbury Cakes (a close second after Jumbles).
  • A lesson about Ancient Egypt is a lot more memorable if you do it while nibbling on some authentic Basboosa! That’s bread sweetened with honey and lemon. Yum!
  • Civil War lessons get tasty while nibbling on some authentic hardtack!

Cooking Up Some World History includes recipes from:

Prehistory • First Civilizations • Ancient India • Ancient China • Classical Greece • Ancient Rome • Maya • Aztec • Inca • Middle Ages • The Muslim World • Renaissance • The Age of Exploration • Kings and Tsars • Industrial Revolution • Nineteenth Century • Communist World • World Wars and the Great Depression • The Modern World

Cooking Up Some American History includes recipes from:

Native American Foods • Spanish Colonial Fare • English Colonial Dishes • Foods of the Revolutionary War • Dining in Young America • Staying Fed on the Frontier • Foods Out of Africa • Soldiers’ Mess: The Civil War and Reconstruction • Foods of the Gilded Age and the Industrial Revolution • Dishes of World War I • Surviving the Great Depression • Foods of World War II • American Fare: the 1950s • The 1960s • The 1970s • Modern Meals

Skip the Textbooks

Textbooks are helpful, but sometimes those lessons get a little dry. Here’s a helpful list of books and movies that will get your entire family excited about learning history!

  • The Imagination Station series is fun historical fiction for elementary kids.
  • The American Girl historical fiction books are wonderful reading to get girls excited about history.
  • Dear America is a family film that brings to life the fictionalized diaries of Elizabeth I, Isabel, and Cleopatra VII. Available on Netflix!!
  • Torchlighters is a DVD series that comes with printables and lesson plans for stories like John Bunyan and William Booth.

Our most interactive history lesson might have been while we were studying China. We baked Chinese desserts, learned how to eat with chopsticks (my kiddos are amazing after You-Tubing it!), watched a film about Gladys Aylward, learned how to write Chinese letters, and read picture books on China.

What country or time period is your favorite? Who’s your favorite person from history? Mine is Florence Nightingale, but Grace O’Malley was amazing, too–she was “the pirate queen”! Google them both!

10696405_774713195929206_802022973611931690_nCelena Marie is a historical fiction writer and graduate school student majoring in Elementary Education. She’s been homeschooling her four kiddos for five years and absolutely loves it!  She blogs about motherhood, homeschooling, travel, and fashion on The Traveling Sisterhood.

0

5 Tips for Work-at-Home Homeschooling Parents

Whether you’re a new homeschooler or still finding a balance while homeschooling, Time 4 Learning has some helpful tips for work-at-home homeschooling parents.

testworkingMom

Becoming a full time homeschooling mom didn’t change my desire to use my talents and skills in the professional world. It took more time than I hoped to pin down a stay-at-home position, but eventually it came, and I have been both a work at home mom (WAHM) and a homeschooling mom ever since. I’ve learned several things along the way that have helped.

1. It’s all in the curriculum. You can be a parent who creates all your own curriculum OR you can be a work-at-home mom/dad, but you simply cannot do both. Finding a curriculum that lets your children work at least somewhat independently is crucial to finding balance. Our family uses Time4Learning because all of the lesson planning, testing, and record-keeping are done for you on the computer, freeing up valuable time for other important things.
2. Get with the program. And by program, I mean the schedule. This working-homeschooling combo depends on setting out your day into some sort of timetable.Time4Learning‘s activity scheduler allows parents to map out plans and help nail down a routine that fits your busy lifestyle. You can plan out your entire year or take it week by week.
3. Delegate. Your children can work independently with Time4Learning and save questions for you when you are available but they can also ask another family member. Everyone wants to be supermom, but no one has yet received the golden tiara and spandex. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you have family supporting you in your goal of working at home and homeschooling, jump up and down and celebrate!
4. Talk with your family about your goals. My boys used to have this habit of getting into their worst arguments when I sat down to get some work done. One day, I sat them down and explained that in order to help contribute to the family income and homeschool them, I had made the choice to work at home. Believe it or not, this tactic worked. The boys started solving their own squabbles during my work time, and saving their meltdowns for when I was available. Go figure!
5. Schedule time for yourself. This one seems the most impossible. You may can already feel guilty for splitting your time between your kids and your work. But that pressure and guilt are the exact reasons why you need to schedule time for yourself. If you don’t, you’ll discover that neither your kids nor your work are getting the best of your endeavors.

If you’ve been thinking about working at home and homeschooling, maybe it is time to take the plunge. Believe in yourself, spend time researching your options, talk it over with your family, and then go for it! Sign up today and let Time4Learning help you with your teaching, scheduling, and reporting.

There you have it. What are your tips for balancing homeschool, work, and being a parent?

This is a paid advertisement from our partner, Time 4 Learning.

0

Introducing the NEW Educents Marketplace

Kate and Kaitlyn here, and we wanted to share some really exciting news with you. We created Educents to provide affordable education to all. Until today, Educents was a website for parents and educators to take advantage of daily deals. But those deals expired… And there was only 50 deals available at once… Shouldn’t saving money on education be EASIER?

Behold – the new Educents Marketplace! It’s even easier to discover affordable educational resources that make learning FUN.

168b9eb3-ef68-4b42-80a4-f3aa5cf66646

Thousands of new products – Educents Sellers can now offer ALL of their bestsellers on the new Educents Marketplace. There’s a wide variety of worksheets, lesson plans, educational apps and toys. Shop The Young Scientists Club, Scholastic, Workman Publishing, Alpha Omega Publishing, Life of Fred books, hundreds of printable units created by educators, and more!

Offers that NEVER expire

Sellers can offer your favorite educational products year-round. Once a deeply discounted Daily Deal expires, you can still find that product available on Educents at a competitive price.

Discovery

Find new ways to make learning fun with smart search – browse by grade level, subject, brand, and more!

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 9.36.15 AM

Follow your favorite brands and Sellers

The “Follow Me” feature allows you to add your favorite Sellers to a list. Just click the heart on the Seller Storefront. You can also see which Sellers are the most popular with Educents members.

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 5.59.18 PM

Why did Kate and Kaitlyn go through hours of exhausting work to change Educents? Because you asked us to! We complied all of your feedback and created an even easier way to make learning FUN, even on a budget.

The Educents Marketplace is exactly what you want it to be — the best place for parents and educators to find the resources you NEED at an affordable price.

 

 

0

Blogger Review: Math Homeschool Lessons for 1st to 4th Grade

Kris, homeschooling mother of five, trusts Educents Seller Teaching My Two to offer fun, creative ways to teach her children math! This week, Kris and her kids reviewed math units with robots, monsters, and fruit girls.

1

My kids love robots! I was super excited to combine my children’s love of robots with learning math. Robot Balancing The Scales is a great math packet with tons of lessons that we use as math centers in our homeschool. This is a packet that you will want to print out in color. The graphics are wonderful and cute, also the lessons have color questions in them referring to the “purple” robot and so on.

 

final_monster_scales_page_01

Furry, Friendly, and Totally Awesome! I love creative ways to get my children learning math. I am a homeschooling mom of 5 with 2 children that struggle in math, therefore, bringing them all together with math fun is a goal of mine. Trap The Monster, Monster Variables – Pre Algebraic Thinking for Young Learners is so much fun. All my children loved doing these lessons. There was no complaining even from the two that struggle with math.

2

Fruit Girls Balancing the Scales is very similar to Robot Balancing the Scales that we just reviewed. I love that this is centered for girls because my 5-year-old daughter will love this. She is learning addition and subtraction right now and this will be great fun with my help. She can complete each question using the balancing scale poster that has beautiful graphics that remind me of strawberry shortcake.

As a homeschooling mother of five, I can trust Teaching My Two for fun, creative ways to teach my children math! I look forward to all their lessons in the future.

Visit Kris’s website, Book Wishes, to read the entire review for the three math units mentioned in this review.

0

How a Canadian Family Fell Into Homeschool Life Abroad

Homeschool Abroad

This is a guest blog post by homeschool mom and blogger Crystal McClean of Castle View Academy.

 

Before I had children I’d never considered homeschooling. I also never expected to raise my children in a country that was not my home. I spent (over two) years in Northern Ireland working for a bank and soaking up the culture. As I was making plans to leave Ireland, I met Phil. We soon married and bought a house just before the markets crashed and here we are still.

If I had had my children in my home country of Canada, there’s no doubt that our children (Tristan, 7 and Kallista, 4) would be in a public school. In Saskatchewan, Canada, children begin kindergarten in the fall of the year they turn 5, but mandatory education does not begin until the year a child turns 6 and enters first grade.

In Northern Ireland mandatory education begins at the very young age of 4, the earliest in the world!  After my son Tristan was born over 11 weeks premature and I suffered with depression for a couple of years, I wasn’t ready to send him off to a classroom of 30.

Tristan and Kallista showing some sibling love.

Tristan and Kallista showing some sibling love.

I had a friend from a Moms and Tots group that had been a teacher in Northern Ireland. She didn’t send her children to nursery, and she was thinking about homeschooling herself. That planted the seed that public school was not the only educational route!

I originally wanted to teach the Saskatchewan curriculum but I couldn’t access it from Northern Ireland. In Northern Ireland you don’t (currently) have to register or follow a specific curriculum, which initially stressed me out not knowing what to “do.” But as Tristan wouldn’t even be starting kindergarten for another two years at home, we just kept doing what we were doing. Playing homemade games, talking, reading books, and having fun.

Watching baby common lizards while walking by the sea

Watching baby common lizards while walking by the sea

In the end, not having to stick to a rigid curriculum has really suited us. The freedom and flexibility has us using an eclectic style of education.  We pull our resources from several places, including EducentsThe Wise Owl Factory, Currclick, working with the Schoolhouse Review Crew, as well creating our own.

Culture is important to me as there are many different cultures in Canada, and I’d also spent two years in Japan.  The children love to learn about various cultures around the world. They are learning about Japan through our Japanese Society membership as well as crafts and activities we do together.

Obviously, I would like my children to learn about my homeland of Canada, and it’s something they get excited about. We read story books set in Canada, learn about the geography and climate. Tristan even understood about time zones when he was 3!  Most of our meals would be more reminiscent of the Canadian cultural mix than of Irish fare. The children see my family via Skype so are used to the accent, and even do crafts with Nana!

I suppose we don’t yet specifically learn about Northern Irish culture (it’s a mix of Irish and British) but of course the kids are learning something new each time we go to Belfast or take a drive in the country. As they get older we’ll do more “specific” field trips (they loved seeing an archaeological dig at Carrickfergus castle last year), and we’ll all learn together.

Examining 400-year-old clay roof tiles found at Carrickfergus Castle

Examining 400-year-old clay roof tiles found at Carrickfergus Castle

The homeschool life can get a little lonely at times without my family and friends nearby. Homeschooling is still rare here. Fortunately, I’m an introvert and I don’t mind most of the time. I treasure the time I spend with my children and husband and I wouldn’t want to be living any other life!

96e11a81e8cc7e3077997a3858449d04 About Crystal – I am a Mom, Wife, and Home Educator. We love to have fun together while learning and exploring our environment.

 

It can be difficult to find learning resources while living abroad. Educents has homeschool curriculum at a discount, downloadable worksheetsonline lessons, and games for all learning levels.