Monday, May 10, 2010

The Unschooling Closet

I read this article from the Creative Mama and found it fascinating. Here's an excerpt.....


I love this one. So the idea is for the child to find interest in a subject and seek out further information. Oh, I hear you out there! “My kids would search out video games and television.” I can attest to strewing working big-time in our house. I have tested it even further in the last week and can tell you it works. Basically, you leave things strewn about your children’s environment that you would like them to learn. The hope being that they pick the book/subject up and find interest.

An example for us: Last week, I laid out an insect encyclopedia at the breakfast table. The kids come down to breakfast and find the book. They pick it up and by 9:30 am they have grabbed tons of mason jars and lids out of my canning closet and have run outside to find every bug they can. They bring them all back in and then proceed to find each one in the book and learn about each bug. Not to mention, my youngest is reading because she is dying to know about these darn bugs! By noon, they had a whole “bug club” going and microscope out as well. All this merged into a trip to a little pond to gather tadpoles and into learning all about tadpoles and amphibians.

Strewing can make a day full of learning."

You can read the rest here.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What is the Charlotte Mason Method?

 "Education is an atmosphere."
         "Education is a discipline."
               "Education is a life."
                              ~Charlotte Mason

This method is all about spending time with your kids. I love that it's about spending time outdoors; taking walks and observing the world around you. I love that it uses quality books instead of a bunch of boring textbooks. I love the flexibility. I have only be using this method for a couple of weeks. I am slowly moving into each area of curriculum.
We started our first chapter book read aloud last week. I chose The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Clearly.We read one chapter a night and I was very surprised how much my son loved the chapter book. I really thought he would get restless and start interrupting. But he really loved hearing about Ralph and his motorcycle adventures. He actually retained several key points of the book as well.

Here's some great resources:
What is the Charlotte Mason Method?

 7 Characteristic of a Charlotte Mason Education


Charlotte Mason Monday

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Unschooling Approach

Have you ever heard the term unschooling and wondered what that meant? I found a great article discussing unschooling at Simple Homeschool. You can read it here.

I didn't realize that there was a homeschool method based on teachable moments. I try to make as many moments teachable that I can each day. My son is off to a good start and this article reminded me that I don't have to be so worried about what curriculum I'm teaching. I can just focus on my son's interests and let learning naturally take place.
For more about Unschooling......

Monday, May 3, 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Lesson Idea for The Tiny Seed

I try to integrate as much as possible when planning lessons. I find that integration helps children make more connections to what they are learning. So for the book The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle, I integrated science, art and literature. This lesson is for Pre-K - K.

Literature and Science
First I read the book to my son. We talked about what seeds need to grow. We established that seeds need soil, water and sunshine. Then we talked about how different plants and flowers come from seeds.

We took a field trip to the hardware store and pick out some flowers.  We then planted the flowers and watered them. We also planted some dried beans that had been soaked. We have been monitoring their growth. Our bean plant shot up pretty quickly and is now producing beans. My son was quite in awe of that! He also loves watering the plants. He says that he is giving them energy.

Art Ideas
Draw pictures of flowers
Make a collage of picture of flowers
Make a collages of different seeds

If your children are older, you can add in a writing portion.

Writing Ideas
Journal the plants growth
Write out the stages of plant growth (seed, seedling, flower, seed) with pictures
Write a story about making a garden

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I am new to homeschooling, so this blog will be detailing my journey. I am a teacher by trade, but I quit after I had my son. Now he's almost 4, so I decided this would be a good time to start with homeschooling. So far I'm on my own. I have not joined a homeschool co-op yet, but I'm looking into my options.

I have been exploring the various styles of homeschooling. The one I like so far is the Charlotte Mason method. I like that it's literature based and uses quality books. I figure I'll try out a couple styles and see what works best for my son. So I will be sharing what works, what doesn't, what we love and hate.

Here are some great books that we are reading this week:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

8 Ways to use Olive Oil

1. Add 1/4 -1/8 teaspoon of olive oil (OO) to your cat's food to prevent hairballs.

2. Use OO on a cloth to dust wood furniture.

3. OO can lubricate your hinges for quiet doors. I've also used it on a squeaky gerbil wheel!

4. Use OO to unstick a zipper. Apply OO to a Q-tip and rub on the zipper teeth.

5. Apply OO to your dry skin after a shower instead of lotion.

6. Use OO in the place of shaving cream.

7. Dab some OO under your eyes and around the eye area as a makeup remover. Then rinse with a washcloth.

8. Apply some OO around your nail beds to moisturize your cuticles.

This list is courtesy of Real Simple Magazine.