Saturday, 30 April 2016

Cinco de Mayo Unit Study Roundup

This week the Unit Study Roundup bloogers have been very busy blogging about Cinco de Mayo activities.


Find the Letter M is for Mexico from 3 Boys and a Dog


Salt Dough Cinco de Mayo Banner from Schooling a Monkey


Books about Mexico for Kids from The Jenny Evolution

Fiesta Flowers from Parenting Chaos

Cinco de Mayo Skip Counting Puzzles from Simple Fun for Kids

Homemade Quesadilla from Something 2 Offer

Guacamole Recipe from FrogMom

Next week we will be blogging about community helpers. I have a post to contribute to the next roundup!

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Star Wars Unit Study Roundup





May the 4th is Star Wars Day. The bloggers at Unit Study Roundup did their posts to make a Star Wars Unit Study. I decided to do a blog post to promote the unit study even though I did not do a post for this topic. I really hope that you enjoy the unit study. We are going to go through and try some of these fun ideas :-)

Here are the links:

Star Wars Letter Find Pack from 3 Boys and a Dog

Star Wars Craft Ideas from Schooling a Monkey

Books about Outer Space from The Jenny Evolution

Star Wars Activity Books from Brain Power Boy

Let Your Space Ship Take Flight from Playground Parkbench

Light Saber Spelling from Parenting Chaos

Light Saber Color Matching from CraftCreateCalm

Star Wars Travel in National Parks and World Heritage Sites from FrogMom

Star Wars Count and Clip Cards from Raising Little Superheroes

Kids in the Kitchen: Make Star Wars Themed Jigglers from Crafty Mama in ME

Friday, 15 April 2016

Tin Can Pencil Holder

The theme for this week's Unit Study is Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. My DD has just got her first desk and chair for her bedroom. She is really happy about it.

She loves to draw and uses lots and lots of pencils. I thought that a nice little craft for her to do is to make and decorate her own pencil holder for her desk.

For this craft we used:

A clean tin can
Wrapping paper - either brown parcel paper or gift paper OR construction paper
Tape - we used clear parcel tape

I had to go and fish rescue remove an empty tin can from the recycling bin outside. We cleaned the can and made sure that it was clean and dry.




To be extra careful, I washed the can again and put it on our radiator to dry. I realised that I forgot to take off the label so I had to wash the can again! You can use any size can that you have.





My DD really likes Frozen so we used some Frozen Christmas wrapping paper. Please note this has the Disney copyright symbol on it and no copyright infringement is intended.


After the can was clean and dry, we covered the sharp edge with at least three layers of tape and wrapped the paper over the sharp edge. The sharp edge wasn't sharp because of the can opener that we have. My DD decorated the wrapping paper with little red hearts.



This is the finished product on her desk and it is sitting under the watchful eye of Rachel and Randall. :-)


Making this craft did two things, it saved something from possibly going to the landfill and it showed my DD how to repurpose something that would be considered trash or rubbish. We have four bins outside for collecting different types of waste. Two bins are for recycling things like tins, bottles, jars, paper, and cardboard. We have another bin for yard or garden waste such as grass cuttings, leaves, weeds, hedge clippings, and kitchen food waste. The fourth bin is for everything else that isn't recyclable.

We also did a lapbook on Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. I bought the PDF file for this from Knowledge Box Central on Currclick. It was on sale when I bought it.



This blog post is part of the Unit Study Roundup and the topic this time is Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.



For more great blog posts on this topic, please go and read the posts from the other bloggers:


How To Make An Everest and Skye Paw Patrol Pinata from Crafty Mama in ME

Recycling tips for camping trips from FrogMom

Recycled Toy Robot Project from Brain Power Boy

How Paper is Recycled from Schooling a Monkey

Children's Books About Recycling from The Jenny Evolution

Cutting Tray and Recycling Sorting from Parenting Chaos

Free Recycling Printables and Montessori-Inspired Recycling Activities from Living Montessori Now

Colorful Spring Windsock Made with Recycled Materials from Play Dough & Popsicles

How To Make A Flower Craft From Recycled Materials from Raising Little Superheroes

Ways to Use Recycled Materials Around the House from Natural Beach Living

Getting kids excited about recycling from Something 2 Offer

Simple & Fun Recycled Magazine Crafts for the Family From The Natural Homeschool

Sort Your Recycling Worksheets from Living Life and Learning



Friday, 8 April 2016

Making a Salt Dough Map

We are doing a project on Egypt and for that project, we are making a salt dough map. The first thing that I needed to do is make salt dough.

I used this recipe:

Salt Dough Recipe


1/4 cup of salt
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of flour

You can tweak the amounts to suit the size of the map you are making. As you can see here, you need equal amounts of water and salt and you double the amount of flour.

Mix the flour and salt together and slowly add in the water. You might not need all of the water. You want the dough to be dry. If it gets sticky add more flour. Knead the dough and you are ready to make your salt dough map.





To make the map, I printed off a blank map of Egypt which I found here. We cut it out to place on a piece of cardboard. We traced the outline of the paper map on the cardboard.




We took the dough and pressed it into the outline on the cardboard. You can either paint the map in different colours to show the different levels of elevation, or you can use the dough to make a 3D map. Before painting the map, you will need to let it dry. Traditionally, salt dough needs three hours in the oven at a low heat. I decided to let it air dry. It can take about two to three days, depending on the thickness of your map.





Salt dough maps are a wonderful way to stimulate learning about a particular country or continent. It encourages visual and kinestetic learners. For auditory learners, you can add in lots of discussion about the shape of the country and other important geography facts.

Here is our finished map. My DD painted the Nile River and we drew a few dots on for the cities. The red dot is Cairo which is the capital of Egypt. It was difficult to paint the Nile River because the paint brush was quite wide and the map was bumpy :-)


This post is part of a Unit Study Roundup on Maps. Several bloggers have written blog posts on other ideas relating to the topic of Maps.


For more fantastic ideas on maps and how to teach them to your child or children, please visit the other bloggers' posts:

Build Excitement for a Disneyland Vacation from Crafty Mama in ME
How Maps Change Case study: Boston's Boundaries over time from Boston Kid Friendly
How Kids Can Create Sketch Maps for the Outdoors from FrogMom
Map Books for Young Explorers from Brain Power Boy
Map Skills for Kids from Schooling a Monkey
Map Books for Children: Intro to Maps from The Jenny Evolution
Continents and Countries Olympic Sort from Planet Smarty Pants
Maps Unit for Preschoolers from Bambini Travel
Free Puzzles to Make Learning the Continents Fun3 from Books and Giggles
Geocaching for Kids from Parenting Chaos
Map Activities for Kids: France, England, Ireland {Printables} from The Natural Homeschool
Travel Maps for Kids from Craft Create Calm
Types of Maps from Soil & Water Conservation District from Something 2 Offer
Around the World Fun for Kids: Exploring Architecture from Artsy Momma
Using Maps as an Idea for Art Projects from Our Daily Craft

Here is my Pinterest board for this particular Unit Study Roundup:

Follow Sue's board Unit Study Roundup - Maps Unit Study on Pinterest.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Poetry

I found a group on Facebook called Unit Study Roundup. Each week there is a topic for a Unit Study and each person blogs something to contribute to the collective unit study. I joined the group when it was too late for the blog entry on Poetry. I am going to blog about poetry anyway and put everyone's links here for my own reference.

Reciting poetry is a lost art. I never hear of anyone memorizing poems to recite. I had to memorize Bible passages and poems when I was in school. I think that it helps with memory.

I am going to include one of my new favourite poems here for your reading pleasure, it is called Daffodils and it is by William Wordsworth:

I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden Daffodils;
Beside the Lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:-
A Poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company:
I gazed---and gazed---but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils


Here are everyone else's links for their blog posts:

Poetry Handwriting Worksheet from 3 Boys and a Dog

How To Write a Nature Poem like Roald Dahl from FrogMom

Silly Limericks for Kids from Schooling a Monkey

Fun Poetry Activities for Kids from iGameMom

Poetry Books for Children from The Jenny Evolution

Apps for Creating Poetry with Kids from Parenting Chaos

Poetry Printable Copywork for Kids from The Natural Homeschool

Mother's Day Fingerprint Gift With Printable Poem from Play Dough & Popsicles

Poetry Writing for Kids: Using Metaphors from Planet Smarty Pants

Our Favorite Poetry Book for Kids from Our Daily Craft


Unit Study Roundup

I have recently joined a new group on Facebook and it is a group for bloggers who combine efforts to create a unit study. The group admins choose a topic, the bloggers sign up to write post on the topic. We all need to choose a different aspect of the topic.

Last week's topic was Poetry and there were posts on using poetry as copywork (handwriting practice), different books on poetry, worksheets, and more.

This week, the topic is Maps and so I have written a post on making a salt dough map. I still have a bit of work to do on my post because we need to paint the salt dough map and then post a photo to the page.

I needed to add everyone else's blog links to my post (16 other links!) and I needed to add a collage of all of the different images that the other bloggers made.

I am on a steep learning curve but I am looking forward to this blogging opportunity. I won't sign up for every topic but this new group gives me ideas for blogging about home education.

The blog posts are all set to go live at 08:00 Central Time. I hope that I've done things correctly with regard to scheduling my post to go live :-)

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Projects, Performance, and Public Speaking

This academic year I have been running a few project groups and a music group. The project groups are subject specific. I run two Science groups and one History/Geography group.

For Science, each family either does a project or an experiment to present to the other families who attend. The format is the same for the History and Geography group. When I initially came up with the idea of a weekly group, I had thought that I would be with the same group of people each week. Instead, my weekly group turned into three monthly groups! I had a lot of people interested in having a Science group and there were too many for the room. To accommodate everyone, I came up with two groups.

Some of the Science projects and experiments we have done have been:

September: Hover Craft, tooth decay (soaking eggs in various liquids to see the effects on the egg shells), Mentos and Cola, dancing raisins (raisins in fizzy water and comparing the reaction to raisins in still water) Water Cycle, making snow (corn flour and oil).

October: Lava lamp (water, oil, food colouring, denture tablets that fizz), energy (potential, stored, kinestic, chemical), water pressure (blue tac, straw, 2 litre bottle of water), bouncy eggs (eggs soaked in vinegar for 24 hours), brain, and magnets, bouncing egg (hard boiled egg soaked in vinegar), eggs absorbing colour, matter (liquid, solid and gas - dancing raisins with fizzy water and raisins), water density (eggs, salt and tap water - 1 egg sinks, one egg floats in the middle and the other egg floats to the top), cornflour and water mixture - solid and liquid - how stirring or friction/engery/heat affect the consistency of the mixture, cleaning pennies with vinegar - the acid in the vinegar lifts the dirt from the copper pennies.

November: Water (liquid, solid, gas - making bubbles, holding molecules), Sound - telephone string and cups, Sound - how size affects sound - musical instruments, making straw reeds, Making a rainbow, Egg being sucked into a bottle, Water Pressure and a diver sinking and floating, Light with a shadow puppet theatre, along with transparent, translucent and opaque demonstration, prism rainbows. Cells - PowerPoint and microscope slides, sound (musical instruments), making plastic milk which makes something similar to playdough.

January: how yeast works (inflating a balloon with yeast), a hydraulic system, optical illusions (on screen and the bird in the cage), force, (balloon on a straw moving along a string), volcano, aerodynamic zippy zoomer, demonstration of how plastic forms a seal around an object that punctures it. Paper planes, tornado experiment and lapbook, antigravity demonstration with water and card, rock cycle (different forms of chocolate and marshmallows to show the types of rock and sand).


February: Skeleton, Laws of Force, and chemical reactions.

March: Ice melting with salt, sea salt, sugar and nothing. Blubber (lard/margarine in a plastic bag "glove" and ice water, density (demonstrated with different amounts of paper in plastic boxes and using skittles and water to make a rainbow layer, how fish breathe, travellin seeds, and carbon.


For History and Geography group we had the following projects:

September - America, India, Kenya, William the Conqueror, The Stone Age

November - Austria, Ancient Greeks, Japan, WW1, Pirates,

January - Scotland, Battle of Culloden, Argentina, Australia, Ancient Greece, Italy.

February - Antarctica - Race for the pole, and Animals and a timeline, Statue of Liberty, Amazon Rainforest.

March - Navigation - longitude and latitude, Ireland (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland), Idonesia, and Mary Cassatt - artist from the Impressionist circle.

The Music Group has been working on music to perform at a local care home/nursing home. We went to visit the residents in August, December, and March. We read some poetry, played some solos, performed a little skit, and of course played and sang some songs for the residents. Our most recent visit was overwhelming because there was hardly any room for the children to perform! It was a really nice visit.

We are still loosely following our Charlotte Mason curriculum and enjoying the use of living books to bring subjects and topics alive. We really enjoy unit studies too. I am rather eclectic in my approach to my education provision.

I have joined a Facebook group for unit studies and each family will contribute a blog post to help contribute to the information on the weekly topic. This will be a very interesting venture and I am looking forward to it. I have been looking at the other posts and I think it will be fun to contribute to this. :-)