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Showing posts from February, 2018

A Day In My Life As A Homeschooling Mom (with a 7 and a 1 year old)

I've never attempted to write a "Day in the Life of" post before but here goes!

Around 6:45am I wake to the cat standing at the foot of the bed begging to be let out. As I let the cat out I noticed it snowed a little bit during the night, so I warn my husband that he had better get a move on it and get out of bed to get ready for work incase the roads are bad. Then I feed and water our baby chicks, let the dogs out, and sit down to check my facebook and email notifications. By the time I finish, both my girls are awake and out of bed and asking about breakfast.

I decide to make pancakes for breakfast and get working on that while my 7 year old picks out clothes for herself and her little sister.

Around 8:00 we eat and then I work on cleaning up my breakfast mess in the kitchen and then do a quick pick up around the house. By then my 7 year old is begging to go play in the snow so I help her bundle up and send her out to play. I try to get my 20 month old interested in color…

5 Dr. Seuss Inspired Activities

We are all big Dr. Seuss fans in this house. I grew up loving his books and I love getting to share them now with my own children. Since March 2nd is Dr. Seuss's birthday, I've planned a full week of books and activities to help us celebrate. 
But first a few fun facts about Dr. Seuss:
-Dr. Seuss's real name was Theodore Geisel.
-He used the pen name Dr. Seuss when illustrating his own stories. He often used the pen name Theo LeSieg when someone else illustrated his stories. Theo is a nickname for Theodore, and LeSieg is an anagram for Geisel.
-Green Eggs and Ham was written using only 50 different words.
-In the movie, The Lorax, the main character is named Ted after Theodore Giesel. The main character's crush is named Audrey, after Theodore Giesel's wife.
-Dr. Seuss would be 114 this year!

Bartholomew and the Oobleck
Read Bartholomew and the Oobleck together. It's a fun story about a little boy who must save his kingdom from a sticky goo called oobleck. Then try mak…

My 5 Favorite Kid Friendly Essential Oils

I absolutely love essential oils and use them almost daily for various things around our home.  Not all oils are safe for everyone though. Just like with any other medicinal, there are safety precautions and contradictions to be aware of. Many popular essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary are not safe to use on or around young children due to the fact they are high in chemical constituents known to sometimes cause harm to young children. Peppermint essential oil has high amounts of menthol which can cause breathing difficulties in very young children. Eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils are high in a chemical constituent called 1,8 cineole. 1,8 cineole can cause neurological and breathing issues and should be avoided around young children and epileptics. There are many essential oils out there though that are safe and beneficial to use around your children. It's just important to do a little research first so you know your using them safely. I highly recom…

Make Your Own Mineral Identification Kit

My 7 year old daughter has been studying geology the last few weeks. We've taken several hikes and nature walks to try to find and photograph neat geologic features. We've also collected a few samples of cool rocks and minerals to try to identify.   In this post I will explain how to put together your own mineral identification kit and how to use it to identify minerals you find on your adventures.

First you will need to gather up the supplies you will need (most of it is stuff you can find around the house): -A small notebook -A pencil -A coin -An iron nail -A piece of glass (an old pocket mirror or works well) -A ceramic tile -A small water tight bottle or container -Some vinegar -A magnet  -A magnifying glass -A dropper (optional)  -Rock and mineral guide (optional)  -A small container or bag to keep it all in
Fill the small water tight bottle with vinegar, this will be used for the acid test. Then put all your supplies into your bag or container. Your mineral identifying kit is now ready …

How Metamorphic Rock Is Formed: A Simple Hands On Demonstration

My 7 year old has been studying different types of rocks recently and this week we've been learning about metamorphic rock. Metamorphic rocks start out as igneous rock (volcanic rock) or sedimentary rock (made from sediment) but are changed by exposure to extreme heat and pressure within the Earth. This process is called metamorphism and can change both the physical appearance and the chemical make up of the rock. In this post I'll share a simple but fun way to demonstrate how metamorphic rock is formed.

   For this demonstration you'll need a few colors of modeling clay, a sheet of waxed paper, and a few heavy books. Start by making small balls of clay in several colors. About 10-15 should be enough.

These are your "rocks". Arrange your clay rocks into a pile.

Next, cover your clay rock pile with the waxed paper, waxed side down. Then stack your heavy books on top. You can even apply extra pressure with your hand if necessary.  This is to simulate high pressure cau…

Six Fun Activities for Teaching Sight Word Recognition and Spelling

Sight words are words that you recognize by sight instead of sounding them out phonetically. Most of us do the vast majority of our reading by sight. When your reading a book you aren't sounding out words as you go, your reading by sight. You recognize the words because you've seen them many times before. The Dolche List is a list of the 315 most commonly used words in the English language. About 80% of the words in children's literature and 50% of the words in adult literature are compromised of these 315 words. Once a child has mastered these words, reading becomes much easier. In this post I'll share some of my favorite fun hands on sight word games and activities.

Flash card games: We have several flash card games we like to play. Some of our favorites are Sight Word Go Fish and Sight Word memory. Making sight word flash cards is simple. I just write the sight words we're working on on 3 x 5 cards or even just rectangle pieces of construction paper. I don't …

Painted Rock Hunting: A Community Treasure Hunt

One of mine and my daughter's new favorite hobbies is hunting for painted rocks and painting and hiding our own for others to find. This new community treasure hunt started in Washington state a few years ago and has quickly spread and grown in popularity. My daughter found our first rock a few months ago in a planter box outside our church. It had an angel painted on one side and a hashtag that lead us to a facebook group dedicated to painting and hunting for rocks in our area. Basically people just paint rocks and hide them around the community. Some people post pictures and hints to help you find their rocks. When you find one, you post a picture, and then either keep it or rehide it.

   We were excited to get started painting our own rocks so I did a quick Google search to see what other people were using that wouldn't wash off in the rain. Acrylic paint with a sealant like Modge Podge seemed to be the most common method. We gathered up some nice smooth stones and got …

Pasture-Raised vs Free Range Eggs: What's the Difference?

My family consumes a lot of eggs, about 3 dozen a week between the 4 of us. Clean eating is really important to us, so I care a lot about the quality of eggs we're getting. I'm planning to get a small backyard children coop built this spring so we can raise a few hens ourselves, but until then, we're stuck getting most of our eggs from the supermarket (I do buy eggs from our neighbor when he has extra). There are so many different terms on egg cartons though, it can be a bit tricky to figure out which eggs are best. I've spent some time researching and here's what I found out:

Caged hensCaged hens (which produce pretty much any eggs that don't state they're free range, pasture raised, cage free, certified humane, or organic) are kept in tiny cages, some as small as 67 square inches! Most never see the light of day. Most are fed a soy or corn (probably GMO) diet.

Cage-Free hensCage-Free hens are given slightly more space since they are not confined to cages …

Our Geology Hike

My seven year old has been studying geology the last few weeks. We've watched videos about caves and rocks, built our own volcano, checked out all sorts of geology books from the library, visited a gem and mineral display,  but my favorite activity we've done so far was our geology hike earlier this week.

We happen to live in an area near an active volcano so the area is littered with various types of volcanic rock and lava caps and we have a wonderful park with miles of hiking trails through the area's natural landscape. So we picked a trail and off we went on our adventure to find cool geologic features (and enjoy this rare gorgeous sunny January day).

Almost right away we found an example of a type of rock we had just read about the previous day called a conglomerate rock. Conglomerate rock contains pebbles or small shells cemented together by much smaller particles of rock.

We also found this really neat little ridge where you could see two very distinct layers of lava fl…