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20 Creative Ways To Practice Spelling Words

Let's face it, most of the traditional ways to practice spelling words are boring. No one enjoys copying the same word out over and over. Plus many kids tend to do better with hands on activities that stimulate both sides of the brain. Here are 20 creative ways for kids to practice spelling words:







Creative Ways To Practice Spelling Words:

Yelling For Spelling- Go outside somewhere your kids can be loud and have them practice spelling their spelling words aloud, as loud as they can. 

Glitter Writing- Everything is better with glitter!  Have your kids write their spelling words with school glue and then sprinkle with glitter.

Rainbow Writing- Write your child's spelling words with a black ball point pen. Then have your child trace the letters with various colors of marker to create a colorful rainbow effect.

Alternative Writing Mediums- Writing doesn't always have to be done with a pen or pencil on paper. Try using different writing mediums. Have your child use their finger to wr…

Baking Soda Vinegar Reaction Variations

Baking soda vinegar reactions are always a favorite in our house. My kids never get tired of watching these bubbly acid-base reactions. In this post I share a few fun variations on the basic baking soda vinegar experiment. 





The Science Behind Baking Soda Vinegar Experiments:

Baking soda and vinegar reactions are classic acid base reactions. Vinegar is acetic acid in water and baking soda is a base known as sodium bicarbonate. Initially the reaction yields carbonic acid, but it is unstable and quickly breaks down into carbon dioxide and water. The carbon dioxide gas bubbles are what what makes the bubbly foam in these reactions.

NaHCO3 + CH3COOH = CO2 + H2O + Na + CH3COO-


Basic Baking Soda And Vinegar Reaction:

You will need:
-baking soda
-vinegar
-a cup or bowl

Add a couple tablespoons of baking soda to a cup or bowl. Add a half a cup of vinegar and watch it foam!

Now try these fun variations:


Sudsy Reaction:

For an extra foamy reaction add a small amount of dish soap to the baking soda before yo…

The Butterfly Lifecycle

Butterflies are always a favorite topic in our house. They're beautiful and the process of metamorphosis is fascinating! Spring is the perfect time for learning about these amazing little creatures. In this post I share a few resources and ideas for studying butterflies and instructions for a fun butterfly lifecycle craft we did recently.







Resources For Learning About The Butterfly Lifecycle:

Videos:

-Butterfly: A Life from National Geographic 

-How A Caterpillar Becomes A Butterfly from SciShow Kids

-Metamorphosis: Caterpillar To Butterfly from FreeSchool

-Lifecycle Of A Butterfly


Websites:

-Butterfly Lifecycle - The Butterfly Site

-The Butterfly Lifecycle!- National Geographic Kids


Books:

-The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

-From Caterpillar To Butterfly by Deborah Heiligman

-Caterpillar To Butterfly from National Geographic Kids Readers by Laura Marsh

-The Lifecycles Of Butterflies by Judy Burris and Wayne Richards






Butterfly Lifecycle Craft:

For this craft you will need:
-a paper plate o…

Spring Bucket List

Spring is my favorite season. The weather starts getting warm. Everything is in bloom. There's lots of insects and wildlife to observe. It's a beautiful time of year. One of the best things about spring is that my kids can start spending lots of time outdoors again. Outdoors they have space to burn energy and play freely, like kids are meant to do. It also gives them a lot of opportunities to explore and learn about the natural world around them. 

This year I decided to put together a bucket list of all the fun outdoor activities I'd like my kids to get an opportunity to do this spring.






Spring Bucket List:

-Go puddle stomping. What kid doesn't love a good puddle to stomp in?

-Search for four leafed clovers. My 8 year old has already found one this spring!

-Fly a kite!

-Explore a field of wildflowers. You could even turn this into a nature study lesson by trying to identify the different flowers you see.

-Catch a tadpole.

-Find a caterpillar.

-Watch a thunderstorm.

-Play in the r…

Learning About Ancient Rome: Activities And Resources For Elementary Students

We've been studying various ancient civilizations this year. So far we've covered Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome and have plans for China and the Aztecs. We had an especially fun time with Rome so I thought I would share some of the activities we did and resources we used.





Activities:

Laurel Wreath Crowns

The ancient Romans wore crowns made of Laurel leaves as a sign of status. We made our own Laurel wreath crowns out of a paper plate and construction paper.

For this activity you will need:

-Construction paper in two different shades of green. If you don't have more than one shade of green, you can use green and yellow like we did.

-A paper plate

-Scissors

-School glue or paste

Start by cutting the edge off the plate. Discard the inner part, the edge is the part you will be using. Cut a slit in one side of the paper plate so it will better fit your head.



Look at a few pictures of Laurel leaves online (Google Images works well for this). Then draw lots of Laurel leaves onto you…

40 Nature Study Ideas

Spending time in nature has a plethora of proven health benefits. Nature is soothing to the soul. It's also a great way to incorporate more science into your homeschool day. Time spent outdoors, surrounded by nature, encourages children to learn about and care for the natural world, and it's fun too!






Here are some simple nature study ideas to try:


-Catch a caterpillar and observe the process of metamorphosis.

-Build a compost bin and learn about soil.

-Go bird watching.

-Learn about avian eggs.





-Collect fall leaves and compare their different shapes, sizes, and colors. 

-Collect some pond water and look at it under a microscope.

-Dissect an insect.

-Photograph spider webs.

-Make nature art.






-Collect pine cones and compare the different types that you find.

-Start an ant or earthworm farm.

-Photograph spring wildflowers.

-Build a shelter out of natural items that could protect you from the elements.

-Build a backyard weather station.






-Plant a garden.

-Learn about local edible and medicinal plan…

Birth Story: Barefoot Baby #3

My 3rd little girl made her way Earth side last week, right at 40 weeks. While it was another very healthy and uneventful pregnancy, I was far more uncomfortable in the final few weeks than I was with my first two. I'm a firm believer in waiting for babies to come when they're ready, but waiting this time was tough. My hips and my lower stomach muscles were in constant pain.  I'm glad I held out though, and didn't take my midwife's offer to sweep my membranes in an attempt to jump start things, the week before. Natural deliveries are an intensely beautiful experience, and I am so thankful I got to have another one. Here is our story:

I woke up Thursday morning, the day before my estimated due date, to very regular but fairly mild contractions. I spent about a half hour timing them on my phone. They were already coming every 5-7 minutes, but didn't feel very strong yet, so I knew we likely had plenty of time. Then I tried to distract myself by going about our nor…

The Phases Of The Moon: Activities and Resources

If you pay attention to the moon you've probably noticed that it doesn't look the same from night to night. The moon goes through a monthly cycle, starting with a new moon, and appearing to slowly grow in size to a full moon, and then shrink back down to a new moon. The moon doesn't actually grow and shrink though, and the moon doesn't actually emit light either. The moon reflects the sun's light and appears to grow and shrink based on what part of the moon is facing the Earth at a given point in time. Here are some fun activities and resources for learning more about the phases of the moon and how it all works:






Resources For Learning About The Phases Of The Moon:

Videos

YouTube has lots of great videos for kids about the phases of the moon. Here are a couple of our favorites:

-Why Does The Moon Change from SciShow Kids

-Phases Of The Moon: Astronomy And Space For Kids from FreeSchool


Websites

Here are a few websites with good information about the moon's phases for k…