Showing posts sorted by relevance for query homeschool. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query homeschool. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query homeschool. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query homeschool. Sort by date Show all posts

Free Online Homeschool Curriculum Recommendations

Curriculum Recommendations for Online Homeschooling


Whether you're new to homeschooling or you've been doing it for years, you're probably on the hunt for new, exciting, and engaging curriculum ideas. We get bored with the daily grind and change it up from year to year or even season to season. Here's a list of mostly free online homeschool curriculum recommendations that we've used and enjoyed. We've tried MANY other options, but these are our favorites.

This post contains affiliate links.

Free Online Homeschool Curriculum Recommendations
Free Online Homeschool Curriculum Recommendations.


Brainpop Jr. is my favorite program for younger elementary and preschool. The videos are fun to watch, and the kids always looked forward to using Brainpop Jr. for Homeschooling

Brainpop has a an online homeschool for middle school and high school, but we often found topics we wanted only on Brainpop Jr. The upper grade version is nice for supplementing classroom curriculum. If you use the paid version, you have access to more functions and all lessons.

MobyMax is a great online homeschool app to find out where your kids are in their homeschool learning experience. They can take placement tests in all subjects and then the program finds learning gaps and helps kids focus and build on the areas where they may be struggling. The content isn't as fun and engaging as Brainpop. It is a more definitive tool for classroom use, helping teachers to keep all students on track. MobyMax can be used as a supplement or as full homeschool curriculum up to eighth grade.

Khan Academy is (or should be) a household name for homeschoolers. In the beginning, Khan Academy targeted older students and even offered SAT prep. Now, they also offer more curriculum for elementary school. It keeps track of their lessons and lets you know when students are struggling or when they are ready to move to the next level.

The kids prefer Khan Academy math to any other online homeschool math program, but homeschool mom always liked to supplement with free Brainpop math videos to make sure the kids understood the talking points. Khan Academy can get monotonous for day to day homeschooling. Sal does a great job, but it can get a little boring after awhile. We also supplement our Khan Academy math with Life of Fred textbooks. These books are easy to read and tell a fun story while sneaking in practical math lessons.

Now, there are new instructors and new curriculum on KA. My daughter enjoys studying high school and college level psychology and art history through Khan Academy.

My son does well with virtual homeschool. So, for online high school homeschooling, we are sticking with Connections Academy. In Indiana, it is a free online public school. Connections Academy offers group gatherings and field trips. He gets through the assignments quickly (though, I'm told many homeschoolers struggle to get their lessons done on time) so we supplement with weekly enrichment including museum homeschool programs and educational YouTube videos like John and Hank Green's Crash Course in American History.

Sometimes, when he's struggling on a particular topic, (for high school all text books are online) we find a compatible Life of Fred homeschooling book to fll in any gaps. It's nice to have a good, old book that you can hold in your hand and flip through the pages. He enjoys reading them outside while enjoying his hammock.

Sure, Connections Academy has teachers and attendance to keep, but when it's all done, he'll have official transcripts for college. 

I prefer Connections High School to their Elementary program. The elementary program seemed a little too intense. Especially, when you want the freedom of homeschooling. They're still working out the bugs and it gets better every year, in the past, we had to have weekly check ups with the elementary teachers. For high school, signing in and doing your work suffices. As it should...

In 2017, this homeschool mom broke her leg. That made planning homeschool curriculum and doing enrichment activities difficult. So, my daughter was pretty much on her own. She did great with MobyMax (so I could keep up with her learning) and supplementing with YouTube videos of her choosing. But, homeschool mom felt like maybe she was failing her daughter by not being as involved. So, this fall, we are trying something new! Acellus. I stumbled upon Acellus last year when I was laid up in bed. Many other homeschoolers told me it was expensive, but I was sure I found a free or nearly free version. 

But whenever, I looked it up, I found the paid online homeschool version, which seems to be set up like Connections academy, but with a private school fee. That's not for us! I gave up for a while, and recently tried again. It seems they also have a homeschool app which is found on a separate website, PowerHomeschool. The homeschool app differs from the online homeschool version, because the videos are canned - meaning they are pre-recorded 

That's just what we wanted! We like working at our own pace. These videos are similar to videos my daughter finds on YouTube, but these organized by grade level. We'll choose math, science, language arts, foreign language, and music this year. At the time of this posting, the app is $9.99 per month, basically the same as the paid homeschool version of Brainpop. We're looking forward to starting her in the homeschool middle school program this fall. 

The PowerHomemschool website describe the homeschool curriculum like this: "Students proceed through the course in a step-by-step fashion watching a video lesson and then completing assessment problems. Students receive reviews and unit, mid-term, and final exams as they proceed through the course. Learning gaps are assessed and filled as students move through the course concept by concept."

Seems like a fair option to give it a test drive before you jump into their online school curriculum. 

We'll also supplement with Life of Fred fractions and beginning algebra. One thing I've missed the last few years, is doing hands-on science experiments. After previewing the Acellus app's science curriculum, I was excited to try it. With a Google search for online homeschool curriculum, the app is hard to find. They have moved it to a new website with a different name. Find it here: PowerHomeschool

Bottom line, don't break the bank to homeschool. We have SO many books, every year, I'd go out and buy new books. We never got through most of them. Find a free online homeschool curriculum, that works for you and stick with it. Then, supplement with fun enrichment activities and family outings.

We also involve the kids in day to day household concerns. We talk about finances, debt, and even recently including them in every step of the home buying process. That included going to a lender, saving for a down payment, creative ways to find extra money like garage sales, selling off items no longer needed, the highs and lows of Craigslist and eBay, getting a water and septic test at the state level, watching our credit scores, budgeting for groceries, finding ways to cut costs to save for the new house, and even going to a county courthouse to pick up documents needed to close. So many lessons here. At the courthouse, we all had to go through the security, empty our pockets, etc. The next steps, include renovating the new house. 

Family struggles and life lessons are often kept from kids. In my opinion, this tends to give the kids an unrealistic view of what it is like to be a grown up. They can't wait to get out of the house and start their own life, but reality gets in the way of their happiness. Keeping kids life lessons and keeping them in the know, helps them better prepare for the future. Isn't that what homeschooling is all about?

So, what do you think of this list of free online homeschool curriculum recommendations? Do you have something you really love? Tell us about it in the comments or find Kids Creative Chaos on Instagram and chat with us there!


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Free Online Homeschool Curriculum Recommendations


How to Make Homeschooling More Fun

Tips for Fun Ways to Homeschool Every Day


Has your homeschool become monotonous? When we homeschool everyday, it can become boring and repetitive. Find out how to make homeschooling more fun with this round up of tips from homeschool educators!


This post contains affiliate links.



How to Make Homeschooling More Fun


Here are some other homeschool websites that have come up with cool ways to make homeschooling more fun.

6 Ways to Make Homeschooling More Fun by True Aim.

5 Secrets to Add Fun to  Homeschool Routine by Rock Your Homeschool.

Homeschool Do Over by Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Top 10 Fun Homeschool Ideas by Homeschooling-Ideas.

Tips to Help Kids Have Fun in Homeschool by Natural Beach Living.

Liven Up Your Homeschool by She Knows.

How to Make Your Homeschool More Fun by Homeschool Hideout.

Make Homeschool Fun by Abeka.


So, how do you make your homeschool days fun? Share with us in the comments and then hop over to Pinterest to follow our homeschool boards.



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Fun Homeschool Curriculum Ideas

Homeschool Project Ideas from Kids Creative Chaos



Best Homeschool Organization Tips

Homeschool Families Get Organized Tips


Homeschooling! Whether you are just starting out, or you've been at it for awhile, you know the importance of getting your homeschool family organized. You've got curriculum to store, ideas to keep track of, assignments, art work, transcripts, oh my! What's a busy homeschool parent to do? Kids, you need to stay organized too! We've scoured the web and our favorite homeschool blogs to find the best homeschool organization tips. Enjoy!


Best Homeschool Organization Tips


This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.


Why I Choose to Homeschool: Homeschooling with Online Classes through Connections Academy (INCA)

Why Homeschool? Should You Homeschool? 

Have you been considering homeschooling? Should you homeschool? Is homeschooling bad or good? Why homeschool? Have you considered free online public school? It's completely free and totally easy! We struggled with the decision whether or not to homeschool. Then, I saw a commercial on television for Connections Academy, so we did that for awhile and then we used what we learned to do homeschool on our own. Enjoy!


Why homeschool How to free homeschooling online
With Online Homeschool, there is plenty of time for field trips and extracurricular learning.
We visited an orchard and picked beautiful blue plums off the tree.

Why did I choose to homeschool?  

Why homeschool? There are so many things about public brick and mortar school I detest and dread. I hated the mean-spirited shaming I witnessed from one avid church-goer when my son mentioned he didn't really go/like to go church. It's true, he went sometimes, but I left him home with Daddy a lot (Daddy retired from church). This strikes me as ironic, because stereotypically many people believe "church people" or "religious extremists" homeschool. 

I go to church when the whim strikes me. I'm a bleeding heart, stuck somewhere between hippies and devout Christians. I guess, the remark hurt my feelings too.


I hated the complaints from my daughter of how much she hated recess. "There is nothing to do, no one to play with, and the teachers won't let me sit on the blacktop" Ah... memories. In early elementary, I walked around the edge of the blacktop waiting for the teacher to blow the whistle.


I hated picking my son up nearly every other day after lunch, because he had something with milk or dairy in it. I even had a note from the doctor, apparently, state law requires milk must be placed on EVERY child's tray! I sent in alternative beverages, but "Mommy, I just took a little sip of chocolate milk!" 


He'd have an asthmatic reaction, go to the nurse for his inhaler, and then... And then... poor nurse. Let's just say, it came out both ends.


Number one, the school bus! I hated leaving the safety of my kids to another person- someone I didn't know, no seatbelts on the bus, bullies on the bus, other dangerous drivers, etc. Just pulling into our neighborhood was a deathtrap. Waiting for the bus with the middle schoolers outside was too traumatic for Mommy. Well, it didn't seem right to me; my kids were just newly 5 when they started school.


They begged to ride the bus. I let my son ride a few times. The neighbor child had some problems. He was sort of a bully, but he was also bullied by the older kids. The nice, old man bus driver had him sit up front with my little one. My son came home with lots of amazing new life lessons. 


Then, the kid started causing trouble. The bus driver would pull over and wait it out. So, the bus was often late. No, thank you, we started driving the kids to school permanently once my daughter hit all-day kindergarten. She's a handful. I can't imagine she'd stay in her seat without a seatbelt. I didn't think the sweet, old man needed the added stress. 


I'd pick the kids up from school, have an after-school snack, try to squeeze in a little outdoor playtime, then it was time to make supper, get baths, do homework, and go to bed. 


Impossible.

I hated the homework! We'd be up late finishing projects for first and second grade! 

My son is gifted. We looked forward to a special program at the school, but it didn't start until third grade. In the meantime, he was placed in a class with high ability learners. Even so, the teacher felt there were problems. He understood concepts in ways other second graders couldn't- which led to arguments and frustrations. Since, we were planning to move, the teacher wondered if online school might work for him. This way, he could work at his own pace. I wasn't sold on the idea until...


The second lockdown at school. That's right, second. I shrugged off the first one. The second one was for the same reason, a bank robber near the school grounds and shots fired. I tried to get in the car line to pick up the kids, but the road was blocked by police cars. I called  a friend, Angie, she arrived a few minutes prior to me. She was told to get out of her car and head to them gym for safety. 


Yep, I was a mess.  


BUT... I can't homeschool. I don't have the patience. I'm not disciplined enough. My kids need socialization. I don't want other people to think we're freaks. 


WHATEVER.


It's just not like that anymore. I CAN (of course I can). We actually had LESS busy bookwork than regular school. The kids had online live lessons with their teachers and classmates. The teachers checked in regularly with emails and phone calls. As a learning coach, I was a big part of my kids academic experience, but not the teacher. So, I didn't have to worry about making major mistakes.



Free School Online Public Elementary Homeschooling
Indiana Connections Academy, Free School Online!

We homeschooled through INCA or Indiana Connections Academy. The supplies are completely free! This includes all textbooks, science supplies, art supplies, and companion DVD's and CDRom's for the online classes.

They took required state standardized tests in an university classroom. There are school sponsored field trips and local group gatherings. We met up with a local group of homeschoolers outside of INCA for recreation or SOCIALIZATION.


Yep, next to giving birth... homeschooling is the best idea I've ever had. I have more time to spend with my kids, hone my novel writing skills, and work as a freelancer.  


In case you're wondering, my kids were offered the opportunity to attend regular school year. They both declined with a resounding, "No way!"


Now, that we are experienced homeschoolers, we go it alone! I create online lessons and share them here on the blog. The kids do math with Kahn Academy, and we supplement with Brainpop. We love homeschooling. 

We get up when we want, go to bed when we want, study what we want, and have the freedom to supplement with field trips whenever we want. We are members of several clubs for homeschoolers and meet up with our friends at least once per week.


Recommended Reading:


Homeschooling 101: A Guide to Getting Started.*

The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas*

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ADS DISCLOSURE: We've partnered with some wonderful advertisers who may sponsor blog posts or send us samples to test. Some companies pay us to review their products.

*We also use affiliate links, if you make a purchase we get a tiny commission. Kids Creative Chaos participates in the Amazon LLC Associates Program*, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for blogs to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon properties, including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com. We also offer Tapinfluence, Google Adsense, SoFab, and Izea ads here. Thanks so much for helping us keep the lights on! :)


Homeschool Resources: Varun's Quest Review

Great Resource for Homeschoolers

Homeschooling help for parents: Looking for a great resource for homeschoolers? Our website offers many educational resources for homeschoolers. Below is a review of Varun's Quest a wonderful book for homeschoolers of any age. Keep scrolling because we've also added links to our favorite homeschool resources. Enjoy!


This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I get a small commission.



Homeschool Resources


a Great Resource for Homeschoolers: Varun's Quest Review
Jake's Journey in Art includes Language Arts.
Here he reads the beautifully illustrated Varun's Quest by Timothy Goldsmith.

Science Books for Homeschoolers



  • We were given the opportunity to review Varun's Questwhich is a wonderful science book for homeschoolers. Varun's Quest is a fictional tale depicting non-fiction science. The story is fun to read aloud as a family or in a group setting with the ideal audience being 2nd - 5th grade. Older children will enjoy reading the story themselves and then sharing the details with "the class."  The author of this creative tale, is Yale Biology Professor, Timothy Goldsmith. Get your copy here: Buy Varun's Quest.







An elf leads children through the story quest while he shares all about the science around us. It starts with an informative science lesson on bees. Jake, enjoys the way the stories unfold and likes that the stories are based on reality. Whenever he isn't sure about something, he Googles to find out more, so these stories have evolved into a full blown science curriculum. He'll write questions in his daily science journal and then look them up later on Google. What a great way to teach science to your homeschooler! For a fun activity, pair this book with Bee Movie.

We used the book as a catalyst for making scientific posters, doing science experiments, and of course, to practice creative writing.


  • Our all time FAVORITE Science Books for Homeschoolers are the Life of Fred Science books. These books are great for kids of any age. Parents will enjoy them too. Anyone reading Life of Fred will learn something new!


  • Gail Gibbons Encyclopedia Series are a wealth of information for anyone who enjoys reading. All of her books are beautiful illustrated. They cover science, history, and art. While these books may be at a higher reading level for early elementary students, younger children will enjoy looking at the pictures while listening to the stories.




Homeschool Resources










  • Acellus Power Homeschool can be used as an app or as full school with access to teachers.  Check out Acellus Curriculum for Homeschool Students. We currently use the middle school courses. There are lots of classes to choose from including music and art!






.


Recommended Reading:


The Everything Homeschooling Book: All you need to create the best curriculum and learning environment for your child



The Benefits of Box Tops for Homeschool

 Box Tops for Homeschool?

Can I use Box Tops for homeschool? Wouldn't that be awesome? The answer is yes, but probably not in the way you hope. Homeschoolers can use Box Tops for Education, but the homeschool has to be registered as a 501-C3 organization. So, perhaps a co-op you use, an online academy, or a homeschool that is registered with the state. Click this link to learn more about Box Tops for Homeschoolers. Scroll down for more info on Box Tops for Education. Enjoy!

The Benefits of Box Tops for Homeschool
When shopping at Sam's Club you must try all the samples, and eat in the cafe!

If you aren't familiar with Box Tops, when you see that pink logo on your food, you might wonder, "What is Box Tops for Education?".  As homeschoolers, we participate in Box Tops for Education. The kids love to cut out and collect the little pink logos.

In the past, we sent them to our online homeschool teacher for Connections Academy. This is a great way for schools to earn money to purchase items for the classroom. This year, we'll log into eBoxTops and choose our favorite school.


How to redeem Box Tops for Education for homeschool.
How to redeem Box Tops for Education for homeschool.

To earn greater rewards quicker, we shop at Sam's Club. Sam's Club offers an online portal to redeem the Box Tops. The eBoxTops redemption is easy, and many of the Box Tops found on the items at Sam's Club are worth more than items that don't come in bulk!

Even better, the kids actually like to shop at Sam's Club. They get to taste samples, and if they behave, I reward them with pizza or ice cream from the Cafe. Jake asked if we could come back once a week!

Want to earn cash for your children’s school? It’s easy!  Over 80,000 participating schools are eligible to receive donations from General Mills® through Box Tops for Education™ (BTFE).  Shop the participating products below at Sam’s Club, and redeem them for your school. Your school earns 10¢ for each Box Top redeemed!

What brands offer box tops for education?
Our favorite brands offer Box Tops for Education.

We get a great value on all of the kids' favorite foods when shopping at Sam's Club. We bought Betty Crocker™ Hershey’s Ultimate Chocolate Brownie Mix, General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Betty Crocker™ Fruit Roll-Ups, Totino’s™ Pizza Rolls (Pepperoni), and Pillsbury™ Mini Pancakes. There are many other options including Yoplait® Original Variety Pack.


Box Tops for education homeschool groups.


Bed head, but happy to eat his favorite breakfast
 of Cinnamon Toast Crunch™ outdoors before school starts.


 #boxtops4education


Recommended:


Homeschooling 101*

Easy Breakfast Idea: Walking Pancakes

Homeschool Projects Online



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills® . The opinions and text are all mine.

Homeschool Jamboree Eagle Creek

Eagle Creek Park Homeschool Jamboree

If you are looking for Indiana Homeschool Programs, Eagle Creek Park is a great place to start. You can take classes at the Orinithology Center or the Earth Discovery Center. The Homeschool Jamboree at Eagle Creek Park started as a fall progam, but now is also offered in the spring too. Don't delay in signing up, because they fill up fast. Enjoy!

Homeschool Jamboree Eagle Creek
Homeschool Jamboree Eagle Creek.

What you Need to Know:

Their website is bit tricky to navigate and not well updated, but here is a link to their calender of events for 2016:


Registration is $15 per child. This is an all day event. Parents are welcome to stay with their children, but they can drop them off too. Children ages 8-14 can attend.

The best place to register is Indy Parks. To stay up to date on activities, follow Eagle Creek Park on Facebook.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Bring a bag and an extra pair of shoes. (You might get muddy.)
  • Bring a sack lunch. (You store it in the building.)
  • Dress for the always changing Indiana weather.
  • Don't be late.
  • You can sign up with a friend.
  • Parents can stay with their children or leave.
  • There are a lot of students. Remind your child to stay with the group and LISTEN to instructions.
  • There are nice, clean restrooms in the center.
  • There is plenty of room and things to do in the center. If you have small children, you can keep busy inside while your child attends classes.
Eagle Creek Park Homeschool Jamboree
Eagle Creek Park Homeschool Jamboree.
Choose from a variety of environmental activities. Here are a few of our favorites:

Orienteering (Nope, not rowing related. Learn to navigate your way through the woods by reading a compass.)

Orienteering with a compass class.
Orienteering class with a compass.
Tree Climbing (This is the real thing. They teach how to use grappling hooks.)

Water Safety

Learning to Not Leave a Trace (Save the Environment.)

Canines

Endangered Species

Animal Tracking 

We attended the spring session this year. I took the opportunity to have some mommy me time, and I missed the tree climbing! I had hoped to watch the kiddos and take some photos of each event.

Homeschool Jamboree at the Earth Discovery Center
On the way to the Homeschool Jamboree at the Earth Discovery Center.
It is crowded! Here, they are lining up for their classes.

Learning how to use a compass. There is a lot to know!
Mayhem orienteering.
Once you complete the lesson, you get a prize.

Recommended:








ADS DISCLOSURE: We've partnered with some wonderful advertisers who may sponsor blog posts or send us samples to test. Some companies pay us to review their products. *We also use affiliate links, if you make a purchase we get a tiny commission. Kids Creative Chaos participates in the Amazon LLC Associates Program*, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for blogs to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon properties, including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com. We also offer Tapinfluence, Google Adsense, SoFab, and Izea ads here. Thanks so much for helping us keep the lights on! :)


Summer Homeschool Projects to Get Your Kids Outdoors


Outside Projects for Homeschoolers


When the days are warmer and longer, the beautiful sunny weather makes homeschool lessons more and more difficult to do indoors. Why sit inside and stare at textbooks when you can teach your kids some lessons in the great outdoors? We've got summer homeschool projects to get your kids outdoors and enjoying the fresh air. Read on for homeschool activities you can do outside with the kids!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Summer Homeschool Projects to Get Your Kids Outdoors




Whether you’re teaching homeschool science, math, or life skills, we’ve compiled a list of some homeschool projects to get your kids outside and learning at the same time!

Grow a Kid-Friendly Garden

Gardening with kids is educational and a good mental and physical workout. Not to mention, digging around in the dirt and planting some flowers with your kids is just good old fashion fun! The internet is full of all sorts of different gardening lesson plans, and you can make this homeschool project as simple or complex as you want.




However, sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to get your kids engaged in a project. Start by building a raised garden bed that is all theirs. If they’re old enough, have them help you put the bed together. This gives them the opportunity to explore their carpentry skills! Next, plant some easy-to-grow vegetable seeds or starts such as beets, potatoes, tomatoes, green onions, beans, and kale.


When the time comes to harvest your plants, you’ll be able to teach your kids a bit about the food industry, and they’ll make the connection that all the vegetables and fruits they eat have to be grown from seed before they make it to their plate!

Education-Based Nature Hike

Hikes are one of the best parts of summer. They get your heart pumping, work up a good sweat and the view at the top of the mountain is always breathtaking. While hiking will definitely fulfill your kids’ PE requirement, it’s also a great time to explore your area’s local climate! Depending on where you live and where you choose to hike, there will be a few different homeschool lessons you can teach. Check out this list of ideas to get started!

Do a Beach Treasure Hunt

As a kid, you probably remember going on a field trip or two to the beach to look for seashells and hermit crabs. The beautiful weather is a great excuse to go do a little hands-on marine biology lesson!




Create your own treasure hunt and have your kids explore the area to find everything on the list. Not only will they learn more about your local environment, but they’ll burn off all that energy by running around trying to collect all their items!

Outdoor Art Projects

Your kids love art projects. They’ll love them, even more, when they get to do them outside! There are a variety of different art projects that utilize plant material to create something beautiful. Some tried and true classics include painting rocks, sun prints, and nature sculptures.

Visit Some Local Historical Landmarks

Who says history lessons have to be taught out of a textbook? Take your kids on a trip to some local landmarks to teach them a little bit about your town’s unique history.




Get in touch with your local museum to see what programs they have going on for kids during the summer. Or, take a day trip to your state’s capital or nearby national or state parks.

Tried and True Baking Soda and Vinegar Volcano

Sometimes the classics are hard to beat. Kids love watching stuff explode, but having to clean up the ensuing mess may be a turn-off. Take the mess outside and teach them a little bit about chemical reactions with a baking soda and vinegar volcano. There are hundreds of tutorials on the internet, and this project can be as simple as using a 2L bottle or as complex and crafting a paper mache volcano to go along with the experiment!

Build a Compost Bin

I didn’t realize it at the time, but when we built a compost bin in my 7th-grade science class, I learned so much about building healthy soil and the benefits of compost! Not only will building a compost bin give your kids some experience with woodworking, but they’ll have the first-hand experience of watching kitchen and yard waste turn into a valuable soil additive.




Finish off the lesson by having your kids add your homegrown compost to the garden and observe how the plants respond. Have them predict ahead of time what they think will happen and then help them keep a log of the plant growth and changes.

Bird Watching and Identification

During lunch, take the opportunity to sit outside and do a bit of bird watching! Install a few bird feeders around your yard and you’ll be surprised to see how many of them flock to the seeds. If you can get close enough, you can even make a project out of identifying them. Find a local bird guidebook and have them check off all the different species they find. Or, get out of the house and visit a bird sanctuary.

Take Your Regular Lessons Outdoors

Sometimes getting out and enjoying the outdoors is as easy as taking your regularly scheduled lesson plan outdoors! Establish an outdoor area that your kids can study at without baking in the sun. Consider installing a hardtop gazebo and building a high-quality outdoor table that your kids can comfortably study at.


And when the school day is over, that same gazebo and table can offer your guests a place to hang out on those long summer nights. In the rainy season, you can still use that outdoor space to complete messy projects that you don’t want to do indoors.


What projects are you planning for your kids this upcoming summer? Let us know in the comments below!


Bio: Leigha Staffenhagen is the managing editor of Insteading.com, a homesteading and sustainability site focusing on everything from gardening and raising chickens to tiny homes and off-grid living.







Homeschool Curriculum Resources

Supplemental Resources for Educators


Thanks to Oriental Trading for these curriculum resources.

Whether you're a homeschool parent or a classroom teacher, these curriculum resources from Oriental Trading are a great way to supplement learning. From the hundreds of items in the Oriental Trading catalog, we chose these items to supplement our homeschool curriculum. If you're looking for supplemental homeschool curriculum resources, be sure to check them out.

This post contains affiliate links.

Homeschool Curriculum Resources
Airbrush Marker Set, Money and Time Flashcards, Fraction Spinners, Ruler Tape, and World Map.


Last year, both kids attended Indiana Connections Academy online. We started our homeschool journey with them and after a few years of homeschooling on our own, decided to enroll again. It allowed both kids to take assessment tests. We discovered they both had jumped another grade level. However, Mayhem had some math learning disabilities and special needs.


Supplemental Resources for Educators


Homeschool Curriculum Resources 


Connections Academy was great about testing her and getting her the help she needed, but this year we decided it would be better to once again go it on our own. This way, we can better address her mathematics learning gaps.

So, Jake will attend INCA as a 9th grader... Did you get that? He's officially in high school this year. Yikes! Mayhem is officially a 7th grader. By age, they should be in 5th and 7th. Which makes me skeptical about that assessed math disability.

There's certainly an issue, but she works very well at 4th & 5th grade level math. Her language arts assessment was college level and science and social studies were all above grade level, which is why they placed her in the 6th grade last year.

Homeschooling on our own allows us to tailor the curriculum to her specific grade level needs. We are using MobyMax to help with that. MobyMax finds and corrects learning gaps.


math game for multiplication and division
Tri-Facta math game for multiplication and division memory.


We ordered this educational math game, Tri-Facta, from OT. It's sort of like Scrabble for numbers. Even though Jake is a math whiz, he enjoyed the game.

It's a nice alternative to flashcards. We also got Time and Money flashcards, cool ruler tape, and fraction spinners. Everything You Need to Ace Math in one Big Fat Notebook is an awesome math book for reluctant mathematicians. It's written in note taking form and explains math concepts in a fun, easy to understand manner. Click here to find the resources at Oriental Trading.

If your kids like to color, this World Chart map (pictured below) is a great supplemental activity for geography and social studies. It comes with a booklet of facts. The idea is to find the fact's map location and then color it. We also got an airbrush set for future art lessons.


Social Studies Lesson: Color Chart the World Map.


Social Studies Resource from MindWare, Color Chart Map.


Just for fun, Teacher a.k.a. Mom, drug the kiddos out of bed for a 'I just woke up' shot to share on social media. Everyone always shares their back to school first day of school pictures and we didn't want to be left out.

For us, the first day of school means getting up a little earlier- okay, a lot earlier, but not as early as a traditional school day. No new haircuts, no new backpacks, no new shoes, no new school clothes. Just old pajamas. Well, really, old comfy clothes for sleeping. No matching necessary. We'll get dressed if we run out of food and need to make a trip to the grocery store. A trip to a fast food restaurant doesn't require getting dressed...






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