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Topic: Need as much input as I can get!!! Thanks for looking

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Subject: Need as much input as I can get!!! Thanks for looking
Date Posted: 3/30/2009 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2007
Posts: 159
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O.K. I know homeschooling moms are up on engaging educational matreial for kids, and are very resourceful, so PLEASE help! Iam looking for a few titles of books that include projects for kids to do-Id like them to be-reletivly(SP?) inexpensive(supplies-maybe even stuff around the house), mix of projects that take about 1/2 to 1 hr., hands on, and fun for child as well as parent. Oh, and of course, educational. Iam not a home-school mom, just a mom who wants to spend more quality time with her kids, and teach them at the same time! Hopefully you dont mind the intrusion-I just know you guys are the right people to ask!

We're intrested in:

Science experiments

Ideas to start lite creative writing

easy to do kids cookbooks

arts and crafts, etc.

I have a 2 1/2 yr. old, 6 year-old, 9 year-old and 15 yr. old, all girls. I tend to think inside the box, so pls. feel free to offer Any ideas. I really respect the work you do for your children. I cant even comprehend the organizing, planning and research it takes to be a home-schooling parent. My hat is off to you all!

P.S. Hopefully your not noticing my spelling mistakes and less than perfect grammer.  I may need a few educational materials myself! LOL

Thank you, Denise


Date Posted: 3/30/2009 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2005
Posts: 6,985
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Hi Denise, the first thing I thought of when I read your post was "Good for you!"  :)  The second thing was a science curriculum we purchased last year at our homeschool convention.  It's called McWizKid Science and is really awesome.  Many many many of the items needed for these science things are found within the home already or if you DO have to purchase something, it's relatively cheap.  I am including his website (above) and you can browse there and if you want to purchase the book.  It's very inexpensive (around 25.00 if I remember correctly) and pretty cool!

Good luck!

Date Posted: 3/31/2009 11:03 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2008
Posts: 351
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I would suggest going to the library.  They should have tons of books that would have all kinds of projects.  I know our library does and we live in a SMALL country town in NH.  Also, I do a lot of project planning free off of the web.  You would be amazed how many lesson plans are out there. 

The best way I have found to approach educating my girls is to let them tell you what they are interested in and go for it.  Remeber, you don't need tons of books and lessons plans.  A day baking cookies can invovle science and math if you choose to.  Such as, change the fractions in your recipe and have the girls reduce them to find the right measuring cup to use.  The science could revolve around any one of the ingredients.  If you leave out the baking soda, what would happen?

Have fun and good luck!  

Oh.... my spell check button gets a pretty good workout from me!   :o)

Date Posted: 4/1/2009 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2007
Posts: 4,588
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Denise check out these threads:

Post your favorite website for homeschool FREEBIES here! 



Master List? Updated


Edited for wonky spacing. lol

Last Edited on: 4/1/09 12:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 4/1/2009 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2007
Posts: 159
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Thanks, you guys! I'am lucky in that I work 3-12hr. shifts, so I have 4 days off to plan things to do with the kids. I recently purchased a family pass to all the museums in the area. Id told the kids to ask the curator any questions about the art. at one pt., I had to look for my 9 yr. old, who was found talking to the curator, with her head tilted to the side and her hand holding her chin, asking'so, what do you think Van Guogh (SP?) was thinking when he painted this? It was so cute, I almost busted out laughing. It is such an amazing experience and priviledge to be a mother and watch your children learn and grow! To have a hand in it.....is priceless.

Date Posted: 4/2/2009 7:07 AM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 8
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Homeschool veteran of many years and 3 kids here.  Someone once asked me something that has always stuck with me, sort of my homeschooling philosophy.  I will ask it to you:  Do you want to have school at home, or do you want to home school?  In other words, you don't have to run your home school like the public school.  That is the beauty of it.  I suggest looking into unschooling.  My second suggestion is to make the library your main resource.  It's free.  If you can't find it at the library, request to interlibrary loan it from within their system.  Take a breath, don't overextend yourself and enjoy your children. 

Date Posted: 4/4/2009 10:04 AM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2007
Posts: 159
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Thanks, everyone! You guys are encourging. One more request- could you post titles of your favorite books or authors names  that your kids loved to read, and you found educational?

Date Posted: 4/7/2009 11:00 PM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2007
Posts: 159
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Date Posted: 4/10/2009 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2008
Posts: 118
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One series of books that my kids found very fun was Alton Brown's "I'm Just Here for the Food". He has fun changing recipes and then explaining why the changes effect the final taste and texture of the recipe. Check the library because all of his books have long wishlists. Explanations of how microwave popcorn works is great. Comparing chocolate muffins with chocolate cupcakes is wonderful as well.
Date Posted: 4/14/2009 10:40 AM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2007
Posts: 159
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Date Posted: 4/15/2009 12:12 AM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2008
Posts: 2
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Favorite books:

Almost any Newberry award winner, if they havn't/won't be required to read in in school (check the AR lists for options). Most of them I've found to be tear jerkers, and always worth my time.

I'm a Laura Ingels Wilder fan. I start those early and pretty much don't stop, as you can read the early years with young ones and progress to a new book every year.

Eloise Wilken has a compliation of her golden books - I found it today at TJMaxx for 6.99 - and my 2 1/2 year old loves it. The pictures are so sweet.

I would suggest checking with your kids and see what they like to read. Perhaps they read the first book in a series for school (boxcar children, uglies, etc.) and they would like to finish it with you. Or maybe they're really in to dragons or horses or China... I suggest picking up some fiction as well as non-fiction. You can learn a lot about details from fiction (I remember reading a great discription of changing leads in a Pony Club book).

Subject: Fun Science
Date Posted: 6/3/2009 7:20 AM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2008
Posts: 31
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some books I know of that have some good, simple, fun experiments are

"Fun Science that Teaches God's Word" and "Fun Science that Teaches God's Word for Tweeners."

There's also a series called "Investigate the Possibilities."  The two titles out so far are "Forces and Motion" and "Matter."  They have some simple science experiments for kids to do at home in them.  You can also purchase teacher guides separately that go with each book.

Subject: Activity book
Date Posted: 6/3/2009 9:36 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2008
Posts: 409
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Denise, I have one book on my shelf that might help. It's a Mother's Manual for Summer Survival. It has some great ideas for children of all ages. One section is 300 things to do when the kids say "I'm bored".  It has great suggestions and most take very few supplies. Great suggestions for spending quality time with your children. Take a look.

The library is another great suggestion for finding all kinds of books that can guide you. Have a great summer!

Date Posted: 6/3/2009 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2006
Posts: 21
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We have a lot of fun with the books in the Williamson Kids Can series and MaryAnn Kohl's books... check your library on these, too, they're pretty popular and I'd guess they have a long wait list here. Especially with Kohl's art books, they may say an age range on the cover... but everyone, including mom, will probably enjoy the projects. Great Artists, Science Art, Math Art, Scribble Art, Big Messy Art, Mudworks.... those are probably our favorites. oh, and the cooking one.

Janice Vancleave's science experiment books that have things like Sticky, Messy and whatever titles are also pretty fun and educational... I can never get the titles right, but if you search on her name, you'll find the books. :)

Oh... and if you haven't done it yet, you'd probably all enjoy the Ice Cream in a Bag experiment. Google "ice cream in a bag" for recipes... I'd advise to double-bag, as some of the recipes recommend. (Though since you have girls, maybe they'd be more gentle then my boys? LOL.)

As for reading... the most important thing is that they read, not what it is, and if it's a series or topic they enjoy, they're a lot more likely to be willing (or even enthusiastic) to read...

Most libraries have some type of incentive-based summer reading program... ours has made it so that pre-readers can get involved, too, by counting books/time that the parent is reading to them. (Some even have treats for the parent - last year, ours was giving out free coffees at a local shop, among other things! I was disappointed, though... they started that after my youngest was already independantly reading. sigh. lol.)

Writing... hmm. Something my kids often do is make their own little books... I keep a stack of already-stapled books with one colored sheet or construction paper for the cover and copy paper on the inside. i vary the colors and number of inside pages so there is always one about the size they want. At times, we'll use those with story starters, too. (Lots are available for free on the internet... google "story starters" or "writing prompts" or some other variation...)

Millerpadsandpaper.com has hardbound blank books that are pretty inexpensive - they come in a couple different sizes with both blank and ready-to-color covers... I think they may still carry some shaped ones, too. Just type blank books in the search bar. My kids really like these, but they're something we just do once or twice a year for a treat.


And now I have to head off to work myself...



Date Posted: 6/4/2009 6:57 AM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2007
Posts: 159
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Thanks, everyone. We're off to the library Friday to pick up some of the books suggested. Andrea....I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder books as a kid, (and adult!) also. I bought the boxed set of her books for my girls a long time ago! Shawana, our library is having an incentive program this year, with a party at the end of the year. Were all signed up.

Date Posted: 6/7/2009 2:14 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 120
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Hi Denise,

First of all I think it's awesome you're taking so much time to do fun education things with your kids... you ARE home schooling whether you think so or not!

Just wanted to let you know I have the following book on my shelf you might enjoy:

365 Science Projects and Activities

Date Posted: 6/13/2009 11:33 AM ET
Member Since: 5/24/2009
Posts: 1
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Here is a suggestion for creative writing that does not require a book and will work with at least three of your daughters.  When you are travelling or waiting around somewhere ask one of them to pick a color, the next a location, the next a character, and finally an animal. (Change these as your creativity inspires!  Then do a roun-robin story.  One of you starts the story and then take turns telling the next sentence.  The only rule is that you want to incorporate the original items into the story.  The story ends when someone gives and ending sentence.  Then you create a new story.

Some will go on and on.  Others will just fizzle.  But they are almost always fun and it really gets the creative juices flowing!

Sometimes we are inspired by a song, something odd we see on the road, a quirky piece of art, etc.  But the trick is to keep it really simple...blue, dragon, Susie, beach......Becomes a blue dragon who lives in a cave by the beach.  One day at low tide Susie gets trapped in the dragon's cave and the adventure begins!

Have fun. 

I listed a few educational materials, I think there is a science experiment book.  I use these with Girl Scouts as much as homeschooling.  One year we focused on each girl teaching a science project to the troop.  We asked the parents to participate on their daughter's day.  It was great.  This would work with you as well, it would teach your youngest to organize and your oldest to teach and be patient.  My favourite is alka seltzer rockets in film canisters. (I don't think they were in the books I listed).  Another good one is to put a line of ink on a coffee filter square.  Get it wet on the bottom and let the water slowly move up the paper.  The water will separate the colors in the ink so they can see that what they see is not always what it is made of.


Date Posted: 6/13/2009 12:17 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2008
Posts: 407
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The KidConcoctions books have a lot of crafty ideas.  the Kid Concoctions and Contraptions has some of the science experiments as well.  Our girls love doing stuff in those books. 

For young kids learning to read, the Ready to Read Island Adventure Games and Ocean Adventures are great because it's a computer games that you actually use a microphone for the kids to practice phonics.


I'm just starting, so I wish I could help more but I'm still learning too