"'Education is the Science of Relations'; that is, that a child has natural relations with a vast number of things and thoughts: so we train him upon physical exercises, nature lore, handicrafts, science and art, and upon many living books, for we know that our business is not to teach him all about anything, but to help him to make valid as many as may be of––
'Those first-born affinities,
That fit our new existence to existing things.'"

Charlotte Mason, A Philosophy of Education
with a quote from The Prelude by William Wordsworth

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lenten studies

We started our Lenten season with My Path to Heaven by Geoffry Bliss, S.J. This is a beautiful program that is simple to do, yet full of depth. I am reading it with Ds#1 and Ds#2, though my older is getting much more out of it. The boys "fasted" today by skipping snacks and desserts while I fasted more rigorously. Ds#1 is passing up desserts for the season, Ds#2 is going to pray an additional time during the day, and Ds#3 will give me even more hugs ;-) We received our ashes as a family late this evening.

Lent is a wonderful season for growing our love for Jesus. It's not as busy as Advent, yet culminates in our holiest of days. Fasting, praying, and giving charity as a Church unifies us and supports each individual. These end days of winter are good for meditation, at least here in the NE. The cyclic nature further focuses our family. It's a good time to include praying and meditating about homeschool, too.

Friday, February 20, 2009

U S History regroup

We are studying American Indians but instead of just studying the various tribes, I wanted to cover a tribe as they were encountered by Europeans, covering the major events involving American Indians. Unfortunately, I don't know enough about the subject, and could find to good reference source similarly designed, so we floundered.

I've chosen The Book of Indians by Holling C. Holling to read each week, and I can come up with activities relating to the book. After finishing the book I can then cover the major events in brief.

Holling's book is a little different in that tribes are covered by terrain rather than region, though there are parallels of course. This week we read about wickiups (wigwam) and the garb of the forest tribes, and my kids drew their own version of them. Ds#1 drew a large x-ray machine around the wickiup and then drew the details of what was inside, as revealed by the x-ray machine.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hands On Homeschooling #2

Here is the second edition of Hands On Homeschool Blog Carnival. What a great place to find inspiration!

Hands On Science:

Cheryl has a fabulous lung capacity experiment on her Talking to Myself blog. If you get wet you've done something wrong.

Dana does some Shadow Watching for Journey North at her School for Us blog.

Hands On Art: (with science and geography, too!)

Erica shows a beautiful Ocean Mural at her One Busy Mama blog.

Yours Truly shows our Color Wheel in Clay, a great tactile art project.

Michelle shows how to make paper lanterns to celebrate Lantern (Yuan Xiao) Festival at Practice Makes Perfect.

Hands On Foreign Language:

Suzanne shows her iFlipr Prima Latina flashcards and has them available for downloading for your iPhone or iTouch on her Aventures in Daily Living blog.

Jena helped her daughter make Spanish flashcards and worksheets and has them available to print through Scribd on her Yarns of the Heart blog.

Hands On Reading Encouragement:

Kris has an inspiring Works for Me Wednesday: Reading Bingo idea at her Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers blog you should check out.

Visit and please leave comments, and revisit to comment when you have tried them out yourself!

Blessings, Kris

Friday, February 13, 2009

Color Wheel in Clay

This project is a variation on a theme as our art book moves into color wheels. I thought an interesting tactile approach would be to using modeling clay as a medium.

We used RoseArt clay that costs $1 per box at Michael's. This clay is not the most pliable but that actually made it fun. When blending colors we had to knead the clay, just like bread, with a pushing and sliding motion to smear one color into the other. Just squeezing the ball didn't work as well.

Ds#1 started a green blend but was so impressed with the swirl pattern he made that he decided to save that and make another green ball. He keeps it on his desk.

This of course led to further clay sculpting...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Living Math--Life of Fred

Thursdays, and Tuesdays when co-op is not in session, are our alternative approach days, as I like to call them, when we set aside our regular curriculum for some other way of learning subjects. For math, Ds#1 really enjoys Life of Fred: Fractions.

This book is about the life of a 5-1/2 year old math professor, and through his story Ds#1 is learning about fractions. This story is so quirky and funny, yet instructive, that Ds#1 finds it a joy to work through. And for only $19 including shipping, it is a very affordable math supplement.

Fractions is the first level, and you child should have mastered the four basic arithmetic functions. Next is Decimals & Percentages, followed by all the math a child needs for high school: Beginning Algebra, Advanced Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus, and Statistics. These books are not meant to take an entire year to complete, yet they cover the core of what is taught in upper grades.

The Life of Fred books make a great middle and high school living math core.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Skeleton model

Today we began our skeleton models from The Body Book as we read the chapter about bones in Blood and Guts.

I had them complete the axial skeleton only; we'll add on the appendicular skeleton next week. I used all card stock because the digestive and respiratory systems will eventually be added on to them. I cut all these pieces out--this model is not for the beginner cutter.

We also learned about the 4 types of bones (long, short, flat, irregular) and how bones mineralize with calcium and phosphate.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Charlotte Mason blog carnival #35

A new edition of the wonderful Charlotte Mason blog carnival is posted at A Peaceful Day. There's close to 30 entries for this one, including a couple from here :o) This is a great carnival if you are interested in learning more about Charlotte Mason homeschooling or if your in a February funk and looking for something to enliven your program.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hands On Homeschool Blog Carnival--First Edition

The first edition of the Hands On Homeschool Carnival is posted on Cheryl's blog, Talking to Myself.

The carnival has had a wonderful response; it has over a dozen great homeschooling projects. I can't wait to read through them. Be sure to leave comments for the contributors.

I pray the Hands On Homeschool Blog Carnival is a blessing to your homeschool.