"'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

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hands On Homeschool Carnival, 5th edition

Are you relaxing with a nice cup of tea by your computer? I hope so because this Hands On Homeschool Blog Carnival is so full of fabulous ideas you will want to savor them as much as your favorite comfort drink. Please leave comments as you go, and when you try a project visit again to leave a link to your post about it!

Hands On Art and Art Appreciation:

Julie Moses presents Chinese Dragons posted at Kids Art Projects and Lessons at Ms. Julie's Place.

Brenda presents Renaissance Artists posted at The Tie That Binds Us.

Pam Barnhill presents Art Galore! posted at Everday Snapshots Explores Homeschooling.

Hands On History:

Shannon presents Colonial Days and The American Revolution posted at Song of My Heart.

~Kris~ presents Step-by-Step: Making Knights' Shields posted at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Hands On Creative Writing:

Dana presents Tall Tall Tall Tales posted at school for us.

Hands On Science:

Mouse presents Make your own solar cookies posted at The Science Mouse.

*Kris* presents Studying the Heart posted on At Home Science.

Hands On Foreign Language:

Cherylinma presents Language Lessons posted at Talking to Myself - Homeschool Blogger.

Hands On Projects That Work for Many Subjects:

Brenda presents Clown of God and the Renaissance posted at The Tie That Binds Us.

Christie presents Fabric Crayon How-to posted at Boys+ Academy.

Dana presents Homeschooling and learning things more deeply posted at Principled Discovery.

Martha presents Zoo Fun posted at Sunrise to Sunset.

How this carnival has grown after only five editions, and what outstanding bloggers are submitting. Thank you all--what gems are here! If you are interested in submitting an article, see the submission guidelines on Cherylinma's blog, Talking To Myself.

Friday, March 20, 2009


It's been a long winter, and it's still only 30 degrees. We've had several teasingly warm days but nothing lasting more than two together. The snow is almost gone and a few birds have returned. We're getting a bit of cabin fever.

Instead of our regularly scheduled school day, we spent the day making a spring project using a Klutz Window Art kit. First we made the outline with the black paint and left them to dry.

Later in the day the boys finished filling in the colors. Ds#2 picked the space ship that looks like it is breaking through the window. After he peels it off the plastic and sticks it to a window he gets to use the black paint to make the window look like its cracked even more. What fun!

We spend the rest of the school day working diligently on our Journey North Mystery Class data because today we got the clues we needed to pinpoint our longitude. Visit AtHomeScience to read about this great project.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ancient Greece Lapbook continued

We added another mini-book to our Greek lapbook, this one on How the Greeks Lived. The boys wanted to put together an accordion book, so that's what we did.

I cut an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper in half the long way, folded each into 3 sections, then taped the two together such that it formed one continuous accordion with six panels.

We took most of our information from Eva March Tappan's book with more details from Classical Kids: An Activity Guide to Life in Ancient Greece and Rome.

I am really impressed by how much my boys really enjoy this activity!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

Besides being the feast day for that great evangelist that converted an entire nation, and besides being Evacuation Day in Boston, it is also Ds#1's birthday. Happy 10th!

In anticipation of the day, we did a shamrock-related art project that teaches about shades and tints we saw at Ms Julie's Art School. She has another great project posted as well.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lapbooks--finally, I get it!

Lapbooks have always intrigued me but I never planned far enough ahead to have a lapbook laid out, and we are just not at the stage yet for taking good notes. I could not imagine how these moms did these lapbooks with young kids.

Seasoned lapbookers, are you scratching your head at my comments?

This may seem simple and obvious but I just didn't get it until this week, when I had my a-ha moment.

I realized that you could read a chapter or a section, make a mini-book about that information, and then attach it onto the lapbook; if you run out of space, you can just add an extension.

We started with our book on ancient Greece, and the kids loved it! Not only that, they learned the information better because they created mini-books about it. It's a great introduction to note-taking for elementary kids.

If you want to know more about lapbooking, see this Sqidoo lens or this blog, both by Jimmie.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Free Homeschool Webinar with Maureen Wittmann!!!

A webinar is an online seminar. You can attend in your jammies with your favorite warm drink beside you! You can both see and hear the live presentation (they don't see you,) and you can type in questions for the speaker to answer. All you need is a computer and speakers!

While Maureen Wittmann is well worth paying to hear speak, she is currently offering FREE webinars at Homeschoolconnections. This Wednesday, March 4th, she's discussion using literature for art & music appreciation. On April 1st she's discussing a topic near and dear to me, using literature for math & science. I "attended" her talk on history literature, which was sold out when you did have to pay to attend.

Another upcoming webinar is for homeschooling dads--so little is available for them! It is given by Mary Kay Clark and Deacon Gene McGuirk, both from Seaton, called Homeschool Dads: Husband, Father, and Teacher.

Soon full courses will be available (for a fee) at Homeschoolconnections. Exciting stuff!

Hands On Homeschool Carnival is up!

The carnival is up at Talking To Myself and it is another high quality collection. Check it out!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Academic Fair

Our homeschool co-op had our academic fair this weekend, and it was wonderful! All three of my kids were excited to put projects together. They all picked science projects (surprise, surprise!)

Ds#1 still had a clam specimen left after I finished the dissection class for co-op, so he built a project around that. It's in a bag sitting on a dissection pan in front of the display. The lapbook was one he made in co-op last year based on Pagoo by Holling C. Holling.

Ds#2 did his project on volcanoes, immediately going to work drawing the graphics for his display. We had multiple books for him to get information, several of which he put on display. He really wanted to create a model volcano and have it erupt at the fair, but I didn't think we'd be able to do that in the building.

Ds#3, as soon as he heard his brothers were doing projects, insisted to me that he do a project on plants. He learned the 4 parts of a plant and the 4 things plants need to live and grow. While I printed out graphics for his display, he made the clay flower and labeled it with just a little help from Dad.

Below is a slide show of the whole fair. Only five families participated but most of us had multiple kids with projects. What was really wonderful was all the family that came through to see what their grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins put together.