"'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

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Twisty Noodle

If you are a fan of Donna Young's Resources and Printables then you may want to check out Twisty Noodle.

Twisty Noodle has tons of coloring pages and penmanship worksheets with a picture to color, the words to copy under the picture, and under than the formatted line to write on.  Just having a picture to color after writing is appealing to Ds#3.  What I found really neat is that not only can you change the words on the worksheet to whatever you want, you can also set the font to be block, D'Nealian, or cursive.  I've printed out a week's worth to get the school year started.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hands On Homeschool Carnival

Yes, I've learned how to make screencasts for an online class I am teaching at the college, so I thought I'd have a little fun with the carnival this month.  (BTW, I am teaching my kids, too, so they can make narrated electronic presentations...but more on that if and when it ever happens!)

The carnival this month has a few good ideas to think about as the school year quickly approaches.

This Thursday look to the night skies for learning.  I present Planets and Meteors August 12 posted on At Home Science.

Cheryl has moved to Blogger and her new design looks great!  She presents Preparing Your Hands-On Classroom posted at Talking to Myself.

Also, I have tips for using more maps in your homeschooling and keeping them protected from less-than-gentle-handling in Maps and More Maps! on this blog.

Melissa presents baby bluebird bonanza...well, not really a bonanza...but bluebirds, for sure! posted at Bugs, Knights, and Turkeys in the Yard.

Nadene presents Practice Art In The Frame posted at Practical Pages.

Angie in Ga presents Don't leave it out posted at Live, Love, Learn,.

And finally I present Creativity posted on my hands on nature study blog, A Private Eye Nature.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Maps and More Maps!

Awhile back my mother-in-law gave me a pile of old National Geographic maps, and they have been sitting in the basement waiting to be used.  I bought a large, black, zippered artist portfolio to store them in last year and now I've finally gotten around to doing something with them.

First I actually unfolded them all and placed them into the portfolio.  Excited about using them for homeschooling and knowing how easily maps get torn, I wanted to laminate them.  Dh on the other hand did not want to do anything to them in case a collector was interested in buying them some day (which also means using extreme caution when showing them to the kids).  I mused about having map-sized sheet protectors, and then I realized that they must make something like that to protect nautical charts from getting damaged at sea.  And I discovered they make them for blueprints, too.

I ordered them through Engineering Supplies.  They are certainly too expensive to use like sheet protectors for every map, but I bought one medium and one large one in which to put whatever map I am currently using.  They come with reinforced holes in the edging to hang them and a zip-lock seal on one edge.  Being plastic, we could write on them with dry or wet erase markers and then wipe it away for the next map.  And because these maps are double-sided I can easily make use of the information on both sides of the map.

Yesterday I cataloged the stack of maps so I knew what I had without having to sort through them.  It turns out I have 105 maps dating from 1975 to 2009.  There's a lot of history information in those maps, as well as earth and space science, and, of course, geography.  I really could have used the Great Peoples of the Past maps last year with our ancient history study, so now I am ready to pull one out that relates to whatever we are studying.  Maybe I can use them in much the same way as I do music or art study--hang them up and spend time each week just looking over the make becoming familiar with the geography and history of the world.