Category Archives: Tot School

Activity: Rainbow Crystals

Last week, the kids and I went to school supply store Scholar’s Choice (cool store, by the way). We were there to pick up a science experiment book and ended up with a science curriculum book, some chore charts, a mini whiteboard and whiteboard markers, and a couple other things that have since been regularly used and gone missing.

One of the things we got was an experiment kit about making a rainbow tube. It was one of the few that fit my kids’ age group, and because I was wondering how exactly one would make a rainbow tube, I bought it.

Apparently you need water. And these little tablet things that dye the water. And some water-absorbing crystals.

Yep. Water-absorbing crystals. I know, right?

Anyway. You fill up three plastic cups (I used paper because I didn’t have plastic cups at home) with water, though the package doesn’t tell you exactly how much water you need. Then you drop in the dye tablets to change the water’s color. There are three tablets — blue, red, and yellow — one for each cup.

Once the tablets stop fizzing, you drop in equal amounts of the crystals in each cup.

And then you wait.

Continue reading Activity: Rainbow Crystals

Science FTW

I’ve recently discovered that my kids LOVE science. Like, to the point of kinda being geeky. (This is not surprising; I’m convinced geekiness is genetic.)

Anyway. We started a new unit on winter this past week, which seemed appropriate since there’s about three feet of snow in my backyard. (Merry Christmas! Or something.) The logical place to start was snow; it’s a tangible thing, after all, and my kids can look outside and actually see it.

In science we covered states of matter. Snow is water, after all, but it doesn’t look like water, which makes it hard for my kids to believe it’s really made of the same stuff they drink and bathe in (or, in some cases, drink while bathing in).

Like any good geeky homeschooling mom, I set up a science experiment. Here’s what I did.

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Adventures in homeschooling

I mentioned a few months ago that I’d started homeschooling my kids for preschool. (Preschools cost a bit more here than they did in Texas.)

Not gonna lie, it’s a serious struggle. I mean, sure, I have a teaching degree and all, but it doesn’t make it any easier (especially when it’s your own kids you’re teaching!). My kids are different ages, so I’m still trying to figure out the balance between their current knowledge and skills and their learning styles. What I’ve started doing is more one on one stuff — I sit down with one daughter while the other plays. It kinda works. It works with my oldest daughter, but when I’ve got my youngest down for her lesson, my oldest wants to “help,” which basically means she wants to sit next to her sister and call out all the answers.

Which, as you might guess, is just plain awesome.

I’m using bits and pieces of the High Reach multi-age preschool curriculum and supplementing with workbooks. I’m also doing my own art projects with the kids, like painting and things like that. Art is their favorite “class,” but we’re still working on the other stuff.

Any of you homeschooling parents have any ideas/suggestions about how to teach multi-age/multi-level kids? I know it’s just preschool, but it’s still important!

Homeschooling adventures

I’m new to this homeschooling thing. (This probably isn’t news.) Before I started down the homeschool path, I did research. Oodles of research. I mean, sure, I got a teaching degree and all that, but based on my studies, I know that there’s actually quite a bit of theory and thought behind teaching and the education process.

Which you’d never know sometimes, when you look at some teachers and classrooms.

Ahem. Anyway.

There are an equal amount of theories for homeschooling. Who knew, right?

While going through the books, articles, and other materials, I learned that there are  homeschooling “styles.” I saw this and thought, “I have to find my own homeschooling style?” Dude. I don’t even have my own fashion style, and I’ve been wearing clothes for over thirty years.

Continue reading Homeschooling adventures

Astronomy for homeschoolers

I may or may not have mentioned that right now, my kids and I are doing a homeschool unit study on space. Because my 4 year old wanted to learn about space and because I’m a geeky space nerd. (I did want to be a ninja astronaut.)

And I was doing okay for a while, getting activities and stuff for the girls. But lately I’ve been running out of steam. I mean, there’s only so much you can do with a 2.5 and 4 year old, right? I can’t exactly talk about supernovas and white dwarfs and black holes and gamma ray bursts and the multiverse without them looking at me like I’ve just lost my mind.

(Aside: when the science centre reopens after their yearly maintenance schedule, methinks it’s time to go to the dome theater for a good planetarium light show…)

Anyway. I nearly crapped myself with excitement (okay, not literally, because that would be gross) when I found this article over on the Coffee Scholar: Astronomy for Homeschoolers.

Holy crab nuggets, how have I not seen this article before?!

And the site the article links to, Heavens-Above, is pretty freaking cool.

Check out the site! I know I will. And then my kids and I will go stargazing. Which they’ll enjoy, because they’ll get to stay up past their bedtimes.