Teaching Science in Your Homeschool | Using the Scientific Method

Teaching Science in Your Homeschool | Using the Scientific Method

Teaching Science in Your Homeschool | Using the Scientific Method

The scientific method provides a sequential way to teach the process of scientific inquiry to your students. This takes the pressure off of the teacher and allows her to count on the process. In a word, it makes teaching science in your homeschool doable.

What is the scientific method?

It’s following a sequential series of steps in an attempt to find an answer to a scientific question. When a question is asked, such as, “What does a plant need in order to grow?”, you follow a series of questions to (hopefully) come up with an answer. It’s not always the answer you expect or want. But, the process of discovering the answer is what’s referred to as the scientific method.

What are all the steps and what do all the steps in the scientific method mean?

There’s a basic 8-step process of inquiry. The steps and their definition are:

  1. Question- What is being solved?
  2. Research- What do I use for study?
  3. Hypothesis- What do I think the answer is?
  4. Materials-  What’s my list of items needed for experiments?
  5. Procedure – What are the sequential steps taken in executing the experiment?
  6. Experiment- A test or hypothesis.
  7. Observation – Careful examination of what’s taking place.
  8. Conclusion: a synopsis of the experiment

You can create a simple checklist based upon this process (which I include in my Study Guide, Teaching Science and Having Fun) based on these 8 definitions.

Is the scientific method for all grade levels?

The scientific method is ideal for all grade levels, including your younger ones. While I love nature study and hands-on activities (and advocate them!), a balance of using worksheets in science for our observations was important. While you wouldn’t expect a preschooler to write out the steps, they can be drawn or even talked through.

Can we do experiments without writing out the steps of the scientific method?

The scientfic method can be simple enough for a preschooler and complex enough for a graduate student. When conducting experiments, using this simple but throughout method of inquiry and recording your observations serves many purposes.

  • it provides a record of learning
  • it’s a ready-made hands-on approach to learning
  • troubleshooting an experiment failure is easier
  • cross-curriculum application, such as math or history, is made easy through notation

In conclusion, teaching science using the scientific method is a sound and proven way to approach the subject of science in your homeschool.

CHECK OUT the New Creation Science Podcast!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Media Angels Creation Bundle Membership Site

 

Get an entire K-12 Creation Science Curriculum for less than $70.

About Our Books:

Why should you teach your children about Creation? Because everything else they read that is remotely science related teaches evolution as FACT. Shouldn’t your children learn there is more than one side to the story? We do and we consider this our mission at Media Angels.

About the Study Guides:

These study guides include a readable outline of the main points in the Creation vs. evolution discussion, the major talking points you should know and ways to educate the children in these points with hands-on activities and experiments. This series isn’t a read-it-one-time and forget it!

If you want a course in Creation Apologetics for kids, this is it!

Additional Resources

Activity Packs for each of the study guides which contain hands on activities you can photo copy for your family.

Creation Kids Classes: On Demand

-Six weeks worth of classes — one per week for ages K-8th grade (high school if you’ve never studied Creation).
-Audio Recordings
-Handouts and Websites to visit
-Further research
-Bonus interviews

media angels membership subscribe button

Setting Up a Science Lab in Your Homeschool

Setting up a science lab in your homeschool on a shoestring budget in no time at all.

Setting Up a Science Lab in Your Homeschool

Experiments don’t have to come from ready made kits. You can be about the business of setting up a science lab in your homeschool.

There are many great experiment books that require materials you can find at home. For example, your an make an electric motor using magnets, batteries, cork, pins, a knitting needle, copper wire, clay, a small base of wood, a knife, and tacks. Most of us have these things in our home. A ready made kit isn’t ncessary.

Plan to organize your science lab supplies

There are many sources for lab supplies, but my favorites are the do-it-yourself kind.  You can use tackle boxes, plastic totes, and even pencil boxes to store your lab supplies. Keeping these items on hand saves money in the long run.

Finding materials for your homeschool science lab

There are many places you can find even the hardest to find materials. The hardware store, an arts supply store, an electronics store, and of course- Amazon. But, what do you buy? What do you need to have on hand?

Lab equipment on a shoestring budget…

  1. large magnifying glass
  2. eye droppers
  3. coffee filter paper
  4. thermometer
  5. labels
  6. candles
  7. baby food jars
  8. spice jars
  9. heat-proof measuring cups
  10. measuring spoons
  11. a balance
  12. kitchen scale
  13. funnels
  14. sieve
  15. timing device
  16. metal spoon
  17. scissors
  18. sharp knife
  19. small brushes
  20. string
  21. paper
  22. pencils

Biology, chemistry, and physics use the above list and additional specialized equipment. A non-comprehensive list includes:

  • tweezers
  • sharp metal pick
  • plastic tubing
  • flashlight
  • microscope
  • dissecting kits
  • petri dishes
  • Bunsen burner
  • safety goggles

For a comprehensive list, I recommend my book, Teaching Science and Having Fun.

Creating a Safe Place for your Homeschool Science Lab

While much can be done at the kitchen table, there are some special considerations to take when performing experiments and setting up your lab. I recommend:

  • a clutter free space that is well lit
  • the kitchen or bathroom sink ready with soap, water, towels, and free of dishes, etc.
  • keeping a basket with emergency things such as a small fire extinguisher, eye wash,  goggles, and non-latex gloves
  • kitty litter to get spills up quickly
  • a chemical mask
  • a basic first aid kit
  • a carpet free flooring

Setting up a science lab in your homeschool doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. With a little planning you can have one ready to go!

Check out the NEW! Creation Science Podcast channel on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network!

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Media Angels Creation Bundle Membership Site

 

Get an entire K-12 Creation Science Curriculum for less than $70.

About Our Books:

Why should you teach your children about Creation? Because everything else they read that is remotely science related teaches evolution as FACT. Shouldn’t your children learn there is more than one side to the story? We do and we consider this our mission at Media Angels.

About the Study Guides:

These study guides include a readable outline of the main points in the Creation vs. evolution discussion, the major talking points you should know and ways to educate the children in these points with hands-on activities and experiments. This series isn’t a read-it-one-time and forget it!

If you want a course in Creation Apologetics for kids, this is it!

Additional Resources

Activity Packs for each of the study guides which contain hands on activities you can photo copy for your family.

Creation Kids Classes: On Demand

-Six weeks worth of classes — one per week for ages K-8th grade (high school if you’ve never studied Creation).
-Audio Recordings
-Handouts and Websites to visit
-Further research
-Bonus interviews

media angels membership subscribe button

Teaching Science | Unit Study or Single Subject?

teaching science unit study or single subject | Whether you're teaching science as a single subject or unit study, the key would be to get out and do experiments and activities that tie in with the topic, no matter what the approach. Have fun!

Teaching Science | Unit Study or Single Subject?

“I like the ideas of using a scope and sequence, but how should I teach science as a single subject or as a unit study?” 

There are many ways to teach science, and you need to decide which is best for our family. Let’s look at some examples, starting with science as a single subject.

Teaching Science as a Single Subject

I could look at a scope and sequence and find that a single subject, say Astronomy, is one of the topics to be covered this year. Under this subject, I could choose a subtopic, such as astronomers, stars and constellations, galaxies, etc.

If I were to emphasize the single subject approach, the children would take turns reading the books containing the topic we were studying, discuss the book, and supplement with activities tied to the topic. Other subjects, such as history, would be done separately.

Teaching Science as a Unit Study

Emphasizing the unit study approach, we would read as many library books and do as many experiments dealing with the topic as we could find. We would tie as many subjects together as possible. We’d plan to spend four to eight weeks on the unit. It’s ideal to cover as many subjects as possible, and science easily fits with history.

You can study the history of the subject, people, places, and even science tools as part of your science unit study. This lets children see the bigger picture, rather than learning things in isolation from one another. I’ve found they really enjoy making the connections themselves and having those aha moments.

Teaching Science to Multiple Ages or Grade Levels

If you are teaching a variety of ages, having more subjects overlapping makes your job much easier. A Unit Study truly unites the family!

A unit study is taking a topic and incorporating as many of the following school subjects as possible:  science, history, math, reading, language arts, spelling, grammar, creative writing, art, and music. New skills can be taught as old skills are reinforced. While our family chose to do phonics and math as separate subjects, you can easily incorporate those as well.

Multiple Level Teaching Example

Let me give you an example. We studied a geology unit. It took eight weeks to complete. You can decide how you want to lay our your day- who you work with when, what grade-level to “teach to”, and which activities you’ll directly supervise.  Teaching to the oldest is a popular way of teaching a variety of ages.

Let’s pretend you’re teaching four grade levels. Ages 2, 5, 9, 13, and 16 years of age. Watch how many subjects can go together.

  • Bible – read the Bible selection aloud. Discuss difficult words.
  • Reading – assign separate reading for the readers, have a read aloud, and read books to the youngers—all on the same subject.
  • Spelling – create an age appropriate word list from the reading selections
  • Grammar- ages 5 and under could use simple copywork, nine year old can identify parts of speech, and the older can diagram sentences from the reading selection
  • Science- a group experiment plus the 5-9 year old could work on a hands-on project together, giving the toddler a “helper” role. The older can do topic specific research with parent approved research tools, such as the internet.
  • Creation camp- hold a creation camp at home. Get everyone involved!

Whether you’re teaching science as a single subject or unit study, the key would be to get out and do experiments and activities that tie in with the topic, no matter what the approach. Have fun!

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Media Angels Creation Bundle Membership Site

 

Get an entire K-12 Creation Science Curriculum for less than $70.

About Our Books:

Why should you teach your children about Creation? Because everything else they read that is remotely science related teaches evolution as FACT. Shouldn’t your children learn there is more than one side to the story? Do you want your child to be informed? We do and we consider this our mission at Media Angels.

About the Study Guides:

These study guides include a readable outline of the main points in the Creation vs. evolution discussion, the major talking points you should know and ways to educate the children in these points with hands-on activities and experiments. This series isn’t a read-it-one-time and forget it! This series will be repeated again and again and is for K-12th!

If you want a course in Creation Apologetics for kids, this is it!

Additional Resources

Activity Packs for each of the study guides which contain hands on activities you can photo copy for your family.

Creation Kids Classes: On Demand

-Six weeks worth of classes — one per week for ages K-8th grade (high school if you’ve never studied Creation).
-Audio Recordings
-Handouts and Websites to visit
-Further research
-Bonus interviews

media angels membership subscribe button

How and What to Teach with Science

Unit Studies are an ideal way to teach science for how and what to teach with science in your homeschool. You have the flexibility and freedom to determine what your children learn when and still satisfy the scope and sequence. Have fun!

How and What to Teach with Science

You’ve asked the question, “Should I Teach Science in my Homeschool?” and have decided to make the jump. Now it’s time to decide how and what you should teach. Before you begin, you’ll want to answer a couple of questions.

  • Will you use a text book or a hands-on (unit study) approach?
  • What type of scope and sequence will you use?
  • What science disciplines will you choose?

What’s a good definition of science disciplines?

Science disciplines are science topics with many sub-categories for study. For our purposes, we’ll talk about Earth Science, astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

Earth Science is the study of geology. Astronomy is the study of matter in space. Biology is the study of all living things. Chemistry is the study of the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter. Physics is the study of matter and energy.

What’s the difference between using a text book and a unit study?

There is a big difference! A textbook has limited, structured reading material for each year with a minimal amount of experiments.  By contrast, a unit study uses a scope and sequence to combine books, field trip opportunities, and experiments. It’s a general guide to appropriate grade-level topics for each subject and grade level from K-12.

Understanding a Scope and Sequence

A scope and sequence can be used as a guide to determine if there are any facets of academics, such as science, you have not yet studied, or would like to study again. Or it can be used as a casis for a unit study. Having a scope and sequence will give you an idea of what should be covered. Lifetime homeschoolers aren’t usually concerned about what’s studied at each level as in traditional schools.

Does this mean I advocate teaching whatever, without rhyme or reason? No, I don’t recommend that at all. You can cover the material required, during the grade level of your choice, and at your child’s readiness level. One of the freedoms of homeschooling is flexibility!

Grade Level Guidelines for Teaching Science

Following are basic guidelines (or a brief scope and sequence) for each grade level:

  • Grades K-3- Teach the basic scientific method, stressing observations, collecting data and basic measurement. Reinforce studies with field trips and nature studies.
  • Grades 4-8- Scientific method: stressing methodology, collecting date, recording observations. Long-term project, such a science fair. Reinforce studies with field trips.
  • Grades 9-12- A complete understanding and application of the scientific method in all phases of experimentation. Stressing methodology, data collection, recording observations. Long-term project, such as a science fair. Labs are important.

Is there room for rabbit trails and non-traditional study topics?

Absolutely! We’re homeschoolers, after all! We love our rabbit trails. You can study things such as gardening, physics at an amusement park, animal husbandry, and more.

So we can see, Unit Studies are an ideal way to teach science in your homeschool. You have the flexibility and freedom to determine what your children learn when and still satisfy the scope and sequence. Have fun!

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Media Angels Creation Bundle Membership Site

 

Get an entire K-12 Creation Science Curriculum for less than $70.

About Our Books:

Why should you teach your children about Creation? Because everything else they read that is remotely science related teaches evolution as FACT. Shouldn’t your children learn there is more than one side to the story? Do you want your child to be informed? We do and we consider this our mission at Media Angels.

About the Study Guides:

These study guides include a readable outline of the main points in the Creation vs. evolution discussion, the major talking points you should know and ways to educate the children in these points with hands-on activities and experiments. This series isn’t a read-it-one-time and forget it! This series will be repeated again and again and is for K-12th!

If you want a course in Creation Apologetics for kids, this is it!

Additional Resources

Activity Packs for each of the study guides which contain hands on activities you can photo copy for your family.

Creation Kids Classes: On Demand

-Six weeks worth of classes — one per week for ages K-8th grade (high school if you’ve never studied Creation).
-Audio Recordings
-Handouts and Websites to visit
-Further research
-Bonus interviews

media angels membership subscribe button

Do I Really Need to Teach Science in My Homeschool?

Do I really need to teach science in my homeschool?

Do I Really Need to Teach Science in my Homeschool

In a word — yes! Science helps us to learn about the works of the wonderful world God has created for us to live in.

Child development experts have shown that children learn best by experiencing with all of their senses. Science is multi-sensory; that is, science incorporates all of the five sense: smelling, hearing, feeling, seeing, and (sometimes) tasting. Science incorporates tactile or hands-on learning.

Multi-sensory experiencing shouldn’t stop at kindergarten and become replaced with textbooks and workbooks!

Why Should I Waste My Precious Time Experimenting When I Teach Science?

Children of all ages very rarely understand a subject completely just by reading about it. In Jane Hoffman’s book, The Original Backyard Scientist, the forward tells the importance of experiments in relation to child development. It states: “The study of science provides the child with all the necessary ingredients needed for active learning and cognitive growth. Therefore, it is one of the best avenues through which the child can learn about the world around him.”

Granted, it would be much easier just to tell the child, “A grapefruit and vinegar are both sour,” but doing helps the child remember.

What Are Some Other Subjects That Science Encompasses?

Science encompasses reading, comprehension, writing, spelling, mathematics, history, and critical thinking. Just doing one science project or unit study can encompass all those subjects and more.

Can You Give Me an Example of a Unit Study?

Yes- here’s a thumbnail sketch of a Geology Unit we studied which demonstrates how many subjects and though processes are naturally incorporated.

  • I read aloud and we discussed books on geology.
  • The children retold the information using their own words.
  • They read books independently on the subject.
  • From the books we read, we formed a list of spelling and vocabulary words.
  • Then wee made sentences out of these words for our grammar.
  • Geography was covered as we graphed information on a world map and studied famous geologists of the past.
  • For Bible, we read Genesis 1:1-31 alongside parts of Streams of Civilization, comparing evolution and creation through historical perspective.
  • They loved classifying rocks into types and organizing a rock collection.
  • Classical music from the periods we studied helped keep an historical perspective.

Experiments in a Unit Study

From my Geology Unit, I used experiments from several sources.

Using the scientific method, the children placed drops of lemon and vinegar on different pieces of stone, then observed the results. Previous knowledge told them that vinegar and lemon are sour. The children now expanded their base of knowledge by learning that vinegar and lemon are acids. They used reasonoing and logical thinking skills to deduce the effect that acid has on rocks.

When a child does experiments, it helps build the character traits of confidence, attentiveness, perseverance, cooperation, and more.

In conclusion, teaching science in your homeschool is an important part of growing your child’s character, their knowledge of their Creator, and cooperation among their siblings. It’s well worth your time.

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Media Angels Creation Bundle Membership Site

 

Get an entire K-12 Creation Science Curriculum for less than $70.

About Our Books:

Why should you teach your children about Creation? Because everything else they read that is remotely science related teaches evolution as FACT. Shouldn’t your children learn there is more than one side to the story? Do you want your child to be informed? We do and we consider this our mission at Media Angels.

About the Study Guides:

These study guides include a readable outline of the main points in the Creation vs. evolution discussion, the major talking points you should know and ways to educate the children in these points with hands-on activities and experiments. This series isn’t a read-it-one-time and forget it! This series will be repeated again and again and is for K-12th!

If you want a course in Creation Apologetics for kids, this is it!

Additional Resources

Activity Packs for each of the study guides which contain hands on activities you can photo copy for your family.

Creation Kids Classes: On Demand

-Six weeks worth of classes — one per week for ages K-8th grade (high school if you’ve never studied Creation).
-Audio Recordings
-Handouts and Websites to visit
-Further research
-Bonus interviews

media angels membership subscribe button

Tips for Actively Reading Any Piece of Literature

actively readingIt’s easy to get distracted when reading, especially in today’s digital society where something is always beeping, buzzing, or dinging. Our attentions are pulled in a million different directions. We could all use a little help when it comes to focusing on a single task. In this blog post, I’ll be discussing some tips on something we do every day: reading! And not just any type of reading, but actively reading.

Just like a great athlete must undergo deep practice to become skilled at his or her game, an expert reader must practice good habits when it comes to reading. Actively reading is akin to this type of deep practice.

Here are some podcasts with great literature suggestions.

Best Summer Reading

Helping Literal Thinkers with Literature Analysis

Literature In Your Homeschool

Tip #1: Set Yourself Up for Success

When I am actively reading something, I have pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, and an array of colored pencils by my side — these are my tools for success.

For example, if I actively read a novel, there are few pages that don’t have some underlined or circled word, a question scribbled in the margin, or a highlighted phrase. Come up with a process that works for you and find the tools that best suit it.

Tip #2: Ask Questions

An inquiring mind learns. In order for true knowledge acquisition to occur during an actively reading session, the reader must ask themselves questions to stay engaged with the literature.

Below, I have shared a series of questions that are useful for readers starting to actively read. My high school freshman English teacher used them to guide our literary learning throughout the year. They proved to be a great base for engaging with different texts and served me well after. These questions can be most readily applied to novels and poetry; however, they can be adapted to really any piece of literature. The questions are broken up into the following sections: characters, setting, plot, symbols and other devices, point of view, themes, irony, and newly imagined.

CHARACTER
• Who is the protagonist and who or what is the antagonist?
• What words come to mind when you think about the protagonist or the antagonist?
• How is he, she, or it characterized?
• What motivates this character’s actions?
• What is memorable about the character?
• Is the author’s depiction of the character the same throughout the entire text?
• Are there any surprises? If so what are they?

SETTING
• Where does the story take place? Is the setting: geographical, physical, magical, socio-economic, chronological?
• Locate and specify the various types of setting. What does such specific setting contribute to the overall effect of the story (thematically or in terms of character)?
• When the setting changes where does it change to and how does the change impact the story?

PLOT
• Briefly, what is going on?
• What structure does the story follow (e.g. Freytag)?
• Where in the story are the main points?
• What are the conflicts? Where in the story are they?
• Are the conflicts internal or external? Are they physical, intellectual, societal, moral, or emotional?
• Is the main conflict between sharply differentiated entities (e.g. good versus evil), or is it more subtle and complex?
• Does the plot have unity? Are all the episodes relevant to the total meaning or effect of the story?
• Is the ending happy, unhappy, or indeterminate? Is it fairly achieved?

SYMBOLS AND OTHER DEVICES
• Does the story make use of symbols?
• What kind does the author use (names, objects, actions)?
• What does each symbol mean?
• Does the symbol carry or merely reinforce the meaning of the story?
• What other devices does the author use (e.g. imagery, metaphor, personification, pathos, allusions, aphorisms)? How are they used? What meaning does their use lend to the story?

POINT OF VIEW
• What point of view does the story use?
• Is it consistent in its use of this point of view?
• If shifts in point of view are made are they justified?
• If the point of view is that of one of the characters does that character have any limitations that affect her/his interpretation of events or persons?

THEME
• Does the story have a theme?
• What is it? Is it implicit or explicit?
• Does the theme reinforce or oppose popular notions of life?
• Does it furnish a new insight or refresh or deepen an old one?
• Remember, a theme is an opinion rather like a thesis statement not simply a topic.

IRONY
• Does the story anywhere utilize irony? If so what kind and how? What functions do the ironies serve?

NEWLY IMAGINED
• Compared to other things you have read is there something new, unique, or different about the way the author presents this story or poem?

How to Teach Kids Time Management

Why teaching kids time management matters

Do your kids say they ran out of time to finish their schoolwork or chores? Do they dawdle endlessly over a subject they don’t enjoy? But are they also ready early for activities they do like? If so, your kids are normal. Whew! What a relief, right?

Why teaching kids time management matters

In fact, kids aren’t the only ones who behave this way. Many adults do too. But there are real consequences to not managing time well. There are poor grades, late fees, and missed opportunities. The employee who mismanages time will not earn raises or promotions. Poor time management almost always results in disorganization. My own poor time management skills and disorganization resulted in low self-esteem and even depression. We don’t want our kids to struggle in life this way. So we want to point out the value of good time-management skills at every opportunity as well as the consequences of poor time management. We want to raise children who will make the most of the time God has given them. The problem is, how do we teach it?

How to teach kids time management

There aren’t many good curriculum options for teaching time management to kids. One reason is we expect young employees and college students to just learn as they go. But time management isn’t as easy to pick up as you’d think. Kids (and adults) are so busy trying to manage priorities that they don’t stop to think about better ways of doing things.

Because I struggled so much in managing time, I’ve become a productivity junkie. I wrote a year-long series of posts about productivity and will be releasing a book on the subject later this year. I recognize the importance of teaching time management when I give assignments to my kids and my co-op classes too. So my suggestions come out of that experience.

#1 Work on your own time management skills

If you’re a procrastinator, always too busy, or disorganized, your first step in teaching your kids is to improve your own approach. These are books I recommend you start with. You have to learn the basics of time management: collecting tasks into one trusted place, prioritizing tasks, and planning your days. Then you can teach your kids.

I created The Organized Homeschool Life book and planner to help busy homeschool moms manage their time and get organized. When you feel on top of things, you can talk about time management without feeling like a hypocrite. And we know our kids will call us out if we aren’t practicing what we preach!

[Listen to 6 Reasons Your Homeschool Still Isn’t Organized]

#2 Present your child with options

People who adopt a certain planner, task list, or time management approach can be annoying in their insistence that it’s the only way. The truth is we are all different. Some of us do better with a paper planner, others with an app, and still others (like me) with a combination approach. Some of us like detailed schedules, while others prefer a more flexible routine. If your child has ADD, some approaches (like timers and alarms) will work better than others. There is not one right way.

Do share how you manage time. If you’re married, ask your spouse to share their approach too. If you have an older student or know one who is managing time well, ask her to share her approach.

Then discuss tools. Look at student planners, to-do lists, and apps together. Which does your child think would be most effective for his style?

Suggest varying levels of support from you. For example, you can ask your child if you could set timers, create intermediate deadlines, or create a schedule each day to provide support. Agree to back off if that is your child’s request. Your willingness to help and share the options is instructive for your child.

[Listen to Secrets of Scheduling Success]

#3 Begin experimenting

Allow your child to use the approach, the tools, and the assistance he thinks will work best for him. But follow up with him each day for at least a week, and then weekly for a month. Ask how productive she felt she was. When did she procrastinate and why? What changes could be made to the approach to improve on this?

Here are some things to consider: 1) Was your student attempting too much? If so, many kids will ignore their plan or list. Reduce the tasks attempted each day to a level where they can be consistently completed. Or plan to spend less time on each. 2) Were enough breaks built into the day? A break or reward should follow challenging work and should be planned more often for young students or those with ADD. 3) Are there certain times of day that productivity falls off? If so, plan easy activities for those times. Plan priorities for times when your student has the most energy. Make sure rewards or breaks that get extended are planned for after those priorities are complete. In other words, if your child has a hard time stopping a video game time, plan that reward for the end of the school day. 4) Do you need more support to accomplish your goals? Many kids insist that they can manage their time on their own when the results say otherwise. Encourage your child to experiment with having more support from you.

Most importantly, teach your child that time-management skills aren’t about our character. Instead, it’s about learning the right approach for us as individuals with our current responsibilities. I like to present it as a science experiment. What variables could we change to get a different outcome? Some days we’ll get a great result and others not so great. But trying new things can be fun. In fact, one of the best ways to improve our time management is trying something new.

Conclusion

Teaching time management is a great way to grow personally and relationally with your child. And there’s no time to waste. Start discussing time management with your child today. You can track progress immediately!

What are some approaches that have been helpful for you in learning and teaching time management?

Why teaching kids time management matters

Miracle Season The Movie

the miracle season movie

Miracle Season

Rarely does a movie make me cry like the Miracle Season. It’s not that I’m heartless but truthfully I just don’t get immersed in a movie, I’m too much a realist. It’s fake. These people are actors. The story is made up.

Okay so it is a movie, these people are actors but it is based on a true story. The Miracle Season is inspiring. It is based up Caroline Found a volleyball player and the impact she had on her parents, her friends, and her community. And, it’s a tear-jerker.

Providentially, I didn’t even watch the movie in one sitting. I can’t imagine what an emotional wreck I would be if I had! As it was my husband found me sniffing, watching the movie on my laptop, perched on a container of flour as I was stir frying dinner. You know how we working moms can multi-task. The company that made the movie is our network sponsor, but I volunteered to write the review, without payment.

I was super busy the day I received the preview link, deadlines crying out to be met…podcasts and several phone calls all vying for my attention. Yes, even though I’ve completed my homeschool journey my days seemed filled with even more mayhem then my homeschool days. So, I watched the movie on my laptop in three different time segments during the course of the day, and still, the impact was hard!

Why I loved the Miracle Season … and I don’t often use the word love with a movie title.

The character of Caroline was impulsive, reckless, but she had heart. She loved. And, she lived. She had hardships in her life, her mother was dying of cancer. Yet, she was joyous. It is that joy that surpasses all understanding, to anyone looking in, the joy that comes from within a person–but is infused by a higher force. I call this the Holy Spirit. The movie is about the impact of her death on her family and friends, especially her volleyball team that is left with the state competitions as their season begins and no center.

the miracle season movie

This will be our year. And it was The Miracle Season…

But not in the way that Caroline expected. “This will be our year.” That’s what Caroline’s last words were to her best friend. This year would be the best. It would be remembered. It would be something that would impact them forever. And, it did just not as Caroline planned. This movie makes you think of the could of, should have, would have moments in our lives. Are we invincible? Teens think they are and that is why this is a movie that I’d recommend for every invincible teenager out there. I want my boys to see this, and my daughter even though they are 22, 20 and 17. For kids 13 and up it is a must see. It will make them think.

While the movie centers around a high school and sports, it is bigger than just another sports movie. It is about being a friend. Friendships among teens tend to be fickle. We know this given our own experiences with friendships, many that are better left forgotten. In this case, the friendship’s impact transcends death. And that is what I loved. I loved that her spirit and short time on earth was spent loving and being joyous to the best of her ability. Like sports, Caroline (Line as she was known to her family and friends), gave it her all.

She understood her friends. She had her coach’s back. She loved her mother throughout her sickness and was her biggest encourager and champion. She loved her father, and her extended family the community. She just loved.

Caroline loved.

The character of Caroline depicted in the Miracle Season showed that kind of love that is selfless and it is giving. That is the way I want my children to be, to grow up to love not as they are loved but to love in a sense that all who see them understand God’s love.

If I have one critique of the movie it is about downplaying faith in the character of Caroline. Where did she get her love? Why did she grow up that way? We are told it was the example of her mother, I’m sure this is true, but additionally, it comes from a deeper source. That source is God. There is a scene where the father struggles after his daughter’s death. The pastor is understanding and thankfully seen in a good light. Many times pastors are portrayed as silly or passive. Neither happened in this case. The pastor is willing to listen and help. However, I would have liked to have dialogue that was more pervasive about the very essence of who Caroline was and her relationship with God. I’m certain she had one. No one can love that way and not be touched by God.

And that is the reason I recommend seeing this film with your teens. It is an example to all of us in how to live a life showing God’s love to others. Having each other’s back, giving confidence and support to those who are hurting. To just be like Caroline. The ending was very uplifting and I won’t spoil it but it centers around the grieving father coming to terms with his loss.

Did you see the movie? It comes out on April 6th – and if so, what did you think?

Graduation and Graduation Party Ideas

Graduation & Graduation Party Tips | Plan your graduation and graduation party for your homeschooler with tips and tricks from a veteran homeschool mom

 

Graduation party ideas may have come sooner on your list of things to Pinterest than you’d planned, but the time is here. How do you plan to celebrate? What are some things you’ll want to remember from your years of homeschooling?

Finally Answering the Critics

Graduation is the day when you officially get to answer the critics without saying a word. When the child you’ve poured hours upon hours of teaching and training into crosses the platform and you hand them a diploma, it just feels GOOD!

 

I’ve graduated three and will graduate my youngest this year. This means I’ve gotten to answer the critics repeatedly. Homeschooling works. Now it’s up to my kids to make the most of the opportunities they’ve been given.

 Participating in a Homeschool Graduation

There are a variety of ways your homeschooler can participate in a homeschool graduation ceremony. Here are a few:

  • Check with your local homeschool group to see if they offer one.
  • Talk to your church and see if other homeschool families are planning anything.
  • If you’re the only homeschooling family at your church, at least participate with the graduating seniors from public and private school, if the church does a blessing and sending off type of ceremony.

If no opportunities exist, you can do the legwork and put something together yourself. It doesn’t have to be fancy.

The Graduation Party

If you participate in an organized ceremony you might find that it also comes with a little after-party. Celebrating with fellow homeschooling families or even your own church may be enough for your family.

In our experience, we were asked to decorate a table to represent our graduating senior.

 

 

My children also decorated their caps.

 

After returning home, we also had a private graduation party. Here are some things we did for this:

  • We had a taco bar.
  • A   timeline of pictures for the guests to look through was displayed on a table.
  • We had a box for people to leave words of wisdom, like this one.
  • We had jumpy thing (what my daughter calls them) also known as a bounce house or inflatable for the little kids to use while everyone visited.

Tips and Tricks I’ve Learned Along the Way

One of the beauties of homeschooling is the ability to keep the public school traditions you want and scrap the rest. Make new ones! These are some tips and tricks for graduation and graduation parties that I’ve learned that might work well for you, too.

  • Order invitations early. Include your graduating senior in the selection process.
  • Invite everyone and include an RSVP envelope and card. No everyone will attend, but everyone likes to honor the graduate.
  • Create a Facebook group to keep everyone on the same page with planning.
  • It’s a one-day event to commemorate years of work. Focus on what will make a memory.
  • If you’re planning the party outdoors, have a back up in case of rain.
  • Keep a short window of time for the open house. This keeps food fresh, you from being overwhelmed, and guests happier. No one says it has to be an all-day event.
  • Have a discussion with your teen about the potential monies they may receive and plan to put them to use. This can be a savings account or towards school.
  • Don’t spend a bazillion dollars. Do Graduation on the Cheap.
  • Think about gifts your graduate will actually love. Don’t guess, ask them.
  • Bring tissues! It doesn’t get any easier with each one that graduates.

Do you have any tips or tricks to share? Any special memories? Leave me a comment. I’d love to know!

Teach History by Throwing a Party

 

I love history!

I even pick up history textbooks and read them for fun. There! I admitted it!

However, not every child is born loving history. So, I have looked for ways to bring history alive, to make it fun. We read historical fiction, make timelines, look at maps, watch movies, make crafts, time travel in the kitchen,  create radio dramas, and write poetry.

We also throw parties to study history! We love to have fun when we homeschool.

Yes, we do!

 

 

     

We have had medieval banquets, archaeology digs, luaus, 1950s sock hops, Victorian teas, and Ancient Greek Olympics.

How Hard Is This?

Doesn’t that sound like a lot of work just to homeschool history? you ask.

Well, yes and no. We love parties, so I am motivated if it means people I like, good food, and lots of wholesome fun! My kids love parties, too.

Here is why we learn history when we plan an event like a sock hop or a medieval banquet. We have to research history to create an authentic experience. We dig deeper than normal to find out what they wore, what they ate, exactly what they did, where they did it, and why they did it.

When we planned our Ancient Greek Olympics, we learned that the games were a form of worship to their idol/gods. They opened each day by committing everything to one or more of the idol/gods or idol/goddesses. We decided to open our ceremonies in prayer and commit the whole event to Jesus. Then we learned about all the events and how they competed. In the process, we learned about Greek city-states and their relationships with one another. We discovered some funny stories along the way.

[Read more…]

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