Blog Page | Raising Lifelong Learners

Tot Activities: Logan in Action

  Our little tornado has been tearing up the school room lately, so we added the clip-on chair to the table we use, and she seems to have settled down. “Apparently, she just felt left out!” Molly told me. I think she’s right. Check out a few of our “Tornado Tamers” this week: Using scissors:   Do-a-Dot Markers: (And, YES, she’s wearing a pirate patch… stay tuned for some fun pirate stuff… coming soon!)   Rice Box:     If you have any tried and true tot activities, let me know in the comments. We’re always looking for “Tornado...

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Hands-On Fun: Art Appreciation

While the girls love arts and crafts, I’m not a huge fan of paint, and Trevor loathes the “messy-ness” of artistic creation – part sensory issues/part perfectionism. He hates getting wet or dirty and he hates not knowing if what he’s making will turn out how he pictures it.I can relate… I am not a fan of the beginning of any project. I see a bright, shiny finished product, and fear (sometimes to the point that I am afraid to start) the beginning of a project. Perfectionism, and the struggle with it, is common with gifted kids. Throw the sensory piece in the mix, and art projects become...

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Hands-On Learning: Candle Race

  So… Molly’s on the mend. Amazingly, nobody else got sick this past week, which was such a blessing as Molly was the sickest she’s ever been. Dehydrated, on anti-nausea medication just to get a few sips of water down every eight hours or so, and lots of sleeping. She’s a bit thinner, but back to her usual cheerful self:     Because we’re just getting back into a routine again, I thought I’d leave you with a fun science experiment we tried recently so Molly could learn a little bit about fire, and Trevor could practice following directions, leading his sister, and working with candles in...

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Tot Activities: Random Shots

  One of the toughest aspects of our day is finding activities that will keep our little tornado, Logan, occupied long enough for me to teach Molly her reading lesson or Trevor his math… or whatever requires my attention to be focused on a child other than her for more than ten minutes at a time. We are constantly experimenting to find things that work, borrowing ideas from catalogs, books, blogs, and anywhere else we find inspiration. As any parent of a toddler knows, what keeps her happily engaged today, may be a bust tomorrow. The arsenal needs to be loaded! Here are a few things that...

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Free Resource Friday: Healthy Eating Posters

    Happy Friday! It’s been a crazy week in the Kessler house – a spur of the moment move, packing, rain, snow, ice, crazy off-schedule kids, unpacking… etc. This free resource is short and… well, not sweet, but yummy! Have you ever heard Cabot Creamery in Vermont? It’s a farm family-owned, all natural cheese co-op that produces and sells award-winning cheese. Check out their website if you’d like to learn more or order some of their delicious products.     And… if you want to teach your students (in your homeschool OR classroom) all about healthy food choices, check out their free...

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Stuff We Love: Inchimals

  Lately, I’ve tried to buy toys and activities that can be fun, teach something, and that work for more than one age group. We are running out of space – so the toys NEED to do more than one thing! Enter… Inchimals by Fat Brain Toys. The brains behind the puzzles, Evelyn B. Christensen, is amazing. I’ve wanted to buy this product since I first saw a mention of it on her website.     We LOVE this! When you open the box, you’ll reveal the super-cute animal rods. From the inch-long ladybug to the foot-long giraffe, the colors and graphics are adorable. Each rod has a side marked with lines...

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Hands-On Learning: Colors

  We have a lot of fun with science around here. Once you get to know me a little, you come to expect random “science days” or experiments—and lots of messes! It makes sense after all, I write nonfiction for kids, parents, and teachers and mainly focus on science and nature topics. You’d expect, then, that I have brainwashed my children to have a nurtured within my children a love of science, too. One of our favorite recent experiments dealt with color.     We set up baby food jars with water colored with food coloring – red, blue, and yellow, and had one filled with clear water. (We do...

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2E Tuesday: Nurturing Passions

What is your child passionate about? Does your daughter love princesses? Pretend she is one? Does she create kingdoms, languages, currency, laws, and punishments for her dolls? Does your son dream of space? Star Wars, the Space Shuttle, Neil Armstrong, whatever, as long as it happens in space – past, present, or future…     Trevor, while passionate about typical nine-year-old boy things like LEGO, Star Wars, and… um… LEGO Star Wars, has a budding interest in photography.     As young as five, he’d take my camera when I wasn’t looking and try to enlist a willing accomplice to help him out....

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Free Resource Friday: Simply Fun

Ever have one of those days? You know, those days… You’re snippy, short-tempered, and everything bugs you. And those days can find you and affect how you behave to the little cherubs surrounding you – whether you’re a classroom teacher, homeschool mom, stay-at-home daddy… whomever you are. I mean… I’ve heard about those days. Ummm, never really had them myself. Here is a fabulous resource just in case you ever feel the after-effects of a mean-mommy day, or you feel like bashing the math workbook over you’re nine year old’s head, or the kids in the table group by the door are. driving....

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Hands-On Learning: Bird Nests

  In 2009 I wrote a book for Mitchell Lane Publishers called, A Project Guide to Reptiles and Birds. One of the best things about working on that book was its focus on hands-on projects, experiments, and activities integrated into what would otherwise have been a typical nonfiction book about the topic. Another great thing about writing that book and creating activities to include in it, was that my kids and I had to try all of the projects ourselves.     This forced-immersion into a topic I was researching created some birders and *possibly* a budding ornithologist. Winter, when the...

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