Blog Page | Raising Lifelong Learners

Hands-On Fun: Sacrifice Beads

    As we focus on this season of Lent, we’ve been talking a lot about sacrifice. As Catholics, we sacrifice – or give up – something during the forty days leading up to Easter to help bring us closer to God. The idea being that, when we want that piece of candy or wish that we could play the Wii, we’ll take a moment and think about God, and the “hole” left from sacrifice our desire for that thing will be filled with our faith. {Or that’s my layman’s explanation for it…} And as our children have access to just about everything they could possibly want, this has been a good thing for us to...

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Book Review: Homeschooling Gifted and Advanced Learners

I was really excited to receive Cindy West’s new book, Homeschooling Gifted and Advanced Learners from Prufrock Press to review. I’m in the trenches homeschooling gifted kiddos, and while it’s a lot of fun… it can be a challenge. Cindy’s new book was such a blessing! As I read through it, I found myself nodding, dog-earing (gasp!) pages to come back to or share with Brian, and feeling like someone was finally able to relate to my day-to-day homeschool. I was especially excited when I found a sub-head that read, “You Like the Content of the Science Curriculum, But Your Child Wants to Take...

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Moments to Remember: Leprechaun Mischief and Traps

  The weeks leading up to St. Patrick’s Day are always a little chaotic. For years, we’ve been bothered by a mischievous leprechaun (he used to mess around in my classroom, too… the pest)! We’ve found toys scattered, drawers open and emptied, furniture turned upside down, and marker scribbled across our whiteboard and mirrors. For the most part, the kids are good about cleaning up… but today’s mess had them ready to put an end to it once and for all! They were sick of this:   And of all the other messes they had to clean up… so they decided to fight back by building leprechaun...

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Free Resource Friday: All Things Science

    It’s no secret that I love science and nature. Thankfully my kids do too, or we’d be in trouble… Really, though, I think science has the potential to appeal to everyone—young or old. So why are so many homeschoolers nervous about teaching science? I think too many people buy into the stereotype that only super-smart, funny-looking, socially-awkward people are scientists: The truth, though, is that we can all be scientists! Science—at its best—is a process of discovery. It’s not being afraid to say, “I don’t know” or “Let’s find out” or “what would happen if…” We’ve been conditioned to...

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Tot Time: Learning or Playing?

  There are many of you, like me, searching for ways to keep your littlest tots engaged during your homeschool (or meal preparation) time. Like me, you probably don’t want to just let them run loose all day. The initial thought, especially for those of us that homeschool, is to create lots of fabulous learning experiences for them and just start schooling them early. Two birds with one stone, right? You have more time to teach your older kids because the little one on busy and she’s “learning” already.     I mean, really… just look at the intelligence shining out of those dark brown eyes....

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Hands-On Fun: {Underwater} Volcanoes

  If you’re ever looking for something to do that’s inexpensive—and a BLAST for kids of all ages—a baking soda and vinegar volcano is an old standby for a reason. Simple ingredients… bubbling reactions… predictable results… We always have simple science supplies around here, partly because I write about science and create experiments and activities for the books I write, and partly because we all love getting our hands messy as we discover new truths about our world. So, on a particularly rough day recently… you know, one of those days where nothing was working (ever have one of those?)…...

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Yummy Math: Serving Up Breakfast Lessons

Aren’t those pancakes beautiful? Believe it or not… Trevor made them himself! I’ve seen recipes for corn & wheat pancakes on several different websites and wanted to try them out, and Trevor wanted to do some “unconventional” math, so we put our heads together and came up with this yummy breakfast last week. (I think it’ll be a weekly staple, though… they were that good!)The first thing we did was convert some fractions and make some ingredient substitutions. I’m attending some conventions next month, and am trying to stock the freezer with some good food, so I wanted Trevor to double...

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Moments to Remember: Worms are Cute {and Slimy}

  Moments to Remember was developed as a simple way to look back on our week as homeschoolers and find photos that encompass the memories we want to remember. The week may have been tough, there may have been more bumps than smiles, but in the end these are the moments that keep us going, the ones we need to remember.     One of the reasons we love homeschooling… siblings learning together. At a program about worms, Trevor holds one out for Logan (who loves all animals and continues to tell me that worms are “so cute”) to pet. Molly looks on, refusing to touch. She’s not really “into...

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Free Resource Friday: Lapbook Lessons

    By now you know that we’re always looking for new ways to engage the kiddos. My easily distracted, wiggly, sometimes-crazy bunch crave novelty… and so do I. I was so excited to discover lapbooking early in our homeschooling. I’ll probably post again about specific lapbooks we’ve done at some point, but if you’ve ever looked for easy to use and FREE materials to fill lapbooks of your own, you need to check out Lapbook Lessons.     A little bit of background for those of you that don’t know what a lapbook is: Lapbooks are simply unique ways to present material students have learned....

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Edible Art: Marshmallow Snowmen

  Normally, we try to keep the meals and snacks pretty healthy around here. To be completely honest about it… I can get a little… umm… fanatical about it. In the last year, I’ve begun grinding my own wheat for flour, make our morning oatmeal from whole oat groats, millet, and wheat berries slow-cooked in the crock pot overnight, and cook from scratch at just about every meal. So… when Molly and Logan wanted to take an “edible art” class at coop, I was a bit hesitant. I knew they’d love it. I knew they’d have fun. I knew I would not be able to control what went into their mouths. Could you...

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