Blog Page | Raising Lifelong Learners

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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Hands-On {Inexpensive} Learning: For Tots

  Last summer we had a big combined birthday party for the girls… a super fun, super cute backyard circus. The Dollar Spot at Target had some fabulous games that were perfect for favors and prizes. I kept a few of the ring toss games thinking they’d come in handy some day:     They sure have! For five dollars, Logan has a color matching activity:     A fine motor activity:     A gross motor activity:     And… a lot of fun:     Remember… with little ones, it’s not how much you spend on learning materials, it’s that they’re new to them. Since we broke these ring toss sets out a week ago,...

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My Little Reader

    Molly has been desperate to read since before she could talk. My kind of kid! She has always loved books, crawling into my lap at all hours with a book (or twelve) in hand and asking for a story. It is no surprise to me that she knew all of her letter sounds by 3, and at four is delighting in reading words over my shoulder whenever I have anything in my hand that displays the printed word. Thanks to the {continuing} generosity of a homeschool friend, we are bursting with learning materials for her…     We start with Hooked on Phonics, reading through word family lists, talking about...

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Free Resource Friday: Games and Activities

    “Mom! I’m bored!” Don’t you just hate that? Like they don’t have three-hundred-thousand toys each, yet they can’t find a single thing to do when you’re not right there holding their hand or directing them… This week’s resource is two-fold. The other day I pinned a fabulous idea from Mama Jodi on Pinterest. (You are scoping out Pinterest, right? Let me know so I can follow your boards! Feel free to follow mine.)       Mama Jodi over at Meaningful Mama has a wonderful tutorial on how she and her girls created this great menu of independent play choices to use when they couldn’t choose...

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Hands-On Learning: Stonehenge

We are incredibly behind in our Mystery of History lessons… like… ummm… only on Lesson 10. Does it take anyone else almost a year to get through 10 lessons in a subject?Not that we don’t study history; we just chase it down in unconventional ways and in the middle of lessons and books about other topics. But, because the kids LOVE this program so much, I pulled it back off the shelf, dusted it off, and picked up where we left off (months ago).Stonehenge… around 2000 B.C. For those of you that are not familiar with this curriculum, MOH is a chronological history of the world that begins...

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Lifelong Learning

  I firmly believe that kids learn best by doing. This belief has been the foundation of my educational philosophy, my parenting, and makes up the core of my writing. Now that I homeschool my little ones… it shows through in just about everything we do around here. When we involve kids in their world, they appreciate it more, care for it better, and have a vested interest in learning how to live best in it.     To me, raising a lifelong learner means bringing up my kids to be active participants in their education. Whether that education is “school” learning or “life” learning, they need...

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Free Resource Friday: Free Kids Music

      I love finding great music to share with my kids… old time music, folk music, country, rock, contemporary Christian, and fabulous, quirky stuff written with silly kids in mind. Educationally put, music is important for a kid’s cognitive development. I typed “music and kids development” into Google and instantly had access to over 620 MILLION hits. From articles and studies that show that kids who are exposed to music early in their lives scored higher on intelligence tests than kids who were not. And that’s where Free Kids Music comes in. The amazing creators of this site contacted...

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Fun Recipe: Corn Dog Muffins

  Does anyone else out there LOVE Pinterest? I’m not the only one that gets caught up, lost, and wanders aimlessly for L-O-N-G periods of time, right? I click from pin to pin, and often forget to pin those things I like! In fact, I’m sad to admit, my boards look pretty bare… and it’s NOT because I’m not on searching… it’s because I get caught up and go off – I guess on some of those rabbit trails I talked about yesterday. See, it’s perfectly normal! Awhile ago, and then again while playing around on the site with a good friend , I ran across this cool idea: Bite-size hot dog chunks inside...

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Free Resource Friday: A Game A Day

    I love words… Part of that likely comes from my love of reading, and the fact that I make my living writing. My poor husband. Brian has put up with nearly 2 decades of daily grammar and word usage corrections. (But he loves me anyway…) If you like words like I do, or want to like them more (or want your kids to think they’re fun), check out today’s FREE RESOURCE:     When you click on the link, you’ll go to the main page where you choose either level one or two. Once you choose your level you’ll see a calendar for the month (though when I went today, January 2012 was still up) and...

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Hands-On Learning: Make a Compass

  Around the Kessler house, we tend to take on a topic and run with it, then fit our other subjects into that theme. It takes some effort, but it works for us and keeps interest high. So, lately we’ve been learning about pirates… more on that later, but for now here’s one way we’ve made it work for the content areas… In our reading, we learned that the early Chinese pirates were pretty successful. Why? Because their ancestors had already invented a little tool that helped them navigate the seas and successfully find coastal towns and merchant ships to raid and plunder. The ancient Chinese...

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