Blog Page | Raising Lifelong Learners

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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Miscellaneous Trevor

  I was looking back at recent posts and realized that I don’t share what Trevor is doing as often as I do what the girls are doing. Most of the time it’s because the girls’ work is cuter and seems more like fun. A lot of third grade work is, well… work. It doesn’t lend itself to cute, snappy pictures. When Trevor is doing the fun stuff, we’re all working together. So here are a few highlights of just him:   We LOVE All About Spelling. It hits several modalities and is good for all types of learners. AAS has not only made Trevor a better speller, but a better reader as well.   One of the...

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Free Resource Friday: Funnix Reading Program

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a great week – we sure did… A mid-winter break at Kalahari Indoor Waterpark, and we’re all ready to dive (haha) back into work!We got home at the perfect time, though... Once or twice a year, the folks over at Funnix.com offer their reading program for free! We downloaded it last year, and I wrote about it in the Language Arts chapter of my book, but since that doesn’t come out until April, and this year’s free download is only good until February 16th, I thought I’d mention it now.If you have a beginning reader, or teach early elementary grades, you’ll...

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Hands-On Learning: Play-Dough Body Parts

  We start a new co-op next week. We’ve thought about joining a co-op for awhile, have tried to sign up for several, but all of our attempts have been thwarted for one reason or another. Full classes, two-year waiting lists, etc. Finally, though, we found one that seems like it will be a good fit for all of our little learners. Trevor gets to take classes like DS Strategy and History, Create a Super Hero, Gym, and Beginning Business. Logan gets to go to Story Hour, Edible Art for Toddlers, Play with Dough, and Free Play. And Molly has chosen classes like Thematic Storytime, Beginning...

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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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