Posts for category ‘Guest Posts’

Christmas Traditions
Lesson Pathways | December 15, 2010 | 9:19 am

ChristmasLast year we did a “child led” unit on Hanukkah, which included sharing an evening in celebration with some of our Jewish family friends and then attending their synagogue with them for a beautiful hanukia celebration. My daughter (and my Husband and I too!) thoroughly enjoyed learning about the traditions and history of their celebration. This year my daughter asked to learn more about the history and traditions of Christmas around the world.

Christmas is a holiday that we celebrate, but as we are discovering, we really know very little about the traditions and history behind our own beloved celebration. This year’s “child led” Christmas lessons are broken up into the three following categories: Christmas Traditions Around the World, Christmas Symbols, and Holiday Baking. (All three of the categories also cover language arts, geography, and history lessons, as well as hitting upon art, science, and math.)

Christmas is a holiday that we celebrate, but as we are discovering, we really know very little about the traditions and history behind our own beloved celebration.

Each day my daughter selects about five countries and we read aloud their Christmas traditions from Christmas Around the World.

When selecting the countries, she chooses them by region and compares and contrasts the neighboring countries (and then compares and contrasts the different regions). While reading about the Christmas Traditions of France, my daughter got very excited about the “Yule Log Cake” and wanted to make one for our Christmas feast. We found this delicious photo (warning…you will be drooling!) and Yule Log Cake Recipe.

yule-log-cake-recipe

We will be making this on Christmas Eve morning together (one of several Holiday Baking projects). We will also be baking various Christmas cookies from around the world, as well as a gingerbread house.

For Christmas Symbols (including many science rich opportunities in studying the various plants), we are using History of Christmas, one read aloud daily.

It was on reading about the Christmas tree that my daughter discovered Czechoslovakian painted eggs. We researched images of these and will make some painted eggs of our own to place on our tree.

I’ve always wanted to make Peppermint Bark so I think we are going to whip up a batch of these next week (Peppermint Bark Recipe).

Secondary-PeppermintPigWe will use a locally made peppermint pig that we will smash to bits for it. :D  We are lucky enough to have Saratoga Sweets within a reasonable driving distance, so we will visit their sweet shop first and learn more about the process of making them and the traditions associated with it (this info is also on their Web site).

We are having such a jolly good time researching all about Christmas! Do you have a favorite tradition or holiday recipe you would like to share? We’d love to learn more about your traditions too!

Cheers,
Colette

This post was written by Colette D., a new-to-homeschooling Mom and a Lesson Pathways Blog contributing writer. She and her Husband raise their daughter together in the rural countryside of Upstate New York where they like to spend as much time as possible being creative and enjoying nature. She blogs about her adventures in sewing, crafting, and baking (among other things) at yearofhandmade.

Learning About Hanukkah
Lesson Pathways | November 30, 2010 | 9:00 am

This post was written by Christina S., LessonPathways.com team member and veteran homeschool mom.  When not helping out around here at LessonPathways.com or other work-related project, she’s busy homeschooling or tweeting as @MrsStrick on Twitter.

In her quest to find great resources for educating her own children, she has found some she’d like to share with you.  Read on and enjoy!

MeorahHanukkah, also known as “The Festival of Lights” (and sometimes spelled “Chanukah”) is an eight-day Jewish holiday starting on the 25th day of Kislev, which may occur at any time from late November to late December (source: wikipedia).

This year, Hanukkah begins on December 1.

While my family is not Jewish, I wanted my children (and myself!) to learn more about Jewish culture and traditions.  It’s important to me that we learn as much as we can, out of respect for our friends that are Jewish and because Jewish culture is deeply intertwined with our own Christian history.

All of the resources here were found on the internet and are completely free!  They are listed here for you, in the friendly “LessonPathways.com” Pathway format we’ve all grown to know and love.  I hope your family finds them useful in your homeschool (or classroom) studies too!

As I mentioned, I am still learning about Jewish culture and traditions.  If I’ve made an error, please let me know.  If you’ve got a great resource I missed, please share it in the comments section below!

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Lessons IconLinks to Online Lessons

The Story of Hanukkah
Read this very short passage as an introduction to the story of Hanukkah.

History of Hanukkah
Read this account of the Birth of Hanukkah and its celebration, including symbolic foods.

Hanukkah Traditions
Learn more about Hanukkah traditions, including the Miracle of the Oil.

History of the Dreidel
Learn about the history of the Dreidel, how to play and the meaning of the Hebrew letters on each one.

Significance of the Menorah
Learn all about the Menorah and why it signifies the Feast of Lights.

The Star of David
Learn about the meaning of the Star of David

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Activities IconHands-On Projects and Activities

Make a Dreidel
Follow the directions to make your own dreidel, then try your hand at a game with a friend or family member.

Craft a Hanukkah Menorah
Use wooden spools, paint and yellow eraser pencil toppers to make this craft. (does not actually light up)

Create a Menorah
Want something that really lights up? Use baby food jars and candles to create this Menorah

Hanukkah Wreath
Recommended for ages 6+, create this wreath using a wire coat hanger, TP rolls and paint.

Star of David Window Ornament
Add a little sparkle to your windows by making these pretty ornaments

Cooking for Hanukkah
Try making Hanukkah coins or Latkes. How do you like them?

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Learning Tools IconWorksheets, Printables & Online Activities

Coloring Pages
Beautiful pictures to print and color.

Online Jigsaw Puzzle
See if you can put this holiday picture back together.

Reading Comprehension Worksheet
Print this worksheet, read the short passage and try to answer the questions.

Word Puzzle
(For the older kids) Print and solve this word puzzle about Hanukkah blessings.

Crossword Puzzle
A high quality printable word puzzle (with answer key!).

Lined Journaling Pages
Print your choice of journaling pages to keep track of what you’ve learned.

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Video IconFree Online Videos

Learn about Hanukkah with Elmo!

 

History Channel’s History of Hanukkah

Watch this video from the History Channel to learn more about the history of Hanukkah.

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Audio IconFree Online Audio

The Story of Hanukkah
Listen to the story of the Maccabees

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References IconAdditional Resources

Chabad.org
A large collection of games and other learning goodies for learning about Hanukkah for kids.

Scholastic Lesson Plans
Lesson plans & printables for teaching about the dreidel.

Literature Hanukkah
A list of literature for children about Hanukkah.

Hanukkah Clip Art
Free clip art to use.

If you enjoyed these resources, be sure to visit our site, LessonPathways.com, for more great unit studies and FREE learning materials!

Guest Post: Avoiding Homeschooling Pitfalls
Lesson Pathways | November 16, 2010 | 10:00 am

Today’s post comes from Kristie of Saving Dollars And Sense.  If you haven’t had a chance to visit her blog, you should head over there – she shares the best advice and ideas for stretching your hard-earned dollar.  She also shares her wisdom and insights as an experienced homeschool mom.  We saw this post on her blog and it really struck a chord.  We’re reposting it here (with Kristie’s permission, of course!) because we think whether you are a veteran homeschooler, or just starting out, you’re sure to appreciate her advice on avoiding homeschool pitfalls.

Slow

There are several pitfalls to avoid while homeschooling. These are my personal top three.

1. Do NOT compare yourself to another homeschooling family! This is probably THE single most important lesson that any homeschooling mom can learn. You can cause a lot of damage to both yourself and your children when you do this. God made each one of us totally unique, so why would we want to try to be like anyone else. This just stifles who we are intended to be. I think I finally learned this lesson for the first time last year, and it has changed the entire atmosphere of our homeschool fr the better.

2. Don’t get upset if your child isn’t the next Mozart, Einstein or DaVinci. If you are homeschooling for this reason, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. I’m not saying that your child won’t be smart. In fact I do believe that homeschoolers are super smart about the things they are passionate about. But as homeschoolers, I don’t feel that we need to make this our priority. Learning will happen, but more importantly are the relationships that will grow stronger every day!

3. Don’t seek outside approval. There is absolutely no way that you are going to please every single person who looks at your homeschool. There will always be at least one judgemental person who is going to raise an eyebrow at what you are doing. I am so guilty of wanting to please other people. The first couple years that we homeschooled, I felt myself always defending my decision to homeschool. I wanted to make every person I talked to agree with me that this was the ideal situation. Since I learned to avoid this pitfall altogether, I have felt so much freedom to do what I know is right for us since someone is bound to object anyways.

If you learn these pitfalls early on, you’ll be much better prepared for an abundant homeschooling experience. Remember that God has created each and every one of us unique. This means that he also must have a unique plan and direction for your homeschool and your family. I know I wouldn’t want to carve out my own path because I saw someone else doing it, and miss out on the plan the Lord has already carved out for us.

This is a time for the Lord to prepare your chldren to become the people he has chosen them to be for His Kingdom and not yours.

Saving Dollars and SenseKristie is the Money Saving Mom Blogger behind Saving Dollars and Sense. She has a passion for learning to live on less abundantly and she loves sharing what she has learned with her readers. She is also the homeschool mom of one child graduating from high school this year and another entering high school. When she isn’t working on homeschooling, you can find her sharing giveaways, freebies, and other money saving ideas!

Homeschooling Special Needs Children
Lesson Pathways | November 10, 2010 | 10:00 am

Jennifer B. is a long-time LessonPathways.com team member and our resident expert on Special Needs.  She’s often found providing support to other homeschool parents with special needs children.  Her special brand of humor and sensitivity is always welcomed.  Read her advice to all homeschoolers:

HandprintsWhere to begin? I guess the beginning is a good spot! I’m Jen B, married, with two boys-both with special needs. My eldest was told he would never learn to read, he’s presently in grade 11 in public school, getting straight A’s. We homeschooled him until he was high school age. My youngest was told he will never talk and although his articulation is poor, the boy never stops talking. We still homeschool him and love it. My point? What do people know? Go with your gut!

This advice fits well with homeschooling too. You are the parent, you know your child best. If you feel your child learns better by doing than a textbook, than go ahead and modify things. If your child does better with reading than doing, again, feel free to modify things. Go with your gut.

Since my children have special needs, I was asked the strangest things when we first started out with this strange and wondrous adventure of homeschooling. “Shouldn’t you leave it up to the professionals?” is an all-time favourite of mine. I usually answer by asking the questioner if they know his/her children well. Of course the person replies and then why wouldn’t I know mine enough? I am a professional, a professional parent. I go with my gut.

Why would homeschooling be any different than parenting? It’s really not, that’s why homeschoolers chuckle when uninformed parents say they can’t do it. Teaching your children is just ‘extended parenting’, you watch them a little longer, past kindergarten age, instead of having the schools do it. If you doubt that you can homeschool your children, think again and go with your gut.

I’m sure glad I did!

If you are interested in homeschooling your children and there are special needs involved, look me up! http://www.specialneedshomeschool.com/ I’d be happy to hear from you!

special needs homeschool button

Blog Carnival of Homeschooling: The Road Less Traveled Edition
Lesson Pathways | September 7, 2010 | 9:20 am

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,Woods
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it ben in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leave no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.

There are many different paths to homeschooling.  Some choose to homeschool for religious convictions, while others for educational, special needs, moral reasons many other motivations in between. Though everyone has their own reason for deciding to homeschool, we all have one thing in common; we have chosen a different path than our public and private school counterparts.  At some point, we have all come to two roads in the wood and we have all taken the one less traveled by.

Beginning Road

Deciding which road to travel can be scary.

Dannie from Mom’s Eye View fields many common questions about homeschooling from well-meaning friends and family. “Once you make your intentions to homeschool public, suddenly the experts come out ten-fold, and boy howdy, do they have questions for you!” Yes folks, she even tackles the “s word”!  Read Dannie’s blog post But what about…?

Jessica from the Teachable Moments recently chose to switch paths from active PTA involvement to living the homeschool life.  “My children learned chants about testing, they began art class with pep talks about testing, they were taken out of recess for testing and they learned very early on to loathe testing.” Read Jessica’s blog entry: Why I Blog
Elisabeth from Treasuring the Moments offers cautions, suggestions, and advice for homeschooling young children.  “Really, in the end, what difference does it make if he knows every color under the rainbow when he’s 3?” Read Elisabeth’s blog entry: Part I- Starting to Homeschool Your Young Child?


IntersectionEven while on our journey of homeschooling, we often find ourselves at many different cross roads and paths.  Choosing the right curriculum can be like coming across a jumbled intersection on a freeway.

Dave from Home School Dad tells us about a handwriting program that is so effective that his children beg to do it on non-school days.  My children hate to write. They would rather (insert gross disgusting boring or painful activity here. Ex: Have their hair set on fire) than practice their handwriting.Don’t believe him?  He even has video footage to prove how successful it is!  Read Dave’s blog: A strange request for a day off.
Kyle from Montessori for Learning explains how easily his children learn to read when using Montessori materials. “I love seeing the little lights flash in their eyes as they see the letter sounds they learn form into words they know.” Read Kyle’s blog entry Pink Level Picture Labeling (Two-Three Letter Phonetic Words).

“My last post attracted 41 comments full of great ideas for teaching students to write. Some mentioned a specific writing program, while others offered ideas that any of us can use, no matter what our curriculum or teaching style. This follow-up post features the best of the latter: writing tips and tricks for everyone.”
Denise from Blogging 2 Learn shares  How to Teach Writing: Best Ideas from the Comments.

Melissa from the blog Bugs, Knights and Turkeys in the Yard tells us about a math curriculum that even challenged her!  “Due to the fact that my son’s special needs factor into everything, when something works beautifully for both of my boys, I cannot help but share!Find out which curriculum it is and enter her giveaway:  Math Giveaway – Bragging about our math curriculum!

Everyday, we find ourselves facing different paths for homeschooling.  Which hatBrick Path should we wear?  How do we manage our time?

Diana from the blog Life Curves in Homeschooling & Living for the Lord ponders her theory: perhaps we are SUPPOSED to live our lives a bit cluttered?  “So I jump into the kiddie pool and swim for a 1/2 hour instead of scrubbing my base-boards.” Read Diana’s blog entry Ever have one of those days (years!)?

Jenn from Rational Jenn tells us how she learned some surprising things about her childrens’ interests and goals by having them create Things I Want to Know lists. “I view my role as resource provider/guide/chauffeur/perspective-adder/question-asker/context-pointer-outer/connection-maker.” Read Jenn’s blog and see her children’s list at: Homeschool Plans

Kris from Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers answers a reader’s question on teaching multiple grades at once.  “How will I have time to do it all? How can I teach three grades at once, and still do pre-K stuff, as well?”  Read her blog post Reader Questions: How Do I Teach Multiple Grades at Once and share your suggestions!

Katherine from No Fighting, No Biting! shares a homeschool day that may sound all too familiar!  “So between babysitting for me and an impromptu invite for the big kids to go to the lake, the only school activity completed was piano practice.” Read Katherine’s blog entry: He’s Already Skipping School

Success and Failure Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

Sometimes, we question the path we’ve chosen in our homeschools.

Joanne from The Progressive Pianist shares her Reasons Not To Let Your Children Quit Their Music Lessons.  “It is a well-established fact that children who play a musical instrument are more advanced academically and emotionally than their peers.”

Janine of the Why Homeschool blog wonders if computers hurt more than they help in her post, Home Computers: Help or Hinderance in Education.

Mary from the Time4Learning Parent Community and Forum shares a personal story about her son and tells us about strength-based living. If we’re not careful, our entire effort can be to equip their weaknesses and never notice their strengths.” Read Mary’s blog entry: Does Your Child Live Up To Your Expectations?

Boy with SuitcaseTraveling the homeschool road with a special needs child often requires additional emotional support and patience.

Jennifer from the blog Special Needs Homeschool offers insight and support on homeschooling special needs children.  “We can turn supper into a therapy session with a simple blend of green mashed potatoes.” Read Jennifer’s blog entry If There Is So Much Support Out There, Why Do We Feel So Alone?

Tom from I Want to Teach Forever shares a review of “Wild Ride to the Heart”, a game that teaches young children how to deal with difficult emotions. “Dealing with emotions positively moves you forward while losing control sends you backwards.” Read Tom’s blog entry Wild Ride to the Heart Game Helps Kids Deal with Emotions.
(NOTE:  Giveaway expired on 8/27.)



Money Tree
What about financing this journey?

Kristie from This Side of Eternity shares tips on choosing educational products in a frugal and financially responsible way.  “When I first started to homeschool I had to have everything. After a that first year I saw how much stuff just sat on the bookshelf.” Read Kristie’s blog entry Frugal Homeschooling Works for Me!

Sometimes the smallest change of pace makes a big difference!

footprints

Sometimes, the smallest change of pace can make all the difference!

Robin from Crack the Egg shares her insights how to make a small change for a big impact. “This single element of making the effort to converse with people involved in what is being studied can make the difference between learning about something (static knowledge) and learning that leads to education (dynamic growth).” Read her post, History, Justice, and a Persistent Kid

Do you need to document your travels?

journal

Do you need to document your travels?


Apollo’s Academy offers some insight into the perils of homeschool regulations and focusing on looking like you’re educating, rather than actually educating.  “After all, that was the point of all those pieces of paper, wasn’t it?…To prove that I wasn’t using my children as child labor while I sat around eating bon-bons?” Read the blog entry Prove It.

Traveling with a guide, map or just a group of friends can help pave the way.

compassTraveling with a guide, map or just a group of friends can help pave the way.

Laurie from Queenofthehill shares a humorous post with information on how The Simplest Ideas are the Best.  “I want to slap myself on the forehead 10 times a day and say ‘why didn’t I think of this before?’” We know you’ll laugh out loud.  We did!

Carol from Everything Home…with Carol shares a valuable list of helpful resources. “Most of us have already started school for the year and the rest will be in the next week or two. Nonetheless, we never can have too many places to look for help along the way.” Read more in her blog post Homeschooling Resources.

NerdMom from the NerdFamily Blog has put together a collection of her posts in her blog Homeschool Omnibus. “In the spirit of fall I have put together a list of my homeschool posts that look at why and how to homeschool!” Be sure to take a look and offer comments!

Nancy from the blog Sage Parnassus shares information about her Co-op that covers fine arts, Shakespeare, poetry, composer study, picture study, nature study, hymns and folk songs and handicrafts. “Then one day… I thought to myself, ‘What if I could find some other families that wanted to study these same subjects?’” Read her blog post Beginning Considerations for beautiful group photos and information on beginning considerations for Co-op participants.


stop

At some point in our journeys, we need to look back and reflect on how far we’ve come.

Marbel from Two Kids Schoolhouse describes the positive changes her son, a struggling learner, has gone through.  He is the reason we knew we would homeschool, long before he even reached school age.Read her encouraging post Late Blooming.

Christina from Home Spun Juggling shares some learning moments in her life and explains that if we give children the opportunity, they will experience these profound learning experiences also.  “Looking back on my life, there are many moments when I can say I truly learned something that made a profound impact on me.” Read Christina’s blog entry The Click.

CarnivalLogo

This Blog Carnival of Homeschooling is dedicated to all of the families that have chosen the road less traveled.  We hope you’ve founds support and encouragement from these wonderful bloggers!

If you’d like to join the Blog Carnival Family, submit your post for the next edition here.
Submit Your Blog Today
Lesson Pathways | September 5, 2010 | 9:32 am

It’s not too late! We’re hosting the September 7th edition of the Blog Carnival of Homeschooling and we’d love to include yours.

CarnivalLogo

Simply click this link to submit a recent article from your homeschool blog and be sure to grab one of the blog carnival icons to place on your blog (html below).  We’ll feature your post this Tuesday!

Submission deadline is 6pm (EST) Monday, September 6th.

Carnival Icons:

Small:

<a title=”Carnival of Homeschooling” href=”http://whyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2008/04/carnival-of-homeschooling.html“>
<img alt=”Carnival of Homeschooling” width=”80″ height=”15″ border=”0″ src=”http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll227/hcate3/SmallA.jpg” /> </a>

Medium:

<a title=”Carnival of Homeschooling” href=”http://whyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2008/04/carnival-of-homeschooling.html“>
<img alt=”Carnival of Homeschooling” width=”75″ height=”75″ border=”2″ src=”http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll227/hcate3/ImageC.jpg” /> </a>

Large:

<a title=”Carnival of Homeschooling” href=”http://whyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2008/04/carnival-of-homeschooling.html“>
<img alt=”Carnival of Homeschooling” width=”160″ height=”200″ border=”0″ src=”http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll227/hcate3/WhateverImageA.png” > </a>

Our LessonPathways Family
Lesson Pathways | June 9, 2010 | 12:52 pm

We have a lot of Bloggers in our family of LessonPathways users.  We wanted to share their links with you so you can stop by, say “hello” and get insipired.

j0443983

WayzLey Academy “Just the Krazy life of a Krazy family!” offers a a peek into their homeschool lives with great resource links.

Homeschool Gardner “Just trying to control the chaos” shares great information on homemaking, sustainability and homeschooling.

At the Learners at Home blog, a veteran homeschool mom chronicles her journey and information about homeschooling LD children.

The Reed Family blog has giveaways, curriculum advice and more.  Stop by to connect with this mother of four.

Homeschooling Aurora is written by a new homeschool mom who is also in the process of earning her college degree.  (way to go!!!)

Treasured Chapters blogs about life and family.  Being a homeschooling family, you’re sure to get a good does of educational inspiration as well.j0439072

The multi-talented Rowena (ballerina, costume designer, author AND homeschool mom!) shares her journey with you at Ella Echo.

Saint Ambrose Academy “Living to Learn” is a new blog written by a stay at home mom in Atlanta.  We can’t wait to hear what she has to say.

Shay, a LessonPathways blog contributor, and author of Wonderfully Chaotic, shares the story of her life as a young happily married stay at home momma of two and writer.

The GA Peach Homeschool blog shares wonderful resources for FREE homeschooling!  We all love free!

Stop by the Year of Handmade blog to see what super hand crafted gifts Colette is working on (really beautiful stuff!).

Gabby, completely awesome blog designer, shares her homeschooling days and fun ideas at Work of Childhood.


Do you have a blog you’d like to share?  Let us know in the comments section!

Bloggers, did you know you can grab our blog button for FREE!  Just highlight and copy the html code in the right side bar to add the LessonPathways.com blog button to your site.

Kind of Like Nim’s Island ….
Lesson Pathways | June 7, 2010 | 8:00 am

Fairy Girl ReadingToday as I was piecing the quilt I am making my Father, it occurred to me that sometimes I feel we are living on Nim’s Island and that my daughter is Nim (this happens to be one of my daughter’s favorite books and movies).  She is an only child and we live on six acres in rural Upstate NY, and often during our homeschooling week she does not get to see any of her friends, as we don’t have any close neighbors with kids and her friends are busy with traditional school. Weekends are a different matter altogether, as she is involved in sports, dance, and plenty of play dates.

One of the reasons we waited until this year to homeschool is that we worried about “socialization” because she is an ONLY child.

This morning she is busying herself making a “Farmer’s Market” for the “fairies who live outside”.  Sticks, grass, and paper comprise the structure of the market and the detailed “wares” for sale inside are incredible! From tiny sewing needles (made from bits of toothpicks), mini journals and teenie tiny pencils, paintings and books (all fairy sized, of course), acorn caps, buttons, little fabric bundles, to small vases and even bite-sized food!

Raccoon

And the funny thing is, like Nim, she is happy and loves reading, using her imagination, and playing with her “animal” and “fairy” friends. She has named the fox across the road “Fern”, the opossum that frequents our garden “Emily”, a rascally raccoon “Jasper”, and a tiny mouse in our field “Amos”.  She loves to write stories and draw pictures of these critters.  But she is also very social and loves playing with her best friends on the weekends.  So why do I let it worry me so much?

One of the reasons we waited until this year to homeschool is that we worried about “socialization” because she is an ONLY child. To feel a bit more connected to our community during the school week, since the weather has turned warm, we have been driving into the Village to grab an ice cream from the scoop shop and walking through the Village admiring the houses and community garden.  Next year she will be playing sports (4th grade) that actually practices during the week and we certainly look forward to that. We are also both looking forward to summer where she will spend her mornings at Theater Camp with her friends (and me walking with my friends in the Village!) and the afternoons where we will park ourselves at my best friend’s pool with her kids.

As homeschoolers or parents of an only child, what do you do to feel connected to your community and to keep your child(ren) involved with their friends?

Xo,
Colette

This post was written by Colette D., a new-to-homeschooling Mom and a Lesson Pathways Blog contributing writer.  She and her Husband raise their daughter together in the rural countryside of Upstate New York where they like to spend as much time as possible being creative and enjoying nature.  She blogs about her adventures in sewing, crafting, and baking (among other things) at yearofhandmade.

Project: Popcorn!
Lesson Pathways | February 15, 2010 | 9:07 am

Julie C. is a proud homeschooling mom to 3 children. You can find out more about Julie and her family at The Clark Chronicles. This article was originally published 2/17/09 at The Clark Chronicles.

A homeschool group that I am a part of got together today at my house to do some socializing of our children. Er, um, I mean we got together to do some school.

I found a great lesson plan a few weeks ago on THIS website that inspired the lesson. Basically the idea was to teach about a variety of subjects by using popcorn. I love the idea of doing unit studies – Taking one thing and building a multi-disciplinary lesson around it – and this was the perfect way to do just that. I also found THIS WEBSITE with lots of fantastic resources for creating lesson plans using popcorn.

We did art, math, science, social studies, language, history, geography and PE all using lessons utilizing popcorn!

We used all 5 of our senses to experience the popcorn. We  learned about weight and volume, went on a treasure hunt, learned how to keep score using tally marks, took a nature walk to gather branches for our art activity, made hand cranked corn on the stove, estimated how much popcorn 1/2 cup of uncooked corn would yield, measured and weighed uncooked and cooked corn on a food scale, learned about the history of popcorn and identified on a map of the US where most of the world’s popcorn is grown, shucked an ear of corn to see how corn grows, jumped on the trampoline like we were popping kernels of corn and sang popcorn songs to the tunes of row row row your boat and I’m a little teapot.

And we managed to eat lunch together and have some pleasant and edifying adult conversation in the process.

Here are the final results of our popcorn tree – Abby and I did some work on it after her nap:

I made a little downloadable workbook with all the activities – Yours for the taking! We had so much fun with this today and I hope you can use some of the ideas in it for your home or school activities! Enjoy!

For even more great popcorn project ideas, check out these resources featured at LessonPathways.com:

Making Popcorn, Popcorn Jewelry, Popcorn Fractions, Number Popcorn, Popcorn Geography, How Much Popcorn?, Grow Corn from Popcorn, Odd & Even Popcorn, Popcorn Place  Value