Category Archives: Uncategorized

Five Fantastic STEM Resources for Homeschoolers – For Free

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The following sites include our family’s favorite internet places over the years for homeschooling. None of them involve mindless games or heavy advertising and all of them are free.  Hope you enjoy!

1-Khans Academy https://khanacademy.org/  The goal of this site is to offer free, world class instruction in math and sciences to all. I have found it particularly helpful when I have trouble presenting a new math topic to my eleven-year-old math whiz. 3rd Grade and up.

2-The Naked Scientist http://thenakedscientists.com/  It is only naked in the “stripping down science to its bare essentials” way.  Awesome podcasts, kitchen science experiments, a very cool science forum and updated science topics brought to you by Cambridge University. All ages.

3-Lego Digital Designer http://ldd.lego.com/en-us/  (free download) Check this building site out! Any child that loves engineering or building with Legos will enjoy and learn at this site. All ages.

4-MuseScore http://musescore.org/  (free download) Though it may not be strictly a STEM topic, this site has so much value I had to include it. Plus there is a lot of math involved with this music-writing software. Ages 8 and up and musical backround is helpful.

5-West Point Bridge Builder http://bridgecontest.org  (free download) Another great place for those builders in your family, learn how to build a bridge and watch a truck drive over it in a test run. If it crashes you go back and make your adjustments. Ages 7 and up.

 

Modeling Behavior in the Homeschool Environment

Since we have so much time to spend with our homeschooled kids, modeling behavior can become a powerful way to teach. Our children learn many valuable lessons by watching our behavior. Here are a few ways to model positive behavior for our kids:

1. Work hard and feel good about the results. When I created my first blog and website at age 47 I was seriously handicapped in a technological way. But my kids watched as I put in the hard work, got through many moments of frustration and confusion, and stuck with it to the end.  I was very happy to be able to say ‘I set up my own blog’. It was a perfect opportunity for my kids to see how hard (and not always fun) work can pay off.

2. Put fun in your day.  Meeting the kids’ needs takes a huge amount of time and energy. I try to find time every day to do something I enjoy – usually a walk  or a fitness video. The time I carve out can be a real “day changer”, putting a smile back on my face no matter how challenging the day has been thus far. I don’t want the kids to see homeshcooling or parenting as drudgery.  I’m hoping that by seeing me enjoy myself during the days they will understand that whatever path you choose, it’s possible and important to have some fun.

3. Handle mistakes gracefully.  I don’t know why it is so hard to admit mistakes, but for some people it can be very difficult. I feel that the more my kids see me make mistakes and recover from them, the more they will learn that it’s a natural process. And it’s not like making mistakes is something you have to pencil in to your day.  Mistakes happen and your kids see how  you react and what you do about it.  Above all, they will see that mistakes are often opportunities for learning.  So sure, go ahead and stomp your foot or hang your head for a moment, but then start looking for a solution.

We’re around our kids probably more than anybody else so it makes sense to reflect upon the ways our behavior can affect our homeschooled kids.  By using the techniques listed above we can show our kids how to work for desired results, how to put joy in our day and how to find ways to deal with failure.  Remember, they are watching us – learning!

 

Interviews With Homeschoolers: Lucas

Interviews With Homeschoolers:  Lucas

What is your age?

Eight and a half.”

How long have you been homeschooling?

My whole career.”

What are some advantages to homeschooling as opposed to going to school?

I like to stay home because I get to stay with my family more often.                                    And school is B-O-R-I-N-G.”

How do you know that school is boring since you’re never been?

Because my sister and brother have told me about school and it seems boring except for gym and art which I can mostly do at home, just not the gym part.”

Can you think of any disadvantages to homeschooling?

No.”

What do you do in a typical day?

I think of stuff. I ask Mom for a playdate with my other homeschool friends, I eat, I play Legos sometimes but not often anymore, I do some computer time about once every three days. Um, I listen to the radio and on Sundays I listen to the top 40 on Z107.3 but sometimes I miss it. I play outside, I travel sometimes to Boston, New Hampshire, Brewer, Bangor, Orono, Portland, Calais and Machias and Augusta-Gardiner. I play piano, baseball and hockey although I like baseball better. I like hockey in the winter more than baseball and baseball better in the spring and summer.”

What are your favorite things to do?

Play baseball, wait for the holidays to come, play hockey and climb things.”

What do you think you will be doing when you’re 15?

I will be homeschooling high school and doing high school sports like hockey and baseball although I’m going to quit hockey in college and just stick with baseball.”

What are your dreams for the future?

Go to the real baseball major leagues. Getting in the Hall of Fame.”

What are your suggestions for kids who want to excel in sports?

Practice, listen to the coaches, play hard and try and make a lot of plays. And always keep your eye on the ball (for baseball). For hockey, listen to the coaches, skate hard and shoot hard, and pass the puck, you can’t get through everyone. And it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, just play hard and fair.”

What to you want to do as a grown up?

I want to have kids. Play baseball and that’s it. Oh, and I might want to cook.”

Interview With Homeschoolers: Shane

Interview With Homeschoolers:  Shane

(Mary/Mom) What is is your name and age?

(Shane) “Shane. I’m 11.”

How long have you been homeschooling?

Let me think….five years.”

What was your school experience like?

(Shane attended kindergarten and a half-day a week during 3rd grade)

I don’t know. I never liked school. It was so boring.”

What about the fact that you don’t see all those kids everyday?

Well, they usually do sports, too, so I see them at practices and games.”

What do you think are some advantages of homeschooling?

You get to do what you want to do. It’s not boring. And you can learn at the level you’re at.”

What are some disadvantages of homeschooling?

Hmmmm. Let me think. Huh. No clue. The thing I was going to mention was sports but I can do them through the school and I can’t think of any others”

What are some of your interests?

Lego Robotics, Music-writing with MuseScore, piano playing, programming, website building, cooking, pottery, baseball, technology.”

What do you do in a typical day?

Breakfast, computer time, homeschooling, snack time, just some stuff in between, lunch, outside time, snack, then we do something and then have supper. After supper playtime, we get read to and then bedtime. Sometimes in between we do a movie.

What do you think you will be doing in five years?

High school”

In a school?

Maybe.”

Any idea what you’ll do when you’re an adult?

Something to do with music, being a chef, or a programming engineer and something to do with robotics. Maybe a baseball coach or an umpire.”

What improvements could be made to make your daily life better?

An Ipod, a DJ table and a keyboard. Maybe minecraft”