Travelling is Homeschooling

Connect your dots.


Cover geography, history and such like, all in one trip. :)

This from homeschooling hints. Entry Take your Homeschool on the Road.

your own planetarium?

From Principled Discovery I learned that one can make your "Very own planetarium on your computer". Sounds neat to me! The place to go is called Stellarium.

From their website
Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.
It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go.

Homeschooling posts that I liked

There is this one on making connections between different things studied. It comes from the Palm Tree Pundit

How to make schooling in January (or any month for that matter) interesting. That was from Small World.

The Open Door brings us this one on the benefits of homeschooling for not just the student.

The importance of a mentor is discussed by Home Where they belong.

Then there's the top ten things about homeschooling. Might give some food for thought. It comes from Spiritbee.

From Lioden Landing I read about how schooling doesn't start at Kindergarten, it starts when the decision is made.

i liked this post on what to do with a child who wants to learn. That post was written by New Classical Family.

Different Math Sites

Here are some different sites on doing Math.

Living Math. This site has articles, games and all sorts of helps.

Math Baseball. Fun way for children to practice different math skills.

Math Playground
Math Playground is an action-packed educational site for elementary and middle school students. Practice your math skills, play a logic game, and have some fun!
Math Fact Cafe. different worksheets and games.

Cool Math 4 Kids.

Reading Readiness

Here's a post from More4Kids

Reading readiness is defined as the time when a child transforms from being a non-reader to a reader. This can be a tough transition but is very rewarding. Not only are your children very proud of themselves as they learn to read, but children who learn to read well are better learners throughout their school years. Here are some tips to help your young elementary student become a better reader.

New readers
Children who are in kindergarten and first grade are just beginning to learn to read. You can help children this age by

Playing with rhymes. Read books with rhymes and teach your child rhymes, poems, and songs. You can also play rhyming games, such as taking turns rhyming words.
Creating stories. Ask your child to make up stories for a picture book.
Practicing the alphabet. Play the alphabet game in the car, where you try to find all the letters of the alphabet on passing signs. A variation we made up is to spell out words or names from signs. You can also read alphabet books, make letter cookies or pretzels, make play-dough letters, look for letters in newspapers and magazines, etc.
Listening to your child read. Be patient and listen as your child practices. Help sound out words as necessary, and let your child know you are proud.
Reading together every day. Show your child that reading is important by making it a habit. Make it exciting by being expressive and using different voices for the characters.

As you read, pause before words in a familiar story and let your child fill in the blank. Also point to the words on the page as you read so your child learns that sentences consist of separate words and can begin to identify sight words.

Also, don’t limit yourself to reading stories. Read information books, magazine articles, newspapers, comic books, cereal boxes, etc.

• Talking together regularly. Children learn words when they hear them used, so introduce new and interesting words at every opportunity.

Improving readers
Children in second or third grade have hopefully learned the basics of reading but still need lots of practice and encouragement. To help children this age, you can

Reread familiar books. You may get bored, but rereading familiar books gives children needed practice with books they enjoy and are comfortable with.
Build reading accuracy. As your child reads, gently point out missed words and give the correct pronunciation.
Build reading comprehension. Talk with your child about what is happening in a story or book.
Encourage your child to read individually, but also continue to read to your child. Spend time talking about stories, pictures, and words.

Children acquire reading skills through a long series of “little steps,” so when your child reads, even a few words, show your pride!

No part of this article may be copied or reproduced in any form without the express permission of More4Kids Inc © 2007

SCripture Memory

I will need to write more on this another time, but here's a site on helping children memorize scripture. I have to admit, a bit part of me would be reticent to purchase a scripture memory program, but part of me thinks, might be least more convenient...saves me from having to make something. But I could make something I'm sure, quite easily myself.

Reading and writing

Though this website, Family Friendly Sites, I found this site, Mrs Plum. It has some games for helping children learn their letters, words and such like.


Discovered a new store, courtesy of a blogger that I can't find anymore. EEK.

Ah well, she was new to me.

Anyways, the store is called HomeschooleStore. ALl of their products are available only in E-format. They offer free books every week from what I remember from the bloggers' site. This weeks was on Menu plans and provided a whole whack of recipes.

Anyways, check it out if you are interested.

New Zealand Study Unit

This page comes from this site. I"m copying the information here in case this page gets lost over time. I got it free from the Homeschooling Minute which comes from The Old Schoolhouse magazine.
Unit Study:

1. READING SELECTIONS - Let's start with some extra reading. Listed below are some great books about New Zealand, or set in New Zealand, that will provide many hours of enjoyable reading. The links below will take you to for more information, but you can find these at your local library. Read for pleasure alone, or have your kids write a book report on one of these selections.

Use these books:
New Zealand Shake-Up (Ruby Slippers School Series , No 6)

Australia and New Zealand (True Books-Geography: Countries)
The Maori of New Zealand (First Peoples)
New Zealand ABC (Country ABCs)

2. HISTORY & TIMELINES - Learn more about New Zealand by compiling historical facts and events from New Zealand's exciting history and adding them to your timeline. If you do not have a timeline on the go, you can construct one by following these directions - How to Make a Timeline Easily. Here is a link to a wonderful resource for timeline entries about New Zealand -

3. MAPWORK - A unit study would not be complete without taking a good look at the lay of the land. Click here for both a labeled and unlabeled map of New Zealand. Have your students mark some of the major cities, the southern mountain range and the seas, at the least. For older students, have them use your teacher's map and fill in the rest!

4. RECIPES - This is my favorite part - the food from the land! If you do the above activities on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then take some time on either Thursday or Friday to whip up some authentic New Zealand cuisine in the kitchen.

New Zealand cuisine is characterized by its freshness and diversity and has been described as Pacific Rim, drawing inspiration from Europe, Asia, Polynesia and its indigenous people, the Maori. Freshness is owed to its surrounding ocean and fertile lands. Its distinctiveness is more in the way New Zealanders eat - generally preferring to be as relaxed and unaffected as possible.

A Maori specialty is the hangi (pronounced hung-ee), a pit in which meats or fish are cooked with vegetables. A deep hole is dug in the ground, lined with red-hot stones and covered with vegetation. The food is then placed on top. The whole oven is sprinkled with water and sealed with more vegetation. The hole is then filled with earth and left to steam for several hours. Traditionally, men dig and prepare the hole, and women prepare the food to go in it. All members of an extended family (whanau) help out for such a feast. The occasion is relaxed, friendly and fun, with people often eating the meal under a marquee.

It may be difficult to pull off the above, but here are three more recipes of local New Zealand food that can be attempted in your own kitchen. Enjoy!

ANZAC BISCUITS are a snack food most commonly made primarily from rolled oats, coconut, and golden syrup.

Many myths have grown around the Anzac biscuit. It has been reported that they were made by Australian and New Zealand women for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) soldiers of World War I and were reputedly first called "Soldiers' Biscuits" and then "Anzac Biscuits" after the Gallipoli landing. The recipe was reportedly created to ensure the biscuits would keep well during naval transportation to loved ones who were fighting abroad.
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1 level teaspoon baking soda
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 tablespoons boiling water

Mix dry ingredients, melt butter & syrup together in small saucepan. Dissolve soda in boiling water, add to dry ingredients. Cook until golden brown at 350 degrees.

PAVLOVA - New Zealand's national dessert

Pavlova is a light and fluffy meringue dessert named after the ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova. Both Wellington, New Zealand and Perth, Australia claim to be the home of the dish. The earliest record of the recipe is a cook book published in New Zealand in 1933, two years before claims made in Perth.

Pavlova is traditionally decorated with fresh fruit and whipped cream, and is especially popular in Australia and New Zealand. Factory-made pavlovas can be purchased at supermarkets in those countries and decorated as desired but rarely achieve home-baked quality.

Leftover pavlova can be stored in the fridge overnight, but will absorb moisture from the air and lose its crispness. Undecorated pavlova can safely be left overnight in the oven in which it was baked, to be decorated in the morning.

* 3 Egg whites
* 250g (9 oz.) superfine sugar
* pinch of Salt
* 5 ml or 1 tsp Vinegar
* 5 ml or 1 tsp. Vanilla extract

1. Beat the egg whites and salt to a very stiff consistency before folding in sugar, vanilla and vinegar. Beat until the mixture holds its shape and stands in sharp peaks.
2. Slow-bake the mixture at 150 degrees Celsius (300 degrees Fahrenheit) to dry all the moisture and create the meringue, approximately 45 minutes. This leaves the outside of the pavlova a crisp crunchy shell, while the interior remains soft and moist.
3. A top tip (but not traditional) is to turn the pavlova upside down before decorating with cream and fruit because the bottom is less crispy than the top after cooking and unless you serve it immediately after decorating the "top" absorbs moisture from the cream. Another tip is to leave the pavlova in the oven after turning off the heat - this helps to prevent the middle of the pavlova from collapsing (although if it does collapse, generous application of cream can hide any mistakes!)


Fairy bread is white bread lightly spread with margarine or butter, and then sprinkled with either sugar or more commonly Hundreds and Thousands (also known as sprinkles or nonpareils, a Masterfoods product consisting of small balls of coloured sugar intended to decorate cakes).

Fairy bread is served almost exclusively at children's parties in Australia and New Zealand. Slices of the bread are typically cut into triangles and stacked tastefully on the host's paper plate.

It was originally made using finely chopped rose petals for colour and scent instead of the sugary lollies that are used today.

5. CRAFTS - Finally, it's craft time!

This craft was chosen as a quick and simple one that represents New Zealand, its people and environment. The felt kiwi can be used as brooches or even fridge magnets.
Felt Kiwi

craft pics Materials:

* brown fur fabric (body - fig 1)
* dark brown felt (wings - fig 2)
* yellow vinyl (beak, feet - fig 3 & 4)
* pair wobbly eyes per kiwi
* stuffing
* needle and thread
* glue

Print off your kiwi pattern pieces here


1. Cut 2 body pieces out of fur fabric, 2 wings from brown felt, 1 feet piece and one beak from yellow vinyl.
2. Body and wings - with right sides together and wings tucked to the inside sew from base around top to base - leaving a space for turning the right way out. (fig 1)
3. Turn right side out and stuff the body, gathering in the base slightly to make it round before sewing it up.
4. Feet - position rounded base of body onto round area of feet piece and glue carefully.
5. Beak - glue only the top of the beak into fur, not the whole length of beak.
6. Eyes - add wobbly eyes just above top of beak. (White plastic with black pupils can be used as a good alternative to bought eyes).

The kiwi is a nocturnal flightless bird native to New Zealand. The kiwifruit (all one word) is a fuzzy fruit, also called the chinese gooseberry. To call the fruit a kiwi is offensive to a growing number of New Zealanders as the kiwi is our national bird and a strong symbol of our country. New Zealanders are also affectionately known as Kiwis.

Math Sheet Generator

Here is a site that gives math sheets for free.

Here are the types of sheets it will give you

Single Digit, Horizontal
Single Digit, Vertical
Multiple Digit
5 Minute Drill
Single Digit, Horizontal
Single Digit, Vertical
Multiple Digit
5 Minute Drill
Single Digit, Horizontal
Single Digit, Vertical
Multiple Digit
5 Minute Drill
Single Digit, Horizontal
Long Division
5 Minute Drill
Mixed Problems
Mixed Problems
Least Common Multiple
Reduce to Lowest Terms
Reading a Tape Measure
Number Lines
Coordinate Plane
Telling Time
Telling Time
One Hundred Chart

This will definitely save time!

Christmas Traditions

I like these Traditions of Steve and Sara.

I wonder sometimes about making Jesse Tree ornaments. I like the idea of having a magnetic board with felt pieces to attach them.

I want to make some "special to us" Christmas traditions that will not only teach our boy good Christian meanings to holidays, but will make different holidays fun and important and so forth. Need to think on this some more of course, and talk with my hubbie.


thanks to denise for pointing my way here. This might be something that our son will enjoy as he gets a bit older. Probably, i'm guessing, not until he's 7 or 8 though.

articles I like to look at further

Making your own Rock Tumbler.

Christmas, wisemen, DVD.

Working on financial freedom. My idea is to teach Justin what I do. 10 percent right off the top. 1-2 percent just for saving for NEVER touching unless really need to. 10 percent for just saving for whatever. and the rest for spending as desired.

Record keeping for homeschooling.

Might want to think on this a wee bit.

rhymes for doing math.

Things to consider when homeschooling. and knowing it's okay to have to process it all.

questions to consider if you are doing okay homeschooling.

Evaluating your homeschool program.

English type stuff.. reading and comprehension. What to consider.

For archives of the Carnival of homeschooling, go here.

an article to read

Make your own Playdough!
3 C. cold water
1 1/2 C. salt
1/4 C. oil
3 C. flour
2 T. cream of tartar
1 T. vanilla
food coloring and (if you really want it to smell yummy) a couple of packets of Kool-Aid

Place liquid ingredients in a large pan. Quickly add dry ingredients. Heat on low. Stir constantly until dough pulls away from sides of pan. Cool. Add food coloring.

You're good to go! Store in a tightly sealed container or baggie.