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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Brazil Unit Study!


If you've been following this blog for some time, you know that I create almost of my lessons from scratch. The main reason is that I can never find exactly what I'm looking for on the internet, so I use it mostly for research.

With that in mind, I have a great unit study to share with you - Brazil!

I created an 8 week unit study that includes some basic facts about Brazil, maps, pages to color and more activities.

I did this unit study with Buttercup and she loved it.             BUY IT NOW!

We started by reading some basic facts about Brazil such as size, location, population, and language. We used a map to locate Brazil. I used this opportunity to include a little geography lesson.


Every day, I would review what we did the previous day and introduce the next topic.


We learned some words in Portuguese, we learned recipes that are easy to make and so yummy, and we even learned about some of their folklore.


This unit study was easy for me to create because I am Brazilian, so most of what I included in the lessons are things that I either learned as a kid or grew up doing.

The Brazil unit study is full of photographs with an easy to follow guide that allows for flexibility and encourages the child to go beyond what is in the packet. This unit study really will get students excited about learning about another culture and they will want to know more.

It is perfect for a classroom or for homeschool. The Brazil unit study covers most subject areas:

·        Geography

·        Social Studies

·        Reading

·        Writing

·        Math

·        Foreign Language



You can get this comprehensive unit study right here for a small fee. I hope that by charging a small fee for some of the lessons I offer will allow me to continue to offer other things for free, like my printables.


I welcome feedback on the study units, if you would like me to add something of interest to you, please let me know and I will do my best to include it in an upgraded version.

Brazil Unit Study

Thanks for your support!



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Homeschooling Abroad - 15 things I've learned


 

This is our 3rd year homeschooling, 1st year homeschooling abroad.

As with all firsts, this year came with its share of challenges. First, just the challenge of getting acclimated to a new country, new city, new home, new culture. Thank goodness we didn't have to learn a new language! (although sometimes I do feel like we speak different languages). For those of you who don't know, we are in the UK. In London.


It's been almost one whole year since we first arrived and now that we've completed our homeschool year I can sit back (drink firmly in hand) and reflect.

I'm so happy and proud that we made it! That's it. We survived. All of us.

Beyond that, I have a whole new understanding of homeschooling in another country. This country. This beautiful country we're in....England.

I cannot speak about homeschooling in other countries. I have no experience.


Here's what I have learned:
  1. Most Brits "unschool", so it's been difficult finding groups and other like minded homeschoolers.
  2. When I say unschool, I mean they take their kids out of school and basically let them do whatever they want all week. I met an 8 year old who doesn't know how to read or write and her mom said, "she'll learn eventually". Ok
  3. Libraries are not what they are in the US and they leave a lot to be desired.
  4. Thanks to no. 3, we had a terrible time finding books. Once I went with Buttercup to the library with a list of about 10 books, foolishly thinking they'd have at least 2 or 3. Nope. None. Nada. We walked out empty handed.
  5. Because of no. 4 there are lessons we are not able to complete or do to its fullest because we cannot get the books that accompany those lessons.
  6. I've had to improvise A LOT.
  7. Amazon has become my best friend. I order books and other materials online.
  8. Printing is expensive so we've also improvised on that front. (Hoping to buy a printer soon)
  9. Homeschooling groups are mainly "play groups". So, no formal or informal learning going on. They meet at the park.
  10. I have yet to find a group that meets regularly to discuss books, to learn science, or learn art.
  11. Socializing hasn't been all that easy. We've met a few people but cannot get beyond the superficial. No play dates, birthday party invitations, or anything that would resemble a friendship.
  12. Everyone is cordial enough. Helpful if I ask a question, but that's as far as it goes.
  13. Being in a new country has given us the opportunity to explore lots of  new things. So lot's of learning going on. Yay!
  14. London Museums are FREE! We've gone to so many and they are wonderful.
  15. London has a ridiculous number of parks. It will take a VERY long time to explore all of them. But we are having fun trying.

We are forging ahead and will homeschool this coming year. I'm continuing to follow my own path. That path is basically a fusion of structured homeschooling with interest led homeschooling.


Buttercup and I both need structure..............We need a schedule................But we've learned to be flexible within that structure.

Math, reading, and writing are non negotiable. The rest I take her input on most subjects like History, Art, Science, Geography and Language.
This past year we studied Ancient Civilizations, Chemistry, Bunnies, Portuguese and French. We studied Picasso, cityscapes, perspective drawing and negative space.

Buttercup is now studying Italian in preparation for our trip coming up in the Fall.

I hope to get more and more accustomed to life here in the Old Country. I hope to meet more people and make some friends. In the meantime, we are learning to live a whole new life full of challenges and adventures.


Happy Summer!                   

Happy Homeschooling Adventures!! 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Teaching Ancient History 3rd Grade



We spent most of the Fall and Winter this past year studying Ancient History. We used a book I purchased online called "History Pockets" as a starting point. The book covered 6 ancient civilizations: Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Ancient China, and the Aztec World.

The book offered a great introduction to Ancient History with lots of hands on activities for each civilization.

I supplemented each lesson with additional work:

  • Using a dictionary to look up words
  • Researching online to see pictures of costumes, houses, utensils and other artifacts
  • Discussing and comparing life in each of those time periods
 Once we completed all the of the lessons, we took a trip to a museum to see some of the things we had studied about. We were very lucky to find a museum near us that has a wonderful exhibition on almost all of these Ancient Civilizations.


Some of the things we saw and were able to tie in to our lessons were:

  • Tools
  • Utensils
  • Jewelry
  • Coins
  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Bedding
  • Food bowls
  • Decorative bowls
  • Sculptures
  • Mosaics
  • Hieroglyphics
  • Tombstones
  • Modes of transportation

 


 


 
 
We had an amazing time exploring and learning about these 6 Ancient Civilizations. Buttercup learned so much new vocabulary and lots of interesting facts about life so, so long ago. It was really fun to hear her viewpoint on the differences between life then and now.
 
One of the most interesting things to come out of these lessons was learning that those Ancient Civilizations contributed a lot to the things we have now and things we still use today: written language, arenas, domes and arches, the plow to name just a few.
 
If you are interested in Ancient Civilizations or would like to introduce it to your child, I highly recommend this book.
 

 
Happy Homeschooling Adventures!

Monday, May 5, 2014

How to Make a Rainstick (Easy)

We decided to make a rainstick to go along with our Lesson about Brazil (You will be able to purchase my complete lesson here shortly).

We spent a few weeks learning about Brazil.......... from the Amazon to Rio de Janeiro......

                  
                          ......from soccer to capoeira   
                                                                   
                                                  ....from folklore to real stories about famous Brazilians....
          

We had an amazing time researching, reading, exploring!       

One of our fun projects for the Brazil Lesson was to make a rainstick and it was surprisingly easy to do, so I'm sharing how we did it.


How to Make a Rainstick

Materials used:

  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Paper towel roll
  • Brown wrapping paper
  • Beans, lentils, rice
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Crayons, color pencils, feathers, stickers for decorating 

Instructions:

Cut out two rounds, each a little bigger than the opening of the paper towel roll.






 Make small cuts all around the circle (this will make it easier to attach to the roll).

 





Attach one of the rounds to one end of the paper towel roll. We used tape to attach it.







     
Cut an 8 inch strip of foil and accordion fold it (do this twice)

     





Twist each strip of foil so it looks kind of like a snake, then twist the two strips together at the ends






Place the foil into the paper towel roll (this will slow down the movement of the beans making for better rain sound).

Attach the 2nd round to the open end of the roll.


This is before it was decorated

Now, let your child go crazy decorating it! Oh, you can cover the roll with paper before decorating, although we didn't do this.



Happy Homeschooling Adventures!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

R blends bundle pack FREE!

As a homeschool parent I am constantly searching the Internet for interesting teaching resources and fun learning activities or my daughter. The problem is...there are just too many websites and loads of information. It's impossible to go through everything. It's simply too time consuming.

With that in mind, I decided to make life a little easier for my readers and fellow homeschool parents. I thought it would be a good idea to bundle some of my free printables. This way, you don't have to go back and hit save and download 10 times to print 10 things. It takes just ONE CLICK!

My first bundle is the r-blends worksheets. This is a set of worksheets that can be used to teach beginning sounds such as br (break), cr (cry), and fr (friend).

You can use these sheets as a teaching tool or to supplement what you are already doing. They make practice fun!

You can click here to download this bundle FREE! R Blends Bundle.

Keep checking back because I will be doing more bundles for you.

Happy Homeschooling Adventures!

                                                             FREE DOWNLOAD!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Volcano Unit Study

 
Buttercup received a volcano building kit as a gift and of course, I turned it into a whole lesson!

Like all of my other lessons, I had to start from scratch, research the material, and put together our lesson.

Basically this is what we did:

  • Make a book to keep all of our information
  • Review or learn vocabulary related to volcanoes
  • Talk about the Earth's layers
  • Learn about the 3 types of volcanoes
  • Find pictures of each type of volcano and discuss the differences
  • Find famous volcanoes that fit into each of the 3 catergories
  • Learn about each one
  • Compile our book
  • Do the science activity - build our own volcano
  • Take pictures to include in our volcano book
  • Do an oral presentation!
The volcano mold



Mixing the plaster

Before painting
 
 
Little houses to decorate around the volcano


A graph with important vocabulary

The words to know page of our volcano book
Buttercup had so much fun learning all about volcanoes. She really loves to do her own research on the internet and find pictures and information. I taught her how to search for what she wants and she's gotten really good at it.

I thought it was a good idea to start learning how to give a presentation, so we included that as the final part of the project.

Happy Homeschooling Adventures!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Columbus Day Activities for 1st and 2nd Grade

It's Fall and school is back in session and in full swing, whether your kids go to traditional schools or they are homeschooled.

With that in mind, I soured the web for some fun, interesting Columbus Day activities to include in your homeschool program or as a supplement to school.

Here are my favorites:

Columbus Day Race from Education.com



http://www.education.com/activity/article/columbus-day-boat-race/



This next one is awesome from Busy Teachers Café



http://www.busyteacherscafe.com/themes/columbus.html

There are so many activities to choose from. Since they span almost all subject areas, I'm thinking this would work great as a Unit Study.

Apples for the Teacher has a nice timeline of the events surrounding Columbus' adventure.



http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/columbus-day/facts.html

Enchanted Homeschooling has some neat ideas!



http://enchantedhomeschoolingmom.org/2011/10/columbus-day-activities/

Here are some things we'll be doing besides reading about Columbus' travels. We will be working on a maze, doing a word search, and putting Columbus Day words in alphabetical order. These are all ideas that you can do yourself and will be lots of fun for the kids.

Check out what we did last year HERE! and Happy Homeschooling Adventures!

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