Great STEM Activities for Your Children

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It’s STEM week! I am a HUGE supporter of STEM. My kids are still super young, so we look for different sensory play activities and creative activities that we can start to introduce STEM through. I feel like laying the ground work for this while they are young will help them enjoy other STEM activities as they get older. The STEM fields are amazing fields to work in. I can only hope they may enjoy the field so much they may make this a career path.

Weather you prefer STEM, or STEAM (tossing in some Arts!), Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are all crucial to learning about and participating in the modern era. And there is so much FUN to be had while diving into these subjects.

I’ve rounded up a great resource for each discipline – whether or not these are perfect for your little ones, there are wonderful resources out there to inspire young girls and boys.

Tip: Educents’ Labor Day Sale code is LASTCHANCE and gets 10% Off and Free Shipping to boot!

S is for Science: The Magic School Bus Science Kit

Educents-Magic-School-Bus-Science-Club

This is one of the most sought-after subscriptions – and gifts that keep on giving. 12 complete kits for science experiments arrive at your door for one full year. Best of all, it’s 50% off right now and comes to $10/month. It’s an investment that pays dividends in fun and learning.

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T is for Technology: Learn to Mod – Minecraft

learntomod_girl_coding_with_learntomod_2f31

If you haven’t heard of Minecraft yet, come out from under the rock! The Minecraft world gets kids excited to build their own creations. I like this one because it’s a relatively affordable ($30, versus up to $300!) program that teaches children computer programming skills via Minecraft. If this one’s not right for your family, I highly recommend other Learn to Mod programs – or just google “Minecraft Coding” and dive in!

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E is for Engineering: Tinkering Labs Electric Motors Catalyst Kit

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This beautiful set gets kids using their hands, creating a bevy of tinker toys from different challenge cards. The sky’s the limit with this set that encourages design thinking that’s so important in the work force. But the best part is this is just fun.

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M is for Math: Life of Fred Math Books

Life of Fred Elementary Math Series

I can’t speak highly enough of this series of narrative-based math books. Kids learning addition to young adults in college benefit from one character’s journey through life encountering contextual math problems that make math make sense! Plus, cute. Check out the whole brand – there are even reading lessons with the same characters.

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I’m So excited for you to check these out. Let me know what some of your favorite STEM resources are as well in the comments below.

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Thankful Thursdays: Home School & Down Time.

The previous week in review and what we're thankful for

Welcome to yet another edition of Thankful Thursdays. I missed last week, and I am sort of glad that I did since now I can write the post on the weekend with the rest of them for the previous week, instead of considering the week all weird from Thursday-Wednesday. So, this will be for the week of August 1st-August 6th. My Sundays (unless there is a major event planned) are spent doing blog work, house work, and preparing for the week between my 2 other businesses and home school. So, Sundays really aren’t much “fun”, However I am extremely grateful to have the time to be able to get so much caught up.

So, moving right along, first thing I am thankful for is starting Home School this week. We have been working toward finding the right groove for our day, and I think I have finally found it. I was planning on using a curriculum for The oldest, and then having the youngest just kinda follow along where she could and learn some stuff from that, however, that isn’t going to work. So we are back to the drawing board, however I think I have figured out a way to get through everything in a way we would like to. You’ll have to stay tuned to Teaching Tuesdays to find out what we are doing.

Next thing I am thankful for, is The Youngest graduating from speech therapy. I am very thankful for all the people we have had come in and out of our lives. We truly are blessed to have had lots of amazing Early Intervention therapists work with our kids and help them develop and grow. If there is one thing I can say, Early Intervention is amazing, it is there, seek it out in your area and use it if you need it, these people truly work miracles ūüôā ¬†It was bitter-sweet to say goodbye to a great therapist who has been with us for the last year, however, this frees up and hour and a day at times if we need to do other things. Having less “stuff” going on is becoming a life saver of my sanity, and I am thankful of this as well.

Speaking of more down time, my physical therapy has been cut down to 2 times a week. This is being done because all I have left to do is work on strengthening, and since insurance won’t pay for a personal trainer, they are going to be letting me go by September ūüôā ¬†Again I am truly excited for less things going on. This means more days to and times to relax and get work done, and a less stressed “But Mom” I’ll take it.

So this was our week, and a few things I am thankful for. What are YOU Thankful for this week???

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Teaching Tuesdays: Finding Your Own Way in Homeschooling

Teaching (2)

Welcome back to Teaching Tuesdays!!! Today we are going to talk about finding your own way in homeschooling.

Homeschooling is hard. There is a lot to think about, and a lot to learn. I know I can’t be the only one who thought hoped¬†there would be some sort of guide on step by step homeschooling. While there are several How to’s and essentially guides to help you figure out homeschool, homeschool itself is essentially a journey you must figure out on your own.

I’ve wanted to homeschool for quite some time, but only when I truly started do some research did I realize just how “in over my head” I felt. So, here is my break down of the things you need to figure out in order to find your way in homeschooling.

  1. Know Your “Why”. This is one of those statements I could probably use with almost every area of my life. Knowing “why” you want to homeschool is HUGE. Having this knowledge will help you figure out what your method is as well. For me, there are several whys. The biggest why for me is my desire for my kids to love learning and being able to learn there own way and at there own pace. Knowing the whys and then ranking them in order of priority will help in the steps to come.
  2. Research, Research, Research.¬†Seriously, you cannot have too much knowledge about a topic like this. Read tons of articles and blog posts, and take notes. Write down each method and the things you like and the things you don’t like. But, whatever you do, do NOT stop researching at the first method you “fall in love” with. Many of the methods have similarities, and I think quite a few homeschoolers fall into the eclectic method. Eclectic homeschooling is using more than 1 method to run your homeschool. This is totally acceptable.
  3. Decide What Subjects are Important. You are homeschooling, not every subject has to be taught every year. Decide what subjects are musts and then fill in with a few fun or elective subjects. Don’t make this harder on yourself than it needs to be. Make the decision, and then stick by that.
  4. Create a Balance. When looking at curriculum, make sure you seek out a balance between independent activities and group or one on one work. Right now my kids are in preschool and most things will be hands on with them. However, they are only in school about 2 hours a day. As kids get older and more is required of them, it will take longer. If every subject is spent in group or one on one lessons, this will make for a long day for you the home educator. By mixing up fun group activities with independent work not only are you teaching your children independence, you are also giving yourself time to regroup before the next group or one on one activity.

Finding your own way in homeschooling can seem difficult. The amount of information and decisions to make can seem daunting. Breaking it down step by step can help you find your way.

What is your biggest challenge teaching your children at home???

 

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Rock N Learn Let’s Learn to Read Giveaway

A Big Thank You to Laura over at Michigan Saving and More for sharing this giveaway with me to share with my readers.  Laura has TONS of giveaways and great deals on her blog daily, so be sure to check her out!!!

rocknlearnWelcome to The Goods To Give – Gift Guide Giveaways

Rock N’ Learn Let’s Learn to Read Set Giveaway

Hosted by Michigan Saving and More and Tales From A Southern Mom

Co-Hosted by:

On Honeysuckle Hill, Deliciously Savvy,

Lisa-Queen of Random, God’s Growing Garden

Sponsor:

Rock N’ Learn

mainLogoTHE GIVEAWAY

This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. You are not eligible if you have won a prize from any of the sponsors in the last 12 month. This Giveaway is valid in the Continental United States Only and Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. The winners will have 48 hours to email their information back to las93063 at gmail dot com or a new winner will be drawn, you may want to put this email address as safe as it could go to spam. The sponsors are each responsible for shipping of the above prizes. No blog associated with this contests are responsible for prize fulfillment, nor were they compensated for promotion. If you would like to be a sponsor in a giveaway like this please email Laura Smith at las930 (at)gmail (dot) com.

Also we all ‚Äúlove it if you like us‚ÄĚ on Facebook!

Enter below and Good Luck!

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My Real Life: Homeschool Preschool Edition

My. Life. Is. CRAZY. ¬†When I say “crazy” I don’t mean it’s a laugh a minute silliness (although that happens most days too) I mean, we just don’t do anything in a “normal” way. ¬†My hubby and I BOTH struggle with sleep issues, as do our kids, and this means, we¬†don’t do mornings. ¬†I have been told we need to “get over” our issues since we now have kids, but let’s just be honest, it’s HARD to just change what you have done for YEARS. ¬†Because of the sleep issues and NOT doing mornings “Preschool” is hard. ¬†It’s not easy to get a child up and fed and ready to rock and roll when you either haven’t been to sleep, or when you have had very little sleep, add in the fact that I was never able to get a driver’s license because of anxiety issues and honestly, I can’t commit to PAYING for something I can’t commit to doing.

Homeschool preschool 1

This brings me to HOMESCHOOL. ¬†I never went to preschool, and so for me, the idea of preschool just seemed over the top anyway. ¬†I’m not bashing preschool, I’m just saying I think sometimes we make too much out of it, and most of what can be done in a preschool classroom can be done at home. ¬†Now, let me add in here, you have to be consistent in teaching in order to gain the outcome that a traditional preschool would give (that is hard sometimes at this point in life). ¬†After many failed attempts at doing letter of the day programs (my kids sit still for longer than 13 seconds when they aren’t super engrossed in something, yeah, right ūüôā ) My mom eventually bought me one of the home preschool kits you get a the store, and I had a ton of stuff to use, but still the same problem, my kids just weren’t into “repeat after me” type stuff.

After trying to do it the way the booklet told me… and wanting to fall over laughing at them about this, I decided that we were going to try it a different way. ¬†I hung up ALL the posters from the kit in there playroom (well, I bought a larger alphabet and the alphabet poster from this kit is hanging in our living room). ¬†Now whenever they start pulling me into the play room to play, we go over at least one of the posters. ¬†We usually get through each of them everyday, and while they aren’t learning how to “sit still and be quiet” I think I’ll save that until they are a little older, I mean they are 3 and 1.5, they have time to learn to be quiet.

Homeschool Preschool 2

Am I gonna homeschool them forever? ¬†Oh, I don’t know. ¬†I kinda like the idea of getting that break, and I could probably get more done, and in turn spend more time with them when they are home. ¬†However, it will depend on how things work and if they enjoy school, or thrive in the public school system. ¬†We shall see, but, for now I am enjoying them being home and taking my time with teaching them. ¬†They are only little for so long, and I intend to allow them to stay that way as long as possible.

Do you or would you  homeschool?  Any tips to help fellow homeschooling mamas?

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