Monday, January 31, 2011

You just can't beat it!! Time4Learning

When I first started homeschooling I was just the same as any other neophite HS mom - I was terrified of messing up my kids for life! LOL. So to ease my fears I found a site It's a fantastic resource - going through all the subjects for Pre-K and beyond. For those who are worried about teaching math or science - no prob, this program does it for you! It's absolutely amazing. Not only does it cover all the subjects, but they are presented much like a cartoon or video game (something my boys can master in minutes - vs. the frustration of workbooks). The bottom line is that Time4Learning is WELL Worth the $20/month they charge. My kids literally start begging to do their school work each day - somethign I never did as a child growing up in the 'normal' school system.....but I also think Time4Learning would be a good resource to those with kids in public school. Any kind of extra effort-  that is educational but really fun - is worth all the pennies it may cost. ENJOY!!

Time4Learning has given me the opportunity to review their program and share my experiences. Time4Learning is an online educational program that can be used as a homeschool curriculum or for afterschool enrichment. While I was compensated, the content in this review was not written by Time4Learning. The opinion is entirely my own.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Terrible Blogger

What a horrible and ignorant woman - who spouts about feminism seeming to forget the main point of the feminist movement was CHOICE. Now not only does she stop on feminists who choose to make a happy home, she also thinks we are messing up our kids (not to mention cultist religious freaks) for choosing to homeschool them! Ummmmmm, in response to her blog I ask one question......Where would feminism be if a group of people didn't stand up to the establishment and shout their right not to fill the preconceived hole made for them in society? Well that's what I'm teaching my soon to be socially inept little boys....if by socially inept she means leaders and free thinkers...then you betcha!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Unit Study Links

Here are some of the resources I use for Unit Studies...these are mostly literature based (as that's when I tend to do a Unit mixed with a Lap Book).

Weather Blues Box

What do you do on Snow Days? The local schools are letting out early, so my BFF called to see if I wanted to get out kids together...and I explained that we don't usually take snow days!

Sometimes, if it's been bad weather for several days in a row - preventing the kids from burning off energy outside (as my oldest is a severe asthmatic) I'll put together fun weather related projects. In fact I have a small plastic bin (about the size of a shoe box) that I keep my fun weather junk

Kit Supplies:
  • a couple of plastic 1 liter bottles (with tops)
  • cotton balls
  • cotton swabs
  • safety goggles
  • matches
  • canning jars
  • food coloring
  • old DVD's
Projects we like:
NOTE: I suggest a parent ALWAYS be present for experiments - you never know what can go wrong!!

Cloud in a Bottle:
    a cloud is made out of 3 things in the atmosphere - water, dust particles and atmospheric changes.
  1. Rinse bottle thoroughly - do not use soap, and do not dry the inside of the bottle.
  2. Add a very small (like 1/8 teaspoon) of very warm water to your bottle.
  3. Put the cap on the bottle and shake well.
  4. Pour out excess water.
  5. Have adult light a match and carefully drop the lit match into the bottle. -- The smoke from the match adds the key ingredient DUST.
  6. Immediately replace the cap so none of the smoke is lost.
  7. Gentle shake the bottle back and forth 2-3 times- stirring up the second ingredient WATER
  8. Make sure the cap is very secure. Squeeze the middle of the bottle with both hands, then release your hands evenly & quickly - this is stirring up the final ingredient in cloud formation ATMOSPHERE CHANGES
  9. You should see the cloud form after 2 - 3 squeezes. It is better to do this in front of a dark background (like dark curtains) as the cloud will show up better. If you still cant see anything, then I suggest going back to the match step (as you probably let too much smoke escape before getting the cap  on).
Weather Front in a jar:
   all poor weather comes in the form of a weather front. Generally speaking one side of the front will have absolutely gorgeous weather and the other will have absolutely horrible weather. This occurs in a clear line of demarkation. High and low pressures do not mix - they may swirl around eachother (thus causing a tornado) but they don't mix.

Warm Front diagram -
Cold Front diagram -
  1. Fill 1 cup measuring cup with very warm tap water.
  2. Add a couple of drops of red food coloring. Make it so you can see the color but not so dark that it is almost black.
  3. Fill second measuring cup with very cool water from the tap.
  4. Add a couple of drops of blue food coloring.
  5. Gently stirr each mix to evenly spread the color.
  6. You need 2 jars with EXACTLY the same size neck. (If there are any cracks or crevices that don't line up you'll have a huge mess).
  7. Fill one jar to almost overflowing with the cold water, and the other to almost over-flowing with the hot. (be sure the glass isn't too hot to touch).
  8. Place an index card over the top of the top of the hot water jar. Push the edges down, cupping your hand around the neck.
  9. Carefully turn the jar over (with your hand still holding the top in place at the neck) - some water leakage is totally normal.
  10. Carefully stack the hot water jar over the cold. The paper acting as a boundery.
  11. Carefully pull the paper out from between the jars without sliding the jars.
  12. I like to use a little Scotch Clear tape around the joint of the jars. It won't stop all leakage but will help.
  13. Very Carefully, lift both jars, pressing them together at the neck. Turn the jars on the side and see what occurs!
Tornado in a Jar:
   Once you have a clear understanding of how the cold air slides against the warm, you can get a better understanding of tornados. Essentially you have to have several phenomena to have a tornado - wind at 2 different atmospheric levels blowing at different speeds and in different directions (creating wind sheer). Extreme variations in temperature at 2 different atmospheric levels (the ground level is Very hot and humid, while up in the atmosphere is Very cold). The cold air goes to lower, the hot air attempts to rise and the wind creates a rotation - a tornado will usually only touch the ground if full of either rain or hail (making the spinning cloud heavy) 
  1. Take 2  2-liter soda bottle.
  2. Fill one bottle (about 3/4 full) with water and a few drops of food coloring. Add a small sprinkle of glittler. 
  3. Place the empty bottle over the full one, so the neck of the bottles lines up.
  4. Use duct tape to secure the necks.
  5. Quickly turn the bottles over and give them a little twist. you should see the twister form.
Make Rain -
   I did this one with my boys when they were young to understand where rain came from and the water cycle. Again an adult needs to be the one doing the experiment with the kids watching. The water cycle is so important to us - it is what allows for life!

The water cycle -
  1. Much to my husbands confusion, I always keep a small hard cover book in the freezer just for this experiment. But if you don't want to do that, I suggest a minimum of 6 hours in the freezer - and it must be a hard cover.
  2. Boil water on the stove - you can see evaporation in motion with the steam!
  3. Very carefully hold the book at an angle in the steam - this will condense the water vapor back into droplets of water and it will look like the book is making rain!
Blue Skies!
    This is another really fun one - especially just before bed. Although I warn you it's a messy one! Essentially, this is demonstrating how our eyes interpret the color of the sky. The white light coming off of the sun enters out atmosphere where the particles break that light into all the colors of the rainbow. Blue being one of the most slow and is absorbed by gases in the atmosphere and radiates!
  1. Set a flashlight standing upright right in front of you, so the beam is clear and rises.
  2. Gently take a bag of flour (even better with a flour sifter) and gently allow the particles to blow through the beam - you should see flashes of colors/light!

Weather Sayings:

  • Red sky at morning sailor take warning, red sky at night sailor's delight.
  • Red sy at night shepherds delight. Red sky in morning shepherds take warning.
  • Never cast a clout till May is out. (Captain Urchy)
  • If cows are sitting down then rain is on the way.
  • Gullywasher (a lot of rain by bcluv)
  • When the stars begin to huddle the earth will soon be a puddle. (Insomniduck)
  • Halo around the sun or moon rain or snow soon. (Insomniduck)
  • A year of snow a year of plenty. (Insomniduck)
  • Rainbow in the morning gives you fair warning. (Insomniduck)
  • Clear moon, frost soon. (Insomniduck)
  • Mares Tails and mackerel scales make tall ships take in their sails. (Insomnduck)
  • It's raining cats and dogs.
Arts & Crafts