Ten Fun Ways We've Learned and Played Lately

Other than a cold or two, we’re finally over being sick around here.  It’s nice to feel human again!  Here’s a few things we’ve been up to since recovering….

1.  Learning about explorers. We’re doing  a lapbook about explorers from CurrClick (I got it free in exchange for reviewing it) and we started last week.  So far we have studied Cabot, Columbus and Amundson.  The kids are making up little inserts for the lapbook and we’re putting gold stars on the world map for each place the explorers landed.  I’ll post a full review and link once we’re through with the whole lapbook.

2.  Playing at Erica’s. We went to visit Erica and her boys again today and had a great time, as usual.  Jack and Jack played on the computer while Victoria read and gathered eggs, Alex napped and Annalee tagged along with Mic.

3.  Doing math pages from TSL Books. I’ve been printing out a couple of pages at a time for Jack and Anna on various math topics.  For every two pages they get a Halloween candy from the castoff bowl (where everybody dumped the stuff they didn’t want the first night).

4.  Cooking and baking. Anna learned how to make fried eggs and apple tarts this week.

Victoria made all different flavors of toasted pumpkin seeds.

5.  Reading Harry Potter. Anna just started book 7.  She zipped through book 6 in just a few days.  Victoria started book 7 yesterday and finished it today.  Have you seen the size of book 7????  Egads.  She’s looking for a new series and Anna will be soon, too.  Any suggestions?

6.  Doing art challenges. Victoria and Jack have been making team art challenges to do together.  This one was to draw a frog on a lily pad in front of a castle, blowing bubbles with bubble gum:

This one was an elephant drinking soda in front of an erupting volcano:

7.  Classifying galaxies. Daryl got approved on Galaxy Zoo to help them classify galaxies and he taught Victoria how to do it with him.  Basically, you go through training on the site and once you pass you help out by looking at some of the million pictures of galaxies they have and going through checklists to classify them as spiralled, barred, edge-on and so on.

Here’s one they classified:

From the site:

The original Galaxy Zoo was launched in July 2007, with a data set made up of a million galaxies imaged with the robotic telescope of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. With so many galaxies, the team thought that it might take at least two years for visitors to the site to work through them all. Within 24 hours of launch, the site was receiving 70,000 classifications an hour, and more than 50 million classifications were received by the project during its first year, from almost 150,000 people….

8.  Doing Quizzie’s Corner Questions. The kids have been doing these questions when they play on Webkinz, usually in math.

9.  Answering Free Rice questions. Victoria is still enjoying racking up tons of donations of rice at the site, answering questions in art, multiplication, grammar, vocabulary and more.  She visits often and loves to keep track of how much she’s helped donate.

10. Had long discussions. Some of the topics that came up with the kids lately:  how to graft apple trees; the differences between proteins, fats and carbohydrates and how the body uses them; good fats versus bad fats and what they do inside the body; what happens during migraines with auras…

Then there was lots of climbing trees, reading on the lawn swing, playing with friends in the back yard, talking on the phone, checking email, playing online games, looking at Cake Wrecks (one of Victoria’s new favorite blogs), doing art, making up games, playing on the swing set, making things like sculptures and crazy contraptions, reading, reading, reading, being silly, shopping, writing poetry, watching TV, watching DVD’s, chatting online, playing with kittens (though someone seems to have stolen our beloved orange kitten Comet), taking pictures, cuddling, tickling, laughing, joking, fighting, cleaning, doing chores, visiting people, running errands…. life.  🙂

I have high hopes for next week.  Hopefully it’ll be full of even more fun stuff.

PS  I wrote up 100 ways HS kids get socialization for The Examiner today and think I might be able to come up with 100 more.  I’m writing a homeschool column for them too.  I don’t seem to know when it’s time to stop, do I?  😉


8 thoughts on “Ten Fun Ways We've Learned and Played Lately

  1. I love your blog. Thank you so much for your stories and ideas! 🙂

    I do have a couple book series suggestion for you and the girls. My daughter and I just finished reading the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. She enjoyed them a lot and is looking forward to seeing the movie version of the first book, The Lightning Thief, in January. I’ve also enjoyed reading Eragon/Eldest/Brisingr by Christopher Paolini. Haven’t seen the movie adaptation, so I don’t know if it was a good one or not, but the books are worth a read. Both of these series have young male protagonists. Then there’s Sabriel/Lirael/Abhorsen by Garth Nix, with young female protagonists. I haven’t read the Paolini or Nix books with my daughter yet, but I’m looking forward to it. So many books, so little time 🙂 Maybe one of these will work for Victoria and Anna 🙂


  2. Thanks for the suggestions, Nonie! I’ll put them on the library list.

    And yes, Kez, I think that’s how at least 50% of our HSing happens, through these natural conversations. 🙂


  3. I was going to suggest the Percy Jackson series also. We haven’t read them, but they are supposed to be pretty good. I think the first 3 books are probably equal in size to HP 7 though lol!

    There is the Inkheart series also. I think there is 3 in that series. Or the Books of Ember. Both have movies that go with them also.

    I love all the artwork 🙂


  4. 🙂 Here I was, clicking through to suggest the Percy Jackson series TOO. That’s the series that KarateKid read after getting his fill of HP (he loves to read books over and over).

    Rick Riordan’s NEXT series will cover Egyptian mythology, which we’re very excited about!
    .-= mamalexa´s last blog ..GoGoGirl’s Birthday =-.


  5. What am I, the fifth person to suggest Percy Jackson? They are great books, as are the others I was going to suggest –
    Eragon/Eldest/Brisingr and The Warriors series!
    You have some very well-read people who visit your blog 🙂
    And, I now have some female-protagonist adventure series to read and suggest to my son.
    Another series that we both LOVE is The Deltora Quest, by Emily Rodda – my son recommended them to me, and I really enjoyed them too! He just finished a follow-up series, The Deltora Shadowlands, and I’ve just started it today. In fact, I am now off to bed so I can keep reading…

    PS Those pumpkin seeds look really, really good!
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..‘Plowing’ Into the Field Trip Wars =-.


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