Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Maps of War - great resource for Social Studies

Maps of War

I love this site! - Maps of War I almost didn't check it out because the name didn't appeal to me, but luckily the blog where I discovered it had a map from the site embedded into their blog so I actually saw how neat it was. What made me love it even more is when I read their Sharing Policy. They actually want you to copy, paste, and share their maps, as long as you link back to them.

Here are my favorite from the site:

I can so see using these maps as a base for unit studies. I want to incorporate at least one, if not more, of them into my plans for next year. I will show DD the map and then we will dissect it bit by bit and do more research inspired by the map bits.

Thanks to Phyllis for posting about it!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Cloudsome hosts a Sunday Garden Tour on her blog every Sunday during the summer. This year she explained the tour and started it in May. I love the idea! I discovered it thanks to Becky at Farm School. Today Becky posted pictures of her blooming lilacs and I'm so jealous! I love lilacs but every time I've tried to grow one my DH has mowed it down. I'm thinking maybe he doesn't like lilacs. :)

I'm a gardener wanna-be. I've been one for years. You'd think I would have learned something by now but I'm still struggling. A few years back I wrote a gardening column, called Green Thumbs and Greenhorns, for our local newspaper hoping that I would learn something from other gardeners. It was fun and I did learn a lot. We even started a gardening club for a little while, but it dwindled out, much like my garden.

I even have a blog called Green Thumb Wanna be. I started it way back in 2004. It dwindled out too. Every spring I get the gardening bug and I think this will be the year, but it doesn't happen. Same thing happened this year. Back in February I had big plans, and they were good plans too. I was really looking forward to fulfilling the plans, but then life got in the way. I guess I should probably go back to that blog and explain what happened. Maybe it's not too late to do something with it.

I do have a small corner garden in my back yard where I have some lovely perenials donated by family and friends. They have managed to survive over the years. I was actually out weeding them a little yesterday and dreaming of doing more. I'd love to be able to take pictures of each of the plants that I have back there and make a little book about them, naming and describing their growth. Some day.

For now, however, I content myself with virtual garden strolls such as the one Cloudsome allows me to enjoy. Maybe some day I'll be able to participate rather than just watch. :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Teachable Moments

Today little one and I had some fun making letters and shapes with hair clips. It wasn't a planned activity - it just happened.

She was sitting on my knee as I was checking my email. I had some hair clips on my desk. She started playing with them and I got the idea to make a letter A for her with them, as that is the first letter in her name. She was thrilled. Then I moved the clips and made a tringle, which she also liked, and she proceeded to ask me to make a square.

I was hoping she was going to attempt to make some of these things herself but she was more content to tell me what to make and watch me make it. We didn't stay at it long but that's okay. I'm sure we'll do it again soon and one day she will be making attempts to make things on her own and tell me what she made.

I love to look for teachable moments in the day. You don't have to have a big lesson plan or certain supplies. Learning can be a natural part of ordinary moments in the day.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Check out Melissa Wiley's post

Today Melissa Wiley has an excellent post, that is actually a repost of something she wrote a while back - "Home Education: Delicious and Nutritious". In the post she addresses a lot of the questions and comments homeschoolers often encounter. It really is worth reading.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Speaking about resources...

...the June Edition of The Heart of the Matter is now posted. You can download the whole edition as a PDF or you can read it online. Lots of good stuff there.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Two great resources - the internet and the library

My two favorite resources for homeschooling, and everything else, are the internet and the library. I find both invaluable.

We have always made great use of the library. We made it a point to visit regularly. The kids would pick out books that they were interested in and I'd pick out books that I hoped they would be interested in. :) We would get books to read purely for pleasure and books that would hopefully be pleasureable as well as educational.

Unfortunately for us our small local public library became a part of the high school library and we were not comfortable in going to it during school hours. Instead we took advantage of a library in a bigger community about an hour away. We all looked forward to library day when we would pack up the van and take off for the day. We'd spend an hour or two at the library and then we'd head out to eat somewhere and then hit the stores for a little while before we'd head home. Usually the kids were busy checking out their books during the ride home.

As the children got older I discovered more and more what a great resource we had on hand in our own house with the computer and an internet connection. Through this resource we could connect with people from all over the world. We also discovered that there were lots of great learning related sites for all different subjects available through the internet and we've taken advantage of a lot of them over the years.

In my mind a library card and an internet connection are two very important and very useful resources.