Experienced Homeschooler – Time4Learning https://www.time4learning.com Homeschool, Afterschool, Skill Building Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:30:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 Homeschool Goal Setting: The Fun Way https://www.time4learning.com/blog/experienced-homeschooler/homeschool-goal-setting-the-fun-way/ https://www.time4learning.com/blog/experienced-homeschooler/homeschool-goal-setting-the-fun-way/#respond Fri, 05 Jan 2018 13:30:44 +0000 https://www.time4learning.com/?p=12003 The Fun Side of Homeschool Objectives I admit it. I love planning. I love sitting down with calendars, books, and scheduling apps strewn in front of me and getting my game plan on. If I were to suggest this as an activity for my children, though, mutiny would likely be the next thing in my […]]]>

The Fun Side of Homeschool Objectives

I admit it. I love planning. I love sitting down with calendars, books, and scheduling apps strewn in front of me and getting my game plan on. If I were to suggest this as an activity for my children, though, mutiny would likely be the next thing in my schedule! But with a new year in sight, I know that we need to sit down and review how our homeschool objectives have gone so far and what we can improve on.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to do everything I can to make the process as fun for my homeschoolers as possible. If you are as burnt out as I am, then we all could use a fresh start, and I can’t think of any better way to get my children on board with the list of educational goals I have for them than to get them involved with the goal-setting process. Shall we?

What are the goals you have for your child?

This is the absolute first question I always ask myself when I sit down to plan a year, a month, a week, and even my day-to-day schedule. Keeping the big picture in mind means that when I start to question myself about a homeschool situation, (and oh, yes, I will question myself) I can refer back to the original goals I have for each of my children and compare the situation against what we’re really trying to accomplish.

It’s not a bad idea to even write these goals down and keep them in a place that’s easy to spot, such as:

  • in the front of your planner.
  • on your smartphone shortcuts.
  • posted on the wall of the main homeschool area in your house.

Personally, I post each child’s homeschool objectives on the refrigerator so that when it’s time to grab my daily yogurt snack (usually the one flavor that the kids like least) I get that written memory jolt. It’s like a homeschool mom’s centering mantra.

Goals, Strengths, and Needs Planner

Get the new year started on the right track with this Homeschool Goals, Strengths, and Needs Planner

Download

SMART goal setting for students

Once you have your goals for each of your homeschoolers, though, it’s time to get their input. There is a neat goal-setting technique that classroom teachers often use with students that I’ve hijacked for our own homeschooling purposes. It’s called SMART goal setting, and the acronym can be broken down as follows:

S Specific Alternatives: simple, sustainable
M Measurable Alternatives: meaningful, motivational
A Achievable Alternatives: attainable, acceptable
R Relevant Alternatives: realistic, reasonable
T Trackable Alternatives: time-limited, tangible

When it’s time to involve your homeschooler in goal-setting activities for the new year, introduce them to this table. It’s natural for students to think in terms of vague goals such as “I want to get better at math.” If they use the SMART goal checklist, though, it will help them better understand how to create more targeted goals for themselves.

Fun Activities for Homeschool Goal Setting

Now it’s time for the fun part! Remember that I said I was determined to make homeschool goal setting an activity that the whole family could enjoy. After doing my research, I found many creative ideas that not only will get us thinking about our homeschool goals but will also build important skills in planning ahead. Here are some of my favorites.

  • Write a letter to your future self. This is a letter your homeschooler will open at the end of the school year. In it, they might include things they want to learn about, skills they want to get better at, and activities they are looking forward to.

  • Create a goal competition.  Not every homeschooler is wired to be a good competitor, but if yours happen to take friendly rivalry in good stride, then create a sibling goal-off with a reward for who reaches their own personally chosen goal first.

  • Set up a family (or homeschool) success bulletin board.  Let your homeschooler(s) be in charge of the design of the board and include displays of goals, accomplishments, and notes of encouragement for each family member’s efforts.

  • Play a goal guessing game.  Family members will list one step that they will do toward accomplishing a specific goal and see if another family member can guess their overall goal just from that step.

  • Aim for an “unsolvable.”  Is there a book your student can’t read yet? An algebra problem they can’t yet figure out? Write down the “unsolvable” on paper (or place it on your bulletin board) and save it for later. At the end of the school year, let your student see if he or she has gained the skills to solve the unsolvable!

Okay, so maybe my children still aren’t going to get quite as excited about homeschool planning as I do, but I feel sure these ideas are going to at least keep mutiny at bay!


Kerry Jones is a longtime homeschooling mom of two who has used Time4Learning as the core of her curriculum approach. You can find her chatting as “Topsytechie” on the Time4Learning community forum.

]]>
https://www.time4learning.com/blog/experienced-homeschooler/homeschool-goal-setting-the-fun-way/feed/ 0
Florida Field Trips for Homeschoolers https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/florida-field-trips-for-homeschoolers/ https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/florida-field-trips-for-homeschoolers/#comments Thu, 21 Dec 2017 13:30:43 +0000 https://www.time4learning.com/?p=11761 One of the chief perks of homeschooling is the ability to truly experience learning, up close and personal. The flexibility of home education means being able to pick up and explore the world around you any time you wish. The field trip method of teaching is not just fun, it’s one that tends to help […]]]>

One of the chief perks of homeschooling is the ability to truly experience learning, up close and personal. The flexibility of home education means being able to pick up and explore the world around you any time you wish. The field trip method of teaching is not just fun, it’s one that tends to help children retain information about what they are studying for longer and with more depth.

Even if you are a long-time resident of Florida, you may not be aware of all the fun, educational field trip opportunities in the state. And, for the many families visiting the Sunshine State for vacation, you’ll be delightfully surprised to discover how easy it is to blend in learning with your travels! To help you locate the educational things to do in Florida with children, we’ve organized them by geographical area. Browse the list below to find the Florida day trips that are perfect for homeschool families. Plus, as a bonus, we’ve even included a free download of Time4Learning lesson plans that might be the perfect supplement for each trip!

Homeschool Field Trips in the Florida Panhandle

Panhandle Field Trips
  • Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site — The 19th century will come to life for your homeschoolers at this historical site that includes the Museum of Commerce, the Museum of Industry, the Pensacola Children’s Museum and a Colonial Archaeological Trail.
  • Constitution Convention Museum State Park, Port St. Joe — Travel back into a time in Florida’s history where statehood was just a dream in motion. Take the self-guided tour through exhibits that include a replica of the convention hall where the state constitution was ratified. This one is a must in your homeschool field trip plans.
  • Emerald Coast Science Center, Fort Walton Beach — This location lets children get hands-on with science in subjects such as robotics, electricity, natural gas, chemistry, and the ecosystem of the Emerald Coast.
  • Florida Caverns State Park, Marianna — Visit the only Florida state park that offers cave tours to the public. You’ll learn about stalagmites, stalactites, columns, and flowstone on your guided tour. Not all the educational places to visit in Florida are right for everyone, so make sure to read carefully about the tour’s somewhat strenuous and claustrophobic nature before deciding if it is a good fit for your family members.
  • Gulf Breeze Zoo, Gulf Breeze — Not every zoo offers you the opportunity to feed a giraffe, so don’t miss your chance at this destination. You’ll have plenty of hands-on encounters with wildlife here and have multiple opportunities to meet the keepers and ask them questions.

Homeschool Field Trips in North Florida

North Florida Field Trips
  • Butterfly Rainforest, Florida Museum, Gainesville — Although you’ll have the opportunity to view hundreds of different species of butterflies here, this exhibit also includes plenty of birds, turtles, fish, and other animals to see as well. Just one of the many interactive features of the Florida Museum.
  • The Daytona 500 Experience, Daytona Beach — STEM principles come to life when students get a chance to learn the physics behind the thrilling sport of motor racing. This behind-the-scenes view of the world’s only motorsports stadium will have homeschoolers ready for the races.

Are you a Jacksonville homeschool family? Discover even more opportunities for homeschool field trips in Jacksonville.

  • Dudley Farm Historic State Park, Newberry — There is no better way to explore the history of farming than with this display which will take you through three distinct generations of farming in the Dudley family. See the traditions of a farm come to life as park staff perform daily chores, tend to livestock, and raise crops.
  • The Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse in the U.S.A., St Augustine — Your homeschoolers might be surprised how comfortable they feel visiting and learning about a 200-year-old school where the schoolmaster lived on the floor right above where the students were taught!
  • Whetstone Chocolates Factory Tour, St. Augustine — This might be the tastiest Florida field trip of them all — children get a chance to tour an active chocolate factory plus a chance to test chocolates and confections as you tour. Learn about the history of chocolate making, too. This would be the perfect tie-in to any Willy Wonka themed study!

Homeschool Field Trips in Central Florida

Central Florda Field Trips
  • Central Florida Railroad Museum, Winter Garden — Have you ever wanted to see an authentic telegraph machine or a handcar? This is the place to do it! Take a tour of a museum that chronicles the history of the two main railroads that ran through Winter Garden.
  • Dinosaur World, Plant City — One of the most fun, educational field trips in Florida will transport your dinosaur-loving students right back to prehistoric times. Wander among hundreds of different life-sized dinosaur replicas while learning facts about each one and how they lived.
  • Florida Air Museum, Lakeland — The history of the first 100 years of flight is on display at this extensive facility. Allow your family at least a couple hours to take in the Howard Hughes Aviation Collection, the Rockets and High Speed Flight Exhibit, the Amelia Earhart artifacts, and so much more.
  • Manatee Observation and Education Center, Fort Pierce — Manatees, or sea cows, are vulnerable to extinction, but at this environmental education and wildlife viewing center there’s a high likelihood that you will get to see one. Get a thorough understanding of the fragile ecosystems of the Treasure Coast and their inhabitants.
  • Skeletons Museum of Osteology — Do you have a homeschooler who is fascinated by the inner framework of the animal kingdom? This one-of-a-kind museum hosts 500 real animal skeletons in a setting of true-to-life dioramas. What a great supplement for any animal study!

Homeschool Field Trips in South Florida

South Florida Field Trips
  • Everglades National Park, near Miami — Homeschoolers can hike, canoe, and even camp their way through the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. The ecosystem of the Everglades provides the perfect setting to study everything from animal habitats to plant diversity.
  • Perez Art Museum, Miami — This extensive art display offers both ongoing and visiting exhibits. The architecture of the building, alone, is worth a visit, but students will also be amazed by the hanging gardens and the many genres of art available for viewing from landscapes to portraits to Renaissance art.

Are you a Miami homeschool family? Discover even more opportunities for homeschool field trips in Miami.

  • Edison and Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers — The era of invention is on full display in this historical site where Henry Ford and Thomas Alva Edison had homes they retreated to in the winter months. There are even dedicated learning events just for homeschoolers!
  • Morikami Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach — If you’ve ever wanted to experience a Japanese tea ceremony, this is your chance. The gardens are exquisite, but your homeschoolers will also get to experience a typical Japanese train, shop, and living quarters inside the museum.
  • The Mound House, Fort Myers Beach — Explore 2,000 years of island life via tours and exhibits at this ancient Calusa Indian mound. Your budding historians will thrill to visit an active archaeological dig site which includes a large cutaway of a shell mound.

Homeschool Field Trips in the Florida Keys

Florida Keys Field Trips
  • Crane Point Hammock, Marathon Key — If your family are nature trail lovers, then this destination is for you. You’ll very likely stumble upon wildlife as you wander through the hardwood hammocks and find trees that grow nowhere else in U.S. Also learn about the lives of the Cranes, who worked so hard to conserve this local ecosystem.
  • Dolphin Research Center, Grassy Key — You’ll find yourself inspired to kick off a dolphin unit study after a visit to this rescue and research facility. Get interactive with these creatures by swimming alongside them in the water or just shaking their fins.
  • The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Key West — One of America’s most famous authors lived and wrote at this location for over 10 years. You’ll appreciate the helpful insights from the educated tour guides and will enjoy the dozens of cats who make their home here, too.

Florida Field Trip Resource

Is there anything more fun that learning through field trips? To make your experiences at these destinations even more meaningful, Time4Learning members will appreciate this download of free lesson tie-ins for each one.

Download

]]>
https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/florida-field-trips-for-homeschoolers/feed/ 2
Homeschool Unit Study: Fun Facts About New Jersey https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/homeschool-unit-study-new-jersey-state-facts/ https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/homeschool-unit-study-new-jersey-state-facts/#respond Mon, 18 Dec 2017 12:00:19 +0000 https://www.time4learning.com/?p=11730 Every year on December 18, the state of New Jersey celebrates its anniversary as part of the United States. It was the third state to ratify the constitution and become part of the newly founded country. But this is only one of the many interesting facts about New Jersey that your homeschoolers will find out […]]]>

Every year on December 18, the state of New Jersey celebrates its anniversary as part of the United States. It was the third state to ratify the constitution and become part of the newly founded country. But this is only one of the many interesting facts about New Jersey that your homeschoolers will find out in this unit study. We’ll be exploring the “Garden State” by pointing out some of the important historical facts about New Jersey, some New Jersey trivia that may surprise your students, and even some fun things for children to do in the state. You’ll also enjoy our collection of online New Jersey learning games which will challenge your homeschoolers to test what they’ve learned via interactive play.

This particular unit study can be used as part of your geography and/or history lessons, or just a neat supplement to your regular social studies teaching schedule. You may want to combine it with other Time4Learning homeschool state unit studies, as well.

Are you ready to learn more about this small state with a big history? Then let’s get this homeschool unit study started!

New Jersey Fast Facts

Became a Colony 1702
Became a State 1787
State Capital Trenton
State Abbreviation NJ
Border States
  • Delaware
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
State Flag New Jersey State Flag
State Song New Jersey is the only state without a state song.
State Nicknames
  • The Garden State
Notable New Jerseyans
  • Frank Sinatra, singer
  • Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th president of the United States
  • Jerry Lewis, actor and comedian
  • Judy Blume, author
  • Albert Einstein, physicist
  • Alice Paul, civil rights and women’s rights advocate

New Jersey Historical Facts

The history of the New Jersey colony begins when the area was discovered by Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano. 1664 was when New Jersey was founded by the British. Until that time it was settled mostly by Dutch, Finnish, and Swedish colonists. Here are some additional New Jersey colony facts that homeschoolers will find interesting:

  • For the first eight years of its history, it was actually divided into two separate colonies, East Jersey and West Jersey, but it became a single royal colony in 1702.
  • Although British colonist George Carteret wasn’t who founded New Jersey, the state was named in his honor. He had been governor of the Isle of Jersey in the British Isles.
  • In 1758, the first American Indian reservation, the Shamong Township, was established in NJ.
  • Iron ore was a key resource of the New Jersey colony. It was able to export items such as nails, locks, and plows back to England and to the other colonies.
  • Although far less well-known, New Jersey had its own tea party uprising about a year after Boston’s. Called the “Greenwich Tea Party,” it set a cargo of tea afire in a field.
  • During the Revolutionary War, George Washington and his troops spent more time fighting in NJ than in any other colony.
  • In 1787, New Jersey became the third state to join the U.S. and the first state to sign the Bill of Rights.

In 1790, the town of Trenton officially became the capital of the new state of New Jersey. And that was just the beginning of the story of the Garden State. Here is some more New Jersey state history trivia that you’ll enjoy learning:

  • The first officially recorded baseball game in America happened on June 19, 1846 in Hoboken, NJ.
  • Over 25,000 New Jersey soldiers fought for the Union in the Civil War.
  • The inventor of the submarine, John Holland, first tested his prototype in New Jersey’s Passaic River in 1878.
  • Many of the patents for Thomas Edison’s inventions were granted while he was working in the state, including the light bulb.
  • The disaster that destroyed the German passenger airship LZ 129 Hindenburg in 1937 happened when it was attempting to dock in NJ.
  • Also in 1937, the first FM radio stat
  • New Jersey residents did not have to pay state income tax until 1976.

New Jersey Geographical Facts

While there are plenty of historical New Jersey facts for children to learn, the geography of the state is worth covering in your homeschool unit study as well. Exploring a map of the state will help a lot. You may want to print out this map of New Jersey and start marking it up with everything you’ve learned. Here are just some of the things you may want to explore and mark on your map.

  • Even though it is the fourth smallest state in America, NJ has a wide variety of ecosystems including pine forests, salt marshes, a mountainous region, and many lakes and rivers.
  • New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the US, and it is the only state where all of its counties are labeled “urban” or “metropolitan.”
  • Food and agriculture are New Jersey’s third leading industry, so it’s no surprise that it is nicknamed “The Garden State.”
  • One of the interesting New Jersey culture facts has to do with food, as well. It is called the “Diner Capital of the World” because it has more diners than any other state.
  • Many people associate the Statue of Liberty with New York City, but it is technically in the waters of Jersey City, NJ.
  • The largest seaport in the US is located in Elizabeth, NJ.

New Jersey State Map

Download our FREE New Jersey state map printable. Use it as a coloring page or use it to plot the state’s geographical features.

Download

Activities for Children in New Jersey

Whether you live in New Jersey or are planning a trip there soon, you’ll be excited to know that there are learning opportunities around every corner. Below are links to some of the best historical places in NJ, as well as sites that are ideal for science, art, and nature study as well. Each one of the destinations has incredible potential for learning and will enhance your New Jersey homeschool unit study.

  • Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey (Teterboro) — Not only does this museum offer the chance to learn about the history of aviation, but there are many educational programs designed for children as well, including a program that teaches aeronautics through building gliders.
  • Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary (Short Hills) — Get up close and personal with nature at this outdoor paradise of trails and grounds. It includes a birdwatcher’s room, animal exhibits, and educational programs throughout the year.
  • Historic Cold Spring Village (Cape May) — June through September, this living history museum stretches across 22 acres and introduces families to rural life in Southern New Jersey in the 1800’s. There are education programs for people of all ages.
  • Montclair Art Museum (Montclair) — This unique museum highlights not only American art, but Native American art, as well. The collection includes over 12,000 works and offers traveling exhibits as well. Many educational programs are available for students.
  • Storybook Land (Egg Harbor Township) — It couldn’t be easier to tie in a literature study with this field trip option. Your family can walk through the most memorable stories of your childhood in this book-themed park.

For additional field trip options in New Jersey, visit A2Z Homeschooling’s New Jersey Field Trips with Kids page.

New Jersey Freebies and Deals for Homeschoolers

  • Adventure Aquarium (Camden) — During special days of the school year, homeschoolers are eligible for tickets at up to 50% off normal pricing.
  • Cape May County Park & Zoo (Cape May Court House)— Zoos with free admission are few and far between, so don’t miss a chance to visit this one, especially since they are open every day of the year except Christmas!
  • Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge (Medford) — Homeschoolers ages 3-14 can attend nature education classes on the second Tuesday and Wednesday of each month, September through June. Cost is only $10 per child.
  • Grover Cleveland’s Birthplace (Caldwell) — Step back in time to the early 1800’s with this museum dedicated to the country’s 22nd (and 24th!) president. It is open five days a week and self-guided tours are FREE to the public.
  • Seabrook Educational and Cultural Center (Seabrook) — Immerse yourself in the stories of Japanese and other immigrant and refugee populations who created this culturally diverse community. You’ll be fascinated by the large scale model of the village from the 1950’s as well as many other exhibits. Admission is FREE and hours are Mondays-Thursdays from 9 to noon.

New Jersey Learning Games for Children

Want to extend your New Jersey unit study even farther? The following learning resources will introduce you to even more fun facts about New Jersey and will also give your homeschoolers the opportunity to test their knowledge of what they’ve learned so far.

Get each Time4Learning Homeschool Unit Study sent straight to your inbox as soon as it is released!

]]>
https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/homeschool-unit-study-new-jersey-state-facts/feed/ 0
Homeschool Unit Study: Pennsylvania State Facts https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/homeschool-unit-study-pennsylvania-state-facts/ https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/homeschool-unit-study-pennsylvania-state-facts/#respond Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:00:49 +0000 https://www.time4learning.com/?p=11637 Why is Pennsylvania called the Keystone State? What is Pennsylvania’s capital? Who was the only U.S. President from Pennsylvania? These are just some of the questions we will answer in our homeschool unit study highlighting Pennsylvania. If you are just discovering Time4Learning’s state homeschool unit studies, not to worry. You can find all of the […]]]>

Why is Pennsylvania called the Keystone State? What is Pennsylvania’s capital? Who was the only U.S. President from Pennsylvania? These are just some of the questions we will answer in our homeschool unit study highlighting Pennsylvania. If you are just discovering Time4Learning’s state homeschool unit studies, not to worry. You can find all of the state unit studies here.

In this study, we’re exploring another of the original 13 colonies, Pennsylvania, including historical facts about Pennsylvania, plenty of info about the state’s geography, and even some fun things for children to do in the state. You’ll also enjoy our collection of online Pennsylvania learning games which will challenge your homeschoolers to test what they’ve learned via interactive play.

This particular unit study can be used as part of your geography and/or history lessons, or just a neat supplement to your regular schedule. View relevant lessons per grade level for this unit study. Are you ready to learn more about this state with such a rich history? Then let’s get studying!

Pennsylvania Fast Facts

Became a Colony

1681

Became a State

1787

State Capital

Harrisburg

State Abbreviation

PA

Border States
  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • West Virginia
  • Ohio
  • New York
  • New Jersey
State Flag Pennsylvania State Flag
State Song

“Pennsylvania”

State Nicknames
  • Keystone State
  • Quaker State
Notable Pennsylvanians
  • James Buchanan, president (the only one from PA)
  • Louisa May Alcott, author
  • Daniel Boone, frontiersman
  • Benjamin Franklin, inventor
  • M. Night Shyamalan, filmmaker
  • Rachel Carson, conservationist

Historical Facts About Pennsylvania

The area now known as Pennsylvania was originally home to many different native peoples including the Seneca tribe, the Lenape, and the Susquehannock. The first European known to explore the region was French explorer Etienne Brule who explored the Great Lakes between 1612 and 1615. Eventually, though, the area became one of the original thirteen colonies. Let’s look at some of the most interesting facts about the Pennsylvania colony for children.

  • The Swedish were the first people to colonize Pennsylvania and originally called it Nya Sverige (New Sweden).
  • William Penn, officially colonized Pennsylvania in 1681.
  • Because the land was granted to Penn by King Charles II due to a debt owed to Penn’s father, Admiral Penn, the colony was named in his honor.
  • Pennsylvania was the only colony, of the original thirteen, that didn’t border water.
  • The original government of the colony was designed chiefly to grant religious freedom to the Quakers, of whom Penn was a leader.

Pennsylvania played a critical part in the American Revolution, as well. The First and Second Continental Congress meetings were both held in Philadelphia, and the Declaration of Independence was drawn up and signed there. The Articles of Confederation that designated the thirteen colonies as an independent nation was drafted in York, Pennsylvania. Even our country’s constitution was written in Pennsylvania! Pennsylvania became a state when it ratified the constitution in 1787, making it the second state to join the Union. That certainly wasn’t the end of Pennsylvania’s history, however. Here are some more interesting Pennsylvania state facts.

  • The Civil War battle of Gettysburg was fought in PA in 1863.
  • The country’s first zoo was established in Pennsylvania by Benjamin Franklin.
  • The first computer ever used in the U.S. was in Pennsylvania in 1946.
  • It is one of only four states called a “commonwealth” which means the state puts a priority on representative government.
  • A keystone is the part of a stone arch that keeps all the other stones held in place. Because of its important role in the founding of the country, Pennsylvania is nicknamed the “Keystone State.”
  • The world’s first motion picture theater opened in Pittsburgh in 1905.
  • In 1974, the firefly was named Pennsylvania’s official state insect.

Geographical Facts About Pennsylvania

Now that we’ve looked at some of the most interesting insights into Pennsylvania’s history, let’s turn our attention to the environment of the state. Explore a map of the state and then print out our map of Pennsylvania to markup with your child. Here’s a small survey of some of the things your homeschoolers will find fascinating about Pennsylvania’s geography.

  • The Monongahela River in Western PA has a very unique feature: it flows north!
  • A small part of the state also borders the Canadian province of Ontario.
  • The town of Punxsutawney, PA is legendary because its most famous resident, a groundhog named Phil, is said to predict the weather each year on Groundhog Day.
  • One borough in Pennsylvania has been on fire for over 50 years. A coal mine in Centralia, PA caught on fire in 1962 and has been burning underground ever since!
  • The Ringing Rocks in Bucks County are a unique geographical feature because they resonate like a bell when struck (and geologists aren’t completely sure why).
  • In mid-June, the sunny mountainsides of Pennsylvania become washed in pink blooms. This display led to the designation of the Mountain Laurel as the state flower.

Pennsylvania State Map

Download our FREE Pennsylvania state map printable. Use it as a coloring page or use it to plot the state’s geographical features.

Download

Activities for Children in Pennsylvania

If you homeschool in the state of Pennsylvania, you may or may not be aware of all the great day trips that will offer your families opportunities for both recreation and learning. If you are visiting the state, this list will be especially helpful as well. Enhance your Pennsylvania unit study with these field trip ideas.

  • Fallingwater (Ohiopyle) — For any students interested in art or architecture, a visit to this home of architect Frank Lloyd Wright is a must. The home is built directly atop a waterfall! There are opportunities for organized field trips, or you can bring any children of 6 years or older on the individual guided tours.
  • Lost River Caverns (Hellertown) — This destination will allow you to study geology up close and personal. In addition to a tour of the cave, you’ll also want to explore the nature trail which includes stations explaining the terrain of the area and features of the cave itself.
  • Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center (Punxsutawney) — As you might expect, in a town famous for a weather-predicting groundhog, there sits a museum dedicated to weather education. This is a highly interactive field trip designed to inspire future meteorologists.
  • Salt Springs Park (Montrose) — Learn about both the cultural and natural heritage of the Susquehanna County region at this 405 acre park. There are interpretive programs for both children and adults on subjects such as stream adaptations, forest communities, wetlands and watersheds, and meadow biodiversity.
  • U.S. Mint (Philadelphia) — The manufacturing of coins is a fascinating process to learn about, and there is no better place to do that than the location of our country’s original Mint facility.

For additional field trip options in Pennsylvania, visit A2Z Homeschooling’s Pennsylvania Field Trips with Kids page.

Pennsylvania Freebies and Deals for Homeschoolers

Pennsylvania Learning Games for Children

Make sure to check out these available resources to assess your child’s knowledge about Pennsylvania and learn even more about the Keystone State.

Get each Time4Learning Homeschool Unit Study sent straight to your inbox as soon as it is released!

]]>
https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/homeschool-unit-study-pennsylvania-state-facts/feed/ 0
The Time4Learning Benefits You Might Have Missed https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/the-time4learning-benefits-you-might-have-missed/ https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/the-time4learning-benefits-you-might-have-missed/#respond Wed, 06 Dec 2017 14:00:39 +0000 https://www.time4learning.com/?p=11467 Sure, everyone knows that Time4Learning is an online curriculum that’s fun and easy to use for preschool through high school. We know that the multimedia lessons keep kids and teens engaged as they learn. We even know that it’s great for homeschool, afterschool, and summer use. Yet, behind the comprehensive, standards-based program used by tens […]]]>

Sure, everyone knows that Time4Learning is an online curriculum that’s fun and easy to use for preschool through high school. We know that the multimedia lessons keep kids and teens engaged as they learn. We even know that it’s great for homeschool, afterschool, and summer use. Yet, behind the comprehensive, standards-based program used by tens of thousands of families, lie a host of benefits of homeschooling with Time4Learning that aren’t as well-known.

Let’s look at 17 of the benefits you receive as a Time4Learning subscriber that you definitely should be aware of, if you aren’t already.

Time4Learning Printables

Time4Learning Helps for Students

  1. Free printables — Although Time4Learning is an online curriculum, we know that many parents and students appreciate the hands-on reinforcement of printable worksheets. These are available for many of the curriculum lessons and can be found in the Resources section of the Parent Dashboard.
  2. Educational Playground — Whether it’s used as a break between lessons or as an incentive system, the learning playground is a safe, fun, and motivating environment for students.
  3. Educational Gameroom — Similar to the Playground, Time4Learning offers students in grades 4-12 age-appropriate games, educational activities, and more. Timer settings allow you to control when and how long your student can access this environment.
  4. Time4Art — One of the most fun perks of homeschooling for Time4Learning students is the animated art curriculum available to users starting in the fourth grade. Kids learn both art theory and art history with online and offline activities.
  5. Time4Friends — Teens usually have a strong need to connect with other teens based on mutual interests and activities. That’s why our Time4Friends moderated social network for high schoolers is so popular with students.

Sign up for our newsletter to get regular insights and practical advice about homeschooling, skill-building, and after-school enrichment.

Time4Learning Helps for Parents

  1. Free homeschool guide for new homeschoolers — Is this homeschooling thing brand new for your family? Our free Welcome to Homeschooling Guide will be an invaluable resource as you learn how to homeschool.
  2. Spelling lists by grade level — Students can improve both spelling and vocabulary with custom spelling lists for each grade level. These are available in the resources section of the parent dashboard.
  3. Reading lists by grade level — Parents can see at a glance what books and literature are integrated into their child’s language arts lessons with these downloadable resource pages. These are available in the resources section of the parent dashboard.
  4. Science supply lists by grade level — You’ll never get caught off guard or be without something crucial to the next offline science experiment thanks to these downloadable lists. These are available in the resources section of the parent dashboard.
  5. Customized progress reports — This newly updated tool provides a detailed account of all Activities, Quizzes, and Chapter Tests the student has completed based on the parameters you establish. Once generated, custom reports are available for print, PDF download or as an Excel file where you can enter in your own offline activities.
  6. Parent forum — Sometimes you just want to know what other families using Time4Learning are experiencing. You might wonder how they handle specific aspects of subjects or lessons. That’s where the Parent Forum comes in. Search, browse previous posts, or create your own.
  7. Time4Learning-Families on Facebook — If you use social media frequently, another great networking option is our dedicated parent group on Facebook. Asking questions and getting answers is the name of the game in this supportive community.
  8. Transcript template — Many high school members have requested a transcript they can use to track their coursework with Time4Learning. Although Time4Learning is not a school, and doesn’t give credits, we offer families a homeschool transcript template to use for creating their own. Colleges and universities are usually very open to custom transcripts from homeschoolers.
  9. Six-week summer program — When you want to use summer as a time for review or preparation for the year ahead, our six-week plans for Kindergarten through 8th grade will give your student that step up that he or she needs. These are available through the parent dashboard resources.
  10. Discounts on Extra Education options — Although Time4Learning is a comprehensive curriculum covering math, language arts, science, social studies, and more, we understand that families have different needs. For you, we’ve teamed up with some of the best names in educational technology to bring you discounts on supplemental homeschool resources. View these opportunities in the Extra Education section of your parent dashboard.
  11. Refer-A-Friend program — Earn $25 or a free month’s subscription for every friend or family member who becomes a Time4Learning user and gives your name and email as a referral. We even have a customized invitation page you can use.
  12. Activity Planner — Keeping your homeschool on schedule is easy with Time4Learning’s Activity Planner. Depending on whether you simply want to know how many lessons to schedule for your student each week, or want to make a detailed plan for the whole year, our customized planning tools are up for the task.

Time4Learning Custom Reports and Planner

If you’re already a Time4Learning member, then we hope you will find these benefits a cool bonus to an already broad-based program. If you aren’t yet a member, then after seeing all these perks, we hope you are ready to SIGN UP and start exploring all that’s waiting for you!

]]>
https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/the-time4learning-benefits-you-might-have-missed/feed/ 0
Homeschool Unit Study: Delaware State Facts https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/homeschool-unit-study-delaware-state-facts/ https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/homeschool-unit-study-delaware-state-facts/#respond Mon, 04 Dec 2017 13:00:22 +0000 https://www.time4learning.com/?p=11498 On December 7, 2017, the state of Delaware will celebrate its 230th anniversary as part of the United States. In fact, it was the very first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. But this is only one of the many interesting pieces of information that your homeschoolers will find out in this unit study. We’ll […]]]>

On December 7, 2017, the state of Delaware will celebrate its 230th anniversary as part of the United States. In fact, it was the very first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. But this is only one of the many interesting pieces of information that your homeschoolers will find out in this unit study. We’ll be exploring the “First State” by pointing out some of the important historical facts about Delaware, some Delaware trivia that may surprise your students, and even some fun things for children to do in Delaware.

You’ll also enjoy our collection of online Delaware learning games which will challenge your homeschoolers to test what they’ve learned via interactive play. This particular unit study can be used as part of your geography and/or history lessons, or just a neat supplement to your regular schedule. View relevant lessons per grade level for this unit study. Are you ready to learn more about this tiny state with a big history? Then let’s get this unit study started!

Delaware Fast Facts

Became a Colony

1664

Became a State

1787

State Capital

Dover

State Abbreviation

DE

Border States
  • Maryland
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
State Flag Delaware State Flag
State Song

“Our Delaware”

State Nicknames
  • The First State
  • The Diamond State
  • Blue Hen State
Notable Delawareans
  • Joe Biden, 47th Vice-President of the United States
  • Henry Heimlich, surgeon and inventor
  • Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Annie Jump Cannon, astronomer and creator of the Harvard Classification Scheme for organizing and classifying stars
  • E.I. du Pont, founder of one of the world’s largest chemical companies

Historical Facts About Delaware

The history of Delaware is a lengthy one. It begins, when in 1610, explorer Samuel Argall named the river and the bay of the area after the governor of Virginia, Thomas West, Lord De La Warr. Later, it became one of the original thirteen British colonies established in 1664. Let’s look at some fun facts about the colony of Delaware.

  • The first European settlers of the area were the Swedes and the Dutch.
  • Dutch and Swedish rule ended when the British conquered the area in 1664.
  • Legend has it that the Stars and Stripes first flew here during a Revolutionary War battle at Cooch’s Bridge in 1777.
  • Also in 1777, Dover became the capital of the state.
  • It became a state on December 7, 1787.
  • It got its nickname as “First State” because it was the first of the thirteen original colonies to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

But statehood was only the beginning for Delaware. Here are some more Delaware state facts you can share with your children.

  • The Delaware city of Lewes was bombed by the British in the War of 1812.
  • The first public schools in the state were created in 1829.
  • Delaware remained in the Union during the Civil War, however when the 13th amendment was created to abolish slavery in 1865, Delaware voted against it.
  • Between 1883 and 1886, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad extended throughout Delaware.
  • Between 1911 and 1924, Delaware added a highway that ran the length of the state.
  • In 1920, Delaware rejected the passage of a women’s suffrage amendment.
  • Over 40,000 Delawareans served in World Wars I and II.
  • The Delaware Memorial Bridge, that links the state with New Jersey, was built in 1951.
  • E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. was the state’s largest employer from the early 1900s through the 1990s.
  • Delaware’s first female governor, Ruth Ann Minner, was elected in 2000.

Geographical Facts About Delaware

While the diamond state’s history is rich, you’ll want to make sure to cover important facts about Delaware’s geography with your children, too. Exploring a map of the state will help a lot, and if you have a printable Delaware map that you can mark up, that’s even better! Here are just some of the things you may want to explore and mark on your map.

  • Delaware is the second smallest state (after Rhode Island.)
  • Despite being so small, Delaware is the sixth most densely populated state.
  • Much of the state is surrounded by water, with the Atlantic Ocean, the Delaware River, and the Delaware Bay all sharing parts of its boundary.
  • Delaware occupies most of the Delmarva Peninsula, a large peninsula on the upper East Coast of the U.S.
  • There are three state forests in Delaware: Blackbird, Taber, and Redden.
  • The southern border of the state contains over 30,000 acres of swampland.
  • Delaware has only three counties.

Delaware State Map

Download our FREE Delaware state map printable. Use it as a coloring page or use it to plot the state’s geographical features.

Download

Activities for Children in Delaware

There is no better way to enliven a unit study than with hands-on learning! Do you live in Delaware? Or perhaps you will be traveling to the state in the near future? Homeschooling families looking for educational field trip ideas will discover plenty of things for children to do in Delaware. When planning your trip to Delaware make sure to enhance the experience for your children with these enriching activities that will surely help them absorb more knowledge on the Diamond State.

  • Ashland Nature Center (Hockessin) — 130 acres of natural landscape for learning and playing. Nature trails will wind you through marsh, woodlands, meadows, and alongside a creek. In addition, there are many educational opportunities for homeschoolers such as a Young Naturalist Club, Young Waterfowlers Club, and nature clubs for preschoolers.
  • Delaware Children’s Museum (Wilmington) — a giant learning playground for students. Homeschoolers will learn about everything from the human body to ecology to banking at the state’s only children’s museum.
  • Hagley Museum and Library (Wilmington) — the site of the original gunpowder works founded by E.I. du Pont in 1801. This memorial to industry and innovation includes both indoor and outdoor exhibits such as restored mills, a workers’ community, and the original home and gardens of the du Pont family.
  • Historic Odessa (Odessa) — historic village that played an important role in the 18th century commercial life of the state. There are guided tours of the properties, or you can explore on your own to see striking displays of the architecture and grounds.
  • The St. Jones Reserve (Dover) — a natural estuary filled with hiking trails and interactive exhibits. Your homeschool students will enjoy a ¼ mile jaunt on a boardwalk over the salt marsh, as well as the restoration demonstration areas.

For additional field trip options in Delaware, visit A2Z Homeschooling’s Delaware Field Trips with Kids page.

Delaware Freebies and Deals for Homeschoolers

  • The Delaware Contemporary (Wilmington) — this art museum offers FREE admission, and it features “Free Family Sundays,” a guided art exploration for children and parents.
  • Air Mobility Command Museum (Dover)— a great place to learn about the history of the Air Force, and Dover AFB in particular. Museum admission is completely FREE and students 10 and older will even have an opportunity to fly any of the museum aircraft on a flight simulator.
  • Seaside Nature Center (Lewes) — as if five 1,000 gallon fish tanks and a touch tank filled with local wildlife weren’t enough to convince you to visit this destination, there is no cost for this educational outing! Plus, it is also part of the Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park’s free borrow-a-bike program.
  • Woodburn, the Governor’s Residence (Dover) — although you’ll need to schedule them at least 24 hours in advance, tours of Woodburn are free to the public. The home was built in 1798 and has an incredibly diverse history attached to it.
  • Port Penn Interpretive Center (Port Penn) — this state park is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year and features exhibits that highlight the folklife of the 250 year old village. FREE admission.

Delaware Learning Games for Children

Want to extend your Delaware unit study even farther? The following learning resources will introduce you to even more fun facts about Delaware and will also give your homeschoolers the opportunity to test their knowledge of what they’ve learned so far.

Get each Time4Learning Homeschool Unit Study sent straight to your inbox as soon as it is released!

]]>
https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/homeschool-unit-study-delaware-state-facts/feed/ 0
Holiday Fun For Children in Florida This Winter https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/holiday-fun-for-children-in-florida-this-winter/ https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/holiday-fun-for-children-in-florida-this-winter/#respond Thu, 30 Nov 2017 14:00:33 +0000 https://www.time4learning.com/?p=11490 Even if Jack Frost isn’t nipping at your nose just yet, Floridians know that winter break is just around the corner. That means it’s time to start searching for things to do with the children during the holidays and beyond. Even if the activities in your part of the state are similar to what was […]]]>

Even if Jack Frost isn’t nipping at your nose just yet, Floridians know that winter break is just around the corner. That means it’s time to start searching for things to do with the children during the holidays and beyond. Even if the activities in your part of the state are similar to what was available in years past, you can bring some freshness to any event by looking at it as an opportunity to learn something new.

Not only have we pulled together some fun winter happenings from different regions of Florida, but we’ve also added in some suggestions for turning each of the listed outings into a learning adventure that can start even before you leave home and can continue once you’ve returned. Know of other parents in different parts of the state who might benefit from this holiday info? Be sure to share this post with them!

2017 Holiday Activities for Children in Northern Florida

Holiday Activities for Kids in Northern Florida

Gingerbread Extravaganza – Jacksonville, FL (Nov. 30 – Dec. 23, 2017) Something very special happens each year at Old St. Andrews in Jacksonville. Chefs, bakers, artists, and even families and children create magnificent gingerbread houses that are displayed throughout this event. Each display represents dozens and even hundreds of hours of preparation by the submitter. Learning activities you may want to tie in with your visit:

  • Turn gingerbread into science by having your child predict whether a gingerbread man will sink or float when dropped into liquid. Then test your theory!
  • The small gingerbread figures you can buy in bags at the store are perfect manipulatives for math activities such as testing addition and subtraction facts.
  • Check out a few different versions of The Gingerbread Man story from the library and compare the illustrations. Which ones do your student prefer and why?

Dickens on Centre – Fernandina Beach, FL (Dec. 8 – Dec. 10, 2017) Travel back in time to the Victorian Era at this unique holiday festival on Amelia Island. Much of the downtown area is transformed into an English village including period-dressed carolers and actors who keep the atmosphere authentic. You’ll even have an opportunity to dress up for yourself! Learning activities you may want to tie in with your visit:

  • Although the city of Fernandina Beach will be bright with holiday lights, find out what kind of lighting London’s streets would have had in the time that Dickens lived there.
  • Play vocabulary and spelling games with this Charles Dickens interactive word list from VocabularySpellingCity.com.
  • Dickens filled his novels with unusual character names such as Pumblechook and Mr. Pardiggle. Why might an author choose such strange names for his characters?

2017 Holiday Activities for Children in Central Florida

Holiday Activities for Kids in Central Florida

Gaylord Palms ICE! – Orlando, FL (Nov. 21, 2017 – Jan. 7, 2018) Even if you’ve never dreamed about wandering through two million pounds of ice sculptures, this is an event to definitely put on your calendar. Artisans from China will even be doing live sculpture carving throughout the event. There will be scenes featuring holiday celebrations from around the world. Learning activities you may want to tie in with your visit:

  • Brainstorm creative ways you can keep ice from melting.
  • Compare and contrast what happens when you place regular ice and dry ice in a cup of water.
  • Have older students research the Ice Age era and share their findings on the way to the event.

Now Snowing – Celebration, FL (Nov. 25, 2017 – Dec. 31, 2017) If you have kids who dream of nothing but snowball fights and snow angels, then you’ll definitely want to stop in at the month-long Now Snowing event in the town of Celebration. This old-fashioned holiday extravaganza includes horse-drawn sleigh rides, an ice rink, Celebration Express train rides, and “snowfalls” that happen four times nightly. Learning activities you may want to tie in with your visit:

  • Get color-smart and find out why snow appears white.
  • Discover the history behind putting bells on a sleigh.
  • Bring along a few items to the ice rink to test which ones slide the best. Be sure and make predictions before hand by thinking through which items have the most/least friction.

Holiday Activities for Children in Southern Florida

Holiday Activities for Kids in Southern Florida

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Holiday Nights – Ft. Myers, FL (Nov. 24-Dec. 23 2017 and Dec. 26-Dec. 31, 2017) The winter homes, gardens, and historic buildings of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford are open to the public and during the holiday season they are decorated with thousands of lights and traditional holiday decorations. Daytime tours are still available on these dates as well. Learning activities you may want to tie in with your visit:

  • Watch videos and play learning games about inventors at LearningGamesforKids.com.
  • Look up images of early inventions of both Edison and Ford and see if your student can recreate some of them with Legos™ or other building toys.
  • Because both Edison and Ford’s inventions often involved energy, find out what energy transfer is and how it affects most every object in the universe. Time4Learning’s Science4Us content includes an Energy Transformations module that can help bring understanding to this concept.

Winterfest Boat Parade – Ft. Lauderdale, FL (Dec. 9, 2017) From the New River to the Intracoastal Waterway to Lake Santa Barbara, this annual parade of decorated boats has been going on since 1971. Over a million people line the waterways to view the spectacle and even more catch the event streaming online. Learning activities you may want to tie in with your experience:

  • The theme for this year’s festival is “Broadway on Parade.” You’ll definitely want to explore some of the history of New York City’s theatres and the most popular shows that have come from that district.
  • If your family could enter its own decorated vessel into the parade, what would it be like, and why?
  • Create a boat-building challenge and test it out in your own bathtub. What materials are best for floating?

In addition to the ideas listed above, you can often enhance and extend the learning experience for any field trip by letting your children take part in the planning for it. Having them find the venue on a map and chart out the route you’ll take to get there can be part of the fun. Before you arrive, give kids as much information as possible about what to expect, any rules they will need to follow, and what to do if they accidentally get separated from you. Be sure to bring along notebooks and pencils or crayons in the car, so that your child can recreate as much of the experience as they want on the way home. Car rides to and from an event are also great times to discuss vocabulary associated with the places you’ll be visiting.

Are you a homeschooling family living in Ft. Lauderdale, or soon will be? Discover even more ideas for homeschooling in Ft. Lauderdale.

Sign up for our newsletter to get regular insights and practical advice about homeschooling, skill-building, and after-school enrichment.

]]>
https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/holiday-fun-for-children-in-florida-this-winter/feed/ 0
Veterans Day Activities for Children https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/veterans-day-activities-for-kids/ https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/veterans-day-activities-for-kids/#respond Tue, 07 Nov 2017 21:00:35 +0000 https://www.time4learning.com/?p=11410 The Importance of Teaching About Veterans Day in Your Homeschool Each year, on November 11, a Veterans Day National Ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery. At 11 a.m., a color guard made up of members from each of the branches of military service, honors the war dead at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. […]]]>

The Importance of Teaching About Veterans Day in Your Homeschool

Each year, on November 11, a Veterans Day National Ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery. At 11 a.m., a color guard made up of members from each of the branches of military service, honors the war dead at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Many homeschool families watch the service live on either broadcast television or as an internet livestream. Often, this event is the culmination of a dedicated homeschool study about veterans and Veteran’s Day.

The American holiday known as Veteran’s Day has its history in an even older commemoration known as Armistice Day. This day originally marked the armistice, or ceasefire, between the Allies of World War I and Germany on November 11, 1918. Although Armistice Day is still observed in some countries, following World War II, other countries developed similar, but unique, ways of honoring the service of those in the armed forces. In 1954, the United States officially chose November 11 as a day of observance for all veterans, both living and deceased.

Because of the importance of veterans to American history, Veteran’s Day is the perfect opportunity to explore the themes of patriotism, military service, war history, heroism, and freedom with homeschool students. Not only will they learn more about the sacrifice of our nation’s servicemen and women, but will also likely discover new things about themselves and their connection to their country.

Veterans Day Activities by Grade Level

You don’t have to be in middle or high school to do a dedicated study of Veteran’s Day. When teaching young children about solemn subjects such as war and sacrifice, it’s important to tackle the themes with care and an understanding of how much your child can handle without being scared or overwhelmed. To honor the men and women who serve in the military, homeschool families can find many age-appropriate activity ideas below.

Sign up for our newsletter to get regular insights and practical advice about homeschooling, skill-building, and after-school enrichment.

Veterans Day Activities for Preschoolers

One of the best ways to approach Veteran’s Day with preschool age children is by starting with some of the related vocabulary. Make sure that your preschool understands what words like veteran, soldier, military, and freedom mean. There are several great picture books that can assist parents with this goal, such as H is for Honor and The Wall.

If you search the web, you’ll also likely find some free printable coloring pages highlighting the significance of Veteran’s Day which will give you an opportunity to discuss the holiday with your young child. Veteran’s Day crafts for preschoolers are another hands-on way to introduce your young homeschooler to the commemoration. Ideas for those include:

  • tracing the symbols of each division of the armed services on tracing paper.
  • decorating your own paper American flag with dot markers.
  • creating a red, white, and blue decoration for the front door of your home to display on the day.
  • using red, white, and blue ribbons to decorate a wand or stick that your preschooler can wave at your local Veteran’s Day parade.

Veterans Day Activities for Elementary Students

Elementary level homeschoolers can handle a somewhat more in-depth study of the history of Veteran’s Day, but keep in mind many early elementary students can still be very sensitive to topics of war and death. You know your child best, and what information he or she can handle without reactions of fear. The Time4Learning 2nd grade social studies lesson plans include an interactive lesson on National Holidays where many of our patriotic commemorations are explained in child-friendly language.

For students who are mature enough, a visit to a Veteran’s Hospital or Care Center is a way to bring real life learning into your homeschool. Find out if your local homeschool support group has a visit like this in their upcoming plans, and if not, you can suggest it. If there isn’t a Veteran’s facility nearby, plan to take your elementary student to one of the local Veteran’s Day services so they can experience for themselves the patriotic display.

Other active ways that elementary homeschoolers can learn about Veteran’s Day might include:

  • sending cards to soldiers currently serving in the Armed Forces.
  • laying homemade wreaths or individual flowers on local graves of veterans.
  • learning some of the music and lyrics associated with the various branches of military service.
  • playing vocabulary and spelling games with a Veteran’s Day word list.

Veterans Day Activities for Middle School Students

Because they are often already studying either the Civil War or the two World Wars in their history curriculum, middle school is a good time to study Veteran’s Day in even more detail. At this age, students can usually handle more comprehensive teaching about the sacrifice of veterans and why it is so important to recognize their service with a dedicated day of honor and remembrance. There are several documentaries and YouTube videos created specifically for students, including History of the Holidays: The History of Veteran’s Day and What is Veteran’s Day?

After discussion of the themes surrounding veterans and Veteran’s Day, middle schoolers may best express their own feelings about the subject through writing. If you aren’t sure exactly what to have your student write about, Veteran’s Day writing prompts are a great place to start. Here are a few to get started with.

  • Investigate some of the benefits that veterans receive from the American government. Write an expository essay on one of those benefits.
  • Compare and contrast the purpose of the national holidays of Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day and how they are celebrated.
  • Visit a local veteran’s memorial then write a descriptive essay about the memorial including where it is situated and why that location may have been chosen, as well as details of the display itself.

Veterans Day Activities for High School Students

High school students have been exposed to Veteran’s Day celebrations throughout their school careers, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of ways teens can still connect with the history and importance of the holiday. Did you know that high school students are often allowed to volunteer at VA Medical Centers around the country? In fact, student volunteers are an important part of the treatment plan in many centers. Some of the VA Medical Center departments that often accept volunteers include:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Medical Administration
  • Audiology and Speech Pathology
  • Nutrition and Food Service

Students are given training prior to taking their assigned positions. VA Center volunteers may even be eligible for specific scholarships, such as the James H. Parke Memorial Youth Scholarship Award.

Speaking of scholarships, another way for students to both learn more about Veteran’s Day and give themselves a leg up with college is to research and submit patriotic themed scholarship essays. The Voice of Democracy (VOD), for example, is an annual nationwide scholarship program sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). The audio-essay contest provides more than two million dollars in scholarships annually!

When you’ve concluded a study of Veteran’s Day in your homeschool, you will have accomplished much more than just introducing your student(s) to the history of a national holiday. You will have given them a personal and long-lasting connection to every veteran they encounter in the future. Their appreciation of the service and sacrifice of our nation’s servicemen and women may have an impact on them for the rest of their lives.

]]>
https://www.time4learning.com/blog/new-homeschooler/veterans-day-activities-for-kids/feed/ 0
Need Activities for Toddlers While Homeschooling Older Siblings? https://www.time4learning.com/blog/experienced-homeschooler/need-activities-for-toddlers-while-homeschooling-older-siblings/ https://www.time4learning.com/blog/experienced-homeschooler/need-activities-for-toddlers-while-homeschooling-older-siblings/#respond Thu, 05 Oct 2017 15:02:07 +0000 https://www.time4learning.com/?p=11099 You’ve taken full advantage of naptime to get some homeschooling work complete, but now your toddler is awake and going wide open. You may be tempted to just turn on the television and sit your toddler in front of it while you’re working one-to-one with an older sibling, and there’s nothing wrong with including some […]]]>

You’ve taken full advantage of naptime to get some homeschooling work complete, but now your toddler is awake and going wide open. You may be tempted to just turn on the television and sit your toddler in front of it while you’re working one-to-one with an older sibling, and there’s nothing wrong with including some educational programming in your toddler’s day. But, there are also plenty of learning activities for toddlers that will keep them occupied and engaged when you can’t give them your full attention. Below are several toddler activity ideas to consider when homeschooling.

Busy Baskets

As you’re planning out your homeschool days, why not include your toddler in the mix? Create a basket just for your toddler that he or she can only access during homeschool time. Include hand-eye activities such as puzzles, shoelaces and lacing cards, building blocks, contact paper and stickable items, felt playsets, etc. If possible, change out the items every school day so that each day your toddler looks forward to discovering what is in their basket. The more variety in the basket, the longer they will remain occupied.

Sign up for our newsletter to get regular insights and practical advice about homeschooling, skill-building, and after-school enrichment.

Dedicated Reading Nook

One of the best things to do with toddlers during homeschool time is to occupy them with books. Create a special area such as a sheet-tent, pillow fort, or any cozy spot near where you’re homeschooling and fill it with picture books, sticker books and coloring books that your toddler will enjoy. As with the busy baskets, this will work best if you rotate the available books as often as possible. Exploring books independently is one of the first steps toward learning to read, too!

Recreating the Lesson

If you plan ahead, you can actually include your toddler in any unit study or subject-specific homeschooling you are doing with older siblings. Depending on what you are studying, have some “props” or visual aids that are toddler-safe at the ready. When you are discussing the life cycle of a plant, for example, you might want to have some felt pieces representing the seed, the pollen, and the flower that your toddler could play with. This is a great way to get siblings in “teaching” mode, too. They can pass on what they’ve been studying by using the props as learning games to play with toddler siblings.

Apps and Games for Toddlers

Especially if older brother or sister uses the computer for their schooling, it’s common for toddlers to want in on the action. Homeschool time is a great opportunity for toddlers to get to play with educational apps designed just for their learning needs. In fact, toddlers will be especially eager to play if you normally limit those types of educational technology opportunities. Older toddlers and preschoolers who can handle a computer mouse might even be able to do their own “homeschool time” using Time4Learning’s online preschool curriculum. All the learning activities are interactive and engaging and are designed for pre-readers.

Toddlers are learning at an incredibly fast rate and whether or not you include them in your official homeschool activities, they will be gleaning knowledge just by being nearby as you and your other children study together. Homeschooling really is a terrific choice for every member of the family!

]]>
https://www.time4learning.com/blog/experienced-homeschooler/need-activities-for-toddlers-while-homeschooling-older-siblings/feed/ 0
When Your Children Don’t Learn the Same Way https://www.time4learning.com/blog/experienced-homeschooler/when-your-children-dont-learn-the-same-way/ https://www.time4learning.com/blog/experienced-homeschooler/when-your-children-dont-learn-the-same-way/#respond Fri, 31 Mar 2017 17:49:16 +0000 https://www.time4learning.com/?p=9663 How one parent solved the dilemma with her two children who learn differently My two children don’t do anything alike. One enjoys playing football and watching scary movies, the other prefers building model cars and reading a biography. When I decided that homeschooling would best fit their educational needs a few years back, I didn’t […]]]>

How one parent solved the dilemma with her two children who learn differently

My two children don’t do anything alike. One enjoys playing football and watching scary movies, the other prefers building model cars and reading a biography. When I decided that homeschooling would best fit their educational needs a few years back, I didn’t foresee how their differences would impact my teaching — and their learning! I figured I could make whatever curriculum I chose work for both of my children.

With that mindset, I spent a hefty amount of money on a traditional curriculum. It consisted of workbooks, textbooks, guides and materials that fit the mold of my oldest boy’s learning style. He sat and quietly studied as if he was building his model cars. Then it was time for my youngest to use it, and he did not like it at all.

I spent so much time getting my youngest to do his assignments that my oldest eventually stopped doing his schoolwork. I was upset and, honestly, ready to give up. However, after doing some research and trial and error, I found ways to overcome the learning-style dilemma.

Homeschool Curriculum is not One-Size-Fits-All

When I made the initial investment in our homeschool curriculum I assumed it would work for all of my children. It didn’t, and I was experienced enough at homeschooling to know that it wouldn’t. I had already put in the time and made the investment. It’s important to exhaust every possible way to make your curriculum work for you and child, but if it doesn’t, it’s better to cut your losses sooner and find one or many curricula solutions that fit with your child’s learning style.

Split Your School Day or School Week

It’s easy to get into a routine. My eldest was easy. He followed my lessons, we did assignments together and we both fell into step with the way our days and weeks ran. When my youngest son struggled with our homeschool routine, I had to think of a new way to accommodate their needs. Even we experienced homeschoolers can forget that we have the choice about what, when, where, and how we learn. My youngest son was up early, while my older boy enjoyed sleeping in. I took advantage of their split schedule and tackled lessons with my youngest son in the morning. When my older boy got up, it was his turn. The school day itself got a little longer for me, but it was so much more productive.

Consider Online Homeschooling

I knew children loved using computers, but I didn’t think they could actually receive a quality education using an online homeschool curriculum. Some experienced homeschoolers who are used to traditional curriculum may wonder if it holds up, but we have found that online learning is a great solution to the “many children, many different learning styles” dilemma.

  • Because the lessons and activities are automated, my children have become more independent in their studies. This leaves me more time to give each boy the attention he needs. Plus, they become more self sufficient.
  • The online curriculum addresses all the different ways my children learn best, which can vary by subject — visual, auditory, physical, and more.
  • My children can learn at their own pace — faster or slower depending on their comfort level and grasp of the subject.

I knew right away that my youngest son would love it, and my oldest could use traditional methods at times and switch over to an online approach when he needed a change.

Explore Free Homeschool Resources

A homeschool family’s budget is no joke. When you finally get over the sting that the money you spent on traditional curriculum is only going to go so far, it’s important to find affordable and free homeschool resources. There is the obvious – the library and the internet. But, if you haven’t had a need to explore them before, check out YouTube, iTunes, podcasts and more. If you already have a Netflix of Amazon Prime subscription, you may find documentaries and other videos to support your learning plan. Lastly, there is an exhaustive list of homeschool blogs that feature free resources and giveaways. Some of my favorites are HomeschoolGiveaways.com, A2ZHomeschooling, Homeschool.com, and TheMultitaskinMom.com.

Keep Learning Simple

So often we forget that learning doesn’t have to be complicated. I would love to spend hours preparing the perfect lesson plans, and pulling together cute and fun materials to do during said lessons, but it’s not necessary. Sometimes I find that if I can get my head out of the curriculum books or turn away from the computer, I can find simple ways to teach my boys their lessons. And it can be fun! There is always going to be a time and a place where formal curriculum can and should be used, but it’s not every lesson or activity that requires its own project plan.

Put in the Time

While it’s important to remember you can keep learning simple, do realize that homeschooling requires you to put in the time. That was probably the hardest part of accommodating my youngest child. I had to get over the fact that the time and effort I had put into finding the curriculum for my eldest child would need to be repeated to find what would work best. Once I got past that bitter pill, it became enjoyable. Suddenly I was exposed to other ways of teaching and learning even more myself.

Listen, it doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced homeschooler or not — all homeschoolers face challenges. I still face them, but I can honestly tell you that online learning makes our homeschooling routine so much more exciting and engaging.

My issues with juggling different learning styles have disappeared. I have accepted that what works for one child won’t always work for the other, and that’s a good thing.

If you’re an experienced homeschooler interested in learning more about online homeschooling, check out Time4Learning’s experienced homeschooler video library that will answer many of your questions.

]]>
https://www.time4learning.com/blog/experienced-homeschooler/when-your-children-dont-learn-the-same-way/feed/ 0