Maple Farm Field Trip

            As a kid growing up in western Massachusetts, tapped maple trees and maple farms seemed to be everywhere.  Visiting maple sugar houses, and learning about the process of making maple syrup and sugar, were some of my favorite school field trips. 

     Living a significant shift away from that area now, maple farms are not as common around here. But this was yet another field trip I really wanted to take our kiddos on.   We almost arranged one out where I grew up, but the timing of getting out there would have risked missing the end of the season this year.  So I found Matfield Maple Farm, less than an hour from us, and we went on a beautiful day!Read More

Our School Year 2011-2012, Kicks Off!

Well, forgive me for the delay with any updates about our new school year we’re in the midst of here!  Once we kicked it off at the beginning of September, we’ve been very occupied finding our groove, with our new schedules.  Things are quite different for us this year! With the kid’s respective ages and levels, life has opened up new and exciting opportunities, of experiences and learning, for all of them.  Not to mention new territories for us parents!  We have a high schooler now, for example, and with it comes all kinds of things.  But the younger ones are also following their passions and gifts, more so than ever.Read More

{Homeschooling}: The Metamorphosis of Butterflies – Photos, Our Experiment & Study

Hatching butterflies is probably a pretty standard experiment and  study for students, in both formal and home school educations alike.  It’s one that can be used as a Science participation lesson more than once in the course of ones education, because the benefits of the lesson are different for various ages.

For very young students, such as toddlers-K, it’s a really fun & exciting process to watch every day. At this age, they are full of both intelligent, and sometimes humorous, questions.  They are able to grasp the basic understanding of the stages.  Some little ones may rather non-nonchalantly accept the transformation from a caterpillar to a butterfly, simply as magic, in a way.Read More

A Baby Raccoon Study

Some of our most exciting lessons, often times turn out to be ones that were not part of my day’s lesson plan at all!  Like the countless opportunities of teachable moments  that pop up throughout every single day for us as parents/teachers, to utilize in educating and guiding our children down the right paths, we’ve had many days, where a lesson to study has sauntered right into our yard!  And it can be a darn cute lesson!!

Such was the case the other day, when we spotted this baby raccoon, right up on the hill, outside of our school room windows!Read More

Food For Thought; Literally! (Get Those Kids of Yours in the Kitchen!)

I’m sure I’ve been forthright about this before, as much as it makes me feel a little bad to say out loud.  (Figuratively speaking.)  But there always moments in time when these things come up, and there is some purpose in being truthful in the matter. Right?

Well, this is one of those times.

So the truth is, <whisper> my mother was just not very domestic in the kitchen. Nor was her mother. <end of whisper> Which says something not good.  Doesn’t it?

I’ll answer that.  Yes it does.

It says that the chances of me being one, was slim to none.Read More

Boston Museum of Science / Field trip

One of our first field trips of this new school year, was to the Boston Museum of Science.  {JM, O & S} are at that age now, where I knew they would really benefit from going, on an educational level. {A}, of course, has been an appropriate age for some time, and she found many areas of interest that she enjoyed learning more about.

We left home early in the morning.  I have to add, that I had decided I was not going to lug my big camera equipment around…because that was one of the reasons why we got {A} the Canon point and shoot for her birthday, right?Read More

The Math and Science of OOBLECK!

It wouldn’t be surprising, if many of you have already heard of and made some ‘Oobleck’, with your kids.  Some may know this crazy-fun concoction by another name.  My sister says they call it ‘Goop’.

My kids have indeed made and played with Oobleck before.  I first heard about it at least a few years ago, from my friend Maria, over at Very Blessed Mommy. It’s a downright fun little activity, that will keep your little ones  happy and busy for quite awhile!  It’s appropriate for ages 4-42 (at least ; )

We’ve made it several times since that first, but this time, we looked closer at the educational aspects of math and science, that come with this very intriguing activity!  If we were going to keep playing with the stuff, it just seemed like a good idea to get a little more intellectual about it.    So here we share the recipe for Oobleck, what we learned or reviewed, and as always, too many photos.   (Thanks for understanding.)

Necessary ingredients:  corn starch, water, food coloring, bowl(s), wooden spoon(s), and measuring cups.… Read More

Your Kids Might Dig This, Too!

My cousin and her daughter (my God daughter) came down a couple of months ago, for a girl’s overnight with myself and my own 2 girls, and so thoughtfully, she had brought some great gifts for the kids! It was so sweet.  It was unexpected and unnecessary, but I do love gifts that are both project-like, fun and educational.

This is one of those gifts,…. which was for {JM}:  Dig & Play Treasure Island, by Toysmith.

Some may not think of it as educational, initially, but many of us home schoolers, tend to quickly identify the learning aspects that are truly in just about anything, and everything.… Read More

Incubation & Embryology of the Chick / Chick Coloring

Although we have a small line-up of home schooling posts about recent happenings coming your way, I’ve been inspired recently to take a little trip down our home schooling memory lane, back to early 2007, when we did a study on chick embryology,  incubated eggs and hatched chicks!   At the time, the kids ages were 9, 4, 4, and4.  So not only will you notice how young our kids look compared to today (now 12 and 7, respectively), but you’ll see how very unfinished our home was back then!  Remember, Michael has been finishing all of the inside of our home himself.   (With a little help and direction from me too.)  As far as we have to go on this house, we can look at these photos and think, “We’ve come a long way, Baby!”

My brother, his wife, and their 2 kids, have a chicken coop, which began with an order of live chicks last year, I believe.… Read More

Crystal Growing Results

{A}’s Smithsonian Crystal Growing project was very interesting to observe.

As we checked day to day, things seemed to be progressing much slower than we anticipated.

Especially the yellow, which appeared to be behind the other 2 colors right to the end.

Above are the best side view shots I could get, to show you what was above the liquid level at this point. The green container really had some (ugly) crystal growth on the side of the container, where {A} had poured out excess liquid.  If you look closely, you can also see how much liquid had evaporated in the past 7 days.… Read More

Smithsonian Crystal Growing

For Christmas, {A} (yes, still thinking on the initial thing….)…(OK, wait, that’s not true…I haven’t had time to think much about it….)….but anyway, she got this Smithsonian Crystal Growing kit, from her Uncle Brian.   He gets VERY excited, when he finds good gifts like these for the kids, because he knows I’ll be happy because “it’s educational”.  (That’s right, Brother.  ; )

She was sure to have her goggles on, after all of Uncle Brian’s warnings about being SURE she did this experiment under the advisement of one of her parents, and to wear the goggles!  She’s a rule follower most of the time anyway.… Read More