June Learning Fun

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No matter if you are a public school family or a homeschool family, you probably want your kiddos to still get in a little bit of learning over the summer, right?

A fun way to do that is stick with themes. For instance, June is National Zoo and Aquarium Month. So why not have them do some fun little things, all about zoos and aquariums?

Here are some great links for June learning fun:

A zoo spelling list over at VocabularySpellingCity – You can use this list to play any of the free learning games they have on the site, but you can also use it to try out any of the premium activities too!

Some animal and nature learning games over at Learning Games for Kids – All of these games are totally free!

An awesome owl unit study that was shared over at Secular Homeschool.

Please chime in, in the comments below, to share some of YOUR June learning fun favorites! :)

Online Science

When you think of learning online, do you think you can only do subjects like language arts and math online? If you do, you’re not alone. Most people think that subjects like science, which requires so many “hands-on” experiments, are simply too hard to do online.

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Guess what? You can do science activities online, no matter what age/grade level your child is at! There are tons of online resources for science. Let’s talk about just a few of them:

Educational videos are a great way to introduce and reinforce science concepts, especially for the visual learner. Learning games for kids has some wonderful (and FREE) science videos.

Working with younger kiddos? Science4Us offers online, interactive science for elementary school aged students.

If you’re homeschooling high schoolers, Let’s Homeschool Highschool has a terrific high school homeschool curriculum directory, broken down my subject. You can even find programs that stick to your specifc belief systems, like Creationism or a more secular view of science.

These are just the tiniest tip of the iceburg. Online science is everywhere!

Where have you found it?

Building Vocabulary Skills

How do your prioritize buidling a strong vocabulary? Is it something that you focus on, or is it something that you feel comes naturally to children while they are learning in other subject areas?

For the electronically-inclined, there are a number of online resources available, if you want your kiddos to put a primary focus on building vocabulary skills.

VocabularySpellingCity – Not just for spelling activities! Create your own lists of vocabulary words, or import one of the thousands that have already been shared on the site.

Learning Games for Kids – This FREE site allows your kids to play vocabulary games online, practicing and reinforcing word study in a fun way!

Time4Writing – Multi-task! Find resources and writing lesson plans, which can build both vocabulary skills and writing skills.

What are some of your favorite vocabulary building resources? Chime in and share in the comments below!

A New High School Curriculum

In the world of homeschooling, especially  high school homeschooling, finding the right curriculum is probably the hardest thing families face. It needs to fit in with the family’s budget, but more importantly, it needs to “click” with the homeschool student and the homeschool parent.

If your family prefers online curricula over traditional textbooks/workbooks, then you might be excited to know that there’s a new player in the homeschooling high school game.

Time4Learning is now offering high school courses!

Time4Learning high school offers an online, interactive curriculum for ninth through twelfth grade that correlates to state standards.

My oldest son just started his 9th grade year at home, and he’s using T4L. So far, we are all loving it! He’s enjoying the engaging lessons, and I’m enjoying the fact that this isn’t costing me a fortune. Compared to other curricula we found prior to the T4L high school launch, this is not only more affordable, but I’m not locked into a contract where I have to commit to the program for a certain length of time.

I would love to hear from other parents who are just as excited about this new option for high school homeschool curriculum! Please chime in below with your thoughts! :)

Using #Hashtags on Facebook

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Are you a social networker? If so, you are probably aware of the use of hashtags on Twitter. But, did you know that Facebook recently rolled out the ability to use hashtags there as well?

Why does this matter?

Hashtags are an incredible search tool! I’m a homeschooler, and I like to keep up with what other homeschoolers are using in terms of curricula, resource materials, etc. I’m also a bigger fan of Facebook than Twitter. I’m a wordy sort, so I like to be able to say more than 140 characters worth. ;)

When I’m on FB, I no longer have to weed through two dozen “homeschool” pages to see if someone is talking about spelling. I can do a quick look for #homeschoolspelling and voila…a list of posts/pages talking about #homeschoolspelling appears before me. If I need to find new and interesting unit studies, I just find #unitstudies. SO easy!

As a matter of fact, there is even a new FB page, Homeschool Hashtags, you can go to, to see how others are using hashtags. They have a list of common hashtags that are being used, and you can post on their wall with new hashtag suggestions.

While these hashtags do seem to target homeschoolers, don’t worry; anyone can benefit from searching with them. Just start #ing and let the info come to you!

Student Writing Practice

One of my favorite educational sites is Vocabulary and Spelling City. In fact I’ve talked about it on here before. Today I want to tell you about one of my favorite features in this site, the student writing practice section.

This section gives you many options for having your students practice their penmanship and improve their writing skills. They are also learning to spell the words on their spelling list through these activities. There are even sentence writing and paragraph writing videos to help your student’s improve their technique. You can also create printable worksheets for your students.

It doesn’t matter what age group you are teaching, these activities can be tailored to fit any learning level.

App Friday!

Check it out!  This is a Facebook page that features family friendly educational apps every Friday!

A few of the intriguing apps that are available right now are:

  • Touch World by Appyness. This is a geography learning app that allows kids to touch maps of different countries and learn information about that place or test their knowledge with quizzes.
  • Interactive Minds:  Solar System by Vosonos LLC. This app is packed with models and information about the Solar System.
  • Tap Times Tables-Multiplication Fun with Math Numbers and Arithmetic by pkclSoft

Don’t miss out! Go see if they have any apps that may help your homeschool!

Planning for Time

MP900405396This is the time of year when most of us are updating our calendars and planners. If you are anything like me, you start out doing pretty well using a notebook planner, but it very soon becomes too cumbersome to keep up with. I find myself going weeks and even months without ever using a notebook planner. Because of this I end up forgetting appointments and important tasks that need to be done.

Thank the Lord, for online planners and calendars! Since I use a Mac, I use the calendar that it came pre-programmed with. I love that it also links with my google calendar in which my work supervisor posts reminders and tasks for me and my coworkers. I can also post appointments with alarms for myself so that I don’t forget them anymore. I also have the option to sync my phone with it.

As far as homeschool planning, I’m a big believer in the KISS (Keep it simple sweetie) principle. Using Time4Learning greatly simplifies the record keeping for my two youngest. I just print the reports and tuck them away into their portfolios.

Homeschool Learning Styles

Have you ever looked into homeschool learning styles? Most homeschoolers have. Did you know that Time4Learning.com incorporates all three of the most common learning styles? Kids who are auditory learners read through the text or have it read to them. There are plenty of pictures and graphs for visual learners. For the kinesthetic learners there are quizzes dotted throughout each lesson for them to work through. They are also encouraged to compile vocabulary lists and take notes.

I can’t think of any other online learning that is this affordable and also includes each learning style.

Flashcards

There have been numerous times when I have gone online to get flashcards for my kids to help them with their math skills. I love sites that provide printable flashcards for learning math facts. Have you ever thought of using them for spelling though? What about vocabulary building? I really hadn’t either!

As much as I love printable flashcards, what I like even more are ones that are automated on the computer. Learning Games for Kids is a great site where you can find online flashcards. They even have flashcard type games for learning the keys in music.

I’m always telling my friends who have preschoolers to check this site out. They have some really wonderful preschool games.