Dec 14, 2014 - science    No Comments

Free elementary science materials

The Science4Us early elementary science materials are a great online way to structure a science curriculum.  It’s available for $7.95 per month for homeschoolers. It’s a digital curriculum for either the web or iPad.  Your students can get hands on with either their 400 hands-on activities or you can supplement it with your own ideas.

They also allow people to use a fraction of their materials for free. The best way to access their free science interactive activities are through this Symbaloo webmix.

Alternatively, you can go to their own free  elementary science resource center.


And f0r a good time, click on the image below

light energy song

The light energy song teaches science concepts and vocabulary

Nov 2, 2014 - home school websites    No Comments

Travelling Homeschoolers

I’m currently on a trip which included a few days at a travel bloggers conference.  One of the fun parts for me was a few of these people had kids with them, right at the conference. The kids were pretty much taking care of themselves using their iPads. Some were reading, some were doing more interactive stuff. I couldn’t tell if they were games or learning or chatting.  But it did remind me of some other conferences that I’ve been to….Oh, let me think. What could they remind me of?

Oh, I got it, homeschooling conferences!

I wondered about whether it was a coincidence, something about similar circumstance, or maybe, it was more than that… Eventually, I caught up with the parents and sure enough, they were homeschoolers.  I was pleased to find that they all knew about Time4Learning and some of them had used it. One was using it!   One had left it for a more structured program since they were planning to put their kid in regular school for high school (I think she said her son was going to live with her brother next year) and she wanted to make sure that he was caught up in all the subjects.  Generally, he is ahead but she admits that his education has been a little haphazard and to ease the transition back into a regular school, she was planning to do one year of remote learning at some structured teacher led virtual school.

There was also some real interest in Time4Writing. Even though the parents are skilled (actually professional writers!) they seem to have developed a somewhat unhealthy discussion with their children about their writing and to avoid the friction, they had been looking for some writing help.  Enter…Time4Writing.


Nov 2, 2014 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Writing and Blogging

Writing, like reading, is a key skill. Writing in particular forces students to express them precisely which leads to critical thinking and other higher order thinking skills. It also pushes them to express themselves and to have digested the basic materials and explain them.

But, the opposite is also true. There is little that is as demotivating as struggling over writing an essay that nobody except your mom is ever going to read. That can’t be a highly motivating great education.  What’s the solution?

What about blogging? Invite your student to create a blog on an issue or topic that they want to. This could be ongoing or it could be for a fixed amount of time.  As parents, you can also blog on your own and encourage your students to read your blog. I’ve been thinking a lot about blogs recently since I’ve been helping a new writer to create her blog,, it’s about family international travel. Her latest post is about Most Scenic Breakfast Spots.

I’m pushing towards interest-driven homeschooling here in that you let the student pick the topic of the blog.  And based on the situation, you might let them use it as the start of a business or ongoing hobby although, of course, it is the internet and you’ll want to think carefully before you give them too much exposure out there.