Lowes Build and Grow

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This past summer Emma decided that she wanted to learn to work with wood. Shortly after we discovered that Lowes runs a program where kids can come and build a simple wood project for FREE! They usually do a couple projects a month and provide all that is needed. As a bonus, the kids get to keep their work apron. Whenever they complete a project they’re given a badge that can be sewn onto the apron.

The projects are recommended for grades 1-5 but younger kids could do them as well with an adult’s help. They do have a maximum amount of kids that they can accommodate so it’s best to register at least a few days in advance. I sign up as soon as they post the project!

You can sign up on their website: Lowes Build and Grow

So far Emma has built a race car, ball and cup game, schoolbus and a bug box. I’m amazed that they offer this for free! You can also purchase additional kits inside their store to do at home. 

Fuzzy Wuzzy

Fuzzy Wuzzy (in this case) is not a bear!image Emma found a banded woolly bear caterpillar a couple weeks ago and we decided to keep him as a ‘pet.’ We’re hoping to see him turn into a moth. The nice thing is he’s very easy to care for. We put him in a gallon-size clear jar with a rubber band holding a piece of cloth around the top. We put a couple sticks and some fresh grass in the jar too. All he needs is fresh grass every day.

Emma came to me all horrified one morning thinking he was dead. It turns out he had just knit his cocoon around himself so now we’re waiting to see if he makes it to the moth stage. Fun!

For a little more fun, check out this GIANT banded woolly bear! ;)
Giant Woolly Bear Caterpillar Discovered

Famous Homeschoolers

Homeschooling has been going really well for us. It’s the perfect fit for our family! I love being able to taylor Emma’s education to fit her learning style and interests. It’s also loads of fun to learn alongside her. There are so many interesting things to read about and explore! Emma can be so creative. She’s a unique individual and I want to help cultivate her gifts and passions.

As a way to help inspire both Emma & I, we worked together to make a poster of several famous homeschoolers. It’s amazing how many of the greatest minds in history were actually homeschooled. In homeschooling they had the freedom to pursue their unique interests and to think for themselves. As Laura Ingalls once said, “Home is the best place for teaching many things, first and most important of which is how to think for one’s self.”

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These are just a few of the many famous people who were homeschooled that we also included on our poster:
Alexander Graham Bell
Mozart
Dwight L. Moody
Louisa May Alcott
Claude Monet
Abraham Lincoln
Whoopi Goldberg
Louis Armstrong
Thomas Edison
Albert Einstein
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Beatrix Potter
Ansel Adams
Robert Frost

Sources:
FamousHomeschoolers.net

The Quick 10

Preschool For Emma

With my daughter Emma turning 4 this Fall I realized I should start thinking about Preschool. It’s always been my goal to homeschool if possible so this will be a nice practice run to see how it will go. I’m not wanting to do anything formal (like with textbooks) but just wanted some regular activities that we could do together. While researching I found an excellent article entitled ”Much Too Early” by David Elkind Ph.D. In the article he warns against teaching children to read or perform mathematical calculations at too young an age. Elkind notes that until age 6 or 7 children aren’t ready intellectually to understand such concepts. In fact, introducing these things too early may stress the child or negatively affect their view of school. Meanwhile there is more important groundwork to be laid in play and creativity. He says, “early education must start with the child, not with the subject matter to be taught.”
So here are a few areas I’ve decided to concentrate on with my daughter:

Dramatic play
Exploring and observing our surroundings
Learning about various professions (Farmer, doctor, mother etc)
Exposure to various types of music and rhythm
Lowercase letters (she knows the uppercase already)
Sounds the letters make
Creative play (blocks, playdough etc)
Memorizing nursery rhymes
Drawing, cutting & tracing
Possibly writing letters
Helping around the house

This website lists various skills to work on with your preschool child. Some of them are rather ambitious but I just use it for ideas and not as a strict guideline. 

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