Thinking Thursday – Watchkin

 

This website is amazing!! I do not know how many times I have gone onto Youtube and there has been inappropriate images displayed where my kids can see it. Or the page is so full of stuff that my kids have a hard time paying attention to the video as it plays. I get so frustrated because I just want my kids to watch an educational video without all the junk. Well look no further, there is a website that allows you to do this!!

Watchkin is a website that allows you to view any Youtube video without all the extra video images and junk that clutters the screen. If you take a look at the picture above it shows you the home screen of the Watchkin website. All you have to do is type in a video that you are looking for (just like on Youtube) and a whole list of videos that match your search will pop up. It’s as simple as that. (more…)

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Thinking Thursday – Learning In the Summer Through Scavenger Hunts

Making Learning Fun

scavenger 2

My kids love to do scavenger hunts in the summer. These fun scavenger hunts allow them to discover the world around them in a fun and educational way. My favorite thing about the scavenger hunt, is that they do not even know that they are doing school.

ABC Scavenger hunt:

This is an excellent way for your kids to learn about nature and their alphabet at the same time. The goal is to find one object in nature that begins with each letter in the alphabet. Then your child can write the word or draw the picture that matches the letter that it goes with. For example: tree, could be written next to the letter Tt. Flower could be written next to the letter Ff. You could even get fancy and learn the names of the flowers, so is you see a rose, it could be written next to the letter Rr. You can get as detailed as you would like for this activity.

Color Scavenger hunt:

This scavenger hunt allows even the youngest child to join in on the scavenger hunt. The words on the scavenger hunt are in color so that your child doesn’t even have to be able to read color words yet. For example: the red box, has the word red, written in the color red. Now as you walk around outside, your child can start to draw pictures or write words of objects that match the color in the box. If they were to find a purple flower, then they could draw the flower in the purple box. If you would like to take the scavenger hunt further, you could label their pictures for them, or have them label their own pictures. You could even, have them help you sound out the words needed to label their pictures, and have them help you write the words. For example, if you were going to write the word flower, you could ask them what letter flower starts with. For you older kids, maybe you want to show them that the /r/ sound at the end of flower is made with the letters ‘er’. Make it as hard or as simple as you would like.

Publication2 (5 Sensory Scavenger Hunt):

This is one of my favorite scavenger hunts, because it teaches them to understand the world around them, using their 5 senses. So when I hand this worksheet to my younger kids, we talk about the 5 senses together. Touch, is the first sense on the the sheet. Together we would walk around and touch everything. Then they would decide which object, that they touched, that they liked best. Finally, they would draw a picture of that object in the touch box. Then we would work on another one of our senses in the exact same way. We would continue to do this for all of our senses. Be careful when you get to the taste box. You do not want them to taste anything that may harm them. For your older kids, they can do the worksheet on their own. Just talk to them about tasting things first.

scavenger 3 This was done by my 7 year old daughter.

Same Area Scavenger Hunt:

Kids have the ability to see things in nature that we do not. Their eyes tend to hone in on the little things around them. For this scavenger hunt you are going to need an area outside that you can visit at least 3 days in the next week. All they will need is blank paper, or we use a regular notebook. They are to go outside and look at one area. We like to do this with our swimming hole. You could use a small area with flowers, your garden, or even just a small patch of grass. We like to use magnifying glasses to see the small things in our area. I give my kids about 30 min. or more to just explore the first day. Then they are to pick their favorite object and draw a picture of it. If you have older kids, tell them to add details to their picture and label it. They could even write a few questions about their object that they would like to learn about. Then a few days later, go back outside with their notebook or piece of paper and a pencil. Have them look at the same area and try to find something new, that they did not find on the first day. This allows their brain to work on visual spatial recognition, which is important when they read and write. Once, they find something that is different have them draw it in their notebook or on their piece of paper. In another few days, repeat the process again.

scavenger This was done by my 4 year old son.

*If you want to extend any of these scavenger hunts even further, you could go to the library, once you are done with the scavenger hunt, and check out books about some of the things that they drew. This will allow them to attach vocabulary words to what they saw during their scavenger hunt.

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Thinking Thursday – Basketball Math Facts Game

 

I do not know about you, but, the thought of doing math flash cards all summer seemed pretty boring. So my kids and I came up with the idea of creating a basketball game where they could still practice their math facts while having fun.

 

Basketball Math Facts


First, we collected our math fact cards (multiplication for my daughter and addition cards for my son) and then we found our chalk. We went outside. I brought my iced coffee and a comfy chair for me to sit in.

Then I let my daughter draw three circles on the basketball court. One circle was really close to the hoop and then the other two circles were farther away. Then she put a number 1 in the closest circle to the hoop, a 2 in the next circle and a 3 in the circle that was the farthest from the basketball hoop. She then made a box with each kids’ name in it. This would be used to keep track of all their points that they scored.

To start the game I held up a card for each kid. If they answered it correctly they got one chance to shoot the basketball from a circle of their choice. So if my son had a card that said 3 + 5 = and he answered 8, then he would get the basketball. He would choose a circle to shoot the ball from. Say he choose the number 3 circle, he would take the ball over to the number 3 circle, stand inside of it and shoot the ball. If he made the basket, then he was able to put three tally marks in his box. If he missed, he came back to me to try to answer another math fact. This continued till they answered all of their math facts. We decided to use tally marks because my youngest son hadn’t learned how to use them yet.

Some Tips


After the first game my youngest son was really upset because his sister had beaten him by a lot, so, I decided to write down each of their scores on a sheet of paper. Then the next time that we played they tried to beat their own score from the time before. This seemed to help with the competition ordeal that tended happen whenever we played a game.

Sometimes they would shoot the ball without me looking and say that they made it. I wasn’t so sure that they did. So I told them to wait for me so that I could watch each of them make a basket. They didn’t have any problem with waiting.

 

I hope that this game helps you to have some fun learning your math facts this summer!!

Post pictures or comments below of how your family does with the basketball math fact game. Post NOW!!

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Thinking Thursday – Ology Website

Learning Anthropology to Zoology

American Museum of History Website

I have found the coolest website ever!! You will want to check this out!!

From Anthropology to Zoology


This website is amazing. It is easy and fun to use. Ology means the study of. This website has a lot of science topics covered. It uses games, stories, videos and hands-on projects to learn about a subject. There are so many topics that we cover in Classical Conversations that this tool can be used for review or as a way to learn new information.

 

Example: Astronomy


This section has a lot of stories about Mars that include questions at the end. It also had great hands-on crafts. One of my favorites was creating a big dipper. The step-by-step instructions were easy to follow and the materials were everyday things. It also has video and games.

 

Check this website out. You will be happy that you did.

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Thinking Thursday – New Ways to Use Wikki Stix

 

I am absolutely in love with these new ideas on how to use Wikki Stix. If you have never used Wikki Stix before they are long pieces of hand knitted yarn, that is coated with a non-toxic wax that allows them to stick together. And the company has now created tons of lesson plans that use Wikki Stix that are fun, hands-on, easy to use and engaging.

 

I noticed that there are a few lessons that connect with ideas that we have covered in Classical Conversations. Here are just a couple of them:

 

Parts of a Plant Cell

The pictures on the website make it very easy to understand the lesson plan and how to implement it into your homeschool curriculum. I love this picture. When I showed my 9 year old daughter the pictures of the different lesson plans, she was so excited that she started picking out ones that she wanted to do.

 

Constellation Designs

This lesson plan would be something fun to do while camping, or sitting around a campfire.

 

There are so many more lesson plans that will keep you learning for quite awhile.

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