Sunday, August 10, 2014

TARDIS on the Shelf

If you are not a Doctor Who fan, you should keep scrolling. But if you are, hang on! SO MUCH AWESOME TO COME!

In case you are somehow unaware, the new season of Doctor Who premieres August 23, 2014 on BBCA. To celebrate, the BBC is hosting a Doctor Who World Tour, which of course comes no where near me. To help you celebrate you can download and print your own foldable TARDIS. Get yours here:
Be sure to take pictures of your TARDIS around town, and add it to social media with the tag #DWWorldTour

I don't have a color printer so I was bummed, until I realized I have a TARDIS from the building block set (Non-Lego Legos, I suppose.) So I have decided to make a fun little activity with my TARDIS!

Every night until the premiere, I will move the TARDIS into a new spot in the house. Each night the Doctor will leave a list of clues that my sons have to use to figure out where he traveled the night before. Naturally my TARDIS comes with a little Matt Smith and Amy Pond, but you could do this with the foldable TARDIS as well.   Yes, it's TARDIS on a shelf. Elf on the should probably just bow out now...because we totally just kicked your butt with awesome.

So use your imagination, grab a TARDIS and start an adventure! Let the kids figure out where the Doctor went, look it up on a map, chart his adventures. Be sure to throw in some interplanetary adventures as well!

Where will that madman in a blue box go now???

Where will your TARDIS go?

Now for even more awesome news. I had an idea for an online History course and I thought, oh hey, I bet I can get 40 people to sign up. Um, well I underestimated the Whovians.

I created "Traveling Through History with Doctor Who" for students (primarily homeschooled, but all are welcome!) 6th grade and up. The class is currently hosted on Eliademy, a really nifty online classroom you should check out. The enrollment on Eliademy is open enrollment and you an follow along at home!

I am also writing a curriculum for purchase that will cover even more in depth information than the online class, and will be available for download to use at your families' convenience. I will certainly post as soon as that is available.

I have also created a Facebook group so you can stay up to date on the Eliademy course as well as my curriculum and other fun ways to use Doctor Who in homeschooling. Please visit and tell your friends!

So hop on Netflix, watch some Doctor Who and count down until the premiere!

What's I've Made Lately...

It's been awhile since I posted anything I've created, but that doesn't mean I haven't! I am no longer running Etsy shops but I am still creating! Almost daily! I do indeed, knit and crochet so I don't kill people.

 David Tennant Amigurumi. Yes, I made myself a Doctor.

 This sweet cat had been in my Ravelry queue for quite a while. I finally did it with this awesome new yarn from Hobby Lobby.

I made this My Little Pony Doctor Whooves for a special guy in the community. This pattern is amazing and wonderfully written.

 I knit up some coffee up cozies to keep in the car. I'm partial to this purple one, inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

 A lot of friends are having itty bitty babies, so I worked up some cute knit hats for them :) I love knitting baby hats. Quick, easy and satisfying! Plus the pictures when they have the babies to put them in are great! :)

Made this one for my best friend's daughter. I don't get to knit for girls, so I make up for it with her!

I've got other hats done, and of course many projects in progress....I can't seem to have less than 10 projects going at once!

What are you creating?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What is a WorkBox?

I had only recently heard of this term "workbox" in homeschooling, but after looking into it, I realized I'd already inherently done that with my children as they grew and I used similar methods as a teacher.

So what is a workbox? Well, from what I've read the supposed creator of workboxes is a woman named Sue Patrick. (I always hesitate when people say they originated or created something, because really? As if no one did it before you?) But if it's on the internet it must be true. Patrick has a website where you can find information about workboxes and how she says to do them.

From what I've surmised, you have the child's daily work to be completed in the boxes. You can apparently learn more from purchasing her book, but I've not yet had the opportunity to do that.

The blog Confessions of a Homeschooler has a video about how she does her workboxes.

Watching her video makes me consider doing these boxes, but I do not do workboxes right now. I did do one version in which I called it a "Brainy Box" that they had to complete in order to earn screen time for the day. Since we do not do non educational screen time during the week when school is in session, we actually do not need it now.

For me, I just think I couldn't physically put the workboxes where I'd like in such a way that would work for us. I like to have the books we use sorted per my liking, and my boys use folders to keep loose papers and know what is ahead for the day. H has a student planner from Well Planned Day, and this will be his first year with it, so it remains to be seen if it helps him organize any. He may turn out to not be as organizationally obsessed as me, and never use it! But we shall see!

Secondly, while I like the idea of workboxes, I do not like the idea of having to prep all that stuff every day. I find it taxing enough to prep weekly or monthly, and I like to leave an element of flexibility to our schooling. I know my kids enough to know if we have things in a workbox that say, do this and you're done...I'll never get them expanding on that. I like to sit down and work with them on most things, especially E as he is not yet reading independently. I can definitely see the appeal of workboxes as your children get older. But right now, the idea of nightly going in and pulling worksheets, etc just seems exhausting to me.

So, I'm glad I have heard of these nifty tools, and I'd love to hear if anyone successfully uses them in your work and what age/grade your students are in. Maybe you will convince me to give it a try!!


Monday, August 4, 2014

The Home School Month Ahead: August 2014

If you find homeschool organization boring and don't want to know what other homeschool moms do, you can skip this post, you won't hurt my feelings. I for one, enjoy seeing what others do so I can get great ideas for our own school day!

August will be a light month for us, we will only be doing 2 days a week of school to ease back into the school year. This frees up days for us to enjoy the rest of the month! The public school children return to school around the 7th, so that's when homeschoolers take back the park, pools, museums, etc. It's ok, we don't mind sharing the world with all the children, but it is nice to have less busy places to take our children too. It makes kid counting a lot easier at the park.....

So what's up for our family in August!? Well, I finally got to sit down with my nifty Well Planned Day planner and get to organizing!

We will only do school on Mondays/Wednesdays and not every subject. We do not go in any particular order of school work, I ask the kids what they want to work on first. Some people like to get started early in the morning, get math done and out of the way. For us, we are still working on that "magic method.". I do have subjects we do together and some we do separate. Remember H is going into 4th grade and E is going into 1st. So we cannot do EVERYTHING together. Math, Grammar and some electives are separate. So here's our basic August Monday/Wednesday 'to do' list. (I don't say schedule because I do not schedule out block of time in any particular order.)

Bible Study: We do YES Lessons just like I did as a kid in my church. You can find them for free if you are interested here:

Along with the YES Lesson we work on Character Studies from Confessions of a Homeschooler. If you haven't bookmarked her blog already, you should open a new tab right now and save it! (Come back here though...) AMAZING resource.

Math: H is still catching up on Teaching Textbooks 3 as we started it late last year. So he's got to finish that up and then move on to Teaching Textbooks 4. Eli does worksheets and Life of Fred. We love Fred, he's great. I highly reccommend it as a math program.

History: We wouldn't normally do History in this part time summer month, but we have a few chapters left to finish up before we are done with Story of the World Volume One. Since we are excited to get started on Volume 2, the Middle Ages to Medieval Times, we need to get done with Volume One! I really cannot speak highly enough about this book series. Reasonably priced, well done, a good history program for elementary students.

ELA: English Language Arts, I don't even like calling it ELA, since that's not we grew up calling English, but I do use it to mean any and all English, Grammar, Spelling, etc. I am VERY literature based and believe children learn best through stories and books, not textbooks and boring technical information. So, we are currently reading Chronicles of Narnia. We are just reading it as we go although I did find several lapbooks and unit studies on it. Surprisingly it was not listed on Teach With Movies, but we will be watching the movie version.
Also in ELA we use a program called Five in a Row. I love, love, LOVE this program. It is similar to how I taught literature based lesson plans when I taught early childhood. We are currently on Volume Two, even though it's suggested you start Volume One in the fall. I decided there were more books I wanted to try in Volume 2 for now.

I love the fact that FIAR is pretty much all you need for a young child other than Math and Phonics! I pick and choose the stories we want to do based on time of year, interests, availability, etc.

Phonics: E is still wrapping up his Saxon Phonics K book from last year. He is doing so good in reading, I could likely just skip the rest of it and he'd be fine, but I do want to cement a good understanding of Phonics since I feel H missed out on that in public school. E goes through his lesson and worksheet in less than 10 minutes.

Electives: We will add more electives in September but for now the only true electives we do is H does a Typing Instructor program on the computer.

He seems to really enjoy this and it reminds me of the typing tutor programs I used as a kid. (On my rocking Commodore 64 mind you....)
In September we pick up more electives like American Sign Language, Handwriting, Music, Creative Writing and Art. I look forward to all of these!

So I hope this helps you see a little bit of just one fraction of what one can do in the area of curriculum!

What are some of your favorite curriculum? Free resources?


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