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Jeannette Tuionetoa

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5 Summer Science Activities Your Kids Will Love

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Summer is the very best time of year to try out some new science activities. Going outside is a must, so experimenting with some fun science activities is one of the best ways to get some learning in during the summertime. Explore these 5 summer science activities your kids will love – and you will love that they are actually learning.

Some families homeschool year-round with a few breaks throughout the year. Others take a summer break or sporadic breaks for vacations or around specific events. Homeschooling allows us the freedom to be sporadic, to adjust, and to do what works well for our families.

Whatever school year you choose to have, summertime seems to be a period when your students can do more outside. It is just the perfect time to do some goofy, funky, let’s-get-dirty homeschool science activities outdoors.

What is great about science activities, especially during the summer, is that they can incorporate other subjects like writing, and nature studies which make for fun learning that defeats the summer slide.

For those who don’t know, the summer slide is the phrase used to describe a slide backward many kids make in educational skills during the summer. Encouraging your child to dedicate time to summertime learning, with a splash of fun and laughter in it, brings educational benefits and lasting memories. Especially when returning to a regular schedule after the break.

Help your kids experience a summer full of fun activities they will enjoy! These 5 summer science activities your kids will love are a great way to start:

  1. Ocean currents science experiments

Spark curiosity in kids to find out more about ocean currents, like the East Australian Current, and how they are formed. This ocean currents science experiment is a fun way to see currents form right before your child’s eyes.

  1. Raise a native butterfly in your backyard

Head outside and learn how to raise a few native butterflies from the caterpillars in your very own backyard.

  1. Make your own Mentos geyser

Is a childhood, really a childhood without making a Mentos/soda explosion? I think not. The best thing about this experiment is that scientists aren’t exactly sure what causes the explosion. This leaves room for hypothesis and research for your kids.

  1. Cold chemical reactions exploration

Kids can explore chilly science experiments on a warm summer day. This makes a fun way to cool down and learn about science while playing. Kids will love this.

  1. Water science: water pump sprinkler

Learn about centrifugal force while building this simple pump. It will help kids understand machines such as washing machines and vacuums.

Homeschool Planet holds Lesson Plans, and some curriculum for, the following science programs which incorporate fun science activities your kids will love:

Nancy Larson Science This is a complete hands-on elementary science curriculum with challenging content that engages elementary-age students and is easy to teach. This curriculum works with lessons in a logical sequence, building vocabulary, making language arts connections, and review/assessments.

Apologia Elementary Science Apologia’s Elementary Science is a creation-based science curriculum taught with a Christian worldview. Apologia develops curriculum to help families cultivate a biblically sound approach to all thought and experience.

Apologia Science 7th-12th Grade – Apologia’s Science 7th – 12th grade is a creation-based science curriculum taught with a Christian worldview. Apologia develops curriculum to help families cultivate a biblically sound approach to all thought and experience.

Berean Builders – Berean Builders is a hands-on, multilevel elementary science series that introduces scientific concepts using history as its guide. Because each lesson is built around an activity or experiment, it is engaging for all K-6 students. In each Berean Builder course, students are reminded of the Creator who fashioned the marvels they are studying.

The Good and the Beautiful Science – The Good and The Beautiful resource aims to teach advanced academics while kids learn wholesome, robust literature with easy to follow, low prep, and low price high-quality curriculum. The Good and The Beautiful Science units are faith-based but focus on only fundamental Bible principles, allowing all Christians to use the units and add in their specific beliefs along the way.

Supercharged e-Science – The Supercharged e-Science Curriculum is self-guiding, so your kids can do it on their own. It is also very hands-on, so they are engaged in exciting lessons doing real science as real scientists do in the lab. Your kids will learn more science AND enjoy it more in 2 months than they would from a typical year of “traditional” science education.

Birds in Our Backyard – Introduce your children to the wonderful world of birds in their back yards and give them a greater understanding of our environment in the process. They will have fun, connect with the natural world, and make many fascinating discoveries.

BJU Press Science – With the BJU Press Science curriculum, your children will learn to explore God’s creation, investigations of our universe, the structure and inhabitants of the earth, along with the mechanisms of cells and atomic reactions.

LIFEPAC Science – With LIFEPAC Science, your students will develop observational skills as they study the created physical universe. There are four intriguing significant strands of this particular curriculum which include Life Science (plants and animals, human anatomy and personal care, biology), Space and Earth Science (geology, weather, space), Physical Science (chemistry, physics), and the nature of science (scientific method, experimentation, technology).

The Magic School Bus – The Magic School Bus is an educational resource full of science facts alongside fun, engaging, and entertaining lessons. It is a great hands-on learning and educational science kit for boys and girls that encourage STEM learning for ages 5+.

Rod and Staff Science – Rod and Staff Science curriculum provides a robust and solid foundation to science topics and concepts. The material is presented in story form, describing science concepts and facts in the context of a rural community with a Christian point of view. Experiments are simple and consist of materials you can easily find around your home.

Thinkwell Science – Thinkwell core curriculum subject areas taught via video-based learning materials. They give educators and students all the tools, technology, and content they need to succeed.

Study.com Science – Study.com has engaging self-paced online science courses in biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science, and more. The program helps students study for exams, earn college credit, or boost your grades.

Have you figured out what science curriculum you will use next school year? Are you trying out any cool science experiments this summer? Drop some science activity links in the comments section to share with other homeschooling families.

 

 

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How Unit Studies Can Enhance Your Homeschool

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The core subjects in homeschooling are a given. Math. Science. Reading. History. We know we have to teach them. Unit studies can definitely break up the monotony in your homeschool. Aside from changing up the normality of your instruction, unit studies can also enrich your child’s education. Learn how unit studies can enhance your homeschool and make things a little more interesting for the kids.

A unit study is also called a thematic study. This type of instruction derives from choosing a topic or a theme, then designing a learning experience around that topic or theme.

Unit studies allow you and your students to think outside the box to find ways to tie different subjects together. What is interesting about unit studies is that they are built in the same manner that our brains are built to work. Like unit studies make connections with other subjects to build on a child’s knowledge base like a web., so our brains work to build connections between the information that we learn also like a web.

Much of how students learn is by way of building links between something they already know, to something new. We often don’t even realize how the brain is making the connections, but it is. When a child first learns how to write letters, it is because they first knew how to build a line, how to hold a pencil in their hand, and have seen it done before.

In using unit studies, many subjects are pulled together to create connections that make it easier for children to internalize and remember. Unit studies help students learn in a way that can help them in real life situations and problem-solving skills.

Research has shown that unit studies allow students to retain 45% more information than by using a traditional learning approach alone. A conventional approach to teaching is definitely necessary. Core subjects are needed, but a unit study weaved into your homeschool can truly bring many benefits.

Unit studies can enhance your homeschool by teaching your children how to work together.

Whether you have two kids or many, unit studies, allow for them to work together effectively. Unit studies work well for multiple-child, multiple-age learning in the homeschool setting. A unit study can get your older kids working with the younger kids, and younger kids will learn from what the older ones are sharing.

Young children can draw pictures, while older kids can write a story. There are many films that families can watch together to build a unit study around. Kids will practice taking turns, listening to each other, and even work projects together and present them to you together.

Unit studies can enhance your homeschool by teaching for more in-depth knowledge.

Although you may use textbooks and workbooks now and again, they tend to focus on specified information. I use them for some subjects myself throughout the year. Learning facts about a subject on the surface is way different than learning them deep enough to bring about knowledge that lasts. Learning Algebraic Equations can get pretty dry and challenging. Learning about where it came from, why we learn it, and child geniuses who “get” it, can build a connection to motivate a student to learn the subject more freely.

Unit studies can enhance your homeschool by teaching what your child is interested in.

When a child shows interest in a topic, and you can build on that topic through all types of subjects, your child is more likely to be intrigued by the lessons. If your children are taking music lessons and love it, then that is a sure fire way to utilize a unit study.

Your child can write an essay about the history of the instrument. They can explore the areas in the globe that is known for that instrument. You can study the music, search for math problems that use instruments as an example, read and do book reports of a famous artist who use the instrument, and explore how they are made for a science project.

Learning through unit studies can transition our kids to a mindset that thinks broadly about a subject instead of narrowly. Seeking connections to find solutions is a skill that many young students aren’t being challenged to explore.

Homeschool Planet has well over 100 lesson plans for all types of curriculum. They also now are carrying more and more types of exciting curriculum for home education along with the customized lesson plans.

Homeschool Planet holds unit studies with customized Lesson Plans for you to use in your homeschool. Here are a few you will love:

Clever Dragons

Clever Dragons is a learn-and-play platform for young boys. A team of educational experts, including teachers, academics, and homeschooling parents, developed the “learn with fun” concept of Clever Dragons.

Kids will learn with watching fun videos that teach everything from Math to Science to Spanish!

Homeschool Planet online lesson plans are customized for the following:

Clever Dragons Grades K-1  For Grades K – 1

Clever Dragons Grades 2-3  For Grades 2 – 3

Clever Dragons Grades 4-5  For Grades 4 – 5

Always Ice Cream

Learning can be super fun with Always Ice Cream. Always Ice Cream is a learn-and-play platform for young girls. A team of educational experts, including teachers, academics, and homeschooling parents, developed the “learn with fun” concept of Always Ice Cream.

Kids will learn with watching fun videos that teach everything from Math to Science to Spanish! Watch fun videos that teach everything from Math to Science to Spanish!

Your student can do fun things like running their own shop, design clothes, furniture, and artwork.

Homeschool Planet online lesson plans are customized for the following:

Always Ice Cream Grades K-1  For Grades K – 1

Always Ice Cream Grades 2-3  For Grades 2 – 3

Always Ice Cream Grades 4-5  For Grades 4 – 5

Homeschool Adventure- Bible Unit Study, Walking with the Waodani Lesson Plans AND Curriculum!

Walking with the Waodani is a Homeschool Adventure Bible unit study that will introduce your family to some of the most amazing people and places, meals and markets, animals and agriculture, and worlds and worldviews of the country of Ecuador — as experienced through the eyes of a homeschool graduate.

Homeschool Planet online lesson plans are customized for the Walking with the Waodani – Adventures in Ecuador  For Grades 6 – 12.

When kids take interest in something and you build lessons around that interest, their motivation will skyrocket. Knowing the ins and outs of a topic can broaden a child’s knowledge base for deep and lasting understanding. Getting your children to work together in learning builds strong relationships and also broadens the knowledge base through information sharing. Each of these can enhance any homeschool exponentially.

Will you be using unit studies this year in your homeschool? Are there any unit study topics you want to share or have questions about?

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4 Components of the Charlotte Mason Method

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Charlotte Mason described her approach to education as, “… an Atmosphere, a Discipline, and a Life.”  This quote, in and of itself, is the basis by which all Charlotte Mason stylistic teaching has derived. Whether you are a new homeschooling family or you are looking for new approaches to homeschooling, it is worth exploring these 4 components of the Charlotte Mason method.

Charlotte Mason’s style of education promotes a focus on the training of attention and habits. This typically included letting children read loads of great literature, being in the natural world, and encouraging critical thinking in students.

This method of educating children is rich in the natural course of learning and thinking. It is intriguing in so many ways, some of which include short lessons to keep a child’s attention on the topic, and nature studies as to spend much time outdoors discovering the world around them.

Children who learn the Charlotte Mason way holistically absorb information, making a well-rounded student. There are many aspects to this approach which help the whole child in becoming an independent thinker and productive adult. These are just a few components that help make this method effective.

4 Components of the Charlotte Mason Method

Living Books

Charlotte’s method incorporates living books into your child’s education by an author who has a passion for his topic, making the story “come alive.” No textbooks are allowed in the Charlotte Mason approach but instead, the style focuses on first-hand experience, autobiographies, biographies, classical writings, scriptures, and poetry for children to glean from.

Copywork

Charlotte Mason carefully selected copywork that created good thoughts to meditate on and fostering ideas. Most sources of copywork should be found in the living books that the child was currently reading, scripture, poetry, and quotes.

Narration

In this sense, narration includes the way by which you realize a child has learned. When a child can retell what they heard or read, the information has successfully been stored in their memory and becomes their own. Narrating what they have learned from each subject is found to be telling of comprehension and knowledge acquired.

Art and Music Appreciation

Charlotte Mason encouraged students to study one composer per term to learn about their history, life, and artwork. She believed that studying art, music, and the ones who created them, would foster a balanced education and a well-rounded child.

A Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling lends itself well to use Homeschool Planet’s homeschool planner as a homeschool organizer and homeschool record keeping tool. For instance, using living books as the primary source of text in reading can get challenging. Keeping records on this volume of text can be taxing for busy families.

With a reading list and scheduling widget, Homeschool Planet easily organizes your child’s reading schedule. It can capture how many pages each child needs to read a day to be done by a specific date. Instead of you having to track every book, every page, and chapter, Homeschool Planet can be customized so that your child knows exactly where they need to be and when.

All you have to do is plug in the number of pages on the reading log, and by what date your child needs to complete the book and… Viola!

To ensure short lessons, as recommended by Charlotte Mason, you can set timed lessons on the Homeschool Planet homeschool planner online to ensure kids never go too long or get distracted.

Homeschool Planet’s homeschool planner online keeps some organization to your child’s education while allowing the freedom for you to choose precisely what your child needs to learn and activities for them to do.

The homeschool organizer is perfect for busy families and encourages your child in accountability, time management, and independent learning – perfect for a Charlotte Mason style homeschool education.

If you are a Charlotte Mason homeschool family, then check out the Homeschool Planet lesson plans for The Good and The Beautiful curriculum.

The creators of the curriculum intensely studied many different philosophies for years and compiled what they felt were the best elements from several different theories, pulling mainly from Charlotte Mason.

The Good and The Beautiful resource aims to teach advanced academics while kids learn wholesome, robust literature with easy to follow, low prep, and offers crazy low prices for the highest quality curriculum.

You can explore the Homeschool Planet customized lesson plans for The Good and the Beautiful curriculum here:

The Good and The Beautiful History

The Good and The Beautiful Science

The Good and The Beautiful Penmanship

The Good and The Beautiful Language Arts

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!

High School Electives Your Kids Will Love

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It is beneficial to understand why high school electives are essential before exploring them for your homeschool students. We spend so much discerning how to teach and what to teach for core subjects like math, science, reading, etc. Then the secondary years come along; you and your student explore what electives they might like to take. Homeschool Planet has some suggestions for high school electives your kids will love, and we have online homeschool lesson plans to go along with each one.

For all of their primary years, children have had their homeschool lessons planned out for them. They were given what subjects to take or learn. Some parents gear the lessons towards a child’s likes and interest, which increases learning and is motivating.

However, there is a unique embrace to high school electives that make learning particularly appealing to teenagers. Having a stake in the learning that occurs for them in this time encourages independent learning, develops their decision-making skills, and produces accountability.

When high school is fast approaching, and you have investigated the college requirements to plan out high school goals, then high school electives help to round out your student’s schedule.

High school electives serve various purposes, some of which are listed below:

High school electives help students work towards their college goals.

High school electives help students work towards their desired career path.

High school electives help students bring color to college applications.

High school electives allow students to take classes they are intrigued by or for skills they are interested in.

It can be challenging when you realize your student will need to select electives soon. Choosing high school electives mean your child has reached a milestone. It means your child is growing up to be an adult. It means your child is coming to their own. It means that parents have done a fantastic job and educating their child to this point and beyond. Embrace it and enjoy the journey right alongside your high school student.

Sometimes it may be hard to narrow down and select electives if they aren’t necessarily a requirement or a part of a student’s natural course of study. Should you need some suggestions, Homeschool Planet has developed customized lesson plans for some of the best high school electives available.

Explore these high school electives with customized online lesson plans from Homeschool Planet:

Classical Academic Press Logic Series – With a classical education approach, Classical Academic Press has created curricula, media, and training with systematic instruction that encompasses delight, creativity, and flair.

Homeschool Planet’s customized lesson plans for The Art of Argument (Grades 7 – 12) take you through the course as it teaches students how to reason with clarity, relevance, and purpose. The lesson plans for its follow-up companion The Argument Builder (Grades 8 – 12) guides students along the course while they build compelling and persuasive arguments of their own.

You won’t want to miss the lesson plans for The Discovery of Deduction  (Grades 8 – 12) which teaches practical and real-world application of soundly structured deductive logic.

Fallacy Detectives Logic Series – This series of thirty-eight books shows your students how to learn to spot common errors in reasoning. It truly gets children thinking of how conclusions should be made.

The Fallacy Detective (Grades 7 – 12) and The Thinking Toolbox  (Grades 7 – 12) are fun to use and help develop a skill they can use right away. Homeschool Planet lesson plans for each of these texts will keep students on track and growing in logical knowledge.

LIFEPAC Electives – LIFEPAC helps to broaden your child’s knowledge base and boost your child’s confidence. This is a time for your students to explore courses they are intrigued by, fulfill general education requirements, improve GPA, or ones that will develop their desired career skills and abilities.

Homeschool Planet has developed online lesson plans for LIFEPAC Family and Consumer Science (Grades 7 – 12) and LIFEPAC Business Computer Information Systems (Grades 9 – 12).

PLATO: Career Technical Electives  — PLATO offers various ways to differentiate learning, interact with the content, and increase achievement. The courses are full of review games, historical timelines, interactive periodic tables, simulations, and virtual labs.

Homeschool Planet has developed customized lesson plans for the following Plato courses:

Applied Medical Terminology (Grades 9 – 12)

Art History & Appreciation (Grades 9 – 12)

Child Development and Parenting A & B Bundle (Grades 9 – 12)

Computer Programming A & B Bundle  ( Grades 9 – 12)

Drafting and Design (Grades 9 – 12)

Game Development (Grades 9 – 12)

Graphic Design and Illustration (Grades 9 – 12)

Health (Grades 9 – 12)

Intro to Fashion Design (Grades 9 – 12)

Intro to Finance (Grades 9 – 12)

Intro to Social Media (Grades 9 – 12)

Marketing, Advertising, and Sales (Grades 9 – 12)

Music Appreciation (Grades 9 – 12)

Personal Finance (Grades 9 – 12)

Physical Education (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Architecture and Construction (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Arts, A/V Technology, and Communications (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Business, Marketing and Finance (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Engineering and Technology (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Hospitality and Tourism (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Health Science (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Information Technology (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Manufacturing (Grades 9 – 12)

Professional Photography (Grades 9 – 12)

Principles of Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics (Grades 9 – 12)

Psychology (Grades 9 – 12)

Sociology (Grades 9 – 12)

Structure of Writing (Grades 9 – 12)

Web Technologies (Grades 9 – 12)

Study.com Electives   — Study.com has over 200 courses that either satisfy requirements or take classes for college. Homeschool Planet has developed a customized lesson plan for Psychology 101. This is an Intro to Psychology (for 12th Grade).

Thinkwell Electives  — Thinkwell Electives are video-based learning materials for electives that enhance the spirit of learning by helping students with thinking well. Homeschool Planet has lesson plans for the following Thinkwell electives:

Public Speaking (Grades 9 – 12)

Thinkwell Economics (Grades 9 – 12)

Thinkwell Microeconomics (Grades 11 – 12)

Thinkwell Macroeconomics (Grades 11 – 12)

Thinkwell American Government (Grades 9 – 12)

Thinkwell AP American Government (Grades 9 – 12)

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!

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Why Art is Important in Your Homeschool

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There may not be one artistic bone in our bodies. We should, however, be mindful that our children are paying attention to how we view things as important — or not. Whether you love the arts or couldn’t draw a stick man without a chuckle from the kids, you should understand why art is important in your homeschool.

I have friends who think of awesome art projects for their children; they even do the projects themselves. The rest of us are just not talented in that area. Usually, when we don’t know much in a particular subject area, we try to steer clear from it in our homeschool.

Obviously, that isn’t healthy and really limits our children to what they learn. We could be holding them back from a talent that never had the time to be birthed in them.

Art in our homeschool can mean a whole lot more than we would think. We should be exposing our children to the arts and encouraging them to create art themselves. The benefits are numerous, but before we go into that, we need to be prepared.

Prepare to get messy, prepare to do impromptu art lessons if your children seem intrigued in one, and prepare to have fun. Although art can get messy (and I am not fond of any messes) it can bring you and your children fun, laughter, and lasting memories.

Why is art important in your homeschool?

Art is important in homeschool for building creative problem-solving skills.

If you have ever been in the corporate world you would know that some people, although educated,  cannot think outside the box or come up with creative ideas. This really stems from the lack of problem-solving opportunities in their past.

The decisions your children make in their minds while they are creating art provides practice in decision making and expressing themselves articulately. Both of these skills are crucial in functioning effectively in the workplace.

Art is important in homeschool to build confidence.

When a child decides to show their artwork to others, it takes bravery. They surpass feelings of possible rejection and go for it.

This is also an opportunity for parents to build up their child’s confidence in truthful reactions and appreciation of the artwork. Think of the effect on a child that has never been told their work was of value or has never been cheered on about something they accomplished.

Art is important in homeschool for developing fine motor skills.

Writing and reading are crucial to your learner’s education. However, art can help them with holding a pencil, paintbrush, working with play-dough, manipulating objects, and more. Many of these academic skills can be significantly improved with a catalyst to get them thinking and creating.

Art is important in homeschool to learn how to complete projects well.

Think about the process of completing art projects and what is done from start to finish.

A child needs to gather the tools they need, keep the items organized, edit their work, complete a project well, put away the tools they used, etc. Each and every one of these tasks is beneficial for kids throughout high school and adulthood.

Art is important because it allows kids to appreciate the beauty of our environment.

Being able to evaluate, provide insight, and input to a piece of artwork can enable children to see the beauty also in things all around us. How could someone look at a painting of a beautiful mountain, then not look at mountains differently the next time they see one?

When we encourage our children to get involved in artistic activities, we are also supporting them in becoming well-rounded individuals.

At Homeschool Planet, we have homeschool lesson plans that perfectly fit some of the very best homeschool art programs for your students. Sometimes art is slightly challenging to track and document unless you have a good homeschool record keeping system.

With these homeschool lesson plans for some of the very best art curriculum resources available, you won’t need to worry about homeschool record keeping. Homeschool Planet’s homeschool planner online automatically captures all your lesson plans in the homeschool organizer specific to each child.

Homeschool Planet has customized homeschool lesson plans for:

Lifepac Art

Lifepac Art is a full-color, Alpha Omega curriculum that teaches broad topics like design concepts, color principles, figure drawing, sculpture, printmaking, and so much more. It is an entertaining one-year art course will give your student a comprehensive introduction to art, design, and composition.

The lessons are flexible and can be easily customized to fit your child’s learning pace perfectly. Homeschool Planet’s Lifepac Art Set Lesson Plan is for the Lifepac Jr. High and High School Art set Grades 7 – 12.

How Great Thou ART

This How Great Thou Art Homeschool Art Curriculum, Christian & Classical Education teaches students the fundamentals of drawing, painting, color theory, and all things — for the love of art. This curriculum guides your child through these topics with a Christian perspective.

Homeschool Planet’s How Great Thou ART curriculum Lesson Plans are for grades 3 to 12 and can last 2-3 full school years.

Mark Kistler Draw3D Pencil Power Portfolio

The Mark Kistler Draw3D Pencil Power Portfolio allows students to draw along with Mark (the instructor) on portfolio pages. Mark is an Emmy-Award winning artist best known for his popular how-to-draw series on PBS. Mark was so jazzed by Homeschool Planet that he created this Pencil Power Portfolio lesson plan exclusively for Planeteers!

Homeschool Planet has lesson plans for the two sets of the Mark Kistler Draw3D Pencil Power Portfolio curriculum.

Art With a Purpose

That Art With A Purpose has simple step-by-step art lessons for children in grades 1-8. Each Art With a Purpose Artpac has ready-to-use pupil art sheets to be bound in tablet form.

Art With a Purpose covers various topics in the Artpac like coloring skills, shading, perspective drawing opportunities, drawing faces, painting, grid work, calligraphy, and so much more.

Each Art With a Purpose Homeschool Planet lesson plan goes along with a 34 weekly art assignment.

I was reluctant to do art with my children when I first started homeschooling. Now, I am so glad we do art regularly. We have made some of the most fun and silly memories because of it.

What do you use for art curriculum in your homeschool?

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!

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Essential Elements of a Homeschool Portfolio

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Surely you can last a few years without putting your student’s work together. When we first start homeschooling, we either keep everything or keep nothing at all. What exactly do you need to document what your children have done all year? If you don’t know where to start, these essential elements of a homeschool portfolio can provide you with a basis of what each student needs.

For all the new homeschoolers out there, you may have heard the words “homeschool portfolio” thrown around here and there. Just the idea of it may seem intimidating.

What exactly is a homeschool portfolio? What should be included in a homeschool portfolio? How do I organize my homeschool portfolio? You are not alone if you have had these questions.

What is a homeschool portfolio?

In homeschooling, a homeschool portfolio provides a means for families to document their children’s progress in their educational journey.

Some states have specific requirements for what they require homeschoolers to document to prove are actually homeschooling. For some states, a portfolio and yearly evaluation are required to stay eligible for an education program at your home. Families are required to be evaluated by an objective third party educational professional is required.

Whether your state requires a portfolio or nothing at all, it is good to note that most colleges require homeschoolers to submit a homeschool portfolio.

Keeping yearly portfolios make it easier to write transcripts when your child is ready to graduate.

How do I organize my homeschool portfolio?

There are a few ways you can organize your homeschool portfolio. Some portfolio styles homeschooling families use are:

  • 3 ring binders
  • Accordion folders
  • File folders
  • Scanned documents on your computer or saved to a cloud drive

What should be included in a homeschool portfolio?

Here are some essential elements of a homeschool portfolio:

  • Lesson Plans
  • A log of educational activities
  • Reading Log
  • Samplings of student’s work (written work, Bible scriptures memorized, tests and scores for each subject, photos of experiments, etc.)
  • Grades
  • Artwork/art projects
  • Extracurricular activities (document sports, music, weaving, etc.)
  • Community service hours
  • Term attendance records

Using Homeschool Planet makes homeschool record keeping extremely simple. The number one essential element of a homeschool portfolio is explicitly laid out for you in Homeschool Planet’s homeschool planner online.

Homeschool Planet Lesson Plans can be customized to your schedule.

Homeschool Planet features fit perfectly for the essential elements of your homeschool portfolios.

You don’t have to stress about capturing your student essential elements for a portfolio when they are all embedded within an online planner.

Here are some features in Homeschool Planet that will make homeschool record keeping super easy:

  • customizable grading categories
  • customizable Report Cards and Transcripts
  • reports to help you manage grades, attendance, activities
  • professionally designed lesson plans
  • automatic attendance records

Is there anything else you would put in a homeschool portfolio? What else would you consider an essential element of a homeschool portfolio? Leave some tips in the comments section for our Homeschool Planet community.

 

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!

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Top 3 History Curriculum Choices

By | Homeschool Planning | No Comments

History is a tricky subject when it comes to choosing curriculum. Using traditional textbooks can make the subject less than desirable for homeschool students. Since it can be so difficult to decide on, I wanted to share our top 3 history curriculum choices for the year.

I remember a conversation I had with my son early last year. I had him, yes, using a textbook. He was frustrated one day, and said, “LOOK, mom! Look at all these pages I have to read with no pictures!” Bless his heart; he was struggling.

I was so focused on our activities and struggles with math that the other subjects fell by the wayside. Not that we didn’t do them, I just figured he was OK with every other subject because the struggles with math overshadowed them.

I almost made him disenchanted with history — a subject that I know he can be interested in if only there were a resource that caught his attention. Even now that he is enjoying his curriculum, I still do extra activities with him at least once every few weeks to keep him engaged and interested.

Here are a few things I do to add our history curriculum that may also help your child get excited by history:

  • We have cooking lessons if we are studying particular regions.
  • We incorporate history in unit studies.
  • We listen to music from the period or location we are studying.
  • We research sports that are popular in the area we are studying. (My son loves sports)

Know that if you are searching for a history curriculum, yet again, or for the first time, it is OK to take your time and do what you can until you find the right one. Use some of the approaches above alongside other lessons until you find a history curriculum that works for your family.

Here are some of the 3 top history curriculum choices on the radar for the year to give you a place to start in your journey to find the best one for your kids:

The Story of the World

The Story of the World is an award-winning 4-Volum set history curriculum that covers human history from ancient times until the present. Your student will find out what happens in countries like Africa, China, Europe, the Americas times long ago. This is a read-aloud series designed for parents to share with elementary school-age children. The books have an accompanying activity book for each volume and use classical methods of teaching. The Story of the World is affordable, easily accessible, and can be used by the entire family to learn history at the same time.

The Mystery of History

The Mystery of History is a “Chronological, Christian, Complete” World History curriculum for all ages. Your whole family can all study the same subject together, which is a huge benefit for large family homeschools. This curriculum has been known to be a favorite among homeschoolers because it is easy to use, accurate, thorough, biblically based, and encompasses numerous learning styles and various methods of education. Whether you have children who different learning styles, The Mystery of History is easily adaptable to most. This curriculum has four volumes that include an audio option.

Veritas Press Self-Paced History

Veritas Press self-paced history has been excellent for busy homeschool families. The Veritas Press SP History course teaches a chronological sequence or timeline of history with an interactive approach. The curriculum has 160 lessons, covering 32 historical events. It also includes music to help memorization and has multi-sensory experiences that include games and exciting videos with talking historical characters.

Lesson Plan Marketplace

Each of these top 3 history curriculum picks has Lesson Plans ready to go for your homeschool in the Homeschool Planet Lesson Plan Marketplace.

The Lesson Plan Market place has a lesson plan ready for both The Story of the World (Volume 1: Ancient Times, Revised Ed.  For Grades 1 – 8, Volume 2: The Middle Ages, Revised Ed.  For Grades 1 – 8, Volume 3: Early Modern Times  For Grades 1 – 8, The Modern Age  For Grades 1 – 8) and The Mystery of History (Volume I  For Grades 3 – 12, Volume II  For Grades 3 – 12, Volume III  For Grades 5 – 12, Volume IV  For Grades 6 – 12). For Veritas Press’ Self-Paced History, the Lesson Plan Market Place has a complete lesson plan for  Old Testament and Ancient Egypt  For Grades 2 – 6, New Testament, Greece, and Rome  For Grades 2 – 6, Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation  For Grades 2 – 6, Explorers to 1815  For Grades 2 – 6, and 1815 to The Present  For Grades 2 – 6.

It is as easy as 1-2-3 to incorporate each Lesson Plan in your Homeschool Planet online planner.

All you have to do is follow the steps below:

  • Purchase the lesson plan for your curriculum
  • Sign into Homeschool Planet
  • Answer a few questions, and voila!

Homeschool Planet will automatically schedule your whole semester or year with assignments, notes, and links to online resources (if applicable).

Remember that you are not alone in trying to select the best history curriculum for your homeschool students. I hope this has helped you find one that your kids will love. You can easily purchase a lesson plan that is already set-up for the entire school year or semester for any curriculum choice listed in our Lesson Plan marketplace.

Have any history curriculum questions? We would love to help. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments section below.

 

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!

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This Pretty Amazing Planner is My New Brain

By | Featured Reviews | No Comments

Today we are featuring a review from Angie at Pebblekeeper. Angie is a homeschool mom blogger who enjoys a relaxed home school learning environment for her middle school boys who love nature, the outdoors, LEGOs, drawing and writing. As part of This Old School House Review Crew, Angie reviews products with her unique relaxed style of homeschooling that incorporated deep learning. In Pebblekeeper, you will find insight on homeschooling, beach schooling, lake schooling, outdoor challenges and more.

Angie’s Homeschool Planet online planner review embraces the idea that Homeschool Planet is not just another ordinary planner. She explains how Homeschool Planet made her brain and family dependent on its organizational framework.  Angie recommends Homeschool Planet for anyone who needs to track people, activities, multiple calendars and create events/event planning.

Angie has enjoyed the planning program that is included with the Homeschool Planet system. Did you know with Homeschool Planet’s homeschool planner online you can add notes, tasks, websites, and resources to your lessons?

“What can I say? I love it. It is my new brain. It will print any list I choose and also create transcripts for high school. The crew has been pestering the folks at Homeschool Buyers Co-op with questions this past month. Many of our suggestions have created changes. All of my questions have been answered in detail with a personal person within a day. What? Yep. They are awesome.”

Click here to read this review from Pebblekeeper on Homeschool Planet.

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!

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Top 3 Math Curriculum Picks

By | Homeschool Planning | No Comments

Have you been contemplating changing your math curriculum next year? There are so many out there that I know it can be overwhelming. If you are like many other homeschooling families, you may have gone through one or two already and don’t want to have to go through the change again. We want to help you with your decision making if you need it, so here are our top 3 math curriculum picks for the year.

Change is not easy for anyone, when it comes to your child’s education things aren’t any different. You want a curriculum that works well with your child’s learning style. You want a curriculum that is complete and is understandable.

Some of us have more than one child, making the focus on learning styles even more difficult and tricky to select. One curriculum may not work for all your kids – although in a perfect world that would be pretty amazing.

We understand how hard it is to select curriculum by searching online and reading recommendations and reviews, so we wanted to share with you the top 3 math curriculum picks that have complete lesson plans in Homeschool Planet’s Lesson Plan Marketplace.

Top 3 Math Curriculum Picks for Your Homeschool

Horizons Math curriculum

The Horizons Math curriculum is for grades Kindergarten through 8th grade. The well-balanced spiral approach to math is composed of manipulatives, memorization, and drills that follow a pattern of gradual development to ensure a student’s success. Note: A spiral approach is when students master concepts through a natural process of introduction, review, and reinforcement.

This math curriculum helps students develop solid math reasoning skills and enables them to apply these skills to real-life situations. The major themes covered in the Horizons Math curriculum are Numbers, Order, and Value; Addition and Subtraction; Ratios, Measurement, and Decimals; Fractions and Comparison; Equations, Colors, and Geometry; Graphs, Estimation, and Solving; Multiplication and Division; Linear and Quadratic Equations; Radical Expressions; Monomials and Polynomials; and Functions.

This is not a common core curriculum and children who love worksheets and are visual learners do really well with Horizons.

Math-U-See curriculum

The Math-U-See curriculum system is structured with step-by-step procedures for introducing, reviewing, practicing, and mastering concepts. Each lesson teaches using multi-sensory tools such as videos, manipulatives, and other resources. This approach appeals to most types of learning styles.

Math-U-See has a simple but effective set of colorful manipulatives allows abstract math concepts to be represented in clear, relatable ways. The curriculum isn’t governed by grades as the approach focuses on the actual understanding of math concepts before progressing.

This math curriculum does meet common core standards because of its master approach of math concepts. There are also plenty of opportunities for student hands-on experience and practice.

RightStart™ Mathematics curriculum

The RightStart™ Mathematics curriculum is a hands-on program that provides visual strategies for learning math facts.  This curriculum has a significant focus on understanding and problem-solving. The RightStart™ Mathematics homeschool program is set up with levels, rather than grades so that your child can begin at the proper level and advance at their own pace.

Practice for the lessons is provided with math card games that provide interesting and varied repetition and application needed for the automatic responses to the math facts.

Twenty-one different materials are used in this curriculum to approach topics in various ways to create an understanding and to build critical connections necessary for learning.

Lesson Plan Marketplace

Each of these top 3 math curriculum picks have lesson plans ready to go for your homeschool in the Homeschool Planet Lesson Plan Marketplace.

It is easy as 1-2-3 to incorporate each math lesson plan in your Homeschool Planet online planner.

All you have to do is follow the steps below:

  • Purchase the lesson plan for your curriculum
  • Sign into Homeschool Planet
  • Answer a few questions, and… voila!

Homeschool Planet will automatically schedule your whole semester or year with assignments, notes, and links to online resources (if applicable).

Remember that you are not alone in trying to select the best curriculum that is right for your student or students. We, at times, have to go through trial and error, and that is OK. You will find it. Whether you explore Horizons Math, Math-U-See, or RightStart™ Mathematics, you can easily purchase a lesson plan that is already set-up for the entire school year or semester.

Have any math curriculum questions? We would love to help you find the best math curriculum picks for your homeschool. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments section below.

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!

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Easy Peasy Planning with a Friendly Interface

By | Featured Reviews | No Comments

We are glad to feature a review from Jenn Bowen of From Crayons to Keyboards. Jenn has finally graduated all her children out of preschool and like many of us, feels the brunt of time flying by. Jenn is a homeschool mom blogger who is a part of the Homeschool Review Crew and blogs about homeschooling and home organization.

Jenn Bowen’s Homeschool Planet review shares how Homeschool Planet is a completely customizable online planner.  She says Homeschool Planet is not only a homeschool planner, but it is also a family calendar, and note pad all rolled into one. Jenn finds assigning new tasks on Homeschool Planet a breeze and enjoys many of Homeschool Planets useful features.

Did you know that Homeschool Planet’s online homeschool planner has Rescheduling and Grading helpers that walk you through rescheduling assignments? The grading helper helps you easily assign grades to completed assignments.

“I really like the friendly interface of Homeschool Planet. It is user-friendly an easy to navigate. I love that I can customize my view. Adding assignments was a breeze and I was able to easily assign multiple children to an assignment. If you are looking for a homeschool planner, I highly recommend you giving Homeschool Planet a try!”

Click here to read this review on Homeschool Planet.

Check out Homeschool Planet for yourself with a 30-day FREE trial. No credit card information is necessary to give it a try!

At last — an easy, flexible, full-featured online planner that doesn’t require hours to learn. Just launch, click on the calendar, and start adding classes, assignments, and appointments!

With Homeschool Planet lesson plans, homeschooling has never been easier!

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