Hands On History: Egyptian Senet

Kids just love studying ancient Egypt.  I never have a hard time getting them fired up about studying pyramids and mummies, as you can see from the KWL chart my 8th graders started below: (As a side note, I always photograph group brainstorms like this so that we can return to them later.  When we … Continue reading Hands On History: Egyptian Senet

Puzzles for Baby

We loooooove puzzles at our house, but how do you know when baby is ready for puzzles and where do you start? First of all, puzzles require fine motor control.  If your baby can put together MegaBlocks or something similar, he or she is probably ready for simple puzzles.  For our boys, this has been … Continue reading Puzzles for Baby

Montessori: Honor the Work of Childhood 

Several months ago, I began doing some research on Maria Montessori's methods.  Her writing is rich with insights, not simply about teaching, but about the ways we think about and interact with our children.  I have made a few deliberate adjustments in my parenting style because of things I've read from Montessori, particularly in how … Continue reading Montessori: Honor the Work of Childhood 

Boundless Energy: Awesome Preschool Science Activity

This week, our marble set has been working overtime.  We engineered a wall of pipes and tracks to run our marbles down, and we've been using it to explore how potential and kinetic energy work.  We began with a short track at the base of the wall and tested  marbles to see if they had … Continue reading Boundless Energy: Awesome Preschool Science Activity

What We Are Building

Every single day, we are making stuff in this house.  And I don't just mean messes.  Every day, we are using our hands and our brains to put things together.  Here are our favorite projects this week. Puzzles It has been a non-stop puzzle-palooza around here.  Little brother is into our chunky Melissa & Doug … Continue reading What We Are Building

Working Lunch

When you work full-time and are also trying to teach your kids some stuff, you need to make good use of your time at home.  For big brother and me, that often means doing a lot of learning while little brother takes his midday nap.  Here's one example I call a "working lunch," where we … Continue reading Working Lunch

Area of Mixed Polygons

In 7th grade math, we're working on area.  We've gone through all of the basic formulas with careful attention to how they are related to one another -- the triangle being half of a rectangle, the trapezoid being a combination of two triangles, and so forth. Now we're on to area of mixed polygons, such … Continue reading Area of Mixed Polygons