This year, BookShark came out with a science curriculum, and it was exactly what I was looking for: flexible, literature-based, hands-on, low-prep, secular, student-led.
This year, I was looking for something new and creative to do with the kids that would produce a useful end product, something we could use ourselves or gift to others, and I stumbled on this beautiful beeswax candle modeling kit. I ordered a set, and once it arrived, saved it for a rainy day.
U-Build Monopoly, Snap Circuits, Playmobil and Magnetic Tiles have been taking over the floor of the living room. In all of these, the kids are involved in creative problem solving, negotiation, cooperation, and navigating social situations. I’m constantly amazed at how much the kids learn and stretch themselves in the context of play. To read more about how we play and what we prioritize, check out my post over at My Little Poppies.
Instead of feeling guilty, I’ve learned some simple tricks to bring the outdoors in, which inspire lots of creativity and exploration.
When we connect with people, even through their biographies, they can inspire and challenge us. When we read about others with similar interests who go on to do great things, that makes us more willing to try hard things as well.
We reach the “early chapter book” stage, and all of a sudden, we go from nice, friendly, stories about families supporting each other and getting along to this focus on everything annoying, mean-spirited, selfish, and disrespectful. Here’s a list of good, quality, enjoyable literature in that upper elementary level (grades 2-4, primarily) that does NOT celebrate mean, catty girls or rude, potty-humored boys… but are still fun to read.