Monday, January 22, 2018

Field Trip: Seals in San Diego

So, we recently moved from Waco, Texas to San Diego, California.  I grew up in California, and it's nice to be back.  One of the best things is being so close to the ocean.  While it's a little cold for swimming right now we had a great time going to visit the seals at Children's Pool (no pool...it's just a beach that's called that where seals come when they are pupping).

Here's some pics we got while we were down there....





Yes, yes that is a football next to that seal...



And here's a video of all the cute stuff we caught the seals doing...
(with commentary by my three boys)


These seals are Pacific Harbor Seals.   They are just one of the many seals and sea lions that can be found in California. 

And, if you've ever wondered  how to tell seals from sea-lions, there's a good guide here including a coloring page you can print:  How to Tell Sea Lions from Seals





And to not leave out the other wildlife...


(Taken by my eldest)


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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Grammar Stories: Semicolons, Cupcakes, and Cucumbers

I'm starting a series on Story Books that teach language arts, with activities to go with them.   I'll start with my favorite grammar story.....


 

When I saw Semicolons, Cupcakes, and Cucumbers...I knew I had to get it.   You see, my son loves personifying stuff (he doesn't know what "personifying" is yet, but when I do get to explaining that word, I'll just tell him it's what he does with EVERYTHING!).  So when I saw a book that turned punctuation into characters...well, that's the book for my kid! 

My son LOVED this book!  He was asking to read it every day for bedtime, and then again during homeschool.  And from the first reading he was asking questions about things like "what does a comma do?"   Oh yeah, and he was also asking to read parts, himself....ASKING TO!   (For background, my kiddo struggles with reading, so him wanting to read anything doesn't happen often.)


Follow Up Activities
The following free resources all are designed to go with the book!















 

 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Top Posts of 2017

I'd like to share some of the highlights of 2017 here at Imaginative Homeschool.    ENJOY!    And may you have a happy new year! 


Most Visited Post of 2017
 

No surprise here that my Story of the World Index Page was the most visited post of the year.  It wasn't created this year but it was added to considerably.   I did the most work on this series this year and am so happy that people are finding it!



Most Visited Post MADE in 2017

 The most visited post I made this year was my Story of the World + Old Testament Integration post.  This post didn't even have a picture at the top...just a list of Bible stories we read and where we put them among our Story of the World reading.  This just goes to show that sometimes something doesn't have to be fancy to be useful.


Post People Stayed Longest At

 

Of content posts that got more than 100 views, people spent the most time this year on my First Writing post.   It is one of my favorite posts I've done, so I'm so glad people are taking so long to read it.  Viewers stayed an average of around 5 minutes.


2017 Post I'm Most Proud Of


I really loved my post on Ancient Africa and the lesson that went with it.  I think I did a good job of expanding on the lesson and tying in Africa in the past and today.  The science behind the creation of the Sahara desert was as fascinating as the history, and I'm glad I was able to bring that in a little.   And I love the storybook we found for that lesson.


Yes, you may have noticed that all of the posts above are all Story of the World/Ancient History related...every last post featured here.   I did blog about some other things, but because I had a focus of trying to get these posts finished for my SOTW series, they did dominate this year.  Don't worry, I have some great non-history related posts planned for 2018 too!




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Monday, December 25, 2017

5 Things to Buy at After-Christmas Sales


I love after Christmas sales.  They can offer some of the best prices of the year on a day where I rarely have any holiday plans, and I love that I don't have to get up at 5 am to take advantage of them.  Here are some of my favorite things to get on December 26th.


1.  Holiday Decor and Gift Wrap
I buy nearly all of our holiday decor on December 26th.  Holiday items will be 50% off or MORE, so it's really the perfect time to shop for it.   Since all of this year's decor is still up, its a great time to assess what you would like to change, replace, or improve on for next year, and get all that shopped for before you pack it away in January.

But don't just think of things for next Christmas.  Consider other upcoming holidays.   Usually packs of plain red, white, and green Christmas tissue will be on sale with the rest of the Christmas wrap, which can be used for Valentines and St. Patrick's day too!   I stock up on that stuff this time of year.  Look also for sparkly wrap in gold or silver that could work for birthday wrapping paper, and if you have a little girl that loves Elsa, snatch up anything with silvery or sparkly blue snowflakes for future gift wrapping (as well as snowflake garlands and ornaments and even tinsel for Frozen party decor!)  


2. Holiday Candy
Candy tastes as good no matter what it is wrapped in, so I sometimes buy a few "after Christmas" treats...as well as some candy for New Year's parties, where  "Christmas Specific" designs are still acceptable.   Last year I found several candy items that were easy to repurpose for other February and March parties.  Warning, while Chocolate items should be good til Valentines if stored in a cool dry place, they may not last until St. Patrick's and definitely aren't worth saving until easter.  Hard candy, however, can be saved for much longer (though I wouldn't stash it away for next year).  Look for red and green plastic or tin candy boxes with easy to remove "holiday" overwrap, or bags of candy where the only holiday markings are on the outer bag (like the Cherry Cordial Kisses Wrapped in Pink Foil, included in the Christmas candy sale because they had snowflakes on the outer bag).   And, there's several brands of holiday candy in plain red and green foil wrappers, which can be sorted out for Valentines and St. Patrick's day.   You can also find fun cartoon character and movie themed stocking stuffer candy tins on sale even without holiday markings, which I'm saving for Easter Baskets (or you can eat the candy now and refill at easter if its soft candy). It's a good idea to consider what candy needs you might have for homeschool projects.  This is a good time of the year to stock up for gumdrops for candy molecules at co-op, and things like that. 

3.  Gifts For Easter Baskets and Upcoming Birthdays
There are lots of stocking stuffers which are un-Christmassy enough to use as party favors or Easter basket  filler (especially Cartoon Character and Movie themed items).  And while toys and gifts may be a little picked over you can still find some great buys on Dec 26th Sales.  Don't forget to shop online too--there's some amazing online sales this time of year.  

4.  Next Year's Holiday Outfits
It's a little risky trying to predict what size your kids will be next Christmas (especially with very small children), but things like Christmas sweaters tend to be a little more forgiving if you guess larger, and if you have a larger family buying a few extra sizes to hand down doesn't hurt.

5.  Christmas Cards
I admit I haven't sent Christmas cards for several years now, but back when I did I ALWAYS bought them a year ahead for half off or more.

What are your favorite things to buy December 26th?