Saturday, March 23, 2019

CRAFT: Spring Flowers Sun-catcher

This is a craft we did at the Mayborn Museum one spring long ago.  It would be a simple craft to do at home.

To make this suncatcher, or one like it in a different shape, all you need is wax paper, flower petals or leaves (just raid your garden), a pencil, a glue stick,  a hole punch, and a piece of yarn or twine.  You can download shapes to trace off the internet (some are suggested below) or draw your own shape.  Make sure the shape is large!

Draw or trace a shape on one piece of wax paper, and then stack two pieces of wax paper together and cut around your shape. 

Free Shape Templates

 You could cut directly on the line, but if you cut around it helps children to remember to leave an edge around their flower.   Also leave space for 1-2 holes at the top for hanging.

Put glue over the middle area of one of your shapes and put flower petals down on the glue.   Make sure the flower petals don't go all the way to the edge.   Then trace the edges with glue again and put your second sheet of wax paper over the first.   You can press down the whole sheet to press the flower petals or just press the edges together to leave the petals a little loose (like my son did).    Once it dries punch your hole (you can punch it before the glue dried but the glue may gunk up your hole punch).  

Sunday, February 24, 2019

First Year Homeschool Memories: Snow in Texas Feburary, 2015

One of the things I loved about homeschooling was the rare fleeting moments we would get when everyone else was in school.   Like enjoying a brief Texas snow flurry.

Snow is rare in Texas, so even the smallest dusting is a treat.   That morning we headed out as soon as the snowflakes began to fall.   There was a little koi pond at a gardening store at the end of our block...and we walked out to it.  My son wanted to know if fishes get cold.  I'm sure they do...they were all huddled up on the bottom in one corner of the pond...and didn't come up to the top to greet us like they usually do.

My other two were in school when the snow hit.  After we finished our walk out in the white stuff, I hemmed and hawed about whether to go get them out of school.  I finally looked at the weather and it said it would get warmer later so I got my youngest re-bundled and got in the car.

It was still snowing when we left, but half way to their school it started to rain. Alas, no point in them missing a day to play in slush, so we turned around.

My older two later told me they did get a few minutes out in the snow.  At the intermediate school the whole school got to go outside for 10 minutes (not much, but at least it was something).  The elementary school stayed inside for recess (Ptttth!  Come on!  Let them play in it!  But, maybe it was turning to rain by then.).  However,  during library time the kids were taking pictures through the window, and the librarian had pity on them and let them go outside for a few minutes to take pictures of the snow with their ipads.   Yeah for librarians!   But honestly, with how infrequently we got snow back in Texas, I'm surprised the teachers didn't jump on the change to let the kids experience it.    I was sorry my older kids didn't get to do more than that.   But it made me so thankful that at least my youngest home for it. 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

A Change of Paths...and What's Ahead for Imaginative Homeschool

I have a big announcement to make.    After four years of homeschooling my youngest (my only homeschooler), we made the the difficult decision to try public school again. We have LOVED homeschooling, but for various reasons this was the right decision for us . 

I didn't announce it right away because we weren't sure how it was going to go, and I had so much emotional  baggage to sort through.  I wasn't even sure if he would stay or be back homeschooling in a few months, but he's happy and doing well so it looks like we're sticking with this. 

This is NOT the end of homeschool content on this blog!    To start with, I have the rest of our Story of the World chapters to blog about (I've only blogged to chapter 13 but we are FINISHED with Volume 1 and half way through Volume 2.)   That's about 50 posts right there alone.  And I have notes on A BUNCH of other things we did while homeschooling that I plan to finally get around to blogging about.   I have resources for All About Spelling and Math U See I never posted, lots of arts and crafts I'll be sharing, and more tricks and tips on a variety of subjects.   I will keep the name "Imaginative Homeschool" for now, as it still describes a lot of what I'll be blogging about.   You'll notice though that I've adding "+ afterschooling and summer-school" to the blog header because that describes the part of our journey we're on now, which I plan to blog about too!

Our summer-schooling will be a lot like our homeschooling was during the year (only maybe just 3 days a week).   My kiddo needs it to prevent summer slide, plus there's so much interest based stuff that we wanted to do and haven't done yet.  

I also think its important to blog about our experience going back to "traditional school" after homeschooling, because in some ways that's as difficult a leap as starting homeschooling can be, and a very different experience from sending kids to school who have never homeschooled.  And while there's lots of guidance out there for new homeschoolers, there's a lot less for homeschoolers returning to traditional school, and I want to help others going through the same thing...or at least share my experience so they can feel like they're not alone. 

Wherever you are on your journey, I hope you'll stick with us for the rest of ours.

With Love,

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Easy Science Experiement: Milk + Dyes + Soap

This is a science experiment I did with my kids AGES ago...when my kids were so much smaller.   I loved how ARTSY this science experiment was.

It's fun and fairly simple. You will need:
  • A shallow pan or bowl
  • Milk
  • Food coloring
  • Dish soap
Fill the pan with milk. Drop several drops of different colored food coloring in different places in the milk. Then, squirt a small drop of dish soap in the middle of the dish soap. The colors will start to swirl as the dish soap reacts to the protein in the milk.  Like this...

Isn't that cool!  Of course, if you want to keep this "artwork" to hang on your wall then you'll have to take some pictures like we did.  I love how this also caught the reflection of the lights above our table.  Pretty cool!

Use red, yellow, and blue food coloring to help teach younger children what colors are created when those colors mix.

The blogger from Tots and Me commented that she tried this experiment with milk with different fat contents (1%, 2%, Whole, etc.) and that it does change the reaction.

I found this description of what causes the colors to swirl on
"The detergent lowers the surface tension of the liquid so that the food coloring is free to flow throughout the milk. The detergent reacts with the protein in the milk, altering the shape of those molecules and setting them in motion."
You can read an even more detailed description at the bottom of's Magic Colored Milk Science Project Page.

Shared on Little's Learning Link-up