Wednesday, January 23, 2013

When to do the Breakfast Chores

In our civics lesson yesterday, we discussed the difference between democratic and republican governments.  To review, this morning I "pop quizzed" by utilizing a household matter:  breakfast chores.

 I gave them two options:
     1)  Do breakfast chores directly after breakfast.
     2)  Keep the usual routine of straightening up and doing a little extra after lunch.

I first had them vote in a democratic way to see what the majority voted.  It was decided using this method to do chores after lunch.

In a republic, the people decide what laws to make based on the common good-the best interest of all and not a few.  To demonstrate this concept, I asked each child what was best for everyone in the house and why they thought so.  This gave them a different perspective.  They all chose option #1.  They all showed true civic virtue when they decided it was in everyone's best interest to do the chores directly after breakfast because the kitchen would be clean and that is good for everyone. 

A very common misconception about our government is that it is a democracy instead of a republic. A good way to remember is to recall the line in the Pledge of Allegiance that goes: and to the Republic for which it stands (Are you reciting the Pledge of Allegiance daily? You should be!). 

TIP: Apply civics to daily life, and kids will comprehend no matter what age.  If you aren't up on your civics, don't fret.  Check out the  Center For Civic Education for some great resources.  Stay tuned to this blog and "like"  Mrs. Redd's Classroom on Facebook to get more info and connect with other homeschooling families.

Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Redd
Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Homeschooler -

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Beginnings

I've made many new friends over the past couple of days who are all in various seasons of the homeschool life.  Since I'm no longer a novice, I can relay some knowledge to the newbies based on my experiences so far. 

Sometimes the hardest part of homeschooling is the actual decision to do so. You bombard yourself with questions, doubts, pros and cons, not to mention the feedback you receive from others about your decision. There is a reason you are considering homeschool. Identify that reason. It may be obvious, it may be parent's intuition that something needs to change. Whatever your reason(s), know that you are not alone, ever. I've compiled a list of ideas to get you started.
  • Go to for a list of homeschool laws by state. Don't panic if your state has a lot of regulations, you have the support and experience of other homeschoolers! Start a folder, file or binder, and print the laws for future reference. Make note of any questions you have. Once you know the laws and get your questions answered, you will know how to proceed.
  • Know what to expect.  You cannot possibly anticipate everything you will run into, but some common things are:
    • A variety of opinions
    • Feeling overwhelmed or unqualified (You ARE qualified!)
    • A messy house
    • Children who are happy and cooperative
    • Children who are grumpy and uncooperative
    • Learning opportunities everywhere
    • Good days
    • Bad days
    • A wealth of information
    • Closer relationships with your children
    • To be organized
    • To be unorganized
  • Start and keep a journal. This is an invaluable tool. See my post “Dear Diary” for ideas and information on getting started in journalling.
  • Create a learning environment. Sound tough? It's not. Look around at what your children have at their disposal:
    •  Books
    • Writing/coloring/drawing materials
    • Art supplies
    • The outdoors
    • The kitchen
    • Household responsibilities
    • Pets
    • Daily life
    • YOU
    • The unexpected
    • Conversations 
    • Relatives, elders, friends
    • Library, museums, art galleries
    • Cameras, computer and other devices
Just start at the beginning and take it one step at a time.  Remember there are answers to your questions and plenty of support.  Feel free to add comments, questions, more ideas and resources!

Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Redd

Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Homeschooler -

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Zentangle Doodles

Thanks to an art journal assignment from, we discovered a new way to doodle.  It's easy and addictive! 

Our drawings are posted at

Find some awesome examples at

Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Redd

Friday, January 4, 2013

Lesson Extras and Ideas: January Weather Watcher's Lesson Plan

The January Weather Watcher's Lesson Plan is posted on, with previews there and at

The lesson is in ebook form, so you can keep it digital or print it for your Weather Watcher's Binder.  It has everything you need to get started weather watching in 2013.  You also get the January Primary Lined Weather Journal Paper and Weather Word Cutouts which are ONLY available inside the lesson.  I added a list of ideas to get your creative juices flowing, and I will be adding more ideas on here so check back often.  Feel free to comment with your own ideas, pictures and questions!

Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Redd
Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Homeschooler -


IDEA #1:
The Sweet Snowflakes recipe is a great activity to add to the January unit, and a printable copy is available FREE at  so you can add it to your Weather Watcher's Binders. 

IDEA #2:
Use the Weather Words Cutouts on a bulletin board, as flash cards, or on a weather mobile.

IDEA #3:
Take advantage of Flickr:  Display your weather walk pictures, join similar groups, enter competitions and photo challenges.

IDEA #4:
National Geographic and National Geographic Kids are excellent resources.  Check out the activities and extreme weather clips online, or borrow the magazines from your local library.

IDEA #5:
Turn the weather into art by painting a picture and laying it outside in the rain or snow.  Or, gather objects from nature and make a weather related art project like a collage.

IDEA #6:
Let the weather inspire your writing.  Write poems or stories that have a weather theme.

IDEA #7:
Study arctic climates and animals.

Research ways to predict the weather using nature and old wives' tales.

IDEA #9:
Make a countdown board to count down the days of the year from 365.

IDEA #10:
Study and center art projects around the cool color family.

Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Homeschooler -

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sweet Snowflakes

Sweet Snowflakes are a perfect activity to add to the January Weather Watcher's Lesson Plan. (Find the lesson at ) Below is a list of ideas, then the recipe.  Feel free to post any other ideas and suggestions, and post your pictures!

Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Redd

Parents/Home Educators
  • Use Sweet Snowflakes as an art lesson.
  • Take the opportunity while preparing the snack to discuss the importance of being unique individuals, just like each snowflake is different.
  • Eat some, then clear coat some for keepsake decorations.
  • Make the activity a home ec lesson.
Sweet Snowflakes
  • Tortillas (As many as needed; Medium soft taco style work well)
  • Powdered Sugar and/or Brown Sugar
  • Your Favorite Sweet Spices
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Warm tortillas slightly in microwave or oven.
  • Fold each tortilla in half 3 times and cut designs as you would with paper snowflakes
  • Unfold tortillas and place on baking sheet.
  • Brush each snowflake lightly with vegetable oil.
  • Sprinkle with desired spices and bake for 6-8 minutes or until crispy.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar and/or brown sugar and allow to cool.

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