Free 12-Week Greek Mythology Unit Study

Learn Greek mythology as a family with these fun hands-on activities!

 

(Disclaimer- This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.)

I’ve always been completely fascinated by Greek Mythology and was so excited to find  D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths, a beautifully illustrated compilation of classical Greek myths for my then-14-yr.-old daughter. To go with it, I purchased the Student Guide, which contains additional vocabulary, quizzes, and map work that were an awesome supplement to the book.

Recently, as I was going through some of our old homeschooling resources, I rediscovered the beauty of this book and decided to use it with my older elementary-age and middle school-age children; however, I knew that the student guide was probably not going to hold their interest. Since unit studies have been very successful for our family, I decided to attempt to create a study based on this book, and behold- here it is today.

While I did use this particular title as the backbone of the activities included, this study is very flexible in that it will work well with any Greek mythology book of your choosing. I sincerely hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

 

                                         Greek Mythology Unit Study

Recommended Resources:

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths- Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire– (I highly recommend this book above all others, as it is the foundation of all of the activities listed here.)

– Any book from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series- Rick Riordan

– Any book from the Heroes in Training series- Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

Tornadoes– Gail Gibbons

A Komodo Dragon Hatchling Grows Up– Katie Marsico

About Arachnids– Cathryn Sill

Komodo Dragons- Giant Lizards of Indonesia – James Martin

Komodo Dragons– Thane Maynard

Extreme Weather– National Geographic Kids

Scorpions– Elizabeth Raum

Scorpions!– Laurence Pringle

Classic Starts- Greek Myths– Diane Namm

Vultures– Sandra Markle

Pegasus Marianna Mayer

Disney Storybook Collection

Vultures– Wayne Lynch

Vultures– Lynn M. Stone

Mythological Creatures– Lynn Curlee

– Greece! Rome! Monsters!– John Harris

– movies- The Lightning Thief and Sea of Monsters

Vocabulary:

mythology           idol                     Titan
god                         goddess             bountiful
Cyclopes               universe            sprite
nymph                   trident               lightning
invisibility            helm                  thunderbolt
iridescent              throne               ambrosia
nectar                     underworld      ichor
mortal                     immortality    strait
forge                        volcano            chariot
discord                    pain                   panic
famine                    oblivion            prudence
irreverent              grotto                constellation
pomegranate        eternal              wizened
lyre                          satyr                   muse
spellbound            sacrifice             offspring
centaur                   pegasus             chimera

Activities:

1. Read a section of D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths together daily. (Literature, History)

2. Select several vocabulary words each week and practice writing them in cursive. (Language Arts)

3. Read one of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books as a family or independently. Write a book review when finished. (Language Arts)

4. Watch the Percy Jackson movies after reading the books. Write a paper highlighting the many differences between the books and the films. What did you think of these changes? (Language Arts)

5. Discuss the Gaea concept still held by some people in modern times. Is this biblical? (Social Studies, Critical Thinking)

6. Research pantheism, Wicca, and other pagan religions. What does the Bible say about these practices? (Social Studies, Bible)

7. Draw a cyclops. (Art)

8. Discuss the trident, the lightning bolt, and the cap (helm) of invisibility. Write an essay about which you’d choose and why. Read it aloud when finished. (Language Arts)

9. Draw a picture of Argus with his 100 eyes. Why is this a good quality for a guard? (Art, Critical Thinking)

10. Zeus would often disguise himself as animals or other objects when coming down to Earth. can you think of a time that God took another form? (Ex.burning bush) What would you disguise yourself as? (Critical Thinking)

11. Take a trip to a blacksmith shop. (Field Trip, Social Studies)

12. Hephaestus’s forge was in a volcano. Research volcanoes. (Science)

13. Build a clay volcano around an empty water bottle. When finished, pour in some baking soda, red food coloring, a little dish detergent, and vinegar. What happens? (Science, Art)

14. Try the same thing as above, but pour in some soda and Mentos candy instead. Did you get the same reaction? Why do you think that is? (Science)

15. No one knows where Aphrodite came from. Write your own myth explaining how you think she came about. (Language Arts)

16. Who does Eros remind you of? (Cupid) Draw a picture of him. (Art)

17. Make some beaded jewelry. (Art)

18. Cupid is the Roman name for Eros, and Venus is the Roman name for Aphrodite. Learn the Roman names for the Greek gods. (Language Arts, History)

19. Act out the story of the apple of discord. (Art, History)

20. Discuss the meaning of pain, panic, famine, and oblivion. (Language Arts)

21. Learn how to weave or watch a weaving demonstration. (Art, Life Skills)

22. Athena turned Arachne into a spider for being prideful about her weaving. Learn about arachnids. Where does the word “arachnid” come from? (History, Science, Language Arts)

23. Use blocks, Legos, or clay to build a representation of Poseidon’s underwater palace. (Art)

24. Learn how islands can be formed by earthquakes. (Geography, Science)

25. Draw your own rendition of Python. (Art)

26. The dragons of Greek mythology are mythical creatures which may have been based on dinosaurs. Today the earth still holds an island which is home to real dragons. Research the Komodo dragon and write a report or a fact sheet on them. (Science, History, Language Arts))

27. Orion was killed by a scorpion sent by Apollo. Write a report or fact sheet on scorpions. (Science, Language Arts)

28. Study the Orion constellation. Orion’s belt is very easy to locate. Look for it the next time you are out on a clear night. (Science)

29. What is a lyre? Listen to music from one. (Music)

30. Read about Hermes. Can newborn babies really do what the story tells us he did? Why or why not? (Critical Thinking)

31. Hades was not only Lord of the Underworld, but he was also rich beyond measure since he owned all the jewels under the earth. Where are precious stones found? Learn about this process. (Science)

32. Visit a cave that is open to visitors which exhibits geological finds, such as crystals. (Field Trip, Science)

33. Cerberus was a three-headed dog who guarded the entrance to Hades. Paint a picture of him. (Art)

34. Persephone was stolen away by Hades to become his bride. Discuss stranger danger. (Safety)

35. How did the Greeks use the story of Persephone and Demeter to explain the seasons? Find out how the seasons really occur. (History, Science)

36. Using a globe and a lamp or large ball as the sun, give a visual demonstration of how the seasons are caused by the tilt of the earth’s axis. (Science)

37. Dionysus, the god of wine, was raised around leopards and tigers, who were very fond of him. Make some paper plate leopards and tigers. Eat some grapes as a snack! (Art)

38. What does it mean that dolphins are the most human creatures? Read about dolphins. (Science. Critical Thinking)

39. Prometheus was said to have modeled man out of clay, while his brother Epimetheus made animals. Make some people and animals out of clay. (Art)

40. The story tells us that Epimetheus gave all of the good gifts to the animals and didn’t leave much for Prometheus to bestow upon the humans. In what ways are animals more gifted than men (speed, better sight, smell, hearing, endurance, etc.)? In what ways are humans superior? What is the most important thing we have that the animals do not? (Science, Critical Thinking)

41. Draw Prometheus and the eagle. (Art)

42. What does it mean to “open Pandora’s box?” (Language Arts)

43. Define greed, vanity, slander, and envy. Do you see these in the world today? (Language Arts)

44. Compare the biblical flood to the Greek flood. Study worldwide flood legends. Why do you think it is that secular geologists ignore these stories and insist that no worldwide flood ever happened? (History, Critical Thinking, Social Studies)

45. Write an essay on tornadoes, hurricanes, or typhoons. (Science)

46. Read the story of Helios. Why is it dangerous to look at the sun? Does this story make a good case for why it is best to obey your parents? (Science, Health, Safety)

47. Write about a time you did not obey your parents and something bad happened because of it. (Language Arts)

48. What are centaurs and satyrs? (Language Arts)

49. Draw the transition of Tithonus from man to grasshopper. (Art)

50. Write grasshopper facts. (Science, Language Arts)

51. If a pregnancy lasts nine months and Selene bore 50 daughters, how many months was she pregnant altogether? How many years is that? (Math)

52. In Greek mythology, satyrs live 10,000 times longer than humans. If the average human life span is 85 years, how long would the average satyr life span be? (Math)

53. Listen to a recording of a shepherd’s pipe. (Music)

54. Read the story of Echo and Narcissus. How does Echo’s punishment fit her name? (Language Arts)

55. What does “narcissistic” mean? How does this fit Narcissus? (Language Arts, Social Studies)

56. Make a set of reed pipes using drinking straws. (Art, Music)

57. In the Greek Olympics, winners would be awarded with a laurel wreath. Why? (History)

58. Define cunning, savage, and vulgar. (Language Arts)

59. Why was Chiron different than the other centaurs? Why do parental care and discipline make such a big difference in a child’s life? (Critical Thinking)

60. What word is derived from “Hygeia,” and what does it mean? Who was Hygeia? (Language Arts, History)

61. Re-enact a doctor’s visit. Assign roles of nurse, doctor, patient, receptionist, etc. Be sure to take measurements of height and weight, check temperatures, and give eye exams! (Health, Social Studies)

62. Learn about the Nine Muses. Write a list of their names and what they do. Memorize them. (Language Arts, History)

63. If there were nine Muses… (Math)
-How many eyes altogether? Fingers? Fingers and toes?

64. Orpheus’s wife was killed by a venomous snake. Research them. Do any live near you? Learn what to do in the event of a snake bite. (Science, Health/Safety)

65. The story of Orpheus claims that he found the entrance to Hades at the end of the world. Does the world really have an end? What does this tell you about how the Greeks thought the earth was shaped? (Science, Critical Thinking, History, Social Studies)

66. Radamanthus, a son of Zeus and Europa, was so wise he became a judge in the underworld. Who is the true judge of all? (Critical Thinking)

67. Learn about the American judicial system. (Social Studies)

68. Locate Crete and Thebes on a map. (Geography)

69. Pelops participated in a chariot race to win his bride. His opponent lost because of an intentional malfunction of the wheel and axle. Study simple machines. (Science)

70. Pelops initiated the first Olympic games. Watch an Olympic event. Videos of these can be found on YouTube.com (Social Studies, Physical Education)

71. Host your own Olympic games. Plan events, make your own medals, and don’t forget a laurel wreath! (Physical Education, Art)

72. In the tale of King Midas, he grew a pair of donkey ears. In what other story did a character grow a pair of donkey ears? Read “Pinocchio.” (Literature)

73. King Midas’s servant was so desperate to tell someone about the king’s donkey ears that he dug a hole in the ground and whispered it into there. Unfortunately, some nearby reeds heard it, so they whispered it to each other over and over again. Soon, everyone knew the king’s secret. Play “Whisper Down the Alley.” (History, Language Arts)

74. When an ancient Greek passed away, a loved one would place a coin under his/her tongue. What was this for? (History, Social Studies)

75. Read about Pegasus, and write a report. (Language Arts, History)

76. Study the chimera and the different meanings of the word. (History, Language Arts)

77. Melampus could understand animals and once overheard the conversation of some vultures having a meal. Write a report on vultures. Include a drawing or picture of one. (Science, Language Arts, Art)

78. If Melampus wanted 1/3 of the kingdom for himself and 1/3 for his brother, how much did that leave the king with? What portion of the kingdom did the brothers now possess? (Math)

79. Read about Heracles’s labor of retrieving the apple from the Garden of Hesperides. Eat an apple while doing so. (Language Arts)

80. King Minos’s half-man/half-bull son, the Minotaur, had to be kept in an underground labyrinth. Do a maze or make one of your own. (Math)

81. King Minos used a conch shell to find out where his servant, Daedelus, was hiding. The conch shell has long been thought to allow people to hear the ocean when holding their ear up to one. Is this true? What can really be heard? (Blood circulating through the ear) (Science)

82. Oedipus was able to solve the Sphinx’s riddle. Read some riddles aloud or make up some of your own. (Language Arts)

83. What is an Oedipal complex? (Social Studies)

84. Draw a harpy or a siren. (Art)

85. Jason defeated the fire-breathing dragon in order to get the Golden Fleece. Discuss fire safety. (Safety)

86. Visit a local fire station. Bake them cookies. (Safety, Field Trip, Life Skills)

87. Artemis once sent a huge boar to avenge her anger against a king. Write oa report or a fact sheet on wild boars. (Science, Language Arts)

88. Draw Atalanta hunting the boar. (Art)

89. Atalanta was very fast and won many races. Have your own race. (Physical Education)

90. Achilles was invulnerable except for on his heel. What is an Achilles tendon? (Science)
91. Read about the Trojan War. (History)

92. Build a model of the Trojan Horse using items from around the house. Be creative! (Art)

93. Look at pictures of the architecture in ancient Greece. Does any of it look similar to famous buildings in the US? (History, Social Studies)

94. The gods and goddesses would often commemorate heroes by placing constellations in their honor in the sky. Make a chalk pastel night sky scenery. Be sure to include your favorite constellations! (Art)

 

 

 

 

 

Large Family Living on One Income

(Originally posted in 2014)

Being the stay-at-home mother of eleven children, I always face the inevitable question- How can you afford to live on one income? It’s not something I actively think about often because it’s been a way of life for such a long time now. Lately, though, I’ve been getting many inquiries about not only raising children on a tight budget but homeschooling them, too. Since I am a staunch homeschool advocate, I really want to encourage women that it can be done! Today, I’m writing the first of a two-part series about living and homeschooling with limited funds. My hope is to help some of you who want so badly to homeschool but aren’t sure whether or not you can afford it.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Part 1- Living Frugally

The most obvious place to start would be how to live within your means. I think the most important thing to remember in all of this is that it can be hard. You may not be able to get your hair and nails done or wear the latest fashion, but you need to put it into perspective. What are your priorities? Sort them out first. Make sure they are in line with being willing to sacrifice. Believe me, you will sacrifice, but it will be so worth it. Of course all families have different budgets, so this is just a glimpse on how my family manages.

We are a one-vehicle family, and it’s twelve years old. I know some of you are probably gasping in horror, but this situation is doable, especially if you look at the benefits like:

– No car payments
– Lower insurance rates
– Less gas consumption

We rent our house, instead of owning it. This may seem counter-intuitive at first because mortgages are usually less than rent rates, but think about it. If the roof needs to be repaired the basement floods, the furnace breaks down- it’s not our responsibility. We also don’t have a huge bank loan to pay off in this shaky economy.

We rarely go on vacations. I mean RARELY. The last one was almost two years ago when we drove 1,000 miles to Fort Leonard Wood, MO to see our oldest graduate from boot camp and AIT training. Before that was tent camping on the beach in Wildwood, NJ…eight years ago. And that one ended in disaster, as a tropical storm decided to show up and wash pretty much everything we had there out to sea. My husband and son were literally holding the tent we were in, so that it wouldn’t blow away, but that’s a story for another day.

We do a lot of shopping at Aldi. Have you seen their prices? We don’t go there every week because there are some things they don’t have that we like, but we do shop there twice a month.

We only go clothes shopping once a year, usually at Walmart or Target because they seem to have the lowest prices on clothing. The rest of the year we do get a lot of hand-me-downs from friends and our church has a clothing closet. In this case, my children are really a blessing because they are so thankful for the clothing we get from others and never complain about it, and when we do take them clothes shopping, it’s like Christmas to them.

Most of our furniture is secondhand. Again, our church is such a blessing because the Helping Hands Ministry will locate furniture for anyone who needs it and will help set up a way to either have it delivered or will at the very least help load it into your car.

– We rarely, if ever, go to the hairdresser. My daughter, Devin, is excellent at cutting hair. (Arianna’s getting pretty good, too!). Also, once a month, my church- yes, my church AGAIN- has a free haircut day using licensed hairstylists who are either members of our church or who generously volunteer their time.

Craigslist is our friend. All kidding aside, other than major Black Friday sales, this is how our family acquires electronics. We actually just bought three laptops for about $600. We’ve never had a problem yet!

Perhaps the most important thing is this- WE ARE ALL CONTENT WITH WHAT WE HAVE. In a culture that is obsessed with the next best thing, so far, my kids have never gotten upset that we don’t have every gadget known to man. They are very resourceful and truly appreciate everything they do have.

I hope this post has helped in some way! Part 2 will get down to the nitty gritty of how to homeschool with a limited income.

If you have any questions or have some more tips on living frugally, leave a comment! I always enjoy chatting with you!

 

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An Unschooling Day- Our Way

Since I’ve been writing so much recently about our homeschooling philosophy, I thought I’d write about our day today to give you an idea of what we do. My husband had a vacation day today, and it was over 60 degrees outside (finally!), so this will be a little more exciting than what we’ve been doing the last couple of months, which has basically consisted of crafts, reading, and complaining about the snow.

This morning Luke approached me and said,
“Mom, I haven’t done my bookth (not a typo- he has a lisp) in a long time. Where are my bookth?”
“They’re in the basket with the other workbooks. Do you want to do them?”
“Yeth.”
He decided that he was going to work on math today, so after about 3 pages of math- very basic addition and subtraction- he went on his merry way playing his boyish games around the house. I have to add that, despite his lisp, his voice is very husky, so it sounds really comical.

Anyway…Ireland saw him doing his workbook, so she wanted to do her “school work.” I printed out some free letter printables, and she worked on those for a while. Ireland is the oldest child that’s never been formally taught, (she’s 4) and she whizzed through these papers before I could even tell her what to do. She really loves doing worksheets, so I’ve bookmarked the website because I have a feeling I’ll be visiting it a lot.

Soon after, we all ate a quick breakfast (sausage corn dogs for the kids, a banana nut muffin for me) and did our chores so we could get ready to go to the trout nursery, our field trip for the day.

It was so sunny and warm outside, I felt like doing cartwheels, but I held back because I didn’t want to have an aneurysm. We really had a great time, and I took lots of pictures.

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It really is beautiful there, and the contrast between seeing the snow on the ground, and the warm weather was unbelievable. There’s some fabulous wildlife there, also. Every time we go there, Devin and I have always talked about the time we saw an enormous crane in a tree. It seriously looked like a pterodactyl. Well, there are a lot of information boards throughout the nursery, and we actually discovered from reading one today that the “crane” we saw was actually a herron. We also saw a poor fish swimming around that had its entire back ripped open, possibly by a herron. Poor thing. I’m sorry to say that I’ve never noticed these information boards before. Maybe they’re new. Regardless, we learned a lot from them, like how to tell different types of trout apart. Caollin, for some reason, has always called the yellow ones “Goldilocks,” but today we found out that they’re actually called “Golden Rainbow Trout.” I think she’ll still call them Goldilocks. 🙂 We also never knew that the little hatchlings are called fisherlings.

On the way home, there was much discussion about fish. Devin hopes to one day have a koi pond. Dillon wants a piranha pond, of course. Dillon quizzed us on the types of trout and then told us which kinds he’s caught while fishing.

Afterwards, we stopped at the shopping center. Shawn took Devin, Dillon, Caollin, London, Luke, and Kenzie into Family Dollar with him, while I had Arianna, Bailey, Ireland, and Summer with me into Dollar Tree. Even though Shawn had two more kids than I did, he told me that the cashier complimented their good behavior, while my cashier, on the other hand, told me I have my hands full after witnessing Ireland crying because she couldn’t find anything to buy with her penny and Summer taking it upon herself to grab a Snickers bar off of the counter and open it (which I then had to buy). Then she tried the same thing with Skittles and so on and so on. Sigh…Why are kids always better behaved for their dads? I really want to know!

We came home and had spaghettios for lunch, then straightened up again because the house gets messy that fast. Since Shawn was home, I let Dillon and Devin play World of Warcraft with him, while the other kids played for a while. Arianna kept herself busy doing theatrical makeup again. Today she made herself a pumpkin.

After a while Devin came downstairs, and I reminded her about the shooting assignments she hasn’t done for her photography class. It turns out that she didn’t know how to work the manual settings on her camera, so I took her over to Dan’s Camera, where she got a 30 minute lesson on how to work her camera. They gave her so much information that she was even taking notes. It was definitely worth the trip because I honestly just expected them to spend 3 minutes telling her where everything was, and that was it. I even started to get worried after a while because I know they give photography lessons there, and the man was being so thorough, that I started thinking um…am I going to get charged for this? My fears were unfounded, and the only thing I ended up paying for was an SD card for Arianna’s camera.

We came home, and I made dinner- homemade hoagies and Checker’s fries. The kids did their prospective Life of Fred math books. Then, Devin came down and took a Greek mythology quiz from last week, and we went over her algebra self-test together.

So…this is what we did today. Who knows what we’ll do tomorrow? Hopefully, the weather will cooperate, and we’ll actually get outside again!

What have you done today?

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Weekend Review- We Got Out of the House!

This has nothing to do with questions, but Kenzie looks cute, doesn't she??
This has nothing to do with anything, but Kenzie looks cute, doesn’t she??

As far as the past couple of months have gone, this has been the busiest week inside the home and outside of it in a long time. Snowfall has finally come to a standstill (I hope I didn’t just jinx it), and we’ve actually been able to get out of the house. Progress. Yay! I’m actually really excited from the change of pace. It was loooong overdue.

On Sunday we finally got to church after missing a full month because of the snow. We had a guest speaker who talked about her years in foster care and an abusive marriage, but how through it all she was triumphant because of God’s grace. I’m glad that my kids were there to hear her testimony.

Monday our church had free haircut day- a Godsend for our family. I took eight of the kids with me, but only four of them actually needed haircuts. The other children like to go because there’s free food,

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free stuff,

You can kind of see the free tables behind Arianna and Caollin.
You can kind of see the free tables behind Arianna and Caollin.

and there’s a huge gym to play in.

This really is a great ministry because they advertise it throughout the shelters in the area, so we get to provide some comfort to those who need it the most. Besides that, the hairdressers give great haircuts!

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Some of the hairstylists are church members. Others are generous people who donate their time every month for this good cause.

On Tuesday, Arianna, Devin, and I all got to go to WIN- Women’s Inspirational Network, also at my church. We always look forward to this because it’s a great time to hang out together. The younger kids all play in the nursery with volunteers. Bless their souls. I alone always dump seven kids off with them. Anyway, we get to see friends,

Devin with two of her friends
Devin with two of her friends

When God made Arianna, he broke the mold.
When God made Arianna, he broke the mold.

eat from a delicious pot luck meal, and hear a guest speaker. This month we had a beautiful woman from the Philippines speak about growing up as a squatter only to have God do amazing things in her life.

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We always have a wonderful vocal performance, too.
We always have a wonderful vocal performance, too.

And to put the icing on the cake, this was our raffle night. Proceeds will go to scholarships for women who cannot afford to pay for the women’s retreat. There were so many prizes, and my daughters and I all won something. Arianna won three necklaces, Devin won a basket of jewelry, and I won a basket of medicine and first aid supplies (always needed in this house), a basket of toiletries for my husband, and a toy kitchen for the kiddos.

Just a glimpse of the raffle prizes
Just a glimpse of the raffle prizes

My prize stash
My prize stash

Wednesday Devin had to go back to the eye doctor for a contact lens check and to order her contacts. It was pretty packed there, so Devin had her nose buried in a book, while Luke just had fun browsing.

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The rest of the week was, as always, filled with gaming and creativity. Arianna is going strong with her theatrical makeup.

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Lapbooking and making story books were also hits this week.

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Lastly, Arianna made a flower headband, and Brendan came for a visit when he dropped Dillon off. Dillon has been with him since Tuesday. Brendan even took him for a haircut because he didn’t feel like going for the free haircut Monday.

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Isn't he handsome??
Isn’t he handsome??

Just kidding.
Just kidding.

Friday will probably just entail some more grocery shopping and more spontaneous learning.

What have you done this week?

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Weekend Review- Creativity Abounds!

Caollin made this just this morning- the idea was completely her own!
Caollin made this just this morning- the idea was completely her own!

We’ve had quite a fun week here at the Sangrey House. To top it off, our snowfall was measured in inches this week, instead of feet, so that was a big plus! (Sigh of relief). I think actually seeing the sun this week has had a positive effect on all of us. It’s been long overdue!

On Monday, I finally got my implanon removed, so that’s a huge weight off of my shoulders. Arianna went with me and had the pleasure of watching them take it out. “I could see your meat, Mom!” Yeah, great. Thanks for sharing. I’m glad I had my head turned the other way. Although she’s only 12, she also got to listen to my doctor badger me about birth control. Even though it was uncomfortable, it was a good opportunity for her to see me stand behind my pro-life stance, so some good did come out of it.

Devin went to the eye doctor on Tuesday for her contact lens teach. She’s waited so long to be rid of her glasses, so she’s really excited. Arianna also got to watch her lesson, too. (She’s just been around for everything lately!)

Wednesday, my husband had a vacation day, so we headed out to Staples for a new whiteboard to replace our chalkboard.

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We had the chalkboard for about seven years, so it served its purpose, but it was time to move on…and the fact that my kids colored all over it with crayon didn’t exactly help, so I really couldn’t use it anymore, anyway. After picking up a few more things there, we headed to Dollar Tree for some bins for organizing and some odds and ends for crafting.

Other than those few excursions, we’ve been homebodies the rest of the time…and that’s the way I like it. All of the kids have been so creative this week in so many different ways. And the thing is, I didn’t initiate any of these activities. Everything was their idea. (Although I did print out some free placemats to color from Write Bonnie Rose.) This is why Dollar Tree is so great. I’m able to get all sorts of goodies there for $1 each, and the kids’ imaginations soar!

Making foam crafts
Making foam crafts

Caollin making her little robot person. She inspired the other kids to make them, as well.
Caollin making her little robot person. She inspired the other kids to make them, as well.

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Dillon spent hours building World of Warcraft Lego sets this week. SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Several of the kids built with the Lincoln Logs, too.

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I almost forgot. Devin, Arianna, and I also went to A.C. Moore for Devin’s art supplies and to Party City for Arianna’s theatrical makeup. Devin has just started taking a drawing and painting class at the local art school, and, so far, she loves it. Arianna is still obsessed interested in makeup of all kinds. This week she’s made her own lip balm and makeup remover.

Attractive, right?
Attractive, right?

She’s really starting to rub off on Caollin and London because now they’re trying to do theatrical makeup on the little ones. Today London decided to put red nail polish all over Summer’s hands to look like “blood.” Yeah, apparently, I’d better watch her more closely.

Dillon, Arianna, Caollin, and Bailey have all been busy writing stories on the laptops. Okay, Bailey was only copying words out of a book, but he’s 6. I was really excited to see him doing that.

Score!
Score!

Caollin writing and illustrating her story
Caollin writing and illustrating her story

Lastly, my husband got World of Warcraft, so Devin, Dillon, and he have been spending time playing that together. In truth, I wasn’t too thrilled about this, until I found out that there’s so much to it. I almost did a backflip when I saw the kids using maps to navigate around the worlds. Geography- check.

Friday I expect to be more of the same, although we will be going grocery shopping, so there will inevitably be a conflict over who gets to go with. I’m not taking all ten of them. That’s for sure!

Kenzie never makes it into my posts, so here she is!
Kenzie never makes it into my posts, so here she is!

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Have a good weekend, everyone!

How’s your week been? Are you doing anything fun this weekend?

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Share the Wealth Sunday

How to Homeschool Without Breaking the Bank

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Today is Part 2 of my Homeschooling on One Income series. Part 1 described how our family manages daily living on one income. Before homeschooling, it is essential to work out a budget plan for day to day living if you have a limited income.
One of the many arguments I see coming from opponents of homeschooling is the myth that only affluent children can be taught at home because of the costs involved. This is laughable to me. We homeschool an extremely large family on a welder’s income, so there goes that idea. To make matters worse, many prospective homeschoolers buy into this reasoning and begrudgingly enroll their children in public school because they feel they can’t afford it.
I’m here to tell you today that, no matter the homeschooling method, there are enough resources out there that, given the right amount of research, almost anyone can afford to homeschool.

Here are resources that we have used for homeschooling that have been very affordable, if not downright free!

– There is such an abundance of free homeschool printables covering pretty much every subject online that I really could just stop right here. There are also wonderful unit studies available- again, for free! Take time and look through homeschool blogs. There are so many writers who are excited to share their wonderful ideas with you at no cost.

– I have gotten my younger children workbooks at Dollar Tree. Yes, Dollar Tree. This store is actually where I get most of my school supplies throughout the year.

– More expensive does not always mean better. Do your homework. Our family used Konos unit studies for years. The initial price tag of $110 might sting a little (although this is considered inexpensive compared to other curricula), but you have to look at the big picture. There is enough material to cover 2 1/2 years of schoolwork, and there are activities included from K-8. So this is perfect to use with multiple children; you could even have the younger children go back through it again when they’re older because there’s that much material in there.

– Instead of buying Language Arts curriculum, use lapbooking to fulfill that area. And I don’t necessarily mean those lapbooking worksheets that you print out and just have them fill in. Let them decide what they will put in it. Encourage them and give them ideas, but let them have the final say. I promise you, they will enjoy it so much more, and they will remember more.

– Don’t forget the library! Even before we started unschooling, the library provided the abundance of our learning tools. It’s not just for books anymore! (although that’s my favorite part :))Our library has movies, music, free online foreign languages through Mango Languages, story times, and toys that you can borrow and take home. Devin and I always jokingly say that if the library starts selling food, we’re moving in!

– Buy used. Ebay, Craigslist, and Amazon are but three of dozens of places where used curriculum can be bought and sold.

– Let life be your curriculum! That’s right…life…because every waking minute of your child’s life…of our lives…we are learning. Let them explore! Let them collect rocks and salamanders and leaves! Teach them to use search engines (also free!) to identify and classify their finds. Even watching the dreaded TV will provide learning. (I’m not one to let them watch unlimited TV, but I will allow it 1-2 hours a day if they wish to watch it. Sometimes they don’t.) Just the other day, I overheard Caollin correctly use a scientific term that I knew I didn’t teach her. Where did she learn it? Spongebob!

This is how we’ve afforded to homeschool in our household. We are so blessed to live in a society in which we can find an abundance of learning resources in as little as the click of a mouse. So before you nix the idea of homeschooling for financial reasons, I say stop. Take a step back, and rethink it. The world is at your feet.

What are some ways that you have cut costs in homeschooling? Leave a comment…you just might give the advice someone desperately needs!

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