Blog, She Wrote http://blogshewrote.org Homeschooling mom to 4 Fri, 21 Nov 2014 00:24:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Learning Geography with Atlaseshttp://blogshewrote.org/2014/11/20/learning-geography-atlases/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/11/20/learning-geography-atlases/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 00:16:47 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=16289 This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support! I love a good map, don’t you? Ever since I was young, I have always loved to pour over a map- whether they are local or world maps. It’s fun to … Continue reading

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Blog, She Wrote: Learning Geography with Atlases

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

I love a good map, don’t you? Ever since I was young, I have always loved to pour over a map- whether they are local or world maps. It’s fun to think about place and people. Even better than just one map is a whole book full of maps! Or many books full of maps of all kinds! Today’s post is all about Learning Geography with Atlases.

Learning Geography with Atlases

As with most things, you can direct learning with an atlas in a formal or informal way. I think it depends on your purpose and the goals you have for teaching geography. We use both approaches in our homeschool. Here are a few examples of resources requiring an atlas.

  • NorthStar Geography- A middle and high school geography course for high school credit. Written by Tyler Hogan at Bright Ideas Press, this curriculum offers specific strategies for using atlases and being a student of geography.
  • Geography Quests- Featured here at Blog, She Wrote, the Geography Quest is a mix of formal and informal as we set on adventures incorporating seasonal and news based geography.
  • Google Earth Lessons- A place where you can find lessons on geography of all kinds using Google Earth.

Our Favorite United States Atlases

Blog, She Wrote: Learning Geography with Atlases

No post on atlases would be complete without a run down of our best loved editions. First up are the United States atlases. Although you can find the U.S. in a World Atlas, you’ll find better detail in an atlas devoted entirely to the United States.

World Atlases for Learning Geography

Blog, She Wrote: Learning Geography with Atlases

World atlases are a great tool for gazing through a window to the world! Here are a few we have on hand for our world travel in the homeschool room.

Electronic Atlases

For those of us who like to take advantage of technology, there are some nice electronic atlas options.

  • WonderMaps- This is map making software from Bright Ideas Press that allows you to customize and print maps. Not only can you print maps for school any way you’d like, but it is a great reference atlas as well and very easy to use on any computer.
  • Google Earth- I *heart* Google Earth! It’s a virtual globe with gobs of detail which lets you visit any place in the world. You can even use the ground view and see pictures people have uploaded from that area. What a fun feature if you’ve never been. Families can learn so much from spending time with Google Earth.
  • Atlas Apps- Check your favorite app store for low cost atlas apps. I know Kindle has a few available for purchase. While not super detailed, these are fun for quick reference on the go. How many of us school in the car?

The great thing about electronic atlases is they are always up to date! You can update an electronic file much easier than making a new printed edition. This is one of my favorite features of WonderMaps.

Specialty Atlases

Blog, She Wrote: Learning Geography with Atlases

Of course, United States and World Atlases are not the only types of atlases out there. You can find historical atlases, literature atlases, and atlases of plants and animals. Here are the ones we have:

In finding links for some of these atlases, I noticed that some are older versions and many are still available used. If you want to know what to look for in an atlas, take a look at Tyler Hogan’s post on Choosing the Right Atlas.

All About Atlases

Recently, I took part in a G+ Hangout with Bright Ideas Press All about Atlases! Tyler Hogan from Bright Ideas Press and fellow Finishing Strong Co-Host, Kyle McVay joined me for a fun conversation about atlases. It’s hard to miss the enthusiasm. Take the time to watch!

Black Friday Sale at Bright Ideas Press

Great news! It’s that time of year and Bright Ideas Press is offering 20% off your entire purchase during Thanksgiving Weekend. This is a fantastic time to pick up WonderMaps or NorthStar Geography. Bright Ideas Press has other geography resources as well. Take a moment to browse the shop!

2014 Black Friday Sale BIP

 

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Finishing Strong- Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years Week 38http://blogshewrote.org/2014/11/19/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-38/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/11/19/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-38/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 11:00:04 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=16285 Happy Wednesday and welcome to Finishing Strong, the link up for homeschooling middle & high school students. Every week you share some amazing posts with us. We love reading about your homeschooling journey. The more we share our experiences about … Continue reading

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Happy Wednesday and welcome to Finishing Strong, the link up for homeschooling middle & high school students.

Finishing Strong ~ Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years #38

Every week you share some amazing posts with us. We love reading about your homeschooling journey. The more we share our experiences about schooling our middle & high school students at home, the easier it is for all of us.

Finishing Strong is co-hosted by: Aspired Living, Blog She Wrote, Education Possible, EvaVarga, Starts at Eight, & Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus.

Here are the four posts that had the most clicks last week. If you didn’t get the opportunity to read them, here’s another chance.

Middle School Chemistry: Chemical Reactions from Education Possible

Night Classes and Other Benefits of Homeschool from Hodgepodge

Get into a Homeschool Routine – Make a Schedule from Living Life and Learning

Homeschooling Through the Eyes of a High Schooler from Starts at Eight

With Thanksgiving around the corner, we will be taking next Wednesday off from this link up. We’ll be back the following week, December 3rd.

In the meantime, keep reading for some great homeschooling ideas and encouragement.

Bloggers, by linking up, you may be featured on our co-hosts’ social media pages or our Pinterest board. We may even select you to be featured in a future post!

Guidelines for the hop:

  1. Link up to 3 posts from your blog. Make sure you use the exact URL to the post, not to your home page. You can add any post related to homeschooling middle and high school students. Posts unrelated to that will be removed.
  2. Please no advertising, individual Pinterest pins, Facebook, Twitter, or other link-up links!
  3. Grab our button to add to your post after you link it up. Each week we will be choosing our favorite posts to highlight on all 6 sites. If you were featured, make sure you add an “I was featured” button.
  4. The linky will go live on each co-host’s blog each Wednesday at 6am EST, and will be live until Tuesday at 11:55 pm.

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Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

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Finishing Strong- Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years Week 37http://blogshewrote.org/2014/11/12/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-37/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/11/12/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-37/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 11:00:38 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=16276 Welcome to Finishing Strong. We’re glad you’re here. We are a link up that focuses entirely on teaching middle & high school students. There were many fun and practical ideas shared last week. Hopefully you were able to take time … Continue reading

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Welcome to Finishing Strong. We’re glad you’re here. We are a link up that focuses entirely on teaching middle & high school students.

Finishing Strong ~ Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years #37

There were many fun and practical ideas shared last week. Hopefully you were able to take time out of your busy homeschooling day to read some of them. We always find new ideas and plenty of encouragement for schooling our older kids at home through the stories you share with us.

Co-hosted by: Aspired Living, Blog She Wrote, Education Possible, EvaVarga, Starts at Eight, & Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus.

Have you read these four popular posts from last week?

Science Sunday, #1: Chemistry Lessons from All Things Beautiful

I Kicked My Son Out of My Homeschool from Classically Homeschooling

“You Were Right, Mom!” – 5 Things Kids Learn from Natural Consequences from Homeschool Your Boys

Homeschooling in the Middle Years: 5 Tips for Teaching Independence from The Sunny Patch

Keep reading to see what great things get shared this week!

Bloggers, by linking up, you may be featured on our co-hosts’ social media pages or our Pinterest board. We may even select you to be featured in a future post!

Guidelines for the hop:

  1. Link up to 3 posts from your blog. Make sure you use the exact URL to the post, not to your home page. You can add any post related to homeschooling middle and high school students. Posts unrelated to that will be removed.
  2. Please no advertising, individual Pinterest pins, Facebook, Twitter, or other link-up links!
  3. Grab our button to add to your post after you link it up. Each week we will be choosing our favorite posts to highlight on all 6 sites. If you were featured, make sure you add an “I was featured” button.
  4. The linky will go live on each co-host’s blog each Wednesday at 6am EST, and will be live until Tuesday at 11:55 pm.

Share the love.

Add our button to your post.

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

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Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

We love people who SHARE WITH US!

*By linking up, you agree for us to share your images, always with credit!

So tell us, what have you been up to?

Add your best posts that focus on homeschooling middle & high school students. Share your ideas, unique learning approaches, encouragement, and more.
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U.S. Geography with Which Way USAhttp://blogshewrote.org/2014/11/09/u-s-geography-way-usa/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/11/09/u-s-geography-way-usa/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 01:01:03 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=16252 Disclaimer- I received a sample of product and was compensated for my time in writing this review. As always, these are my own thoughts and I was not required to write a positive review. Thanks! How many of us grew … Continue reading

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Blog, She Wrote: U.S. Geography with Which Way USADisclaimer- I received a sample of product and was compensated for my time in writing this review. As always, these are my own thoughts and I was not required to write a positive review. Thanks!

How many of us grew up on Hidden Pictures published by Highlights Magazine for children? Some of you may already know about their program Which Way USA. Here’s a look at this fun membership for kids and how you can teach U.S. Geography with Which Way USA.

Teaching U.S. Geography with Which Way USA

Blog, She Wrote: U.S. Geography with Which Way USA

Once you sign up to receive Which Way USA, each shipment comes with two puzzle books, two state maps, two license key tags, and there’s one game guide. So, how does it work?

  • State Puzzle Books- These books have puzzles all related to popular landmark & locations around the state.
  • Use Facts- From the books to solve the puzzles.
  • State Maps- Each state map is illustrated on one side and includes state stats along with historical highlights and famous people. The flip side has photographs of the famous places.
  • Game Guide- Has a page for each state where you can add stickers and facts about each one. You can even check off whether or not you’ve visited that state.
  • License Key Tags- Are collectible and unlock web content that goes with each state. What a fun way to include technology! And something old meets something new.

Benefits of Using Which Way USA

Blog, She Wrote: U.S. Geography with Which Way USA

Which Way USA has been around since my high schoolers were preschoolers and maybe longer! We used to keep a blank map of the United States on our wall and with each state we studied, we’d color it in on the map. Our primary aged students loved to see how many we’d already visited with our studies.

  • Builds map reading and other geography skills
  • Offers variety with the puzzle format
  • Practices problem solving & analytical skills
  • Includes a map that makes a wonderful home reference tool

Our Which Way USA New York State map has been a long time familiar sight on our wall! It’s an easy reference for young students to learn state geography.

How to Get Started with Which Way USA

Blog, She Wrote: U.S. Geography with Which Way USA

When you sign up, you’ll receive shipments with materials for two states each month- about every four weeks.

  • The introductory offer is $6.95 plus shipping/handling. After the first shipment, the price is $6.95 per state set plus $2.45 shipping & handling.
  • Add in a US Wall Map & Sticker Set for $2.99- We loved our wall map to follow our travels!
  • You can cancel Which Way USA any time if you find it isn’t for you.

Perhaps you are a reader whose family has not had the chance to get to know Which Way USA, I encourage you to give it a try and enjoy getting mail in the mailbox every month. When our kids were small, they loved getting a new set and testing out their state trivia along with marking a new place on the U.S. map. Join in the fun with U.S. Geography and Which Way USA by Highlights!

 

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Finishing Strong- Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years Week 36http://blogshewrote.org/2014/11/05/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-36/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/11/05/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-36/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 11:00:13 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=16239 Happy Wednesday and welcome to another week of Finishing Strong. We are a link up dedicated to middle & high school students. It’s brought to you by Aspired Living, Blog She Wrote, Education Possible, EvaVarga, Starts at Eight, and Tina’s … Continue reading

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Finishing Strong ~ Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years #36

Happy Wednesday and welcome to another week of Finishing Strong.

We are a link up dedicated to middle & high school students. It’s brought to you by Aspired Living, Blog She Wrote, Education Possible, EvaVarga, Starts at Eight, and Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus.

There were some amazing posts shared with us last week, covering all kinds of subjects. Hopefully as you read them, you learned something new or found encouragement to help you as you work hard to homeschool your older students.

Here are four of our most popular posts from last week:

A Week in the Life of a British Homeschooling Family by Navigating by Joy

Homeschool, Life, and Curriculum Update by See Jamie Blog

Why I’m a Morning Meeting Failure {and what I’m doing to fix it} by The Sunny Patch

How to Plan a High School Reading List by Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Keep reading to see what great things get shared this week!

Bloggers, by linking up, you may be featured on our co-hosts’ social media pages or our Pinterest board. We may even select you to be featured in a future post!

Guidelines for the hop:

  1. Link up to 3 posts from your blog. Make sure you use the exact URL to the post, not to your home page. You can add any post related to homeschooling middle and high school students. Posts unrelated to that will be removed.
  2. Please no advertising, individual Pinterest pins, Facebook, Twitter, or other link-up links!
  3. Grab our button to add to your post after you link it up. Each week we will be choosing our favorite posts to highlight on all 6 sites. If you were featured, make sure you add an “I was featured” button.
  4. The linky will go live on each co-host’s blog each Wednesday at 6am EST, and will be live until Tuesday at 11:55 pm.

Share the love.

Add our button to your post.

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Was your post featured?

Grab an “I was featured” button!

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

We love people who SHARE WITH US!

*By linking up, you agree for us to share your images, always with credit!

So tell us, what have you been up to?

Add your best posts that focus on homeschooling middle & high school students. Share your ideas, unique learning approaches, encouragement, and more.
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Finishing Strong- Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years Week 35http://blogshewrote.org/2014/10/29/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-35/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/10/29/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-35/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 10:00:22 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=16230 Welcome to Finishing Strong! Finishing Strong is all about homeschooling middle & high school students. It’s hosted by Aspired Living, Blog She Wrote, Education Possible, EvaVarga, Starts at Eight, and Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus. Two words sum up our most … Continue reading

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Welcome to Finishing Strong!

Finishing Strong ~ Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years #35

Finishing Strong is all about homeschooling middle & high school students. It’s hosted by Aspired Living, Blog She Wrote, Education Possible, EvaVarga, Starts at Eight, and Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus.

Two words sum up our most popular posts from last week: independence and interest. Seems like many of you are looking for ways to teach your teen to be more independent with their school work and want to include more of their interests into the lesson plans.

If that sounds like you, then you’ll love these articles shared by some of our faithful readers.

Interest-Led Learning for High School by Learning Table

Building Homeschool Teenager Accountability by Middle Way Mom

Growing Independence in My 7th Grader by One Homeschool Journey

Interest-Led Science: Tips & Guidelines for Independent Learning by The Sunny Patch

Don’t forget all of the new posts that have been shared with us – just keep reading!

Bloggers, by linking up, you may be featured on our co-hosts’ social media pages or our Pinterest board. We may even select you to be featured in a future post!

Guidelines for the hop:

  1. Link up to 3 posts from your blog. Make sure you use the exact URL to the post, not to your home page. You can add any post related to homeschooling middle and high school students. Posts unrelated to that will be removed.
  2. Please no advertising, individual Pinterest pins, Facebook, Twitter, or other link-up links!
  3. Grab our button to add to your post after you link it up. Each week we will be choosing our favorite posts to highlight on all 6 sites. If you were featured, make sure you add an “I was featured” button.
  4. The linky will go live on each co-host’s blog each Wednesday at 6am EST, and will be live until Tuesday at 11:55 pm.

Share the love.

Add our button to your post.

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Was your post featured?

Grab an “I was featured” button!

Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

We love people who SHARE WITH US!

*By linking up, you agree for us to share your images, always with credit!

So tell us, what have you been up to?

Add your best posts that focus on homeschooling middle & high school students. Share your ideas, unique learning approaches, encouragement, and more.
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Comparing the Accuracy of Liquid Measurement Toolshttp://blogshewrote.org/2014/10/27/comparing-accuracy-liquid-measurement-tools/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/10/27/comparing-accuracy-liquid-measurement-tools/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 03:27:25 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=16199 Have you ever thought about how accurate your volumetric measuring tools are? How do you know your measuring cup is calibrated? Is it good science to use your kitchen tools for science? Today’s discussion is Comparing the Accuracy of Liquid … Continue reading

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Blog, She Wrote: Comparing the Accuracy of Liquid Measurement Tools

Have you ever thought about how accurate your volumetric measuring tools are? How do you know your measuring cup is calibrated? Is it good science to use your kitchen tools for science? Today’s discussion is Comparing the Accuracy of Liquid Measuring Tools.

Are All Volumetric Measuring Tools the Same?

Blog, She Wrote: Comparing the Accuracy of Liquid Measurement Tools

The gold standard in measuring volume is the Volumetric Flask. It’s a laboratory flask which is calibrated precisely to a certain volume at a particular temperature. They come in various sizes from 1-10,000 mL of liquid. But, they are also expensive and they are typically not found in classroom labs or homes because neither work with extremely precise volumes of liquid.

So, what do we use instead? The rule of thumb is to use the graduated cylinder. With all the markings on the cylinder, it is considered more accurate than other volume measuring tools. But, is there a big difference? We decided to test them to see.

Tools for Measuring Volume

Blog, She Wrote: Comparing the Accuracy of Liquid Measurement Tools

What are some tools available for measuring volume?

  • Beakers- Are containers primarily used for mixing and heating. There are markings on them for measuring, but they are meant to be approximate.
  • Measuring Cups- The liquid measuring kitchen variety. We use Pyrex brand.
  • Erlenmeyer Flasks- These are wide bottomed but not circular with a neck that can use a stopper (with or without holes). It makes a good reaction vessel and allows a larger area for smaller volumes.
  • Florence Flask- This is a round bottomed flask used for boiling solutions.
  • Field Collecting Tubes- These are screw top collecting tubes which come in 15 mL or 50 mL and they are terrific for collecting aquatic specimens in the field. We use them during our entomology excursions.
  • Pipettes- Used for moving small volumes of water or removing liquid in small increments. I like the disposable kind because the cleaning is much easier!
  • Graduated Cylinder- Are used for measuring volumetric quantities. They range in size from 10- 1000 mL. If you are going to choose only one, the 100 mL size is a good one.

So, if you want to use something other than what’s found in your kitchen, where do you get them? We use Home Science Tools. We order some specialty items, like collecting tubes, from BioQuip. Just for fun, we also visited our local university’s chemistry supply room. Armed with gift money, our then 8 year old, took a trip with Dad to pick out his own glassware.

Testing the Accuracy of Volume Measuring Tools

Blog, She Wrote: Comparing the Accuracy of Liquid Measurement Tools

Since we used the graduated cylinder as our gold standard, we chose to determine the final volume in a graduated cylinder. Our procedure:

  • Choose a beaker, flask, or collecting tube and fill it with water to the highest marked volume in mL.
  • Record that volume in your data chart which will be labeled with the containers you are using.
  • Pour the contents of the first container into the appropriately (closest) sized graduated cylinder available.
  • Measure the volume of water in the graduated cylinder
  • Record the volume.
  • Repeat using various sized measurement tools.

How to Record Data When Doing a Science Exploration

Blog, She Wrote: Comparing the Accuracy of Liquid Measurement Tools

The data chart for recording volume was designed by each student separately based on what we needed to write down. Here are a few things to remember about data charts and recording data.

  • Have each student design her own based on ability- parents can step in when columns are missing.
  • Give hints or general categories students need to remember when constructing their own chart. It’s ok if the charts turn out differently from others as long as they record everything.
  • Creating their own data chart is a great way to learn the skill of organizing information. I think we underestimate the importance of our homeschooled students being able to organize information on their own- without the help of a printable!
  • Remember printables are fun, but they aren’t necessary and sometimes they slow you down- like when you are spending all your time looking for ones you’ve already printed or when you can’t find just the perfect one.
  • Scientists in the field must create their own data charts since they often design their own experiments. Step boldly!

Our Findings- How Accurate are the Volumetric Tools?

Blog, She Wrote: Comparing the Accuracy of Liquid Measurement Tools

What were the results?

  • All volumetric containers are not the same!
  • The graduated cylinder has more markings and measures more accurately – it was certainly easier to determine an accurate volume with more gradations.
  • The readings on the graduated cylinder were higher than the same volume measurement in the other tools.
  • The larger the container, the larger the discrepancy. The largest beaker was off my 20 mL or more!

What does it all mean? Well, it means if you want accurate volume without using a volumetric flask, use the graduated cylinder for the best results. Always use the container that will reasonably hold your liquids. If you use the extreme opposite, your readings will be less accurate.

Does My Homeschool Need Volumetric Measuring Tools?

Some of you might be asking whether or not it’s a good idea to invest in some volumetric containers for your homeschool. Is it a good idea? Here are a few things to think on:

  • Using containers meant for science frees up your kitchen tools- I prefer to use science tools for science and kitchen tools for the kitchen. That might be the science teacher talking, but it’s more than that!
  • Some chemicals don’t belong in vessels we eat from- Perhaps your wet labs aren’t dangerous, but some of them might be.
  • Using science tools reinforces safety measures- We don’t eat in the lab! Nor should we really eat from vessels used in the lab.
  • Ensures your students know how to measure volume accurately using appropriate tools
  • Your students will be versed in labware and how to use it
  • It helps our science to be more accurate- rather than guessing at volume when your liquid falls somewhere between 50 mL marks!

It’s easy to start out with a few beakers and graduated cylinders. We have a mixture of plastic and glass, but plastic lets me relax a little more. I would recommend a 100 mL graduated cylinder, 250 & 500 mL beakers at a minimum to start. If you work in small volumes, a 10 mL graduated cylinder is a good size.

Even the simplest of labs can introduce a great deal of concepts and provide plenty of practice at homeschool science. It’s important to use scientific volumetric tools as much as possible. Your measurements will be more accurate!

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Finishing Strong- Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years Week 34http://blogshewrote.org/2014/10/22/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-34/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/10/22/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-34/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:00:30 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=16193 Welcome to another week of Finishing Strong! Finishing Strong is the place where parents can come together and share their thoughts and ideas for homeschooling middle & high school students. It’s hosted by Aspired Living, Blog She Wrote, Education Possible, … Continue reading

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Finishing Strong ~ Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Welcome to another week of Finishing Strong!

Finishing Strong is the place where parents can come together and share their thoughts and ideas for homeschooling middle & high school students. It’s hosted by Aspired Living, Blog She Wrote, Education Possible, EvaVarga, Starts at Eight, and Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus.

Below are three of the most popular posts from last week. Have you read them yet?

Teaching Literature – Helping Teens Form Relationships with Books by 7Sisters Homeschool

Exploring Narrative in Art by The Art Curator for Kids

3 Reasons to Continue the All About Spelling Journey by The Sunny Patch

We hope you’ll take some time to read all of the wonderful posts that people have shared below.

Bloggers, by linking up, you may be featured on our co-hosts’ social media pages or our Pinterest board. We may even select you to be featured in a future post!

Guidelines for the hop:

  1. Link up to 3 posts from your blog. Make sure you use the exact URL to the post, not to your home page. You can add any post related to homeschooling middle and high school students. Posts unrelated to that will be removed.
  2. Please no advertising, individual Pinterest pins, Facebook, Twitter, or other link-up links!
  3. Grab our button to add to your post after you link it up. Each week we will be choosing our favorite posts to highlight on all 6 sites. If you were featured, make sure you add an “I was featured” button.
  4. The linky will go live on each co-host’s blog each Wednesday at 6am EST, and will be live until Tuesday at 11:55 pm.

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]]> http://blogshewrote.org/2014/10/22/finishing-strong-homeschooling-middle-high-school-years-week-34/feed/ 0 History Quest: Civil War Uniformshttp://blogshewrote.org/2014/10/17/history-quest-civil-war-uniforms/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/10/17/history-quest-civil-war-uniforms/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 20:31:58 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=16180 This Quest’s topic is near and dear to Rebecca’s fashion designing heart. What did soldiers on both sides wear? Did they wear pajamas? What kinds of guns did they carry and how? Get ready for today’s History Quest: Civil War … Continue reading

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History Quest- Civil War Uniforms

This Quest’s topic is near and dear to Rebecca’s fashion designing heart. What did soldiers on both sides wear? Did they wear pajamas? What kinds of guns did they carry and how? Get ready for today’s History Quest: Civil War Uniforms.

Union Uniforms

Let’s see if you can find out some information about uniforms for the Union Army.

  • What itchy fabric made up most of the uniforms?
  • Cotton from home was preferred. Why was it rare during the war?
  • Standard Union uniforms featured a dark blue shirt with how many brass buttons?
  • Early in the war Union soldiers’ standard issue pants were dark blue. In 1862 this was changed to what?
  • They wore leather shoes which laced up around their ankles. These had a very specific name. What were they called?
  • What kind of hat was most common? What did the symbol on the front of the hat mean?
  • What kind of guns did infantrymen carry and use?
  • How much did an average soldier’s gear weigh?
  • What was the standard issue gear for a Union soldier?

If you could pick a few things to add to your pack, what would you take?

History Quest- Civil War UniformsConfederate Uniforms

How about the Confederate uniforms? Were they similar? How were they different?

  • Most Confederates wore gray, right? Wrong! What color did the majority of Confederate soldiers actually wear?
  • What nickname did the collar of their uniforms earn them?
  • The south had plenty of cotton, but what did the north have that prevented them from making many shoes?
  • Did you know that denim was around during The Civil War? What part of a typical Confederate uniform was made of cotton denim?
  • Why were Confederate uniforms heavily influenced by Union uniforms?

Making Your Own Civil War Uniform

History Quest- Civil War Uniforms

Each year our homeschool group hosts a Civil War Ball in the spring. What began as the culmination to one family’s unit on the war, has developed into an annual event for our group. Part of the process is preparing the gown and the uniforms. In the past Ethan has dressed as a civilian just like Dan (my husband), but this year he was a Union soldier like his younger brother. Rebecca, as you may have guessed, makes a new gown each year.

We used the directions from Time Travelers Civil War by Homeschool in the Woods to turn a navy blue sport coat into a Union jacket. You can do the same with the Confederate uniforms. We have even had brothers show up wearing uniforms from opposing sides!

What did we need?

  • Navy blue sport coat- acquired from the thrift store. I couldn’t find a boys’ size that I needed so I looked for small women’s coats instead. It was kinda hard to partially disassemble a Talbot’s wool jacket! You have to be strong.
  • Brass buttons- I hit a second hand sewing shop for this one and came up strong. I also used the buttons from the sleeves.
  • Gold ribbon- for the collar
  • Yellow fabric- to make the sash for the soldier’s uniform

It wasn’t hard to do at all, but aligning the buttons took some time. We were in a hurry so we could also use a better fastener at the top of the jacket. Next year!

 

History Quest- Civil War Uniforms

I promise a post on How to Host a Civil War Ball very soon! For now, enjoy learning more about what the uniforms were like so you are ready to make your own!

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Teaching Geography with Earth Sciencehttp://blogshewrote.org/2014/10/16/teaching-geography-earth-science/ http://blogshewrote.org/2014/10/16/teaching-geography-earth-science/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:11:24 +0000 http://blogshewrote.org/?p=16012 This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support! Not only will our high schoolers earn a high school credit in geography, but they will also have their earth science high school credit. We can get a lot of mileage … Continue reading

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Blog, She Wrote: Teaching Geography with Earth Science

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Not only will our high schoolers earn a high school credit in geography, but they will also have their earth science high school credit. We can get a lot of mileage out of the content and videos in the earth science text when we are doing physical geography, but there are also beginning concepts which compliment one other. Here’s a look at How We Teach Geography with Earth Science.

Blog, She Wrote: Teaching Geography with Earth Science

High School Earth Science Topics which Go along with NorthStar Geography

There is some amount of overlap between geography and earth science. Physical geography includes discussions on earth science. While physical geography teaches the various features of the earth, earth science will not only name them and describe them, but will tell us how they were formed. In looking at both resources, I made a list of the shared concepts.

  • Maps & Direction- Types of maps and how to use them. For example, topographical maps (including contour maps), geologic maps, bathymetric maps.
  • Navigation- Subtopic of maps & direction. Lines of longitude and latitude, tropics zones, prime meridian, etc.
  • Structure of the Earth- Plates & continents. Earth Science will talk about composition of the earth while geography will touch on the people and their boundaries.
  • Topography- Bodies of water, man-made features, the lay of the land so to speak
  • Lithosphere- Mountains, volcanoes, and earthquakes.
  • Hydrosphere- Oceanography, freshwater systems
  • Atmosphere- Climate, weather, weather maps and interpreting weather data

Blog, She Wrote: Teaching Geography with Earth Science

How We Use Ck-12 Earth Science for High School with NorthStar Geography

CK-12 is an open source text book out of California which offers courses in science and math for free. The open source nature of the site means you can enjoy lots of content folks share including quizzes, tests, labs & activities. This particular course (Earth Science) has quite a lot of front matter, so we skipped it having met those topics in our science courses many times. We began with the Earth Science content.

Here are a few ways we have found to work these two courses together so far this year:

  • Read the chapters in both the NorthStar Geography text & the Earth Science text- the matching concept chapters compliment one another and come at a topic from a different perspective.
  • Watch the embedded video from the Earth Science text- For example, after doing the chapter on maps, we watched a video on latitude.
  • Activities & labs from Earth Science work well with geography and vice versa. We did the mapping activities with NorthStar Geography as our work for Earth Science.
  • NorthStar Geography Activities- Can add hands on fun to the Earth Science sections which are the same.

Blog, She Wrote: Teaching Geography with Earth Science

Flexible Technology Allows us to Use Both NorthStar Geography & High School Earth Science

Part of working with both of these resource tools together is to make use of technology when we can.

  • We use the ebook & print version of NorthStar Geography- The student reader is available in either the print version or the digital version. If you purchase the printed version, it comes with a CD which includes the digital edition.
  • The earth science text and NorthStar Geography were put onto my students’ kindles- They can watch embedded videos right from the text and read anywhere without sharing the resources with each other. The earth science text is offered in a mobi file for Kindles and the geography was loaded as a pdf.
  • If they want to compare resources they can read off the computer while viewing their NorthStar ebook or text book. With two kids taking the courses at the same time that’s handy. They will be busy with assignment and not necessarily work at the same rate or in the same way, so having options with no extra expense is a bonus.
  • Using a Kindle in Your Homeschool- Do you use a Kindle in your homeshcooling? Our student Kindles have been invaluable to our studies as our children have gotten older. Reading, research, and organization tools are used every day by our students. Amazon has a new Kindle- the Kindle Fire HD6 is $99 and offers the same excellent features as the one we use (with the bonus of a camera) with a slightly smaller screen. That’s a cost effective way to enter the world of tablets!

Blog, She Wrote: Teaching Geography with Earth Science

Benefits of Choosing NorthStar Geography for High School Credit

So far, the course has been enjoyable. We love geography at our house and even our high school junior, who considers himself a geography buff, could stand to brush up on his knowledge- especially in the area of human geography. What makes this one credit course right for us?

  • It’s easy to follow and very thorough- I think it’s especially easy when you have WonderMaps because the directions tell you what features to choose in the map before you print it.
  • There are several schedules you can use depending on how often you want to study geography in a particular year.
  • Hands on activities for every chapter- There are activity directions for each chapter which are easy to access and print for your students.
  • Build your own student atlas using WonderMaps printables or the ones included in the resource disc.
  • Hands off kids can work on memorizing the maps- They can choose to make an atlas or concentrate on memorizing only. There are a variety of ways for students to approach the course by choosing options along the way.
  • Customize to your needs and abilities- With so many components and the clear directions not to use them all, you can easily customize the course to your student’s strengths and your goal with the geography course.
  • Purchase alone or as a bundle with WonderMaps- If you already own WonderMaps you can go right for NorthStar. If not, you can purchase them together. The maps you need are included with NorthStar, but I love to make custom maps for our work and for any other of our map needs!

My plan is flawless except for the Lyme Disease which my high school junior is fighting. Whenever you are working with multiple ages and coordinating curriculum, something is bound to go wrong- in case you might think the world is perfectly aligned with such a great plan! So, our high school freshman must work ahead at this point. Ethan will have to catch up later or they will continue separately or mixed and matched with labs and activities. It’s important to remain flexible and keep forging ahead with circumstances as best you can. The plan is still there to keep on us track and let us know where we are headed!

We are delighted that earth science and NorthStar Geography are part of the plan this year!

North Star Geography & WonderMaps Combo

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