Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Art Class with a twist

Check out today's summer teaching idea with your kids!


Reminder: I have moved my blogspot blog to word press so you'll want to come by and sign up to receive updates. I'll only be posting here a few more weeks.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

We're Moving!

It's been in the works for awhile now, and it's official...I have moved my homeschool blog over to Word Press! I'm wanting to get more active with my blogging and reach a bigger audience, and Word Press has all I'll need to do that.

Please come by and bookmark the new site. http://www.homeschoolteacherslounge.com/

Here's a post to catch you up to speed. I started something new this week to kick off summer officially starting. Each day, I'll be posting fun, inexpensive ways to encourage your children to learn through summer activities. This post will explain it all.


Also, you can sign up for email delivery here and have my blog posts delivered right to your inbox! If you enjoy this, please feel free to share it with a friend. If you have an idea you'd like to share, simply add it at the bottom of the post!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Fun for the Family

Summer is officially here and it's time to relax, have fun and show your kids your not just the "teacher" but once a kid yourself!

I'm very excited about taking a break for the next few weeks but there are moments all through the summer that are great teaching opportunities that you may want to incorporate!

So everyday this summer for the next four weeks I'll be bringing you great ideas to embrace everything summer has to offer.

You'll find things like:

  • free to low cost summer vacations

  • fun summer craft projects

  • simple and easy summer meals

  • ways to transform your back yard into a summer amusement park

  • Summer entertaining ideas

  • rewarding ways to teach kids about money

  • fun road trip games

  • camping must haves for kids

  • water fun

  • gardening

  • exciting science experiments

  • ways to rejuvenate mom and get you ready for school in the fall

  • and much more!

I'm teaming up with moms all over the U.S to bring you some of the most fun and exciting ideas. Everyday you can expect something new so you may want to book mark this and check back daily!

What are your plans this summer and what is your favorite way to make summer fun?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A "Double Dog Dare" for Your Kids from Borders!

Summer is quickly approaching and summer vacation will be beginning soon if it hasn't already for some.

A friend shared this free book offer with me and I thought many of you would enjoy this as well.

Borders books & music has put together a simple summer reading program that you and your kids will love!

It's their way of encouraging a love for reading throughout the summer.

Simply read ten books, print the form at the link below, list the books and turn it in to any store!

All the details are here:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Home School in the Woods-Colonial Life

I have to share with you how in love I am with Home School in the Woods! I recently discovered this program and when I took the time to really look at it, I couldn't believe how perfect this was for my daughter.

It's a hands on christian approach to teaching history. If you have a child that is not a text-book child and really wants to be doing craft projects and learning through more visual examples, I encourage you to take a look at this program.

We started the Colonial Life Series a few months ago and this will be one of the things we do all summer long off and on. It teaches all about the first settlers, what life was like starting out in the new world, food, shelter, clothing, farming, hobbies, animals and so much more. Each topic has 1-2 pages of literature and a list of books that you can take out at the library. Then you have two activities to go with it.

Do you have a girl that loves American Girl Dolls like I do? This would be a perfect fit!

Some of their other programs include:

  • Time Travelers History Studies
  • New World Explorers
  • Colonial Life
  • The American Revolution
  • The Early 19th Century
  • The Civil War NEW!
  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Artists
  • Composers

Here's pictures from our first project! An archaeological dig-what can we discover from the past?

Take a 2-liter bottle, cut off the top and label the sides in one inch spaces. fill with dirt and items from the past. We hid old nails, pieces of old pottery, small spoon, horse shoe etc.

You'll need tools to dig and a log book to write down what you find!

We'll be posting our projects all summer long...so stay tuned for things you can try at home to make learning fun!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Newport Aquarium-Home School Days

The Newport Aquarium is offering a special discount for home school families on Tuesday, May 4th and Wednesday, May 5th 2010.

All tickets are just $12! The deadline to register for the 4th & 5th is Thursday, April 29th 2010...so if you are even considering it don't delay.

You can find the registration form on the Newport Aquarium Website

The next home school day is October 13th and 15th. Registration is needed by Thursday, October 7th, 2010

We're planning a family "field trip" to this event and in the meantime, I think it would be fun to teach the girls some different things about sea life-science, oceans-geography and you could even encorporate something in about how recycling plays an important part!

I'd love to hear your ideas on this and any other suggestions you may have.

Friday, April 16, 2010

"Holy Cow...Science is Fun!"

We're finishing up our second year home schooling. We've been using Abeka Science.

Now I'm by no means an expert on home schooling...but I am smart enough to know that there has to be something a little more exciting than this!

It's a basic approach to home schooling.

Read together, discuss...then the child answers a few work book questions.

Are you bored yet? I am!

I attended a workshop at the Mid-West Home School Convention on how to make Science fun. My daughter loves science, but she's always asking, "when can we do an experiment?"

I love Holy Cow Science because they are simple, inexpensive experiments that can be used for multiple children and multiple grade levels. Most "Science in a Bag" kits come with everything you will need to do the experiment. If there are things you'll need it is usually things you already have on hand like water, baking soda etc.

It is a business designed by two brilliant chemisty teachers!

Do you know how to do a science experiment correctly? Need science fair project ideas? Or just want to add a little hands on fun to your science curriculum?

We learned all about magnatisum this week through their project called "Wacky Water Tricks"

Here are some photos:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Home School Humor

We hear it all the time, "I send my kids to school because I believe kids should be with others they're age. Home schooling children are un-socialized."


"We don't think it's right to shelter our children."

I realized over the weekend that there is a lot of humor in home schooling. I didn't know there was a market for it!

I loved this comic and the message behind it...so, so true;) I was needing a laugh today, so I went looking for more funny home school humor.

Enjoy, oh and feel free to send over your favorites and I'll add them here so we can all get a good laugh!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Memorable Week At the Cincinnatti Home School Convention

I just got back from the Mid-West Home schooling convention in Cincinnatti Ohio and what a life changing event that was!

This was my first convention and I have to say that I went in with an "agenda."

Home schooling had become a J.O.B for me and not one that I looked forward to tackling everyday.

Between the house work, farm chores, errands, my home based business, home school committee responsibilities and kids crying that they didn't want to do school work...

it felt that I was starting the day with "loser" written on my forehead.

I should tell you that it hasn't always been like this...I blame a lot of it on myself because life got so busy and what did I do...I took the fun out of home schooling.

Does this sound like you?

So this past week, I hit a wall and I knew it was time for a major change!

I packed my bags for a fun and exciting weekend with the girls, left the kids with my hubby and headed off on a road trip to Cincinnati knowing that I was coming home with my questions answered and a game plan to change the course of our class room!

We had a hotel reserved in the heart of the city and a room waiting for us on the eleventh floor!

Parking was crazy and so were the elevator rides up and down. The oldest hotel in Cincinnati only had two working elevators and 26 floors!

I am not sure who suggested this but some of the girls wondered if it was faster to take the stairs...yes, they actually raced up 11 flights of stairs and beat the elevator! LOL

The first night of the convention was filled with excitement. If I hadn't done my research going in, I would have been totally overwhelmed!

Over 300 exhibits and 250 workshops...that is some serious home school material to go through!

We each came for different reasons, so as soon as we arrived at the convention center we all went our separate ways. Some visited the exhibits first while others dove right in to the workshops.

We met back up that night for some late night pizza, chocolate and girl time....I don't think the lights went out till after 2am officially;)

The buzz was contagious and we couldn't wait to get back in there on Friday to learn more! It was two more full days of hands on material.

If you're not a home school mom, I could see how you wouldn't understand how this could be at all fun...but imagine being in a room full of things that will make your life go more smoothly, more organized, more fun and put more smiles on the faces of everyone you love.

Okay....now we're on the same page!

I had so many "a ha" moments it wasn't even funny. I can't wait to get it all out to share with you all and more importantly implement what I learnt into my homeschooling efforts.

Stay tuned for ways to spice up your home school!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cincinnati Home School Convention

Today I am off to the Cincinnati Home School Convention. I'm very excited because I've never been to this type of event and ofcourse I'm going with an agenda! We have a few months left before we finish school for the summer and I probably won't make any major changes until the fall, but some things I'm looking for are:

  • ways to keep learning fun
  • teaching multiple children of different grades
  • a new science, health & history program
  • christian based readers
  • organizational techniques

There are about a dozen speakers to choose from every hour a long with 300+ booths of vendors. I am sure I will find what I am looking for.

I'll keep you posted;)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Are You Feelin' Lucky?

As many of you know, I've been working from home now for a little over five years. I found a simple candle business that is a good fit for me and my family.

Today in honor of St. Patrick’s Day I’m giving away a free “Green” candle!

When was the last time you looked for a four leaf clover? I remember sitting in the grass for hours just trying to find one! Now my daughter Fiona does.

So to celebrate today, I’ve hidden a four leaf clover somewhere on my personal website. www.FlaminScents.com

When you find it email me at:
Jamie@flaminscents.com and tell me the page you found it on.

All correct entries will be put in a special drawing this evening and a winner announced!

Your not only getting a “Green” colored candle, but an amazing “Green” product! See our candles are made from a natural renewable source and come with a double 100% cotton wick. This allows the candles to burn practically soot free and because they burn slower and evenly, there's little wax remaining at the bottom. It’s just one more reason why I love these candles!

Our gourmet soy cleansing bars are great for your skin. You can make your own laundry detergent, it's safe to clean your jewelry and the best shaving cream I've ever used!

So, come on over and feel like a kid again…and don’t forget to invite your friends!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
The Riley Family

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Shift to Dumbing Down U.S Education-A Must Read for All Parents!

After this video dropped into my inbox and I had a chance to view it...it really sent me digging to find more information on this subject!

Are You Kidding Me?

If you feel there is nothing wrong with America's education system this may not have much effect on you. I feel like after watching and researching that it in fact affects every family in the U. S that has school aged children.

Charlotte Iserbyt served as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, during the first Reagan Administration. At that time, she blew the whistle on a major technology initiative which would control curriculum in America's classrooms.

Here is a piece from the clip below:

"The teachers have had to continue to go through it...training, re-training, sensitivity training, break their values, no right, no wrong, you got to have all religions represented and be tolerant of everything because that's the new world order."

Her book "The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America" has been listed as a #1 best seller by Barnes and Noble in their History of Education category.

Professor Benjamin Bloom, who is mentioned in the video is the man behind the idea. I first went to Wiki-pedia and searched"Bloom's Taxonomy"-here is the definition according to Wiki

I am very interested in learning more about this from public school teachers and those that work in the education field. I don't want to misunderstand this and I understand that anyone can make a video and it look one sided.

Is this something that is being taught in the public school education system?

This video from Jay Leno, is a little one-sided I know. I am sure that those with the right answers have been cut out...but it's amazing the things people don't know.

Those with school aged children...does this make you question what your children are being taught?

I myself, am feel really good about our decision to home school;(

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Home School Mom's Job is Never Done..So What's for Dinner?

I was sitting at my dining room table tonight planning dinner meals for the next few weeks.

I've found early on with home schooling that if I don't prepare for the upcoming week that things like "eating" seem to not be done. Well...I take that back, we do it but it ends up being something not so good for us.

So anyway, I do up my meal list for a week and shop for two weeks worth of groceries at a time. My friend was telling me today that one of her home school mom friends did up a month's worth of dinner meals one time!

WOW! That's a lot of cooking at one time.

I think it's important for our family to eat supper together and I don't like going into the kitchen 30 minutes before supper having a panic attack because I don't know what to fix.

So, I took this idea and compiled some quick dinner meal ideas into one spot. Also, some great tips to make sure you're always prepared for those nights you need quick meals.

Check this out and then feel free to post your favorite dinner meal idea here on my blog and I can re-post it to this Squidoo Lens if you like.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

How Do Boys and Girls Learn Differently?

Why do my little girls prefer to nurture animal, cuddle dolls and play dress-up while my friends boys want to "rough-house" with trucks and cars?

As we grow up, why do girls tend to excel in language and writing while boys perform best in math and science?

I recently did a study on this topic for a Home School Moms Day Out for our local moms group and was stunned at what I found.

Gender differences run much deeper than learned behaviors we adopt by watching our parents. They stem from differences in the way we process information. Scientists have discovered that some of the behaviors that differentiate boys from girls are the result of differences in the way our brains develop and operate.



  • Boys develop language skills later than girls do.

  • Reading & writing may be more difficult for boys in early elementary years than for girls

  • Boys develop spatial memory earlier than girls. In other words, boys can more easily record information about the environment and the position of objects in the environment.

  • Eyes-more directed to direction and motion Hearing-boys don’t hear as well as girls, making it harder to hear softer sounds. Therefore, boys in the back row may not hear a soft-spoken female teacher.

  • Boys develop fine motor skills later than girls do. Even the task of gripping a pencil properly or cutting things out with scissors is more difficult for young boys.

  • Boys' brains go into a rest state many times a day. Boys perform better when taking breaks and moving around.

  • Boys are kinesthetic learners. Boys learn by using gross motor skills, manipulating and moving things to learn.


  • Girls develop language areas of the brain sooner than boys making reading and writing easier
  • Girls process emotion quicker
  • Girls like "context" to their learning. They like learning through narrative. They want to know "why" you have to do something a certain way...while boys just want to do it.
  • Eyes-Girls eyes are drawn to color and textures
  • Hearing-Girls hear higher frequencies than boys and are more sensitive to sounds. It is easier for them to listen in on softer sounds.
  • Girls focus and take risks in less stressful environments
  • Girls brains are more active than those of boys and are less likely to zone out during the day.

So, I was wondering if after reading this you had any "light bulb" moments while thinking about your kids and how they act, learn etc.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Home School Gym Day

Are your home school children missing recess, gym class and time to interact with others their age?

It's hard for home school families to sometimes find that balance and can be expensive if you get into paid activities like sports programs etc.

Here's something we've done with a group of home school families in our area. We get together once a month for a gym day. If the weather is nice we meet at a local park and in the winter months we reserve a gym space for a few hours.

It's a great time for the kids to socialize with others their age, get exercise and have fun. Plus it's a chance to connect with other moms!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mommy-Teacher Day Out

Yesterday, I had an amazing day connecting with other moms that home school their children. We meet twice a year for what we call a "Mommy-Teacher Day Out."

It's a day set aside to share ideas, show support, inspire each other and make friends.

So yesterday we met at a local country club and had five jam-packed hours of mommy time! It was a rainy day here in southern Indiana, but we were welcomed by a warm blazing fire, refreshments and an amazing view of the golf course!

We had an exciting day planned for the ladies and couldn't wait to get started. Some of the topics we discussed were:

  • How to Make School Fun

  • How to Get Children Motivated to Stay on Track w/Absence of Peer Competition

  • Teaching Challenges with Multiple Children/Grades

  • Different Learning Styles

  • How do Boys and Girls Learn Differently

We started around 10am by welcoming the moms and introduced our guest speaker. Sharron was a librarian for many years and also home schooled her children. She had some incredible information on the importance of reading to our children and shared some ways that you can make your reading more fun and engaging.

Things like making animal sounds and changing the tone in your voice for different characters, using puppets and stopping at points throughout the story to explain what a "new" word means and so forth!

Plus, it's a chance to bond with your child, relax and enjoy them!

The topic of how to make school fun seemed to be one that all of us wanted to learn more about. I brought home some great ideas to implement and I'll be posting later and sharing more detailed info and websites that you too can use!

One of my favorite ideas is using games that you already have to teach.

Example: if you're child is struggling with math facts, you can use flash cards along with a favorite game to make learning fun! Play the game just as it goes, but in order to take his turn he must get the problem(flash card) correct. We've been doing this with spelling words and I have seen my daughter's test scores go up 10-20 points.

We broke for lunch from 11:30-12:30. We enjoyed a pasta bar with baked spaghetti, Alfredo, garlic bread and a salad. During lunch we talked about whatever we wanted. Many of the moms knew each other so it was nice to catch up and rekindle old friendships.

After lunch we had a break out sessions/round table discussions about the following topics:

  • New to Homeschooling & Teaching Pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st Grade

  • Home schooling Elementary age children (2-6th)

  • Home schooling Middle School/High School and preparing for the future

It was nice to get a chance to talk with other moms teaching children the same grades and be able to share the challenges we were facing and learning new ideas to try!

We had books for resources all over the tables and flyer's with ideas for conversation starters.

We finished the day by giving away a basket for mom filled with items to pamper! Lotions, candles, hand and feet care products, loofas and ofcourse chocolate!

I'll be posting more detailed information about all the topics we covered over the next few weeks. It was truly a day for learning and inspiration. Can't wait to do it again in July!

Is this something that you think you would benefit from? Are you a home school mom and could you see others in your area putting together an event like this?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!