Homeschooling Corner: Flying Kites

We had a lovely, windy day, so we grabbed the kites, invited the neighbors, and headed out to the park.

Homeschooling does put additional responsibility on the parents to help their kids socialize. That doesn’t mean homeschooled kids are necessarily at a disadvantage viz their typically-schooled peers when it comes to comes to socializing (I went to regular school and still managed to be terribly socialized;) it’s just one more thing homeschooling parents have to keep in mind. So I am glad that we’ve had the good luck recently to make several friends in the neighborhood.

I’ve been looking for good, educational YouTube channels. Now I haven’t watched every video on these channels and I make no guarantees, but they seem good so far:

Welch Labs:

Welch Labs also has a website with a free downloadable workbook that accompanies their videos about imaginary numbers. It’s a good workbook and I’m working through it now.

TedEd, eg:

VSauce, eg:

Numberphile, eg:

The King of Random, eg:

We finished DK’s Coding in Scratch Projects Workbook and started Coding in Scratch: Games Workbook, which is slightly more advanced (longer projects.)

The Usborne Times Tables Activity Book is a rare find: a book that actually makes multiplication vaguely fun. Luckily there’s no one, set age when kids need to learn their multiplication tables–so multiple kids can practice their tables together.

In math we’ve also been working with number lines, concept like infinity (countable and uncountable,) infinitesimals, division, square roots, imaginary numbers, multi-digit addition and subtraction, graphing points and lines on the coordinate plane, and simple functions like Y=X^2. (Any kid who has learned addition, subtraction, multiplication and division can plot simple functions.)

We started work with the cuisenaire rods, which I hope to continue–I can’t find our set on Amazon, but these are similar. We’re also using Alexander Warren’s book You can Count on it: A Mentor’s Arithmetic Patterns for Elementary Students for cusienaire activites.

If you’re looking for board game to play with elementary-aged kids, Bejeweled Blitz is actually pretty good. Two players compete to place tiles on the board to match 3 (or more) gems, in a row or up and down. (A clever play can thus complete two rows at once.) We play with slightly modified rules. (Note: this game is actually pretty hard for people who struggle with rotating objects in their heads.)

Picture Sudoku is fun for little kids (and probably comes in whatever cartoon characters you like,) while KenKen and magic squares and the like are good for older kids (I always loved logic puzzles when I was a kid, so I’d like to get a book of those.)

I’ve found a website called Memrise which seems good for learning foreign languages if you don’t have access to a tutor or know somene who speaks the language you want to learn. They probably have an app for phones or tablets, so kids could practice their foreign langauge on-the-go. (Likewise, I should stow our spelling book in the car and use car rides as a chance to quiz them.)

And of course we’re still reading Professor Astro Cat/working in the workbook, which involves plenty of writing.

For Social Studies we’ve been reading about fall holidays.

Hope you all have a lovely October! What are some of your favorite educational videos?


5 thoughts on “Homeschooling Corner: Flying Kites

  1. I’ve used the memrise app on Android. I forgot to reinstall it one of the times my phone got replaced (I have a way of breaking them, and phone insurance requires replacing rather than fixing…) It was fairly useful, especially since it required less diy than anki and has material available for more languages than Duolingo. You might want to check out Fluent Forever, which will be coming out with an app sometime in the not too distant future (I used the method for a while, and pretty much everything I actually studied that way has stuck, but the problem for me was the diy aspect, which ended up being a bit of a deal-breaker. The app supposedly will fix that.)

    Duolingo can be a useful tool. It’s not an end-all be-all for learning a language, but it’s free. Also, some libraries will give you a free subscription to Mango languages. The app is free, and if you’ve also got a free library subscription to the actual material, it’s worth a try.


  2. After Duolingo I would advise giving a go. It’s a simple, but quite effective way of learning practical vocabulary.

    You start with the 500 most common words in the language you wish to learn.
    A sentence with a missing word is presented to you, with translation underneath. You either choose one of four alternatives or write in the missing word yourself, depending on your chosen setting. If you get it right, you proceed to the next sentence and the completed one is removed from the pile. If you get it wrong the faulty sentence is placed at the back of the pile so you have to try again when you have cycled through (the correct answer is briefly displayed if you get something wrong).
    You won’t advance until you get them all right.

    There are different modes of play, some of which seem to require a paid account, but the basic settings have given me a decent grasp of Polish in less than a year of sporadic use. In combination with listening to a polish youtuber playing through the latest Witcher game for auditory exposure to the language and flicking grammar books for clarification of mysterious grammar features.

    For the record: I’m swedish and speak english und ein bisschen Deutsch so no prior knowledge of slavic languages.

    Rock on with the homeschooling and be thankful that you are able to do it. It’s illegal in Sweden. There are actual political refugees from here who had to leave because the government tried to abduct their children for not giving them up to the mandatory state education system.


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