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Goodbye from Jennifer Geary

Goodbye from Jennifer Geary

This post is a bittersweet one for me to write, as it is my last Adventures in Homeschooling post for the MetroFamily Magazine website.

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First Folio

First Folio

If you've read this blog much over the years, you know I love to add in field trips to different places and events around the state to go along with what we're learning about at home. This is really easy to do when kids are young and learning about a huge variety of topics, but as they get older and their studies are more focused, it seems a little more difficult. January brings a really unique and exciting opportunity that may work really well for your older kids.

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Brave Writer

Brave Writer

This week I want to share with you a bit about Brave Writer, where you can spend time and money, but, like Read Aloud Revival, you don't have to. You can still come away refreshed and ready to jump into new things with your kids!

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Read Aloud Revival

Read Aloud Revival

I've always been a huge read aloud fan. My best memories of school are listening to my second and fifth grade teachers read aloud each day after lunch. Some of those stories stuck with me so much I read them to my own students when I was in the classroom and then to my own kids on our homeschooling journey.

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Storybook Art

Storybook Art

One of my favorite resources is Storybook Art by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Jean Potter. This book is full of art projects for kids based on 100 picture book illustrators. Yes, you can go on to Pinterest and find book-based art projects, but I've used this book for years and I think there are several advantages to it.

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Living Books: Math

Living Books: Math

This week I want to share with you about living books for math! Most kids enjoy these books, but they're especially great for kids who might need a story to help them focus or those who need a more in-depth explanation of a concept. These kinds of books are plentiful for younger learners, but there are also good ones out there for older kids, too!

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Living Books: Science

Living Books: Science

I shared with you before about using living books to explore social studies topics in depth. To me, that has always been a very natural way to learn about history and the world; after all, history is just one big story! Science, on the other hand, has been more of a stretch for me to incorporate living books, especially as my son gets older. This is something I'm working on, though. With my son's studies, it's made a difference in how we see how scientific subjects relate to and affect many other things.

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Living Books: Social Studies

Living Books: Social Studies

One of the things I love about homeschooling is the ability to choose my own scope and sequence for our studies, but unfortunately, I'm still under time restrictions. As much as I love learning about early American history, my 11-year-old son isn't going to want to eat, breathe and live it long enough to dive into all of the resources we have. Even if he did, I've still got to work around outside activities, chores and other family obligations. As a former classroom teacher--all six years spent in the fifth grade--I have (possibly literally) a ton of history books that are absolutely wonderful, but are hard to fit into daily assignments.

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Morning Basket

Morning Basket

A few years ago I shared with you about our Morning Basket. At that time my kids were 3 and 8, so it looked a little different than it does now.

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Homeschool Basics

Homeschool Basics

Just after a super crazy week that included moving and a mono diagnosis, we kicked off our school year in late August. We've been at it almost a month now, and for the first time in a while, school is actually going really smoothly! I know that there are so many different homeschooling approaches and curricula out there, so I thought this week I'd share what we're using this year for our kids. You might already be familiar with some of the things, but if you aren't, you might find some ideas!

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Temporary Spaces

Temporary Spaces

When someone says the word "homeschooling" to me, I imagine a cozy scene of a mom and kids reading together on the couch, or maybe some great art project going being created, or a lively discussion around the kitchen table. Basically, I imagine a home. For most of our homeschooling lives, we've had a home in which we could easily live and learn, whether it was our small starter home in town or later, our larger home on five acres.

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Celebrating National Sewing Month with Kids

Celebrating National Sewing Month with Kids

September is National Sewing Month, so this week I want to share a bit about sewing and how you can incorporate it into your homeschooling experience.

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Happy Back-to-School!

Happy Back-to-School!

We started our school year a week ago, and though I wasn't completely ready (and I'm still not!), it has been a relief to get into a routine again. This was an absolutely crazy summer for us.

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Top Fall Events for Homeschoolers

Top Fall Events for Homeschoolers

I haven't chosen a firm date for our official start to the school year yet, but there are a few events I'm looking forward to this fall that I'm hoping to work into our school time!

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Colonial Digs

Colonial Digs

So often when I'm talking about school with people, I hear them say that history was their least favorite subject; they were given dates and names to memorize, and though they've forgotten all of those dry facts, they definitely remember being bored to death. This is such a shame, because history is full of some of the most amazing stories, and not just the tales of the famous people that get a few paragraphs in a history textbook, but the stories of the everyday people, too. One of the way to bring those stories to life is through archeology.

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5 Things I Learned from Summer Camp

5 Things I Learned from Summer Camp

Last week my son spent five full days in Lego camp at our local children's museum. He's done some five day a week camps and VBS before, but those have been half days, and the full day made a big difference in the whole experience. In spite of being worn out, he had a good time and enjoyed himself. Here are five things I learned from his week!

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LitWits Kits

LitWits Kits

I don't know if it's the same for you, but one of the hardest things for me to plan is reading/literature. My son is past the decoding stage and has a great vocabulary, so I really want to focus on theme and story structure and literary elements.

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Staring Your Own Homeschool Co-Op

Staring Your Own Homeschool Co-Op

Whether you've been homeschooling for 10 minutes or 10 years, you've probably thought about joining a co-op of some sort.

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Read Aloud Books for Summer

Read Aloud Books for Summer

It's not uncommon for us to spend at least an hour or more each day reading aloud, especially when it gets to the point where it's just too hot to do much of anything. Here are five great read alouds you might want to consider this summer.

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Summer Plans with Kids

Summer Plans with Kids

We still haven't officially wrapped up our school year yet, but I'm gearing up for the summer now. I like the idea of a long, lazy summer where we all sleep in and just spend the days relaxing, but a) my kids still don't know how to sleep in and b) it's not really a realistic plan for us. I do want us to have lots of free days to do whatever we want to do, but there are also some things we need to accomplish, so I've found that going into the summer with a plan is the best way to make sure we keep some sort of balance. Here are a few ideas you may want to consider!

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Museum Fun with Kids

Museum Fun with Kids

A couple of weeks ago my kids (ages 5 and 10) participated in a homeschool class on Andy Warhol and printmaking at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Over the last couple of years I have looked at the different homeschool classes the museum offers, but because they were multi-session classes I couldn't bring myself to commit since we live a couple of hours away. When I found out they were going to offer single session classes I was so excited! I love it when venues listen to their visitors.

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Kid-Friendly Science Museums

We've talked about art museums and history museums, which are probably the first kinds of museums that people think of, but Oklahoma is also home to museums that document both the amazing natural history of the area and the science and technology that keep our state moving toward the future.

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Oklahoma's Top Children's Museums

Oklahoma's Top Children's Museums

To wrap up our tour of local museums I want to talk about children's museums! A good children's museum is a great way to spend a few hours learning through play.

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Oklahoma's Kid-Friendly History Museums

Oklahoma's Kid-Friendly History Museums

Last week I shared a bit about art museums in Oklahoma; this week I want to focus on history museums around the state. We have so many places that share our state's history over time as well as places that focus on a specific person or time period.

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Oklahoma's Kid-Friendly Art Museums

Oklahoma's Kid-Friendly Art Museums

May is Museum Month, so in the next few weeks I want to share some museum ideas and activities with you! We have so many terrific museums of all kinds in our state, so each week I'll focus on a specific type of museum and share some fun activities you can do at the different venues.

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Games to Buy

Just one more post about games and then I'll give it a rest for a while! Over the past few weeks, I've shared a lot about different games and activities you can make or put together. We've covered general game resources, math games, geography games, word games and logic games. With the exception of the logic games, I haven't talked a lot about resources you can purchase. Obviously, it's not financially feasible for most of us to buy tons of educational games, especially if they're geared to a specific skill or topic and won't be used very long. I usually try to get games like that on clearance or at consignment sales and save my money for resources that will get some good use from both of my kids. Here are a few of my favorites:

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Logic Games

Logic Games

This week I'm sharing one of my favorite game days with you: Thinking Thursday! This is the day for logic and critical thinking activities, and there are so many fun ones out there! Unlike the other subject areas, I have not used a lot of online resources for these activities because I already had quite a few books and games before, but I have started a Pinterest board for them, because there are plenty of free materials out there. Below I've listed some of the books and games we've enjoyed the most, and if you have more ideas, I'd love to hear them!

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Word Games

I hope you've been enjoying playing more games with your kids! This week I want to talk about our Word Game Wednesdays. Kind of like math or geography, you can go a lot of different directions with words, like:

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Geography Games

Geography Games

This week we're on to geography-themed resources! I will admit that at first, I had no clue what I was going to do with this, other than review map skills. Math seems to naturally lend itself to games, but geography? I was stuck. After a little time on Pinterest, though, I felt better. Who doesn't?! Really, though, I realized that if I focused on fun geography-related activities and not just games, I had so many more options.

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Math Games

I've shared my game plan with you and some general ideas for getting started, and for the next few weeks I'm going to share some subject-specific resources that I hope will help you! This week, I'm focusing on math.

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Adventures at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge

Adventures at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge

I want to take a short break from the talk about games and share a great place to get outside! This month's Exploring Oklahoma article features the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Sallisaw. My kids and I really enjoyed this trip, even though it was COLD when we went! If you're looking for a good place to get out and enjoy nature with your family, I would definitely recommend it. The drive isn't bad, the landscape is gorgeous, and best of all, it's free!

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Game Resources

Game Resources

Last week I shared about our new game plan we've implemented in our homeschool, and now I'm going to start sharing some resources with you! This time I just want to talk about getting started, and later on I'll move into some specific games and activities we've enjoyed.

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Game Plan

Game Plan

When I was gearing up to start the second half of our school year I decided I wanted to add in some learning games on a regular basis. Sure, we use games from time to time, for school and for fun. But we have a lot of games on our shelves that were going unused and we also had some skills that we needed to be reviewing more consistently. I decided to come up with a game plan, literally.

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Homeschool Programs in OKC

Homeschool Programs in OKC

If you haven't checked out the January issue of MetroFamily yet, you need to! It's the education issue, and it's full of all kinds of activities and information for families, including homeschoolers.

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Product I'm Loving: ProClick

Product I'm Loving: ProClick

We're back in our groove after Christmas break and I've been putting my new ProClick to good use. It's one of the best presents I've gotten in a long time, so I thought I'd share what you can do with one, in case you might need one, too!

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Starting the Day off Right

Starting the Day off Right

Does anyone else feel like that break went by way too fast?! We're getting ready to start back with our regular schedule next Monday and I'm busy with planning and preparation. Last semester was pretty hectic around here, even for us, and that's saying something. So I'm really working on being intentional about making sure our days start well. I've been brainstorming the different things I do (unfortunately, not always consistently!) that help get our days off to a good start and I wanted to share them with you.

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About This Blog

Jennifer Geary is a wife of one and mom of two who is back home in Broken Arrow after Air Force-sponsored detours to Omaha and Oklahoma City.  An elementary education graduate from the University of Oklahoma, she decided to leave her “regular” teaching career behind to homeschool her son and daughter. 

When she’s not educating, feeding, or cleaning up after someone, Jennifer likes to read and scrapbook.  You can read about all of her adventures at Little Things.

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