Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday's Roll Call of Home School Resources

FUN School for Home school

 About 8 months ago, or so, I implemented a concept into our homeschooling that I called ‘Fun School’.  This was to be what filled our days after we got through the ‘formal instruction’ part of our day.  I’ll be honest with you, this project wasn’t a success.  Not because it wasn’t a good idea, didn’t work, or that Punky didn’t enjoy it.  It failed because of me.  I still couldn’t let go of all the ‘Have To’ in order to truly enjoy  - or let us even  get to – the Fun School stuff.  The resources I gathered I still have and the format is still there so 2013 will see a return to Fun School.

Here’s how it works:
Fun School
Mathematical Monday- all things mathematical:  games, puzzles, activities
Make Something Monday- arts/crafts, cooking, inventions/experiments, building/designing,
Meet the Press Monday- Oral Presentation on topic of your choice from previous learning

Travel Tuesday- pick a country/state/city/regions/landmarks to do a research projects
Technology Tuesday- typing, videos, websites
Take a Tour - virtual tours

Working with Words Wednesday-  writing activities and games
Wonder Wednesday- Notebook on any topic of interest (include maps, timelines, drawings, etc)
Well-Played Wednesday- learning through games and hands-on activities

Terrific Treasures Thursday– Studying the “Greats”: Art, Literature, Invention, Exploration, etc
Think It Through Thursday – Critical Thinking activities and games
Turn the Page Thursday- Reading! Any book, any genre!

Finish Up Friday- all uncompleted work due
Have Fun – field trips, fun activities, free pick!

The different categories are completed on a four week rotating basis, with the fourth week being a free learning week (after instructional time).  To demonstrate, here is a sample schedule:

Week One                                                                   Week Two

Monday                                                                      Monday
Instructional learning – 1to ½  hours                     Instructional learning – 1 to ½  hours       
Mathematical Monday                                             Making Something

Tuesday                                                                      Tuesday
Instructional learning- 1 to ½ hours                      Instructional learning- 1 to ½ hours
Travel Tuesday                                                          Technology Tuesday

Wednesday                                                                 Wednesay
Instructional learning- 1 to ½ hours                      Instructional learning- 1 to ½ hours
Working with Words                                                 Wonder Wednesday

Thursday                                                                    Thursday
Instructional learning- 1 to ½ hours                      Instructional learning- 1 to ½ hours
Terrific Treasures Thursday                                    Think It Through

Each Friday is the time to finish any uncompleted instructional work, if necessary then have a Fun day!

The fourth week there is no Fun schedule and after instructional time, it’s a free learning week!  This could include educational shows, computer time, games, projects, arts & crafts, field trips….anything goes!

Now as to the resources for Fun School:

Mathematical Monday
This day is devoted to all things mathematical, but fun!
These are merely a few of what all we use:


50 or Bust

Pyramid Math Card Games:

School House Rocks videos on youtube

Dice Games:

Online Games:

Makes Something Monday
This could be anything - an item we cook/bake, an art project, a science experiment, anything! 
Here’s just a few sources for ideas we use:

Meet the Press
This is where Punky does an oral presentation on a topic from the previous week’s learning.  I’ve either collected or made forms that help her plan and execute her presentation.  She will also add to it with visuals and anything else she desires.

Travel Tuesday
Punky gets her choice of a country, state, city, region, landmark, or locael she wishes to learn more about.  For example, we did Easter Island.  We gather resources and she notebooks about the place.  We include pictures as well and she often enjoys making a travel brochure for the location.  Several times we will come across a fun craft or cooking project to go along with the location and we complete that as well!  We also do virtual tours on line!  I have hundreds of online resources for those. 

Here are just a few:

Technology Tuesday
This is Punky’s day to practice her typing skills, which she does at the resource I listed in last Monday’s blog post.  In fact, all those websites I listed last week are ones that she makes sure to hit up on this day!

Working with Words
We use Rory’s Story Cubes on this day as well as games I took from the Games for Writing book I mentioned in last week’s blog post.  Other resources have included:

Wonder Wednesday

Punky has a lot of things she wonders about, as I’m sure all children do as they are born inquisitive and seeking to make sense of their world.  We decided to turn her “I wonder” into a school subject, of sorts.  Through the natural course of our lives an “I wonder” comes up and we run with it – turning it into an investigation of sorts – never knowing what it will lead to.  This topic is usually what Punky uses for her Meet the Press Monday presentation as well.

Some resources, or “I wonders” we’ve had led us to these resources:

Well Played Wedneday

This is the day that Punky gets to pick what she wants to play and we play, play, play!  Most, but not all, games played on this day are educational games.

Think It Through Thursday
We take this time to do critical thinking activities, games, and exercises!  Sometimes it’s as simple as doing a jigsaw puzzle or playing Chess or Blokus.  Other times it is more complex.

Here are a few online resources we use:

Turn the Page Thursday

This is the day that is devoted to reading, reading, and more reading!  After the instructional period is over, Punky’s task to is read, read, read!  She chooses what to read and can spend the entire afternoon with one book, or browse through the stacks of non-fiction we have in the school room on various topics.  Her favorite form of reading is reading for information.  I have collected a vast resource of 'Miscellany' books full of interesting facts and tidbits.  She also enjoys reading her Kids National Geographic and Kids Discover magazines.

We use a lot of notebooking resources and games that I have in the schoolroom!

For an excellent resource of free notebooking/lapbooking pages (which is what we use most of the time for our reports and such) I recommend these websites:

**Secular Note:  These websites are run by women of faith, for the most part, but that hasn’t prevented me from finding awesome notebooking pages that I can use.  I even bought the upgraded membership to

Well, that’s it for this round of ideas and resources!

Happy Schooling!

~Mari B.

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