Category: Lesson Plans for homeschool

Nature Book ideas for Homeschool

When it comes to homeschool, one of the more creative and interesting ways to learn about earth science and biology is by collecting specimens in nature and then drawing pictures of them in a journal. This way, you can identify them and eventually produce a book of nature finds by the end of the school year. I recommend that you (the mom/dad teacher) make one as well as your kids. Sometimes your kids may not be able to draw that well and they may be trying to compare their work to yours — that happened to my daughter and...

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History for Homeschool

One of my favorite subjects for homeschool is history. I think I got a better education for world history when I decided to teach my kids at home. I setup our history curriculum for grades 1-12, using specific textbooks, timelines, videos, and activities. We used this with great success, meaning my kids learned and loved history. In fact, I finally love history after all those football coaches teaching history in my high school. History for homeschool, Grades 1 – 12 I followed the advice from Susan Wise Bauer. We studied world history over a period of 4 years, and then...

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Rosh Hashana – The Feast of Trumpets for Mormons

I wish Mormons celebrated some of the Jewish holidays. But we don’t have that custom of special Feast Days. One time, when my kids were young we celebrated Joseph Smith’s birthday on December 23rd, but that was so close to Christmas, we didn’t do it often. I recall baking some corn dodgers and a ham. There is a story about a time when Joseph had some people over for dinner and he prayed for something better to serve his guests. Then there was a knock at the door and there stood  a man holding a  ham to share with...

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The faith of the founding fathers

John Adams thought the big celebration for America’s independence day would be July 2. In a letter, dated the 3rd of July, he wrote to his wife, Abigail: “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from...

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Does divining for water work?

I noticed a movie with Russell Crowe called The Water Diviner, and I thought about gift of the rod. In the 1830s, many people believed that they could use divining rods to help them find water or treasure. Oliver Cowdery believed in and used a divining rod. In fact, the Lord recognized Oliver’s ability to use a rod: …thou hast another gift which is the gift of working with the sprout Behold it hath told you things Behold there is no other power save God that can cause this thing of Nature to work in your hands for it...

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How to identify leather video

Here’s my pick for your eLearning video of the week:  Leather 101 — Full Grain, Top Grain, Genuine, and Bonded Leather Explanation. How about that leather chair, or leather bag you purchased — is it quality leather? Have you ever wondered why some leathers wear out, some last long, and some, well, they turn out to be plastic with little leather fibers? Since my son and daughter-in-law are in the leather belt business, we’ve all taken a look at how leather is tanned, and what makes some leather better. As part of improving their belt business, my son upgraded their...

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Did Benjamin Franklin start Daylight Saving Time?

Did Benjamin Franklin start Daylight Saving Time? The U.S. government extended it to eight months in 2007 (March to November). At one time the government said it saved energy. But that theory is not holding up anymore. Indiana found that we use more energy during daylight saving time. Was it Ben Franklin’s humorous essay-letter, An Economical Project that started it all? In 1784, he published a whimsical letter in the newspaper. As a joke. It was humor. According to Ben Franklin, he was watching a demo of the new oil lamps, when some of the people questioned whether the cost of...

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Sukkot Feast of Tabernacles

I promise, I’m not Jewish, but I just have to mention that at sundown on October 8, 2014, is the beginning of  Sukkot — the 15th day of Tishri. Sukkot continues to the 21st day of Tishri — about 7 days. Yes, another celebration for my Jewish friends in the House of Israel. For seven days and nights they eat their meals in a temporary shelter — kind of a hut-like thing —  called a sukkah — in memory of the forty years that Moses and the Israelites traveled in the wilderness and lived in temporary shelters. It’s also called...

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Homeschooling: Bread mold and penicillin

I love homeschooling, and online learning.  I want to get away from the textbook and get hands-on. This is one of my favorites — it’s a lab and lesson on how we found out about penicillin. I’ve got a list of materials and where you can can get them. Bread is easy to find, and letting it get moldy — well I hope you know how to do that. But there’s some tips in the video. Get your kids a blank lab book for taking notes and drawing pictures. But first, watch this video produced by MIT for grades...

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Getting Gold Pure

I live in gold country — the mother lode where gold was first discovered in California. I’ve learned something about gold, but I haven’t found any around here. I’ve visited a couple of gold mines — in fact one of them — the Sutter Gold Mine,  no longer gives underground tours because they’ve started mining for gold again. I’m glad I got the tour before it closed. I’m fascinated with rocks and mother earth. I’m also intrigued with the symbolism of purifying gold. Malachi writes that the Lord is a refiner and purifier of metals: And he shall sit as a refiner and...

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Book of Mormon projects for kids

Here’s another Book of Mormon Gold Plates project for your kids. We did this one with our Primary class. But it would be a great project for celebrating the Feast of Trumpets. First we made some rice crispy treats in a large flat pan and cut them 6″ x 8″ and about an inch thick. Then we wrapped them in foil and stacked them up like the gold plates. Next they went into a plastic zip bag. The day before class my strong armed husband dug a hole and found a flat rock to cover it. Lucky for us the church is located near a nice rural area with trees. Just before class we put the pretend plates in the hole with a pretend sword of Laban and some glasses and Liahona. During our lesson, we had the kids “write” on the aluminum plates with a nail. Then we collected them and put them in a plastic bag. Next we took the kids outside and helped them locate the secret place, explaining how the gold plates had been hidden away. Once they had uncovered the hole in the ground, we exchanged the plates they had written on with the rice crispie treats. And everyone was happy. Materials: Aluminum Foil Pans Scissors Nails Rolling Pin For Rice Crispie part” Rice Crispie Treats that you make Aluminum Foil Plastic Bags  ...

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How to make the Golden Plates with kids

The Book of Mormon is a translation of ancient Gold Plates, which is not easily understood by our young kids. “Plates…the kind we eat from?” My husband wants to get some sheets of ore to help the kids understand this ancient way of writing. The metal would have to be soft enough to use a stylus so they can understand the difficult process of writing. We did one project with aluminum which worked well for showing the method. But they weren’t golden in color. I have used some simple materials for kids to make their own “Golden Plates.” We...

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Between evolution and creation

Most people who adhere to the Bible and Torah believe the creation story — that God “created” the earth in seven days, and formed man from the dust of the earth and woman from Adam’s rib. This is a nice little story, but I want to know more. How do we explain evolution and creationism? Especially since we have Dinosaur bones that seem to predate Adam and Eve. Nibley has a nice little explanation on this, called “Before Adam”.   I believe that God “organized” the earth, as a landscape architect might plan and construct a garden. With space...

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The Hot Zone Ebola Virus

All of my kids have read the book about the first outbreak of Ebola in 1976, called The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola Virus. If your kids are high school age, get them this book and of course, read it yourself. There’s plenty of information about Ebola in the news with the 2014 Ebola outbreak, but this book, The Hot Zone(links to my affiliate account with Amazon)will help you understand what this virus can do and why you need to know more about it. One of the best things about homeschooling your...

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Muffin tin crayons

Make these bright colored crayon pucks — muffin tin crayons, using all those broken crayons (or new ones if you want). Three year olds and older enjoy this activity, and it’s simple to make — no mess either. Take the time to tell your kids about Primary colors and complimentary colors. Here’s what you need: Crayons Muffin tin, spray with Pam or other spray oil Heat oven to 275 degrees F First, peel the wrapper off the crayons and break them up. Sort them into interesting color combinations. You can talk about Primary colors and complimentary colors, using a...

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