Saturday, December 26, 2009

Science Saturday: New Years

I just logged in and saw that I never hit the publish button for this post. This was supposed to post on 12/26. My apologies. Hopefully, you can use it in following years.

- If one of the New Year resolutions involves eating healthy, a lesson on nutrition would be a good science lesson.

- You could also learn about the rate at which things of different weights fall and how that rate can be controlled.

- This is a fun time to learn about fireworks and how they work. How Stuff Works has a great explanation and a video about how fireworks and sparklers work. ***Note*** This is a great time to discuss firework safety as well.

- Study the current season in different parts of the world and why it is that way. How is it that it is summer on the southern hemisphere, but it is winter here?

- Study why a cork pops when a bottle of wine/sparkling grape juice is opened.

- Any study of corks and/or carbonation at this time is appropriate. You can even make homemade soda.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday Fun: New Years

There are all sorts of fun activities for New Years.

- Attend or throw a New Year's party. Not up to staying up late, or at least not up to having the kids up late? Have the party at noon instead.

- Host a New Year's Day open house and invite family and friends by to visit.

- Attend local fireworks and/or New Year activities.

- You can also use black paper and some glitter and glue, to create a picture of fireworks.

- Make your own calendar for the upcoming year. This can be done completely from scratch or you can buy a "blank" calendar from a craft store and make it.

- Make a time capsule of the previous year. You can choose to open it next New Year's Eve or you can decide to open it on a future New Year's Eve.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!

Think It Over Thursday: New Years


- Make a time line of major events that occurred this year.

- Write a summary of the past year in your journal. These should be personal events. Include a paragraph of two of how these events made you feel.

- Write out 10 resolutions for the new year. Try to include at least one resolution for each of these areas: behavior, goals, spiritual, health, and family. Plan out how you will keep these resolutions.

- Write a letter to yourself to open on New Year's Eve next year. Tell about what is happening in your life and in the news. Next year, you can see how much you, and the world has changed.

- Fill out your calendar for the next year. Include birthdays, anniversaries, and any events that you are aware of (graduations, reunions, etc).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

World Wednesday: New Years in other languages

Here are some of the ways people say "Happy New Year" around the world.

Czech: Stastny Novy Rok
French: Bonne annee
German: Ein glückliches neues Jahr
Hawaiian: Hauoli Makahiki hou
Hebrew: Shana Tova
Italian: Buon Anno
Latin: Felix sit annus novus
Spanish: Feliz año nuevo
Vietnamese: Chuc mung nam mo

Choose another place and learn about their New Year's customs. Share the custom with your family on New Year's.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Free, personalized video from Santa

There is a review for a free website, Portable North Pole, where you can read all about the free, personalized video you can have sent to your children, or any one else you choose. You can read the review on my other blog, The Happy Wife.

Time Travel Tuesday: History of theTimes Square Ball

In 1907, the first ball was "dropped" down a flagpole on top of 1 Times Square. It was made out of wood and iron and had 100 25-watt light bulbs. It was 5 feet across and weighed 700 pounds. Since then, the ball has been lowered every year, except 1942 and 1943 due to World War II. In 1920, the ball was replaced with one made of wrought iron that weighed 400 pounds. 20 years later, in 1940, that one was replaced with one made from aluminum and weighing 200 pounds. For the year 2000, the ball was completely redesigned by Waterford Crystal. The crystal ball was 6 feet across and weighed in at 1,070 pounds. The current ball was revealed on November 8, 2008. It is a 12 foot geodesic sphere and weighs 11,875 pounds. It is covered in 2,668 Waterford crystals and 32,265 Philips Luxeon Rebel LED lights.

***This information was gathered at the Times Square website. Please visit them for more information and pictures of the various balls that have descended over the years.***

Monday, December 21, 2009

Math Monday: New Year's

This is a great time to teach/review calendars, time/clocks and anything using the number 12, especially fractions. You can also focus on the number 10 since 2010 begins a new decade (vocabulary word).


- Review math facts for numbers 10 and 12 according to what they have learned (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division)

- Get a 2010 calendar and write in everyone's birthday that you celebrate. Count up the number of birthdays each month and write an extended equation to see how many birthdays you will celebrate this year.

- Use the numbers in 2010 to form equations using only those 3 numbers (0,1,2). See how many you can come up with.

Word Problems

- Last year, Kelly made 6 resolutions. She kept 3 of them. What percentage of her resolutions did she keep?

- Gage's family is hosting a New Year's Eve party from 8PM until 1AM. How long will the party be?


- How much more time is left in this year? Express your answer in days, hours, and minutes. (Adjust as necessary for child's ability)

- Test the accuracy of a sand timer or, if you do not know how long the timer should be, determine the time. Watch a second hand on a clock or watch or use a digital timer with a count up feature to see how long it takes for the sand to run out.

- Figure out how many days until your birthday.

- Learn the number of days in each month. An easy way to remember is to make a fist. Touch the first knuckle and say "January", then move to the space between the 1st and 2nd knuckle and say "February", then to the 2nd knuckle and say "March" and so on. When you reach the last knuckle (July), touch it again and say "August" and then continue back across the hand until you reach December on the middle knuckle. Each month that "falls" on a knuckle has 31 days, the others (except February) have 30 days.

- This is also a good time to introduce the military clock. Midnight is 0000 (zero one hundred) hours.

_ You can also discuss time zones and celebrate as different places welcome in the new year.

- Make a calendar for the new year.


- Draw some party hats, using different types of triangles (Isoceles, equilateral, acute). This is a good way to reinforce ruler skills and to teach triangle types.

- Draw, or otherwise create, and decorate your own "ball" to drop on New Year's Eve.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas crafts

I just posted a few ideas for Christmas crafts on my Preschool Unit Studies blog. They would be ideal for this age group as well but, I wanted to share some more ideas for the slightly older kids as well.

Sawdust Ornaments

1) Mix together 1 cup of sawdust and 1/2 cup of flour. Stir in water until dough is stiff. If it is too crumbly, add more flour and water.
2) Mold the sawdust mixture into Christmas shapes. This is best done on newspaper or wax paper. Try to keep them a small-moderate size to prevent from being too heavy to hang on the tree.
3) Unfold a paper clip to form a hook for hanging and insert the bottom half into the top of the ornament.
3) Allow to air dry for 48-72 hours.
4) Sand any rough edges.
5) Paint with acrylic paint (tempera will work too) and let dry.
6) (optional) Add glue to any parts you would like and sprinkle with glitter. Alternately, you could use glitter glue. Let dry.

Window Clings
1) Use fabric paints to create various Christmas designs on wax paper.
2) Let dry.
3) Carefully peel off wax paper and stick on glass.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Crayola Giveaway

I failed again with following through with the Thanksgiving posts. In the future I will not post until I have the unit at least halfway completed. On another note, be sure to check out my other blog, The Happy Wife, for the chance to win a Crayola Glow Dome. You can also read my review of the Crayola Glow Dome, Crayola Glow Station and the Crayola Beginnings Color Me A Song.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Math Monday: Veterans Day

With Veterans Day coming up on November 11th (2009), I decided we would spend this week studying the holiday.

Word Problems

- Veterans Day, formerly called Armistice Day, is celebrated on the same date that the Armistice (vocabulary word) was signed that ended World War I. This event occurred in 1918. How many years ago was that?

- In 1954, President Dwight D Eisenhower and Congress amended an act that changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day. This was done so that all veterans were being honored on this day, rather than just those who served in World War I. How many years ago did the US start calling Armistice Day, Veterans Day?


- Make a US flag with rectangles and stars.


- Interview veterans you know and graph what branch of the military they were in or what wars they served in.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Great Deal on Snow White DVD/Blu-Ray

There is a great deal on the new Snow White DVD/Blu-Ray 2 pack. On, the sale price is $19.99, but if you enter the coupon code "Snowhite", they will take an additional $10 off, making the total cost $9.99. Shipping is $2.98, but the DVD does qualify for Super Saver shipping so it could be free if you add another $5 to your purchase (the total needs to be $25 before applying the $10 coupon for free shipping). This includes both the regular DVD and the Blu-Ray version so whether you have a Blu-Ray player or not, this is a great deal.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Giveaway

I just wanted to let you know that I am hosting a giveaway on my other blog, The Happy Wife. Head on over and check it out. The prize is a Fiber One yogurt meal pack like the one shown below.

Bonus entry: If you are a subscriber or a public follower of Homeschool Unit Studies, leave a comment saying so on the contest post and I will give you an extra entry.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Things I have Found

So, I know I have not posted anything in a while. I am working on getting some units together, but I wanted to share some contests I have found that have prizes I think would be great for homeschoolers.

Frugal Mommy of 2 Girls has 2 giveaways I thought you would like. The first is a set of silicone letter trays from the Spoon Sisters. These trays allow you to freeze, cook, or refrigerate in them, creating letters out of ice, Jell-O or cookies. The other giveaway at Frugal Mommy of 2 Girls is for 1 3-month subscription to Little Passports. This is a program where each month your child receives a package in the mail from "Sam" and "Sofia". Sam and Sofia travel around the world and each month they include a letter telling about where they are, some "souvenirs" from that country and a password to get online and play some games and activities. You can see some sample packages on their website.

Over at The Giveaway blog, they have a 69-piece Crazy Fort from Crazy Forts. This is like a giant Tinkertoy set of 25 solid, plastic balls and 44 sticks that the kids put together and then put blankets/sheets over to create a custom fort.

Centsable Momma has the 4th of 4 Crayola Creativity Packs that she is giving away. The pack includes markers, colored pencils, crayons and all sorts of Crayola goodies that homeschoolers love.

Bellaziza's favorite things is giving away a Springfree Trampoline. I am not a trampoline person as I feel they are so dangerous, but this one has eliminated many of the dangers of traditional trampolines. Watch the video on the company's website and you can see for yourself.

There are so many more giveaways out there in Blogland and because this is "Back to school" season, many have school-related prizes. Entering blog giveaways are great because you have much greater chances of winning. I have been blessed to win several blog giveaways in the past year and every time a prize arrives, it is exhilarating for me and the kids. I hope you will enter these ones and if you win, please leave a comment.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Free e-cards and free Printable cards

I am always looking for fun e-cards to send to loved ones and quite often, when I need a “real” paper card, I end up looking online for one I can print at the last minute before running out the door. Even with these “needs”, I have not been able to justify the cost of joining one of the online card companies. I guess I am just too cheap, plus I am not one who likes to give all my personal information to a website in order to print or send a card.

Then it happened, I discovered a new website called Got-free-ecards where they offerFree ecards and Free Printable Cards. Imagine how thrilled I was when Free ecards and momdot decided to sponsor a Jump Start Your Blog Contest and all I had to do was blog about this great website I had already found. So here it is, my review of this fun, new site.

Aside from Free Birthday Ecards, Got-free-ecards offers a wide variety of e-cards including love, sorry, miss you, friendship, thank you and congratulations, as well as seasonal holiday cards. The cards are cute and family friendly. You can even add your own photo and voice to the card.

For those times when you find yourself needing a paper card, they also offer Free Printable Cards in the same categories as the e-cards. You can also create your own cards with your uploaded pictures and their template (there is also an e-card using this option). They also have color your own printable cards like the one below that would be great for including in homeschool lessons.

The best part of all is that it is all FREE, no strings attached. No forms to fill out at all, not even your name or e-mail address. There is an optional spot to enter comments, but it is just that, optional. There is also no advertising on the site, so I can truly say these are free cards.

I know that I will be sending lots of these cards as birthdays approach and I am sure to print many as well. I am also looking forward to using some of the color-your-own cards as special projects for the kids. I hope you all enjoy this site as much as I do. Let me know what you think.

Disclosure: I just want to repeat that I am participating in the Jump Start Your Blog Contest” sponsored by got-free-ecards and momdot.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Things are still settling here, but I am on track to begin regular postings again June 1st. In the meantime, I wanted to share a website I have come across, eBeanstalk. Here is what they have to say:

Ebeanstalk is dedicated to a baby's development. And we select the best baby toys matched to a baby's development. To see great information on how a baby grows up, check out the info on our baby toys page.

Picking toys for a baby is not as simple as it sounds. Here are some quick baby facts:

  • Toys for a newborn baby: A newborn baby is briefly looking at objects and attempting to imitate facial expressions. They can follow objects with their eyes and usually quiet down, when they are picked up.

  • Toys for a three month old: They will enjoy ‘frolic play', reaching for objects and will repeat enjoyable activities. Believe it or not, they will respond to ‘no' (about half the time) and will start babbling.

  • Toys for a six month old: They'll search for hidden objects (object permanence). They'll reach for themselves in the mirror, play peekaboo, crumple paper, roll from their stomach to their back and even respond to their name.

  • Toys for a nine month old: They are pushing toy cars, playing pat-a-cake and looking for hidden sounds. The baby toys they are playing with are also getting more fun.

They are also offering a 15% discount on any first purchase at ebeanstalk. Just enter code TGS345 at the shopping cart.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My absence

As you have probably noticed, I have not been blogging for a while. It is a long story, but it boils down to several moves and the lack of opportunity to blog, along with a few periods of illness. We spent several months living with other families in two different houses, but I am happy to announce that we bought our OWN house on April 21st and we are back to just "us" (me, hubby and kids). Now, we just need to unpack and get settled and I will feel life is back to "normal".

Due to unpacking, my blogging will still liely be sporadic, but I have a goal to blog at least 3-4 times a week on my daily blogs and once a week on my "sporadic" blogs. Also, I have thought a lot over the past several months as to what I really want to blog about and how often, so there is likely to be many changes over the next several weeks and months. I have ideas for new blogs and ideas for my existing blogs.

I apologize for my absence and lack of regularity over the past several months. I am so grateful to all of you and I promise that in the future any extended absences will be announced and I will try to get guest writers for when I am gone.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Math Monday: Dental Care

In honor of Febraury being Children's Dental Health Month, we will be studying dental care this week.

- Count how many teeth are in your mouth. How many are on top? How many on the bottom? Add the two numbers together.

- has a neat way to include math and vocabulary.

- Interview your friends and young family members to find out how many of their baby teeth have fallen out so far. Make a bar chart to show your results. You could also do this by asking people what their favorite flavor of toothpaste is.

- Keep a tally chart of how many times you can brush your teeth with one tube of tooth paste. Start the chart when you open a new tube of tooth paste and make one tally each time you brush your teeth.

- Create a chart to remind you to brush twice a day and floss once. Be sure to fill in your chart as you do each thing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Help requested

I am not sure what is going on with this particular blog. My stats were reading fairly high for a while. I then tried to do something to the blog and all of sudden my stats are sayng there are only 0-1 visitors each day. If you are reading this could you help me by answering a few questions? I will not post responses unless you ask me to. Here are my questions:

1)Did I mess something up with how the "hits" are being recorded and you are still here and reading when I post or have you stopped coming to read? If you are reading less regularly, did I do something to offend you or are you just not interested in the topics I am posted or something else?

2)What topics would you like to see covered in the coming weeks/months?

3)How can I improve this blog to help you more?

I appreciate any help you can offer. I enjoy this blog and enjoy putting together the units, but I also want to be sure you are being helped by it. I am still dealing with some health issues so my blogging is still sporadic, but I am working on that as best I can. Thank you for your continued support.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fun Friday: Martin Luther King Jr

On the Web
-Martin Luther King Jr wordfind

Field Trips
-If you live close enough or are planning a visit to the area, you could always visit The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, part of the National Park Service in Atlanta, Georgia.

-Many places hold special services and activities on, or near, Martin Luther King Day. Check your local newspaper for area activities.

Other Actvities
-Hold a birthday party in honor of Dr. King serving foods from several different cultures and inviting people of different races and cultures. Instead of gifts, donations (cahs or food) can be collected for your local food cupboard.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Think About It Thursday: Martin Luther King Jr

- Read and/or listen to Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech. Has Martin Luther King Jr's dreams been realized in America today? What is your dream for the future of America? What is your dream for the future of the world?

- Choose a city in Alabama or one of the famous Alabamians listed in yesterday's post and write a report on the subject you choose.

- Dr. King believed in practicing non-violent forms of protest. What are some examples of non-violent protest?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

World Wednesday: Alabama

Martin Luther King Jr fought for equal rights in many cities and states across the US. He worked particularly hard in Alabama which is why I have chosen to study Alabama this week.

Flag: see picture at top of post; crimson St. Andrew's cross on a field of white

Capital: Montgomery

Other major cities: Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa

Admitted to statehood: December 14, 1819, 22nd US state

Size: 30th largest state at 52,423 square miles

Location: southeastern United States, between Georgia (eastern border) and Mississippi (western border), borders Tennesee on the north and much of it's southern border is shared with Florida, though it also has a 53 mile stretch on it's southern border along the Gulf of Mexico

Governor: Bob Riley

Motto: Audemus jura nostra defendere (We dare to defend our rights)

Nickname: The Yellowhammer State

Population: 4,447,100 (23rd in US)

Bird: Yellowhammer

Flower: Camellia

(some) Famous Alabamians
Hank Aaron, baseball player (Mobile)
Nat King Cole, musician (Montgomery)
Helen Keller, author/educator (Tuscumbia)
Coretta Scott King, civil rights leader and wife of Dr. King (Marion)
Harper Lee, author (Monroeville)
Carl Lewis, Olympian track athlete (Birmingham)
Joe Louis, boxer (Lexington)
Willie Mays, baseball player (Westfield)
Jim Nabors, actor (Sylacauga)
Rosa Parks, civil rights activist (Tuskegee)
Hank Williams, musician (Georgiana)

Helpful Links
Blank map of Alabama

Alabama state trivia and answer sheet

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Time Travel Tuesday: Martin Luther King Jr.

In the spirit of disclosure, I wanted to let everyone know that I received a comment from someone asking me to share a link to a flyer they had created regarding Martin Luther King Jr's desire to inform Americans, and encourage them to fight against, global poverty. I downloaded the flyer myself, but rejected publishing the comment due to inappropriate language within the flyer. I also felt that the information contained in the flyer was a bit too deep for elementary aged children. However, if you are interested in the flyer, you can e-mail the author at

Having said all that, as I said in yesterday's lesson, I will be combining math and history this week by creating a timeline (posted yesterday) and then doing the math questions. I also will be reading a few books that I picked up at the library this week. Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr. by Jean Marzollo
is especially nice to read to the younger ones and puts Dr. King's life in terms they will better understand. I've Seen the Promised Land: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Walter Dean Myers is a bit more intensive and would be better if read alone or broken up and read over several days.

Here are some helpful websites as well:

Education World

Dr. King timeline

Monday, January 12, 2009

Math Monday: Martin Luther King Jr

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr Day next Monday, this week's lesson will be about Dr. King and his life.

I have found it a bit difficult to come up with math lessons surrounding Martin Luther King, Jr so I created several word problems based on his life instead. I will probably create a timeline of his life (combining math and history) and then present this series of math questions.

Life events for timeline
-Born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, GA to Alberta King and Martin Luther King
-Graduated high school in 1944
-Graduated from Morehouse College in 1948 with his BA in Sociology
-Graduated from Crozier Theological Seminary in 1951
-Married Coretta Scott in 1953
-Received his PhD from Boston University in 1955
-Led a boycott of Montgomery buses to protest segregation (vocabulary word) in 1955
-Participated in March on Washington and delivered his now famous "I Have a Dream" speech in March 1963
-Received Nobel Peace Prize in 1964
-Assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968
-Martin Luther King Day becomes a federal holiday in 1986

Word problems
-How old was Dr. King when he graduated from high school? Morehouse College?, Crozier Theological Seminary? Boston University? (Alternatively, I may ask how many years after graduating from high school, did Dr. King graduate from Boston University with his PhD?)
-How old was Dr. King when he got married?
-How many years after the Montgomery bus boycott, did Dr. king deliver his "I Have a Dream" speech?
-How old was Dr. King when he was assassinated?
-How many years passed between the assassination of Dr. King and the recognition of Martin Luther King Day as a federal holiday?

MIA: MY apologies, once again

I apologize once again for going missing unannounced. I have had some medical issues that led to some minor depression. The issues are being taken care of and I am hoping I am back on track for good now. Look for today's posting later tonight.