Friday, August 31, 2012


Today we continued our study of the solar system.   We explored the differences between comets, asteroids, and meteoroids along with how the earth orbits around the sun.   Batman and Superman were really interested in astronauts and that brought up a question.     

How many layers is an astronaut suit made of and why?

If you answered 13 then you are SUPER SMART!!!!!

To illustrate why an astronaut needs 13 layers I gave each boy a potato and a straw.  I asked them to take the straw and poke the potato.  Instantly the straw made a mark on the potato.   An astronaut suit offers protection against environmental concerns such as flying rocks and other debris not to mention the cold.   Without a suit on, an astronaut could risk serious damage to his body.

I then gave Batman and Superman a pile of 13 items each they could use to make an astronaut suit.   They had to dress their potato using these items that included aluminum foil, wax paper, paper towels, a plastic bag, etc.   I just went around the kitchen and picked whatever I had on hand.   The boys wrapped each layer separately and then taped it.

Superman proudly shows of his "astronaut" and gets ready to decorate the outside.

Now that the "astronaut" is fully dressed in his space suit it's now time to test how good the suit protects it.   Superman got his straw out yet again and pretended that it was a flying piece of rock.  Guess what?  The space suit remained intact perfectly!

RIP Neil Armstrong

To learn more about space visit Nasa Kids Club.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Today was an experience I will never forget and I hope my son doesn't either.   A friend told me about the organization Feeding Children Everywhere.   Volunteers age 3 and up are encourage to donate their time to help put together food bags.   Healthy meals consisting of rice, beans, salt, and dried vegetables are put together in a plastic bag.   Needy families in your community are then eligible to pick up meal bags.   Add water, cook, and enjoy!

Everything was super organized during our local event.   I signed up online and received our tickets.   When we got there we first had to wash our hands, put on plastic gloves, and then we got to put on our hair net.    It took a bit of encouragement to get my son halfway excited about wearing the hair net.   At least they came in blue which is his favorite color.

Teams of at least seven people scooped the ingredients into a bag.   Then onto the next group of people who sealed the bags and then boxed them up.        My five year old did an awesome job!  His favorite job was scooping the dried vegetables into the funnel.

The goal was to be able to feed 3 million people this week.   In just a few hours we helped make 104,000 bags!!!    WOW!!!!!

Check out Feeding People Everywhere!  I can't wait until later this fall when we'll head back to volunteer.   Families in Africa will be recipients of the food at that time.


I found a neat set of flash cards on a recent trip to Target in their back to school section for just $1.39.  This handy key chain is filled with 75 blank cards in assorted colors measuring 2-1/8" x 3-5/16".   

My first grader "Batman" loves to read and I'm always trying to challenge him with new words.   I got out the Dolche Sight Word List and started printing words that he didn't know yet.    This list is great because it covers several different grade levels.

These cards could be used for vocabulary words, spelling words, teaching numbers, etc.   The possibilities are endless.    

Best of all, the key chain is super small and you can easily put it in your purse or bag.   We were at a restaurant the other day and used it while we were waiting for our food to arrive.   

Learning is fun!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


My son is really into science and I thought I'd start off teaching about the planets first this year.    Over the next month we'll learn about the entire solar system in detail.   I decided to focus in the beginning about the inside of the Earth.  I found a great lesson using Evan-Moor Geology Grades 1-3

I first made one batch of homemade playdough.  I found the recipe here at Homemade Playdough.  It's simple, quick, and cheap to make.  LOVE!

I then formed dough balls and added regular food coloring to each of them.  I used red, yellow, orange, green, and blue coloring.   Each ball should be bigger then the last starting with red, yellow, orange, and then green.   You'll need a little of blue since that will be for water at the end.

Flatten the yellow piece wide enough to cover the red ball and then seal.

Next, flatten the orange dough wide enough to fit the yellow ball.

Do the same thing again this time covering the orange ball.

Now that your ball is covered simply add bits of blue for water and blend it in.   Now you have the planet Earth!

The learning begins.   Cut the ball in half and show the inside of the Earth.
The red layer is the inner core.
The yellow section is the outer core.
The orange section is the mantle.
The blue and green section is the crust.

You will have lots of fun talking about each layer.   It's fascinating to learn about each layer  of the earth and what it consists of.   Do you know what layers scientists have been able to drill into?  What section is so hot that the rocks and minerals are liquid?

We finished our lesson doing a simple coloring sheet, word box worksheet, and read a book all about the layers of the Earth.   Everything was included in the Evan-Moor Geology book including more exciting lessons to do over the year.   

Hope you have fun doing this lesson.  My son has been talking about it all week!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


It's been one of those summers where it's been raining almost everyday here in Florida.   My son and I had numerous discussions about droughts, rainfall, and different weather patterns that are seen all over the world.  It opened into another discussion about how water affects plant life.   This experiment will show how water travels throughout the plant and nourishes it with water.   Not only is this a great teaching lesson but you'll also get a beautiful bouquet of flowers out of it.

*Fresh white mums, carnations, or roses 
*One box of assorted food coloring
*Clear containers or vases.

Fill three glasses with equal parts water and added 15 drops of food coloring in each one.   We used red, blue, and green.   Then mix the food coloring with a spoon to distribute.


Divide flowers between the three glasses.    

Now the wait begins.

After just 24 hours you can see how colorful the flowers are getting.   The longer you wait the more vibrant the flowers will be.  Group them together for a beautiful centerpiece.


Now I love the neighborhood kids and so does my son.   He and his buddies spend countless hours outside doing lots of fun stuff.   It seems though like there is always someone knocking on the front door right when I'm starting a lesson or at dinner time.  To control these interruptions I came up with this handy little sign that I can put outside anytime I need.

One piece of pretty card stock or paper
One sheet of laminating paper
At least 12 inches of ribbon
Single hole punch

  1. Type the words on a document and print on the paper you selected.  My card stock was 81/2" x 11" but I only used half of the sheet.
  2. Cover both sides with the laminate paper.  Trim excess from around edges.
  3. Punch two holes on the upper edges.
  4. Thread your ribbon into the holes and then tie up top in a bow.
  5. Hang on your door.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Here is a fun thing we started doing every morning.   I simply call it "Question of the Day".   I found this great brain teaser book at Sam's Club for $7.96.
Brain Teaser Book
There are over 300 questions and the book can be purchased for different grade levels.   I simply cut each question out and placed them in a container that I wasn't really using anymore.

This book is great because it covers lots of different subjects like math, phonics, science, and more! 

My son loves to do this at breakfast time.   It's a great way to sneak in some extra learning time in a fun way!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hi Everyone!

I'm so excited to introduce "Susie Homeschooler" to you all.    This has been something I've wanted to do for awhile and the time is perfect to do it.   Now if you would've asked me five years ago if homeschooling was to be part of my future plans I would've laughed and said "no way".   My son, the energetic, knowledge seeker that he is, made me look at things a lot differently though.  Did I have to follow the normal conventional path to learning?  I began to ask myself that everyday.   While my husband is a great "outside the box" thinker, I sometimes need a bit of coaxing.   Add in that a husband, who helped by doing a lot of research on homeschooling, plus talked to a whole bunch of teachers, homeschooling families, friends, and of course our own family, made our decision easy.   Our first year homeschooling went very fast and was a total adventure.   Not only did it give me total respect for all the hard working teachers in the world, but I also found myself getting excited about learning and sharing my knowledge with my son.

I hope to show you how we are making learning fun and interesting.   Hopefully we'll inspire you, have you try something new, and find something that you just have to use in your own homeschool journey.   We'll show you great products to help in your child's education and also have some wonderful giveaways.    Enjoy reading new tips, find yummy recipes, and get creative with crafts.    There's so much we'll be talking about and I hope it gets you all talking right back to us!

I'd love for you to follow along and join us as we start off the school year with some fresh perspectives.   We'll be posting all sorts of things and covering all age groups.   See you soon!