A photo of Joanne Rawson

Joanne Rawson

Joanne Rawson first started homeschooling her three boys in 2012. She lives in Connecticut with her family and enjoys reading, crafting, and travelling.

Travel the Globe With These 12 Homeschool Geography Explorations

Holi powders in blue plastic bags

12_Homeschool_Geography_ExplorationsI often wish we were wealthy enough to travel the world. I’d love to expose my children to all the wonders of the world and have them learn firsthand about what makes each culture unique. Unfortunately, we do not have the means to travel extensively, and so we have taken to travelling the globe from our home using these twelve winning methods.

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10 YouTube Videos for Exploring Central America

a stone ruin from central america

This year in our homeschool we will be studying Central America. Although we have a great collection of books to read about the topic, I also wanted to find age appropriate videos that show us more about the different countries we’ll be visiting. As much as we adore a literature-based homeschool curriculum, we still love adding on the visual component with online streaming.

I turned to YouTube and found many good picks that I know will enhance our learning.

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10 (Quiet) Games to Play at the Library

free online library games books game in the library

books game library free online library gamesWhen most people think of the library, they think of long shelves of books, tidy reading nooks, and librarians with glasses on their noses; they don’t often think of games. However my boys and I have a lot of fun in our library by planning a few fun activities ahead of time.

I do remind my boys that we need to play games quietly and be careful not to disturb others by running or being boisterous. But being quiet and courteous does not rule out enjoying ourselves at the library with these ten activities and games.

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10 YouTube Videos for Exploring South America

a black and orange frog sits on a bright green stalk

My boys and I enjoy watching travel videos to supplement our homeschool explorations of history, geography, and sociology. We use videos in conjunction with books to help us get a better feel for the area of the globe that we are studying. Typically we will watch a clip or two from YouTube to get a feel for the country or continent before diving into our reading. After viewing a clip, we like to talk about the most memorable part of each video, writing down a few facts that we learned or noting questions we’d like to find the answer to later.

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6 YouTube Videos for Exploring Australia in Your Homeschool

Explore Australia in your homeschool

6 YouTube Videos for Exploring Australia in Your HomeschoolMy boys are fascinated by Australia! (Who isn't, right?) Because we follow a heavily interest-led approach to education, per their request, we have studied this small continent a few times during our years of homeschooling.

By the third time through, I felt we had exhausted our resources! We had already read all the books we could get our hands on including those in BookShark's Eastern Hemisphere Level 5 for ages 10-13, watched (and rewatched) all the movies and films about Australia I could think of, and even tried several authentic Australian foods and recipes.

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Six Fantastic (and Free) YouTube Art Lessons for Middle School

youtube art lessons

Six Fantastic (and Free) YouTube Art Lessons for Middle School

I have always enjoyed doing arts and crafts projects with my boys as an add-on to our homeschool curriculum. But as they’ve gotten older, I have found it a bit harder to teach them art because they have less patience with the process of art. They want to have the satisfaction of a completed project at the conclusion of an art lesson instead of working for hours upon hours or days upon days to create something to be proud of.

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10 Virtual Tours of Art Museums Around the World

a woman looks at art in a gallery

10 Virtual Tours of Art Museums Around the WorldThere is nothing I enjoy more than taking my children on field trips. These educational excursions get us out in the world and put whatever we are learning about into a real-life context. We get to see first hand how things are interrelated and broaden our horizons in ways that complement the books we are reading in our homeschool curriculum.

Unfortunately, our budget does not always allow for us to travel; particularly when there are so many places from around the world that we’d love to see. One way we get around this limitation is to take virtual field trips through the power of the Internet.

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5 Writing Activities My Kids Begged to Do Again

a blonde boy with a gap between his teeth smiles

5 Writing Activities My Kids Begged to Do Again My boys hate to write, so I am always on the lookout for creative ways to capture their attention and entice their cooperation. Through the years we have tried many different types of writing: journal writing, copywork, free writing, and writing poetry or lyrics. Unfortunately none of those activities were met with more than the barest glimmer of tolerance.

In searching for fun ideas to supplement our language arts program, I came up with a few activities that they actually enjoyed so much they begged me to do them again!

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14 Painless, Low-Prep Ways to Accomplish Homeschool Art

a child's chalk pastel art drawing of giraffes

Many homeschooling parents are afraid to teach art, claiming that they are not creative and don’t have artistic ability of their own. So they avoid art altogether in favor of more accessible subjects like science and math. Adding art to any homeschooling day doesn’t need to be intimidating —even if you aren't artistic yourself. Plunge in alongside your kids and learn with them, using these fifteen simple ways to add art to any homeschool day.

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