Hi-Desert Nature Museum

I love our little museum in town! There’s a little something for everyone in there. Recently I opened our Recreation Newsletter to find that they have a display of World War II posters called “Convincing a Nation” right now. We’ll be checking that out for sure. It will be another great bit to hang on the WWII hook in their minds. We’ll have hours of conversation about it. Hopefully Dad will have time to come with us.

They also have small critters, books, rocks, and local information all year around. They have classes, events, and tours for groups, too. Go check them out and often! If you’re coming from outside Yucca Valley, it’s a great place to stop and check out on your way to Joshua Tree National Park.

Hi-Desert Nature Museum

Calendars!

Calendars are awesome! As a private school, you need to mark attendance each day (I know!) and a printable calendar is great for that. I have one from Donna Young that has the whole year on two sheets of paper. I print it at the beginning of our school year and it sits in a bright pink folder on my desk next to my computer along with my course of study. Each morning as I check my email and Facebook excitement, I put an X on the day if it’s a weekday. Legal requirement = complete. Some people print a page like this and write “Absences Marked With an X” at the top. Since our kids are not absent from our houses at any time there are no X’s, but attendance is taken none the less. Both ways are sufficient to be in compliance with the legal requirements.

I also have a student planner from Walmart sitting on my desk. I like it because there is plenty of room to write down the plan both for the month and the week. I don’t plan a lot in advance, but all our appointments, field trips, and events are on the monthly part. As we go through the week, the daily part has notes and checklists about what we did that day. Things like “boy was working on his website most the day”, “dad read to us from his book after dinner”, and “boy started reading ‘Lord of the Rings'” cover those pages. If you have a more set schedule, you can write it out there and check things off as you do them. Planners are great to look back on when you’re trying to remember what went on last week. As unschoolers, the days seem to run together at times and having the written planner really helps me get a handle on who’s been doing what and when. I’m certain someone, some day, will come across my planners and journals and be amazed…I just know it!

Did you know there are cool learning calendars out there as well? These ones are great for inspiring ideas and finding things you didn’t even know existed in a fun and spontaneous way. It’s also a great way for YOU to continue your own life long learning journey and share it with your kids. There are history, science, literature, and art calendars. There’s even one for preschool ideas! You don’t need to buy them every year either. You won’t get to everything every day, so keep them around for inspiration year after year, just ignore the day of the week!

Here’s a list of some of my favorites.

Universal Preschool’s “Preschool Learning Calendar”

Thomas Jefferson Education’s “This Week In History”

Today in Science History

Theorem of the Day

“The Mathematics Calendar” by Theoni Pappas

And a whole wall of calendars you can find at this site, from Word of the Day and Word Origins to Pets and Flowers!
http://www.calendars.com/Literature/cat00136/

Scottish Festival This Weekend!

I found this today on Homeschooling in Southern California! It’s this Sunday! As in the day after tomorrow! Small festivals like this are great for introducing the kids (and ourselves) to new cultures, foods, and music. Before the festival look at a map of Scotland, find out what kind of government they have, what foods they traditionally eat, pictures of Scotland today, hear their language. If you can do it before the festival, you’ll have “hooks” to hang the experience on. It makes what you see and experience more meaningful and you remember more about it. Or just wing it and live in the moment. You might love it so much you’ll come home and have to know more about the Scots. Remember to take a few pictures of the kids eating some haggis or listening to bagpipes for the “education record”. It doesn’t have to be Monday through Friday to be a school day for us!

The Scottish Society of the Inland Empire will present its third annual Apple and Thistle Music Festival 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 13 at Snowline Orchard, 29400 Oak Glen Road, Oak Glen.

The event will feature Scottish music, and food will be available from vendors. Visitors may also bring their own lunches.

There will also be apples and apple cider for sale at Snowline Orchard, and apple doughnuts.

Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on.

For information, call Bob Leeton at 909-425-8427 or Dave Leffler, 909-881-3982.

Source: Scottish Society of the Inland Empire

World Idle Game

My sons play this game all the time. I thought they were reading an article, not playing a game, but when my youngest explained it to me I was fascinated and (I’ll admit) a little bit bored. I’m not one for text games. I’m older, yes, and those games were popular among the nerd elite when I was a kid, but I never played them. I’d rather have read a book or gone roller skating! But my sons both seem to really enjoy this game, so I thought I’d pass it along to share their joy. I hope you like it!

http://www.kongregate.com/games/Baldurans/world-idle?haref=HP_HNG_world-idle

“Build buildings to produce resources. After you have enough people you can gather an army and send your people to war to create even bigger empire.”