School for all of my children starts next Tuesday. One will be off to new adventures in high school (oh Mylanta!) and the other three will be still at home with me. We’re entering into our second official year of homeschooling, and first official year of sticking to a curriculum of sorts with the ladybug. She’ll be in kindergarten age-wise, but we’re still doing a mixture of preschool stuff as well. I just didn’t push hard last year, and I’m okay with that. Apparently, lots of other folk aren’t, but that’s another story.
Here are a couple of things that we will be using to help us get through certain homeschool subject areas, and have fun at the same time.
I currently have subscription boxes from STEMPowerKids, Kiwi Crate, and Little Passports. All three cover very important subject matter on a level that the houseful of littles can understand, or at least have fun with.
STEMPowerKids (no longer active)
STEMPowerKids is a science/technology/engineering/math focused subscription box that is fine for boys or girls. Obviously, these subscription boxes can cover an array of subject matter, and let’s just face it. All of these areas of exploration are fun. In our first box, the children were able to mix different substances to see what the reaction would be. It came with goggles, test tubes, an eyedropper, different powdered substances (all identified) and much more. The ladybug was truly the most excited because she recognized the apparatus. Sir Twizzler was just excited to fill test tubes with water. Lil Miss, is always going to be Lil’ Miss. Quietly observing before becoming hands-on.
Earlier this year, I attended a toy fair, and was able to snag a sample of a kiwi crate subscription box that they let all of the adults test out. It was a simple set. It included pipe cleaners, round felt cutouts, in three different colors, and green leaf stickers along with a vase. During some time this summer when I need the littles to be occupied, but couldn’t direct them in it, I asked Nathaniel to complete this simple art project with them. Turns out, they had a grand ol’ time doing it, AND by having big brother Nate lead the project, they didn’t have the burden of me trying to get them to do it “right.” He allowed them to process the activity the way that they wanted to, and everyone was happy.
I’ll have to be honest here. This one took a bit of getting used to because the information is a little bit above the littles heads. Nathaniel is in high school now, but the coverage that the Chicago Public School system gave to geography was nil. So WE did some things with this program, and as you can imagine, he was not too happy about taking photos. I will say though, that I think that I will be able to use a lot of this as a supplemental teaching tool with him, so he doesn’t feel embarrassed about what hasn’t been taught to him all these years. With the amount of traveling that we do as a family, I think that it will be important to know some things about the states that we will be driving to. In this particular box, Wisconsin was the focal state, and we’ll be going on a family trip to Wauwatosa in September, so it’s a great time to break it back out for a review.
The more familiar I become with this program, the more sure that I will be in my ability to teach geography in a way that’s fun, yet still educational. The main characters, Sam and Sofia offer little tidbits of information to keep the kids involved, and not beat the subject matter into their heads. I love that the kids get a passport, and a map, and several activities to do to cover the entire state! They even have access to resources for homeschooling families!
Kits often include word scrambles, and other activities akin to this will always make sure that children are able to complete. The US Edition is geared to children 7 years of age and up while the world edition is geared towards children 5 years of age and up. So it looks like we’ll be doing World Geography as well.
This is a comprehensive list of subscription boxes that I have had the pleasure of being sent, testing out or purchasing on my own. I’ll make sure to update as the school year progresses!