Wildlife

Cicadas, Teachable Moments, and Great Memories

The other day, my son and I were busy cleaning up some branches we had clipped from the bushes. As I was trudging through the heat, I suddenly realized he wasn’t working anymore. I was getting more than a little irritated when I heard him say, “Hey, Mom. Come look at this.” After the crazy-busy year we had this past year, I’ve learned to

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Firefly Unit Study

You know it’s finally summer when you see fireflies start to light up the night. Every year, my kids (no matter how old) still try to catch them, always being careful and letting them go again. Here are a few fun facts about fireflies: Fireflies are actually beetles. There are about 2,000 species of fireflies. Each species has a unique flash pattern. Fireflies only live for

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Learning Through the Junior Ranger Program

Learning Through the Junior Ranger Program Recently, we visited the Carl Sandburg House, where author and poet Carl Sandburg lived with his family during the last 20 years of his life. When he passed away, his wife Lilian wanted to preserve his legacy; his home became part of a national park. Now when visitors tour the home, kids (of all ages) can also join

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Teaching Subjects You Don’t Know How to Teach

Teaching Subjects You Don’t Know How to Teach Sometimes when I meet others, and they find out we homeschool, they say, “I’m so impressed! I could never homeschool my children. “ It’s usually at that time that I confess that I often don’t feel like I’m very good at it, even after 13 years. That’s when eyebrows go up in surprise, and I know

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The Perfect Pet

There’s a new picture book out this fall – and I wrote and illustrated it! It’s published by Sylvan Dell Publishing, a company that combines math or science with a great story. In The Perfect Pet, a child uses animal classification to choose just the right pet. The story begins when Mom says “yes!” to a pet. To help him decide, the child starts

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Seahorse Unit Study

We’ve been studying different sea creatures lately, and another amazing animal we’ve been learning about are seahorses. Who knew these tiny animals were so incredibly fascinating? There was so much to learn, in fact, that we developed a seahorse unit study. About Seahorses Here are just a few of the interesting facts about seahorses. The largest seahorse (the Pot-bellied Seahorse) is just over a

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Coral Reefs

We recently found a really interesting book in our library: Coral Reefs by Jason Chin. It’s a non-fiction picture book filled with tons of information about coral reefs. But instead of the typical depiction of marine animals that you might expect to see, the illustrations have a very creative twist. The first pages feature a young girl at the library pulling the very same

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Sea Turtle Unit Study

We’ve been learning a lot about sea turtles recently. We discovered so many amazing facts about them, it seemed like time for a sea turtle unit study! Here’s just a little of what we learned: There are seven species of sea turtles. Sea turtles lay eggs on the beach, then they leave. The mother never sees the babies. Some species of sea turtles lay

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Nature Questions

This summer, we have had two different types of birds visiting our front porch. Each chose a different corner of the porch to build a nest – a good safe place out of harm’s way. Or so we thought. Birds #1 The first pair of parents were Carolina Wrens. They build a more enclosed nest, so we couldn’t see the hatchlings very well. But

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Over in the Meadow

Over in the Meadow is a counting nursery rhyme written by Olive Wadsworth. The poem was put to music, and I remember my mom singing it when I was growing up. Today, there are lots of picture books illustrating the poem, so when I find one at our library, we check it out, take it home, and start singing. While it’s fun to see

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