Monthly Archives: April 2011

A Note on Sensory Tub Sensations

After reflecting some on the link-up I started, Sensory Tub Sensations, I’ve decided to discontinue the link-up. My main reason is that I did not know about an already ongoing link up for sensory tubs that was being hosted on Our Worldwide Classroom. I just do not see the need for two such link-ups, so decided that I would rather participate in an already established link up than try to start my own. I encourage you to hop on over to Our Worldwide Classroom and check out their link up with lots of wonderful ideas for sensory tubs.

Labels: Montessori, Summer, This and That, Toddlers
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Free Resources for Teaching U.S. History in Your Homeschool


Continuing with social studies resources, my next topic is U.S. History. All of these resources are free, including the curriculums. As always, if you know of any great resources that I missed, please let me know.

  • All Hands on Deck! – The thematic unit All Hands on Deck: Learning Adventures Aboard “Old Ironsides” uses USS CONSTITUTION as a vehicle to explore a wide range of disciplines including language arts, reading, math, science, art, and social studies.
  • America’s Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty – is a lesson plan resource and supplement for Kindergarten-12th grade teachers of social studies, U. S. history, U. S. government, political science, economics, geography, speech, and/or related subjects. The resource consists of age-appropriate and modifiable lesson plans grouped into three separate books according to level: elementary, middle, and high school.
  • American History Curriculum from Guest Hollow – Year 1 and Year 2
  • A Constitutional Timeline – an interactive timeline highlighting our constitutional history
  • The First Thanksgiving – an interactive site for learning about the first Thanksgiving, also has printables, lesson plans, etc.
  • Foldables for Teaching U.S. History from Virginia Standards of Learning
  • Growth of a Nation (from – ten minute presentation illustrates the growth of the United States
  • The Jamestown Online Adventure – how well would you have faired if you were one of the first settlers of Jamestown? Find out in this interactive role playing game!
  • On the Trail of Captain John Smith – a fun animated version of the story of John Smith with interactive games
  • People of America – free homeschool curriculum for studying the groups of people who formed the United States of America
  • Plimoth for Kids – coloring pages, recipes, craft ideas, and more to help you learn more about 17th-century life for Pilgrims and Native Americans
  • Scholastic Teacher’s History Sites (usually include printables)
  • The Story of Squanto – Weekly Reader online animated version of the story with quiz and printable
  • The Underground Railroad – a pseudo-interactive story/game from National Geographic
  • U.S. President’s Book – book on the Presidents of the United States containing information on each presidents personal information, term of office, and personal quotes.
  • You Are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving – also from Plimoth Plantation, an interactive site for learning about the first Thanksgiving


  • Labels: Social Studies
    Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

    Free Geography Resources for Homeschoolers

    I still have several subjects that I wanted to post resources for, but have really procrastinated with social studies and science, simply because there are an overwhelming number of resources for those subjects. I finally realized what I was doing and decided to break each subject into more manageable parts. Still, I’m sure I will miss many good resources, so please let me know of any that I do miss. I will be maintaining a page of social studies resources that I will update with each part as I go along.

    Labels: Social Studies
    Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

    Tot Time–April 1



    Our caterpillars formed chrysalis this week. It’s kind of hard to believe they’re going to become beautiful butterflies. We read a couple of good books about the butterfly life cycle to celebrate this transformation. The Crawly Caterpillar, a touch-and-feel book with a pop-up ending, is part of a series by Scholastic that also has books about the life cycle of sunflower plants, frogs, and ducks. We also read the classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

    Children's Museum March 025This week was a very rainy week here, which meant we weren’t able to get outside at all. One day I took Dora to the children’s museum, but unfortunately, it was insanely crowded due to the weather and it being spring break for some districts. Dora did a good job of holding her own in the crowds, especially with some of the more rambunctious boys.
    Crossroads 022
    We also recently started hanging out at a local mall, which has some rides for little ones. At a quarter a ride, it is a cheap way to have some indoor fun.
    Dora also decided that she wanted to make the castle cake in her Dora and Diego cookbook. This proved to be a very messy endeavor. She did not have the patience to add the doors and windows, so the cake looked more like some four-horned creature than a castle.

    I’m linking this post to:
    Shibley Smiles Tot School
    We Play


    Labels: Toddlers
    Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

    HSV Garden Challenge

    image I decided to take part in The Homeschool Village’s garden challenge. It officially started yesterday, and though I did not post these yesterday, I did take the photos of our garden as it was on March 31st. We are not actually planting a vegetable garden as we have had trouble with them attracting rats. We have a retaining wall that abuts the street and I guess rats live under the street and come out of the retaining wall. As long as we don’t grow a garden, we never see rats, but the minute we try to grow anything that resembles food, we start seeing them. Rats totally freak me out, so even though I REALLY, REALLY want to have a vegetable garden, it’s not happening.

    So we’re focusing on flowers. As I posted last week, Dora planted a lot of flower seeds, none of which has had a chance to bloom. So, here is…. drum roll please…. some dirt!


    I also posted last week that Dora also helped pick out some of the flowers in the front yard. Here is the potted flowers, which also have the gnome and mushroom figurines that we purchased from Target.


    Elsewhere, my bulbs have not bloomed yet. I try to get later blooming bulbs, otherwise it always seems like we get a freeze that kills off the flowers as soon as they bloom. My primroses, which I got at Costco, have started to die off, though still look pretty good. As you can see, we have a lot of moss currently, courtesy of the wet winter we had. I also have yet to get out to weed, due to nasty weather.


    The side yard is covered in fallen cherry blossoms and those small green plants are ground cover that I am hoping will help control weeds once it has taken off.


    Labels: This and That, Toddlers
    Posted by Maureen Sklaroff