hsmamas

Homeschooler, How Does Your Garden Grow?

urban garden

With spring just around the corner, my thoughts are turning to the garden. We live in the city, so we have a tiny backyard garden and we need to make the most of our space. In the six years that we have lived in our row house, we have had some variety of garden just about every year.

I love having a garden. It gives us an excuse to get off technology and get out side. I have a secret. I like playing in dirt. I love running the dirt through my fingers and breaking up the clumps.

I even enjoy finding knotted worms

knotted worms

and funky snails.

snail

What I really enjoy is planting things that my family can eat. The most common things that grow well in our garden are tomatoes, snap peas, and beans.

It is time to dig out the garden/seed bucket, develop a plan with the kids, and then get outside.

  1. Have you planted your garden yet?
  2. What kinds of things do you plant in your garden?
  3. Do your kids help you?

Workboxes – Large Family Style

Workboxes

I have not done a workbox post for a very long time. Too long. We are easing in to a new way of doing workboxes and I have not figured it all out yet. What I can tell you is that the kids have crates now. The bottom shelf is missing from the picture above (it contains my mama crate and Zion’s crate).

Right now the crates are acting as a storage bin for each child’s work, but I want them to be so much more. I am scouring through the Workbox Blogroll to see the ways other mamas are modifying their systems to work for them, hoping for something to truly inspire me.

Workbox Blogroll

Here are some mamas who used crates for the workboxes system at least at some point (and some may still be using them):

I am not married to the crates, but I have them and I would like to give them a good try because they fit our space (aka lack of space) nicely. Now that we have taken a little break from the Workbox System and rearranged our main working room a million times, I am ready to revisit workboxes with our family.

And…

I am really excited.

What are you using for your workboxes?
What are you putting in your workboxes?
How are you using workboxes with your special needs children?

Lapbooking And Special Needs

Special Needs

Way back when we had preschoolers before, we explored lapbooks and had loads of fun. Now that we have preschoolers again, I started exploring lapbooks again recently and decided to give it a try with all the kids. (More on those lapbooks in another post).

I had been wanting to explore things that would be more fun and incorporate the different learning styles of all the kids. I thought the big kids might be ready for notebooking, but there is still too much writing, so I opted to try the lapbooks again.

My kids absorb information from videos, books, and through discussion, but they have a hard time showing what they know. Enter lapbooking. I thought lapbooking would be a great way to include all of the kids at whatever level they are at.

I made it as easy as possible. I cut out the papers. I even wrote on the papers (I figured we could ease into them doing the writing, eventually). All they had to do was discuss and then glue. Wouldn’t you know it, my 11 year old (Elisha – with autism) doesn’t like gluing either? Well, he did it after a bit of prodding.

Note to self, we need:

  • a label maker (because of this post about dysgraphia)
  • more glue dots
  • glue sticks
  • loads of fun and colorful paper

I found this series on Lapbooking With Special Needs Kids that I found particularly inspiring. I encourage you to check it out.

You can Lapbook on a Shoestring as this post suggests by providing a ton of resources.

Lapbooking is:

  • versatile
  • adaptable
  • suitable for multi -age
  • useful for a variety of topics
  • perfect for special needs students
  • good for perfectionists
  • good for creativity
  • good for review
  • can be done in short bursts of time (and attention span)
  • an answer to prayer

Jimmie (from Jimmie’s Collage and Notebooking Fairy) had this great idea to prepare all the mini books ahead of time. She also has an amazing lapbooking Squidoo Lense that  is just loaded with resources and I highly suggest you check out if you are even the slightest bit interested in lapbooking.

Do you use lapbooks or notebooks in your homeschool? 

Do you use lapbooks or notebooks with your special needs kids?

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